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US Coast Guard

US Coast Guard, the smallest armed service of the United States, is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The United States Coast Guard has the functions of law enforcement, search and rescue; marine environmental pollution response and maintenance of inter coastal and offshore aids for navigation (ATON). The creation of US Coast Guard was by an act of the United States Congress in 1915 merging the Revenue Cutter Service and the National Lifesaving Service.

The headquarters of US Coast Guard is in Washington, DC. The United States Coast Guard reports to the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and the Department of Defense as the “1st Fleet”, during wars. That is the reason the Navy numbers the regular fleets from the 2nd. Their basic missions are Maritime Safety, Maritime Mobility, Maritime Security, National Defense and Protection of Natural Resources.

The selection of the Admiral- the Commandant of the US Coast Guard- is for a renewable period of four years. The Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO) is the senior enlisted man of the United States Coast Guard and an advisor to the Commandant.

Every district US Coast Guard is responsible for one region of the nation’s coastline. The United States Coast Guard has Maritime Defense Zones for Atlantic and Pacific oceans each under a vice admiral. Huge operational centers of every district combining several functions are Activities, smaller boat stations are Stations and the airfields are the Coast Guard Air Stations.

The United States Coast Guard Academy is on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut. The cadets have to clear the competitive entrance examination. Around 170 commissioned cadets’ ensigns serve as crew aboard the Eagle. The Officers Candidate School (OCS) at New London, Connecticut inducts officers after 17-week training. Such graduates have to be on active duty for three years. Around 70 of these are as ensigns commissioned while some are lieutenant junior grade. Some foreign cadets and candidates can also attend the Coast Guard officer training.

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