U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
2703 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20593-7031


U.S. Coast Guard Museum
Coast Guard Academy - Waesche Hall
15 Mohegan Ave
New London, CT 06320-8100

Contacting us:  U.S.C.G. Historian's Office

Missions

When originally established in 1790 Congress authorized the Coast Guard to protect the nation's revenue through enforcing tariff laws and preventing smuggling.  As the nation grew though, so did the mission-set of the nation's oldest federal sea service. 

Today the Coast Guard has eleven statutory missions (listed in order of percentage of total operating expenses):

Mission

The mission of the United States Coast Guard is to ensure our Nation's maritime safety, security and stewardship.

 Vision

Service to Nation
We will serve our Nation through the selfless performance of our missions.

Duty to People
We will honor our duty to protect those we serve and those who serve with us.

Commitment to Excellence
We will commit ourselves to excellence by supporting and executing our operations in a proficient and professional manner.

The Coast Guard manages six major operational mission programs: The operational mission programs oversee 11 Missions codified in the Homeland Security Act of 2002. That act delineates the 11 missions as “homeland security” or “non-homeland security” missions. 

  1. Ports, Waterways & Coastal Security
  2. Drug Interdiction
  3. Aids to Navigation (ATON: including maintaining the nation's lighthouses, buoys & VTS; also legacy ATON missions including lightships & LORAN)
  4. Search & Rescue (SAR)
  5. Living Marine Resources
  6. Marine Safety
  7. Defense Readiness (National Security & Military Preparedness)
  8. Migrant Interdiction
  9. Maritime Environmental Protection
  10. Polar, Ice & Alaska Operations (including the International Ice Patrol)
  11. Law Enforcement (including Prohibition Enforcement History)

Homeland Security Missions: Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security; Drug Interdiction; Migrant Interdiction; Defense Readiness; and Other Law Enforcement

Non-Homeland Security Missions: Marine Safety; Search and Rescue; Aids to Navigation; Living Marine Resources; Marine Environmental Protection; and Ice Operations

Image Gallery
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Nauset Life-Saving crew launching their surfboat, all wearing mixed uniforms with wading boots and cork life vests; no date, possibly post-1915 era.
US Life Saving Service, Standard "working suit"
Wallis Sands Life-Saving crew wearing "storm suits" with cork life vests, no date
Surfman Howard Daniel Browning of Station Narragansett Pier (#54), Rhode Island, wearing the  standard winter-style uniform, circa 1909
US Life Saving Service, Unidentified keeper, no date,
 standard uniform
LORAN station crew: dungarees & khakis, circa 1970
Unidentified keeper, no date,
Standard uniform
US Life Saving Service, illustration of the cork life vest, no date.
US Life Saving Service, unidentified keeper & crew, no date, standard uniforms
US Life Saving Service, Standard "storm suit," no date, with walking stick and lantern.
SPAR recruits Julie Moselsy Pole, on the left; Winifred Byrd, on the right
SPARs women's reserve during WWII
Coast Guard Archives
CBM Cecil B. Foster, O.I.C. of Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Tiana from 1942-1944
Coast Guard Archives
USCGC Sea Cloud 
Coast Guard Archives
Pioneer African American officers Joseph
Jenkins and Clarence Samuels during a
snowstorm on the deck of USS Sea Cloud, a
Coast Guard-manned vessel and the nation’s
first integrated U.S. sea service ship. 
Coast Guard Archives
Resources
Elmer Stone Biography
STONE, ELMER_BIOGRAPHY.PDF
Rear Admiral Robert Duncan Biography
DUNCAN, ROBERT_FLAGBIO.PDF
Native Americans in the US Coast Guard by Dennis Noble
NATIVE AMERICANS_D NOBLE.PDF
Rick Trent Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
TRENT, RICK_MCPOCG BIOGRA...
Franklin Welch Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
WELCH, FRANKLIN_MCPOCG BI...
Charles Bowen Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
BOWEN, CHARLES W_MCPOCG B...
Charles Calhoun Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
CALHOUN, CHARLES_MCPOCG B...
Carl Constantine Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
CONSTANTINE, CARL_MCPOCG ...
Jay Lloyd Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
LLOYD, JAY_MCPOCG BIOGRAP...
Vincent Patton Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
PATTON, VINCENT_MCPOCG BI...
Phillip Smith Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
SMITH, PHILLIP_MCPOCG BIO...
Hollis Stephens Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
STEPHENS, HOLLIS_MCPOCG B...
Allen Thiele Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
THIELE, ALLEN_MCPOCG BIOG...
Maryland Point Lights Station, Goby, VA 2 May 1952
MARYLAND POINT LIGHT STAT...
Biography CWO4 MICHELE ROE
CWO4 MICHELE ROE BIOGRAPH...
Oral History Bruce Jones
Hurricane Katrina
2005
JONES, BRUCE_ORAL HISTORY...
Hurricane Katrina Index
KATRINA INDEX.PDF
List of Commandants of the US Coast Guard (2017)
List of CCG
CCG LIST.PDF
World War I (WWI) overview PowerPoint
WORLD WAR I PPT (THIESEN)...
List of Vice Commandants of the US Coast Guard (2017)
List of VCG
VCG LIST.PDF