The Coast Guard’s motto is Semper Paratus — “Always Ready” — and since 1790, the Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation’s maritime interests around the world. The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard is an adaptable, responsive military force of maritime professionals whose broad legal authorities, capable assets, geographic diversity and expansive partnerships provide a persistent presence along our rivers, in the ports, littoral regions and on the high seas. The Coast Guard presence and impact is local, regional, national and international. These attributes make the Coast Guard a unique instrument of maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship.
For every member of the Coast Guard, these core values are an integral part of their everyday life and give true meaning to their role in support of our country.
Families who understand and are aware of the benefits and services available to Coast Guard families can prevent many challenges — especially during periods of family separation.
Family readiness is an essential element of mission readiness. The Coast Guard can respond quickly and effectively to many situations because Coast Guard personnel are well trained and ready to do their jobs.
Coast Guardsmen are the Service’s most valuable resource. Mission success is made possible by the combined activities of Coast Guard operational and mission support personnel.
This teamwork is key to ensuring Coast Guard readiness, agility and operational excellence. We cannot succeed without the skilled contributions of a total workforce of approximately 82,000 active duty, reserve, auxiliary and civilian personnel.
The Coast Guard
The Coast Guard, with over 41,000 men and women on active duty and over 6,000 civilian employees, is a unique force that carries out an array of civil and military responsibilities touching almost every facet of the U.S. maritime environment.
The Coast Guard Reserve
The Coast Guard Reserve, with over 6,200 drilling reservists, provides the Coast Guard with a dedicated cadre of highly ready and responsive part-time personnel available for active duty in times of war or national emergency. Reservists can be activated and deployed to augment regular Coast Guard forces within 48 hours in response to domestic, man-made or natural disasters.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary
Roughly 26,000 strong, the men and women of the uniformed all-volunteer U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary spend thousands of hours each year, often on their personal vessels and aircraft, helping to carry out Coast Guard missions. On some waterways, auxiliarists are the principal Coast Guard personnel serving the public. They are best known for their boating safety classes and courtesy vessel safety checks. However, since 1997 they have supported all Coast Guard missions except those involving military operations, law enforcement and intelligence. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the only all-volunteer component within the Department of Homeland Security.