The Gold Lifesaving Medal and Silver Lifesaving Medal are U. S. decorations issued by the United States Coast Guard. The awards were established by Act of Congress, 20 June 1874. S. C. § 500. These decorations are two of the oldest medals in the United States and were established at the Department of Treasury as Lifesaving Medals First and Second Class; the Department of the Treasury gave the award, but today the United States Coast Guard awards it through the Department of Homeland Security. They are not classified as military decorations, may be awarded to any person. A British Sea Gallantry Medal for saving life was authorized in 1854. Twenty years in the United States the Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals were first authorized in an Act that furthered the United States Life-Saving Service; the Secretary of the Treasury was directed, among other provisions of the act, to create "medals of honor", to be distinguished as life-saving medals of the first and second class, bestow them upon any persons who endanger their own lives in saving, or endeavoring to save lives from perils of the sea, within the United States, or upon any American vessel.
The Lifesaving Medals have had three designs in their history. The original design in 1874 was "non-portable" and could not be worn by the recipient, but rather displayed much like a trophy. In 1882 the design was changed; the ribbon was red for the Gold Lifesaving light blue for the Silver Lifesaving medal. On 4 August 1949 the medals and ribbons were reduced in size so that they were more proportionate to medals awarded by the U. S. Armed Forces; the ribbons were redesigned to have multiple colors. The laws governing the awarding of medal were amended over the years, is awarded by the Coast Guard; the Commandant of the Coast Guard makes the final determination in authorizing the award. "The Gold Lifesaving Medal or the Silver Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils of the water. The rescue or attempted rescue must either take place in waters within the U. S. or subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or one or the other of the parties must be a citizen of the U.
S. or from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the U. S. "The Lifesaving Medal is issued in two grades, being gold. "The Gold Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to an individual who performed a rescue or attempted rescue at the risk of his or her own life, demonstrates extreme and heroic daring. The Silver Lifesaving Medal may be awarded to an individual who performed a rescue or attempted rescue where the circumstances do not sufficiently distinguish the individual to deserve the medal of gold, but demonstrate such extraordinary effort as to merit recognition. If neither the Gold nor Silver Lifesaving Medal is appropriate a Certificate of Valor or an appropriate Coast Guard Public Service Award may be considered."Until the mid-20th century, the Lifesaving Medal was bestowed upon members of the military. This is due to the creation of a variety of additional military decorations that supplant the Lifesaving Medal; the United States Navy issues the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, instead of the Lifesaving Medal, for sea rescues involving risk of life.
"Military personnel serving on active duty would not be recommended for Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals. In all other circumstances, a military award should be considered." The Lifesaving Medal is authorized for wear on U. S. military uniforms. The Lifesaving Medal is unusual among U. S. medals because it is struck from the eponymous precious metal, silver or gold. Multiple awards of the Lifesaving Medal are denoted by award stars on the decoration's ribbon and a gold clasp, inscribed with the recipient's name, is worn on the actual medal. Since 1874, more than 600 Gold Lifesaving Medals and more than 1,900 Silver Lifesaving Medals have been awarded. George Freeth, a swimming instructor and the "Father of Modern Surfing", who rescued seven fishermen off Venice Beach during a winter storm in December of 1908. Vice Admiral Harry G. Hamlet, U. S. Coast Guard – While in command of USS Marietta in the Bay of Biscay on 28 April 1919, rescued a crew of 47 persons from the sinking USS James Sergeant Marcus Hanna – Only person to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Gold Lifesaving Medal.
Joshua James – Legendary lifesaver. Jonas Johns - Native American who rescued the 14 man crew of the schooner Lily Grace wrecked near Gray's Harbor, Washington in January 1887 and a year rescued 3 more sailors. Medal awarded on December 9, 1889. James Larsin and Wisconsin state legislator. Ida Lewis, lighthouse keeper and first female recipient. Chief Warrant Officer John Allen Midgett Jr. USCG Rasmus Midgett Captain Henry C. Mustin, USN - Naval aviation pioneer. Sheppard Shreaves, for rescuing Henry Breault Lenny Skutnik Arland D. Williams, Jr. Richard Etheridge, Benjamin Bowser, Dorman Pugh, Theodore Meekins, Lewis Wescott, Stanley Wise, William Irving of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station, for rescue of the crew from the E. S. Newman on 11 October 1896. Awarded gold medals posthumously on 5 March 1996. Benjamin Dailey, keeper of the Cape Hatteras Lifeboat Station, led the rescue of the crew of the Ephraim Williams. William Babb, for the 1885 rescue of the American schooner A. C. Maxwell Coxswain Bernard C.
Webber, EN3 Andrew Fitzgerald.
Presidential Unit Citation (United States)
The Presidential Unit Citation called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Uniformed services of the United States, those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941. The unit must display such gallantry and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. Since its inception by Executive Order on 26 February 1942, retroactive to 7 December 1941, to 2008, the Presidential Unit Citation has been awarded in conflicts such as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan; the collective degree of valor against an armed enemy by the unit nominated for the PUC is the same as that which would warrant award of the individual award of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross. In some cases, one or more individuals within the unit may have been awarded individual awards for their contribution to the actions for which their entire unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.
The unit with the most Presidential Unit Citations is the USS Parche with 9 citations. The Army citation was established by Executive Order 9075 on 26 February 1942, superseded by Executive Order 9396 on Dec. 2, 1943, which authorized the Distinguished Unit Citation. As with other Army unit citations, the PUC is in a larger frame than other ribbons, is worn above the right pocket. All members of the unit may wear the decoration, whether or not they participated in the acts for which the unit was cited. Only those assigned to the unit at the time of the action cited may wear the decoration as a permanent award. For both the Army and Air Force, the emblem is a solid blue ribbon enclosed in a gold frame; the Air Force PUC was adopted from the Army Distinguished Unit Citation after the Air Force became a separate military branch in 1947. By Executive Order 10694, dated Jan. 10, 1957 the Air Force redesignated the Distinguished Unit Citation as the Presidential Unit Citation. The Air Force PUC is the same color and design as the Army PUC but smaller, so that it can be worn in alignment with other Air Force ribbons on the left pocket following personal awards.
As with the Army, all members of a receiving unit may wear the decoration while assigned to it, but only those assigned to the unit at the time of the action cited may wear the decoration as a permanent award or if any member of a receiving unit had it their last duty station prior to being either discharged or retired they may continue to wear the decoration as prescribed. The Citation is carried on the receiving unit's colors in the form of a blue streamer, 4 ft long and 2.75 in wide. For the Army, only on rare occasions will a unit larger than battalion qualify for award of this decoration. Citations "to Naval and Marine Corps Units for Outstanding Performance in Action" was established by Executive Order 9050 on 6 February 1942; the Navy version has navy blue and red horizontal stripes, is the only Navy ribbon having horizontal stripes. To distinguish between the two versions of the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy version, more referred to as the Presidential Unit Citation, is referred to as the Navy Presidential Unit Citation and sometimes as the "Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation", the Army and Air Force version is referred to by the Army and Air Force as the Army Presidential Unit Citation and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation.
The ribbon is worn by only by those Navy and Marine service members who were assigned to the unit for the "award period" of the award. In the Army, those who join the unit after the "award period" may wear it while assigned to the unit. ALNan 137-43 states that the first award has a blue enameled star on the ribbon and additional stars for subsequent awards. In 1949, the award changed with no star for bronze stars for subsequent awards. To commemorate the first submerged voyage under the North Pole by the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus in 1958, all members of her crew who made that voyage were authorized to wear their Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with a special clasp in the form of a gold block letter N. Currently, US Navy sailors assigned to the USS Nautilus memorial at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, are permitted to wear the Navy Presidential Unit Citation; as of 2014, the same device may be awarded for the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal for those personnel who work in direct support of ICBM operations who serve 179 non-consecutive days dispatched to a missile complex.
To commemorate the first submerged circumnavigation of the world by the nuclear-powered submarine Triton during its shakedown cruise in 1960, all members of her crew who made that voyage were authorized to wear their Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with a special clasp in the form of a golden replica of the globe. United States Coast Guard units may be awarded either the Navy or Coast Guard version of the Presidential Unit Citation, depending on which service the Coast Guard was supporting when the citation action was performed; the current decoration is known as the "Department of Homeland Security Presidential Unit Citation". The original Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation was established under the authority of Executive Order 10694, amended by Section 74 of Executive Order 13286 to transfer the award of the USCG PUC to the Secr
Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon
The Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is a military award of the United States Air Force, created on February 21, 1968 by order of Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown. The first presentation of the award was in June 1970; the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is the highest personal ribbon award of the United States Air Force. The Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is awarded to any enlisted member of the U. S. Air Force, nominated by their Major Command, Field Operating Agency, or Direct Reporting Unit for competition in the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program; the Outstanding Airman of the Year program recognizes 12 enlisted members from a cross section of Air Force Career fields. Nominated personnel compete in one of three categories Airman, Non-commissioned Officer, Senior Non-commissioned Officer. Nominations are based only on the member's achievement for the prior calendar year. Though only the prior year is used for nominations, nominees must pass a certain level of scrutiny for their total life and career since nominees are expected to be the most outstanding representatives of the Air Force enlisted force.
The Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is light blue with a center stripe of white, flanked on either side by thin stripes of dark blue and red. Airmen selected as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year are authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman badge for one year, are awarded the ribbon with a bronze service star. All other nominated competitors are authorized to wear the ribbon without the service star. Subsequent awards of the ribbon are represented by oak leaf clusters, with the service star being worn to the wearers right. 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program Complete listing of all recipients since the Award's inception Link
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the U. S. federal government with responsibilities in public security comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security and customs, cyber security, disaster prevention and management, it was created in response to the September 11 attacks and is the youngest U. S. cabinet department. In fiscal year 2017, it was allocated a net discretionary budget of $40.6 billion. With more than 240,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Departments of Health and Human Services and Energy. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on April 7, 2019, effective April 10. By law, Undersecretary for Management Claire Grady was to become the acting Secretary of Homeland Security.
On April 7, President Donald J. Trump designated the current U. S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan as acting Secretary. McAleenan named David Pekoske, who also serves as the TSA Administrator, as the acting Deputy Secretary. Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, outside its borders, its stated goal is to prepare for and respond to domestic emergencies terrorism. On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the U. S. assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies: Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services; the investigative divisions and intelligence gathering units of the INS and Customs Service were merged forming Homeland Security Investigations, the primary investigative arm of DHS. Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS, including the U.
S. Border Patrol, the U. S. Customs Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U. S. Customs and Border Protection; the Federal Protective Service falls under the National Programs Directorate. The Department of Homeland Security is headed by the Secretary of Homeland Security with the assistance of the Deputy Secretary; the department contains the components listed below. AgenciesUnited States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Processes and examines citizenship and asylum requests from aliens. U. S. Customs and Border Protection: Law enforcement agency that enforces U. S. laws along its international borders including its enforcement of U. S. immigration and agriculture laws while at and patrolling between all U. S. ports-of-entry. U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Law enforcement agency divided into two bureaus:Homeland Security Investigations investigates violations of more than 400 U. S. laws and gathers intelligence on national and international criminal activities that threaten the security of the homeland.
Transportation Security Administration: Responsible for aviation security, as well as land and water transportation security United States Coast Guard: Military service responsible for law enforcement, maritime security, national defense, maritime mobility, protection of natural resources. United States Secret Service: Law enforcement agency tasked with two distinct and critical national security missions:Investigative Mission – The investigative mission of the USSS is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States from a wide range of financial and electronic-based crimes. Protective Mission – The protective mission of the USSS is to ensure the safety of the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, their immediate families, foreign heads of state. Federal Emergency Management Agency: agency that oversees the federal government's response to natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires. Passports for U. S. citizens are issued by the U.
S. Department of State, not the Department of Homeland Security. Advisory groups: Homeland Security Advisory Council: State and local government, first responders, private sector, academics National Infrastructure Advisory Council: Advises on security of public and private information systems Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee: Advise the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council: Coordinate infrastructure protection with private sector and other levels of government Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities Task Force on New Americans: "An inter-agency effort to help immigrants learn English, embrace the common core of American civic culture, become American."Other components: Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office: Counter attempts by terrorists or other threat actors to carry out an attack against the United States or its interests using a weapon of mass destruction.
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen established the CWMD Office in December 2017 by consolidating the Domes
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
Reserve Good Conduct Medal
A Reserve Good Conduct Medal refers to any one of the five military conduct awards, four of which are issued and one of, issued, by the United States Armed Forces to enlisted members of the Reserve and National Guard. The primary difference between the regular Good Conduct Medal and the Reserve Good Conduct Medal is that the regular Good Conduct Medal is only issued for active duty service while the reserve equivalent is bestowed for reserve duties such as drills, annual training, additional active duty for either training or operational support to the active duty force or, in the case of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, in support of Title 32 U. S. C. state active duty such as disaster relief. To receive a Reserve Good Conduct Medal, a service member, must be an active member of the Reserve or National Guard and must have performed three to four years of satisfactory duty with such service being free of disciplinary action. Periods of active duty in the Active Component prior to joining the Reserve Component, full time active duty in an Active Guard and Reserve and Administration of the Reserve, Full Time Support, or active duty recall or mobilization in excess of three years are not creditable towards a Reserve Good Conduct Medal, although such periods are creditable for the active duty equivalent Good Conduct Medal.
Each service has specific varying requirements. The last of the Reserve Good Conduct Medals to be authorized, the U. S. Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, was established by the Secretary of the Army on 3 March 1971 and amended by DA General Orders 4, in 1974; the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal is awarded for exemplary behavior and fidelity while serving as a member of an Army National Guard or Army Reserve Troop Program Unit for each three-year period since 3 March 1972. Effective 28 March 1995, the period of qualifying service for the award was reduced from four years to three years. Service must have been consecutive and service performed in the Reserve Component of the U. S. Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard may not be credited for award of this medal; the member must have exhibited honest and faithful service in accordance with the standards of conduct and duty required by law and customs of the service of a member of the same grade as the individual to whom the standard is being applied.
A member must be recommended for the award by his or her unit commander whose recommendation is based on personal knowledge of the individual and the individual’s official records of periods of service under prior commanders during the period for which the award is made. Furthermore, a Commander may not extend the qualifying period for misconduct. A determination that service is not honorable as prescribed negates the entire period of the award. Soldiers who are ordered to active duty in the AGR program will be awarded the ARCAM if they have completed 2 of the 3 years required. Soldiers with less than 2 years will not receive an award. Service lost may be recovered if the Soldier is separated honorably from the AGR program and reverts to troop program unit service, for example, a Soldier serves 1 year and 6 months of qualifying service and is ordered to an AGR tour; this service is not sufficient for award of the ARCAM. When the Soldier leaves the AGR program that 1 year and 6 months is granted towards the next award of the ARCAM.
Only the State Adjutant General may determine that the AGR service was not sufficiently honorable enough to revoke the earned time, regardless of the type of separation given. The ARCAM is awarded to both officer and enlisted members of the Army Reserve and has the same criteria as the other Reserve Services for award of a Reserve Good Conduct Medal; the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is a similar award, given for ten years of honorable reserve service and is presented to both officers and enlisted personnel. First created in 1962 with retroactive presentation to 1958, it remained an active decoration in the U. S. Navy until its discontinuation in 2014; the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal was considered the enlisted successor award to the previous Naval Reserve Medal. From 1958 until 1996, the medal was awarded for four years of satisfactory enlisted reserve service as a drilling reservist in the Selected Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve, to include Volunteer Training Units. Full-time active duty enlisted personnel in the Naval Reserve's Training and Administration of the Reserve Program, while eligible for the Naval Reserve Medal, were not eligible for the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal and were awarded the Navy Good Conduct Medal on par with active duty Regular Navy enlisted personnel.
The years of service requirement for the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal dropped from four years of service to three years of service from 1997 until its discontinuation, synchronizing it with the reduction in the required service for the active duty Navy Good Conduct Medal, which replaced it pursuant to a SECNAV directive in 2014. As a result of this SECNAV directive, all enlisted sailors in both the Active Component and the Reserve Component now receive the same good conduct medal for the same period of service. Additional awards of the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal are denoted by service stars; this was strictly
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, multi-mission service unique among the U. S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U. S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, can be transferred to the U. S. Department of the Navy by the U. S. President at any time, or by the U. S. Congress during times of war; this has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, in 1941, during World War II. Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue-Marine, it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States; as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue-Marine, whose original purpose was collecting customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.
S. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue-Marine fell into disuse; the modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. S. Department of the Treasury; as one of the country's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. S. war from 1790 to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. The Coast Guard has 40,992 men and women on active duty, 7,000 reservists, 31,000 auxiliarists, 8,577 full-time civilian employees, for a total workforce of 87,569; the Coast Guard maintains an extensive fleet of 243 coastal and ocean-going patrol ships, tenders and icebreakers called "cutters", 1650 smaller boats, as well as an extensive aviation division consisting of 201 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. While the U. S. Coast Guard is the smallest of the U. S. military service branches in terms of membership, the U. S. Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force; the Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions.
The three roles are: Maritime safety Maritime security Maritime stewardshipWith a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to may be as a model of flexibility, most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself." The eleven statutory missions as defined by law are divided into homeland security missions and non-homeland security missions: Ice operations, including the International Ice Patrol Living marine resources Marine environmental protection Marine safety Aids to navigation Search and rescue Defense readiness Maritime law enforcement Migrant interdiction Ports and coastal security Drug interdiction See National Search and Rescue Committee See Joint Rescue Coordination CentersWhile the U.
S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue is not the oldest search and rescue organization in the world, it is one of the Coast Guard's best-known operations; the National Search and Rescue Plan designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, the United States Air Force as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue; the two services jointly provide instructor staff for the National Search and Rescue School that trains SAR mission planners and coordinators. Located on Governors Island, New York, the school is now located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia. Operated by the Coast Guard, the National Response Center is the sole U. S. Government point of contact for reporting all oil, radiological and etiological spills and discharges into the environment, anywhere in the United States and its territories.
In addition to gathering and distributing spill/incident information for Federal On Scene Coordinators and serving as the communications and operations center for the National Response Team, the NRC maintains agreements with a variety of federal entities to make additional notifications regarding incidents meeting established trigger criteria. The NRC takes Maritime Suspicious Activity and Security Breach Reports. Details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database system is managed and used by the Coast Guard for tracking pollution and safety incidents in the nation's ports. The National Maritime Center is the merchant mariner credentialing authority for the USCG under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. To ensure a safe and environmentally sound marine transportation system, the mission of the NMC is to issue credentials to qualified mariners in the United States maritime jurisdiction.
The five uniformed services that make up the U. S. Armed Forces are defined in Title 10 of the U. S. Code: The term "armed forces" means the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; the Coast Guard is further defined by Title 14 of the United States Code: The Coast Guar