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


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):


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


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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Ray Evans 29 May 1943
U.S Coast Guard Historian's Office
Ray Evans Scrapbook scan
Navy Cross award, RADM Jones
U.S Coast Guard Historian's Office
Ray Evans RADM Jones 29 May 1943
Romance and the Story of Pea Island Station, 1932 by Rodney J. Benson 
Coast Guard Magazine
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Bob Papp’s Remarks
At the
Richard Etheridge Commissioning
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Friday August 3, 2012
2012-08-03; RICHARD ETHER...
Captain Richard Etheridge, Keeper, USLSS
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District Coast Guard Station #177
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
Crew photograph
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
Pea Island Life-Saving Station
Rodanthe, North Carolina
Coast Guard Station #177
Historic Resource Study, National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
Secretary of the Navy
Presenting the Bronze Star to Louis Cullen Etheridge, Jr. Steward First Class United States Coast Guard with Citation
Uniform Regulations United States Navy 1941 
United States Government Printing Office Washington 1941
World War II
Brief History of Cutter BEAR
Hamilton (1967)
The History and Legacy of the
United States Coast Guard Cutter
Small Harbor Cutters and AB Boats
James T. Flynn
Small Harbor Cutters and ...
US Coast Guard Small Cutters and Patrol Boats, 1915-2012
HMC James T. Flynn, Jr.
Small Cutters and Patrol ...
Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters
James T. Flynn
Sentinel Class Fast Respo...
Admiral James C. Irwin Biography
Vice Commandant
Hispanic-Americans History Chronology
Hispanic-Americans in Coa...
Marvin J. Perrett Oral History