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United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard headquartered at Washington plays a major role in the security operations, law-enforcement, and maintenance of intercostals and offshore aids to navigation. Since March 31, 2003, Coast Guard, under the Department of Homeland Security, directly reports to the Department of Defense as first fleet of the United States.

The United States Coast Guard is a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the National Life Saving Service, is a part of the armed forces under Title 14 of the United States Code, and the Chief Officer is from the rank of an admiral as Commandant selected for four year term renewable for further four year tenure only. The next in rank is the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPO), an advisor to the Commandant.

The United States Coast Guard has different units responsible for individual regions and one each for maritime defense of Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, each under the command of a Vice Admiral. Large operational centers combining several functions are “Activities” while smaller boat stations are Stations and Coast Guard Air Stations handle aircraft operations. There are three Air Stations at Morehead, Biloxi and Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York.

The United States Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut is the only of its kind where all appointments are on merit only without any political interference. It commissions around 170 new cadets every year and training includes a stint as crew on the sail-powered training barque Eagle.

Apart from this Officers Candidate School at New London, Connecticut is another academy through which around 70 officers every year are inducted into the coast guard as lieutenant junior grade officers. Such officers have to complete three compulsory years of service with the United States Coast Guard. The basic missions of the United States Coast Guard are Maritime Safety, Maritime Mobility, Maritime Security, National Defense and Protection of Natural Resources.

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