Not fooled by their flashy navy blue Coast Guards uniforms; serving in the country’s oldest nautical force isn’t for the faint of heart.
Members of the United States Coast Guard perform a remarkable variety of activities that are critical to keeping U.S. waterways safe, whether it’s protecting our nation’s ports, conducting search and rescue missions, or catching illegal drug smugglers in their tracks. Indeed, the list of Coast Guard facts needed to answer the simple question “What does the Coast Guard do?” is as long and complicated as the military branch’s history.
Facts about the coast guard
Here are some interesting facts about the Coast Guard, as well as answers to some frequently asked questions about the military’s second-smallest branch, to demonstrate the incredible work that Coasties accomplish every day.
1. What is the role of the coast guard?
The Coast Guard’s primary mission is to preserve US waterways, ports, and shorelines by enforcing US laws and acting as a first responder on the water. The Coast Guard’s overarching purpose is divided into six operational priority areas, according to the organization:
Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro transferred cocaine bales on June 6, 2019. Munro’s crew captured the cocaine after intercepting a suspected drug smuggling boat in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
- Enforcement of law
- First response
- Marine environmental protection and safety
- Management of transportation system
- Operations of security
- Operations of defense
If that sounds like a lot of responsibility – that’s because it is!
2. Is the Coast Guard a military branch?
Yes! Despite the fact that the Coast Guard is not a part of the US Department of Defense (DoD). It is a member of the US Armed Forces (also known as the military). The Coast Guard is technically a federal law enforcement organization as well as a military division of the Department of Homeland Security guard services.
The Coast Guard has been a part of the Treasury Department and the Department of Transportation throughout its long existence.
3. What is the difference between the coast guard vs the navy?
Given the Coast Guard’s marine mission and function as a member of the military, distinguishing the Coast Guard from the Navy may appear difficult at first. The two organizations, on the other hand, could not be more dissimilar.
The fundamental distinction between the Coast Guard and the Navy. Is there drastically different geographic scopes, separate core functions, and sizes.
The Coast Guard operates mostly within the United States and its waterways. Whereas the Navy’s tasks require its people, vessels, and planes to go all over the globe. Furthermore, the majority of the Coast Guard’s actions mainly focused on maritime law enforcement. And protecting US waterways and shorelines. But the Navy’s mission is to maintain a war-ready fleet and ensure worldwide sea freedom. In addition, the Navy has a far bigger active-duty force than the Coast Guard. With almost twelve times the number of active-duty troops.
4. How many people are in the coast guard service?
The Coast Guard is now the smallest military branch, second only to the Space Force. The Coast Guard currently employs 40,992 full-time active-duty service personnel, 7,000 part-time reservists, 8,577 civilians, and 31,000 auxiliary Coast Guard volunteers.
5. Is it hard to get into the coast guard?
Getting into the Coast Guard is a straightforward process, but it is not without its challenges. Is anyone interested in joining the Coast Guard? Like any other branch of the military, one must first speak with a recruiter to begin the process and answer any questions. Following that, new applicants will be directed to the nearest Military Entrance Processing Center (MEPS). For further evaluation after passing a pre-screening.
However, this process for the Coast Guard entails multiple days of testing, medical screenings, and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) exam. Potential enlisted recruits must achieve a minimum ASVAB score of 40, which is the highest of any military branch except the Air Force. Recruits and their accompanying family members may be able to relax between testing sessions at a USO lounge at their MEPS station, depending on their location. There are currently a number of USO MEPS stations throughout the United States.
After passing all of their basic tests at MEPS, Coast Guard applicants will fly to Philadelphia. Upon arrival at Philadelphia International Airport, the candidates visit the USO lounge for one last taste of civilian life before boarding the bus to Cape May, New Jersey, for the 53-day Coast Guard Recruit Training.
6. What famous people or celebrities have served on the coast guard?
A number of other celebrities have served in the US Coast Guard, including golfer Arnold Palmer, novelist Alexander “Alex” Haley, actor Jeff Bridges, National Football League (NFL) player Emlen Tunnell, actor Cesar Romero, National Hockey League (NHL) player Art Coulter, and boxer Jack Dempsey.
7. What are some other interesting facts about the coast guard?
Did you know that during World War II, Walt Disney designed a distinctive logo for the Coast Guard’s Corsair Fleet and that the oldest Coastguardsman was 105 years old?
However, a coast guard may also be in charge of maintaining lighthouses, buoys, and other navigational aids, as well as providing emergency assistance to commercial mariners and victims of natural disasters like floods and storms. Icebreaking in interior waterways and the gathering and broadcast of meteorological data related to floods, hurricanes, and storms are among the duties of the coast guard in various countries. The United States Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol keeps an eye on icebergs in the North Atlantic commerce channels.
Almost every coastal country has some kind of coast guard. The United States Coast Guard, the British Coastguard Service, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Japan Coast Guard are among the most well-known. All of them are governed by their separate governments. In many European countries, these guard duties are performed by associations of volunteer lifeboats. Read all of these details with interest to learn briefly about the coast guard and its services.