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
Cover image of the Book of Valor

UNITED STATES COAST GUARD 
Book of Valor 
A Fact Book on Medals and Decorations 
[awarded to Coast Guardsmen for valor during World War II] 
PREPARED BY THE PUBLIC RELATIONS DIVISION, WASHINGTON , D.C. 
MAY, 1945
BOOK_OF_VALOR_WWII_COVER ...
Book of Valor
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD 
Book of Valor 
A Fact Book on Medals and Decorations 
[awarded to Coast Guardsmen for valor during World War II] 
PREPARED BY THE PUBLIC RELATIONS DIVISION, WASHINGTON , D.C. 
MAY, 1945 
The following is a publication issued by the Coast Guard's Public Affairs Division in May of 1945 that lists those Coast Guardsmen who were awarded decorations of the Air Medal or higher during World War II, along with their citations.  Additionally, there were three supplemental sections added to the publication to cover those who earned awards for the remaining months of the war and these supplements are included as well.  Supplemental List No. 3 included those individuals who were authorized to wear the Commendation Ribbon. 
Coast Guardsmen were awarded a total of 532 medals (these included the following medals: Air Medal, Bronze Star, Navy & Marine Corps Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Cross, and the Medal of Honor as well as awards from foreign governments).  A total of 516 Coast Guard officers and men were awarded the Commendation Ribbon while another 957 were awarded the Purple Heart. 
The publication was organized alphabetically, subdivided by the recipients' home state.  The chapter headings are as follows (click on the chapter heading to go directly to that chapter): 
Our thanks to Ms. Erma Hill for transcribing this publication.
BOOK OF VALOR_DOC.PDF
The History and legacy of the USCGC Boutwell, 1966-2016
Lt Gene F. Storer
USCGC Boutwell.PDF
Oral History Interview with Harriet writer, SPA
]Interviewed by C. Douglas Kroll
Harriet Writer Oral History
Oral History Interview with Keith Williams
Interviewed by C Douglas Kroll
Keith Williams Oral History
Oral History Interview with Captain Donald M. Taub
Interviewed by C. Douglas Kroll
Donald M. Taub Oral History
Oral History with Jack R. Sutherlin
Interviewed by C. Douglas Kroll
Jack R. Sutherlin Oral Hi...
Oral History with ETCM Melvin K. Bell
Interviewed by C. Douglas Kroll
Melvin K. Bell Oral History
Oral History with Marvin J. Perrett
Interviewed by Scott T. Price
Marvin J. Perrett Oral Hi...
Edith Munro Biography
Douglas Munro's mother
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNROEDITHBIO.PDF
Douglas Munro Medal of Honor Citation
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGMOHCITATION.PDF
Douglas Munro Index
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGLASINDEX.PDF
Douglas Munro Commander Dexter Letter, transcribed
U.S. Coast Guard
MURNO_DEXTER_LETTER_TRANS...
Douglas Munro at Guadalcanal by Robert Browning
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_RBROWNING.PDF
Douglas Munro Letters
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGLETTERS.PDF
Douglas Munro Service Record
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGSERVICERECORD.PDF
Douglas Munro Photograph gallery
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNROPHOTOGALLERY.PDF
USS Douglas Munro DE-422
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_DE422.PDF
Douglas Munro USN Release
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
MUNRODOUGUSNRELEASE.PDF
Douglas Munro Award Packet 1943
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
1943_MUNRO_USN_AWARDPACKE...