Why a US Coast Guard

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by tankercaptain, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

    Jun 28, 2012
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  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Nov 25, 2007
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    Interesting article. I was expecting something a little more "we don't need them" in tone.

    First, Adm. Z is great. I was at the BP oil spill in 2010 while he was at the Unified Area Command. He's a good guy and seemed like a respected leader.

    VADM Michel was a one-star when I knew him, and was the Director of Governmental and Public Affairs. His coin is sitting on my bookshelf right now. He's VERY smart.

    They other two admirals are good folks as well, in my limited interaction with both at CGHQ.

    That said, the Coast Guard has done a poor job propping itself up as indispensible. The range of missions and the true reach of the U.S. Coast Guard are relative unknowns.

    The general population in the U.S. knows little about its military. The general population of the military knows little about the Coast Guard. Guess how much the general population knows about it....

    When I applied to the Coast Guard Academy, my friends thought it was basically "Baywatch". I found we were less attractive and I was an eye sore running in slow-mo.

    The search for an airplane in an area larger than the United States, that was poorly tracked by multiple countries? Yeah, I'm not going to fault a coast guard or a navy for that. News flash, if you are lost at sea, the odds are NOT in your favor (a fact only magnified if there was some trauma that made you lost in the first place).

    The response to the Korean ferry, I'm not as forgiving.

    But the U.S. Coast Guard is much different than other coast guards. First, the U.S. Coast Guard is an independent branch of the military, with law enforcement and life saving responsibilities.

    Some coast guards are not independent; the Colombian coast guard is a component of its navy. Some coast guards are not military. The Canadian coast guard is non-military. Some coast guards do not enforce laws or split lifesaving with other authorities.

    In many ways the U.S. Coast Guard more closely resembles the navies of other nations than the U.S. Navy can. While it's small compared to the U.S. Navy, it's often larger than other navies.

    In the end, no matter how great they do, if the Coast Guard isn't presenting this story to the public, it's not helping out its own case.

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