The United States Coast Guard is one of our nation's five military services, and is one of the oldest organizations of the federal government. The Coast Guard operates on America’s maritime front lines, and has done so since Alexander Hamilton petitioned President George Washington to build a fleet of ten sea-going cutters in 1790.
The Coast Guard served as the nation's only armed force on the sea until Congress launched the Navy Department eight years later. Since then, the Coast Guard has protected the United States throughout its long history and served proudly in every one of the nation's conflicts.
The Coast Guard has many important jobs. Coast Guard members patrol our coasts and protect our ports, harbors, and waterways. Coast Guard members protect marine resources and the people who live, work, or just have fun on the water.
Coast Guard members enforce the law and stop terrorists, criminals, and drug dealers from entering the country from the nation’s coasts.
The Coast Guard keeps boaters safe by teaching maritime safety and by rescuing people who have problems in the water. Coast Guard members operate big boats that break up ice so that those waterways are clear for travel and commerce.
On an average day, the Coast Guard:
- conducts 45 search and rescue cases;
- saves 10 lives;
- saves over $1.2M in property;
- seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana;
- conducts 57 waterborne patrols of critical maritime infrastructure;
- interdicts 17 illegal migrants;
- escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels;
- conducts 24 security boardings in and around U.S. ports;
- screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats prior to arrival in U.S. ports;
- conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings;
- services 82 buoys and fixed aids to navigation;
- investigates 35 pollution incidents;
- completes 26 safety examinations on foreign vessels;
- conducts 105 marine inspections;
- investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels;
- facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System.