Coast Guard

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The U.S. Coast Guard’s mission is to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests — in the nation’s ports and waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.

For over two centuries the U.S. Coast Guard has safeguarded the United States’ maritime interests in the heartland, in the ports, at sea, and around the globe. We protect the maritime economy and the environment, we defend our maritime borders, and we save those in peril. This history has forged our character and purpose as America’s Maritime Guardian — Always Ready for all hazards and all threats.

Today’s U.S. Coast Guard, with nearly 42,000 men and women on active duty, is a unique force that carries out an array of civil and military responsibilities touching almost every facet of the U.S. maritime environment.

By law, the Coast Guard has 11 missions: 

•Ports, waterways, and coastal security
•Drug interdiction
•Aids to navigation
•Search and rescue
•Living marine resources
•Marine safety
•Defense readiness
•Migrant interdiction
•Marine environmental protection
•Ice operations
•Other law enforcement

The legal basis for the Coast Guard is Title 14 of the United States Code, which states: “The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed force of the United States at all times.” Upon the declaration of war or when the President directs, the Coast Guard operates under the authority of the Department of the Navy. 

As members of a military service, Guardians on active duty and in the Reserve are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and receive the same pay and allowances as members of the same pay grades in the other four armed services.

The Coast Guard’s motto is “Semper Paratus,” which means “Always Ready.”

Coast Guard Rescues 2 North of Cuba

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MIAMI — A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew rescued two American sailors whose vessel ran aground approximately 25 miles north of Gibara, Cuba, May 22. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 7th District command center were first notified of the emergency Friday morning when a distress signal from the vessel's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beac... more

Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous Crew Receives New Commanding Officer

Cmdr. Arthur Ray relieved Cmdr. Terry Johns as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous during a change of command ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Cmdr. Arthur Ray relieved Cmdr. Terry Johns as commanding officer of the Virginia Beach-based Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous during a change of command ceremony Thursday aboard the cutter at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. Ray recently served in the Office of Counterterrorism and Defense Operations Policy at Coa... more

Cruise Group Taps Coast Guard Vet as President

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The Cruise Lines International Association has tapped the U.S. Coast Guard for its new president and CEO. Thomas P. Ostebo will head its operations, effective July 6, the trade group said. Ostebo has more than 30 years of experience leading large organizations and most recently served at the Coast Guard as rear admiral. CLIA Global Chairman A... more

Coast Guard Transports Hawaiian Monk Seal to Oahu

Coast Guard crews working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transported a Hawaiian monk seal from Kauai to Oahu, May 19, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

HONOLULU — Coast Guard crews working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transported a Hawaiian monk seal from Kauai to Oahu, Tuesday. An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point transported the seal to Oahu for medical attention after it swallowed a fish hook. “Coast Guard members in Hawaii... more

Mourning Father Carries on Son's Legacy

Julian Romero (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Julian Romero had an interest in law and its enforcement. He had completed a year at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and hoped to one day become an active duty Coast Guardsman when he decided to move back to his native Puerto Rico. In a tragic irony, a year later he would be murdered, and his father, a telecommunications executive, would dedi... more

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