||Chapter 8U. S. COAST GUARDBackground
This year marks a significant addition to the Population Representation in the Military Services Report, the U.S. Coast Guard
(USCG). While on a day-to-day basis the USCG falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, the USCG is at all times an armed force—a full time military organization with a true peacetime
mission.(1) During times of war or at the direction of the President,
the USCG functionally transfers to the Department of Defense falling under the Secretary of the Navy.The U.S. Coast Guard is the Nation's oldest continuous seagoing service which can
trace its history to 1790 with the introduction of the Revenue Cutter Service, whose mission was the enforcement of the first tariff laws enacted by Congress under the Constitution. What we know as today's Coast
Guard is actually a combination of five Federal agencies. In addition to the Cutter Service, these agencies included the Lighthouse Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, the Bureau of Navigation, and the
Lifesaving Service. The multiple missions and responsibilities of today's Coast Guard can be traced back to these initial agencies with four main mission areas today—maritime law enforcement, maritime safety,
marine environmental protection, and national security.(2)In this chapter, the characteristics of both the Active and Reserve Components of the USCG are presented. Comparisons are presented for applicants (active enlisted
only), accessions, and end-strength for enlisted members, officer corps, and warrant officers. Where applicable, these comparisons include overall DoD(3) figures and comparable civilian data for reference.
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- USCG International Training Handbook. URL:
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-ci/sect1.htm. p. 2 of 5.
- Ibid., p. 3 of 5.(go back)
- Overall DoD refers to the combined total of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.(go back)