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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.