Ready today...Preparing for Tomorrow
For over two centuries the U.S. Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation’s 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.
The Coast Guard's motto is Semper Paratus, meaning "Always Ready."
Thus, we are military, multi-mission, and maritime.
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 forces 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.
|1790:||Revenue-Marine (later renamed Revenue Cutter Service) created within the Treasury Department|
|1915:||Revenue Cutter Service combines with the U.S. Lifesaving Service (est. 1848) to create the Coast Guard|
|1939:||U.S. Lighthouse Service (est. 1789) added|
|1946:||Steamboat Inspection Service (est. 1838) added|
|1967:||Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation|
|2003:||Coast Guard transferred to Department of Homeland Security|