WHAT DOES THE COAST GUARD DO?
By Buddy Blouin
According to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the branch is focused on helping maintain maritime laws, assisting with maritime security, national defense, and helping with maritime response. Typical things that you’ll see Coast Guardsmen doing include search and rescue operations, patrolling for national security, preventing drug trafficking, protecting maritime lines of transportation and communication, and humanitarian efforts as needed.
Suggested read:Breaking Down the Coast Guard Logo
What Does the Coast Guard Do During War?During wars, the U.S. Coast Guard has assisted in missions, port security, patrolling, search and rescue, escort missions, and much more. This is, of course, on top of and a part of their regular duties that include keeping waterways safe, lines of communication within waterways established, etc. But when it comes to our forces in the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard lives under the jurisdiction of the Navy when it’s wartime. This means that Coast Guardsmen can go and serve in war as necessary, above ordinary duties typically experienced.
A Brief History of the USCGThe Coast Guard’s birthday is celebrated on August 4, 1790, the day on which Founding Father Alexander Hamilton would lobby for its creation. Its origins go back to when the United States Department of the Treasury had the fleet and used it to enforce tariffs. Fast forward to 1915, and when what was known as the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service, the modern U.S. Coast Guard was born. Other organizations ended up becoming a part of the USCG over the years, including the Lighthouse Service and the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation. In 1967, the Coast Guard finally moved from the U.S. Department of the Treasury but not to the military; it would become part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, 9/11 changed everything. There was a need and desire to increase national security throughout the United States. The Coast Guard would then become part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Throughout history, under some capacity within the Navy, there are various points of Coast Guard service helping the U.S. from a military standpoint. Today, this is something that still stands. When there is peace, the Coast Guard works as a part of Homeland Security, but units may assist the Navy during times of war.
Joining the U.S. Coast Guard Means Service and Saving LivesA major part of what helps the United States military continue its success is the fact that we have a fighting force that can collaborate when needed and specialize in specific tasks. The U.S. Coast Guard is a shining example of this feat. If you join the USCG, you are joining a branch of the U.S. military that's tasked with keeping our coast, waterways, and communications safe. It's a branch that's there for people in their darkest hour as a sign of hope and an act of heroism to help during a time of need. What does the Coast Guard do? Continue the legacy of keeping us safe both on the water and on land. If you can handle yourself in the water and have the willingness to serve, becoming a Coast Guardsman can be a great path for you.
Read next:5 Things You Didn't Know About the Coast Guard Auxiliary
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. | Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Magee U.S. Coast Guard District 13 PADET Astoria
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