The US Coast Guard works at a number of different active missions. Coast Guard enlisted personnel participate in four national defense type missions, that are essential tasks, and are part of a combined and joint force that makes up our armed forces in peace, in crisis, and in war. The mission of the Coast Guard is important in the light of recent world events; it was transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard is a military service, but assigned to a civilian department for a reason.
At times during war, the Coast Guard can be transferred to the Department of the Navy and function as an element of the Navy, much as the Marine Corps does. The four missions are: Peacetimes Coastal engagement and security, Maritime intercept operations, environmental defense, and Port defense and security operations. Aircrew members perform as rescue swimmers, and loadmasters, helping to search, locate, and retrieve individuals who are stranded or capsized in the Ocean, or other body of water. It is the oldest continuing seagoing service, having been at sea since its earliest origins as the U.S. Revenue Cutter service in 1790. If you enlist and become a Coastie, you enter into an organization that has a proud history of over two centuries. There are a number of Careers in the Coast Guard that are involved in Search and Rescue operations. Boatswain?s Mates are the command non-commissioned rating in the Coast Guard; it is normally a Boatswains Mate who is in charge of small boat patrol crews and three man boat crews. These crews patrol and provide port security, as well as assisting boaters, and performing search and rescue type operations As a civilian department in the United States Government, the Coast Guard can board vessels including warships of other nations. This can then be considered a police action, instead of a hostile act of war. All enlisted member careers in the Coast Guard start the same, with boot camp at Cape May, New Jersey. This 9-week course teaches a new enlisted person how to work as a member of a team, as well as indoctrinating them into what it means to be a member of the Coast Guard.
These crews patrol and provide port security, as well as assisting boaters, and performing search and rescue type operations. Other USCG Servicemembers are assigned to Patrol and inspect shipping at our nations ports, as well as functioning as small boat crews involved in a variety of search and rescue operations.