America’s waterways, coasts, and seas are the lifeblood of our economy, our national security, and our way of life. They are a source of vast natural resources— fueling commerce, transportation, and defense while enriching our lives. The safety, security, and prosperity of America depend on reliable access to the maritime environment, protection from threats on the sea, and protection of the sea itself. To this end, the Coast Guard serves as a unique instrument of national power, championing the rule of law and governance on our waters and beyond.
As the Nation’s only multi-mission, military, maritime service, we are humanitarian first responders, environmental stewards, a law enforcement and regulatory agency, a member of the intelligence community, and a branch of the Armed Forces. Our missions have evolved over the last two centuries; we have developed enduring strategies to focus our efforts, nested underneath national and departmental strategies and priorities. As our missions continue to evolve in the future, we remain committed to developing the personnel, infrastructure, assets, and technology necessary to excel in tomorrow’s world.
The Coast Guard enables America to harness the potential of our multi-use waterways. We support national interests by saving lives, preventing terrorism, securing our maritime borders, promoting the rule of law, protecting natural resources, and enhancing cyber and critical infrastructure security, all in concert with other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components. We operate at both the national and local level, cooperating with American communities to manage ports and inland waterways. Our vast network of international, interagency, industry, intergovernmental, tribal, and nongovernmental partners allows us to collaborate and lead through crises. We bring a broad and unique spectrum of powerful authorities to the Department along with highly trained, rapidly deployable, and well-equipped personnel and assets that fit across missions as needed.
The Coast Guard also plays a central role in strengthening maritime governance around the world, building on international engagements to bolster other nations’ inherent capabilities to police their own waters and support cooperative operations. As the only branch of the Armed Forces within DHS, we bridge the gap between the law enforcement focus of DHS, the diplomacy of the Department of State, and the defense capabilities of the Department of Defense (DOD). Within the Joint Force, we provide a full spectrum of engagement in the grey zone as nation-states and transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) generate increased uncertainty and complexity in the maritime domain. Finally, should conflict arise, the Coast Guard stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the DOD Services to defend America’s national security interests.
The key to our success has always been our people – our diverse total workforce of Active Duty, Reserve, Civilian, and Auxiliary members – who often accept great personal sacrifices and put themselves in harm’s way to serve the Nation. As our Service transforms, what remains is our steadfast commitment to serving others, our Coast Guard Core Values and Ethos, and a common purpose to remain Always Ready to protect, defend, and save the American public.