DISCOVERING OUR ROLES
Semper Paratus - Always Ready.
That is your Coast Guard motto.
The Coast Guard is one of our nations' five military services. We exist to defend and preserve the United States. We protect the personal safety and security of our people; the marine transportation system and infrastructure; our natural and economic resources; and the territorial integrity of our nation–from both internal and external threats, natural and man-made. We protect these interests in U.S. ports and inland waterways, along the coasts, on international waters.
We are a military, multi-mission, maritime force offering a unique blend of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory, and diplomatic capabilities. These capabilities underpin our three broad roles: maritime safety, maritime security, and maritime stewardship. There are 11 missions that are interwoven within these roles.
We are the Nation's primary maritime law enforcement service. We possess the civil authority to board any vessel subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Once aboard, we can inspect, search, inquire, and arrest. We use this broad police power with prudence and restraint primarily to suppress violations of our drug, immigration, and fisheries laws, as well as to secure our nation from terrorist threats.
A fundamental responsibility of the Coast Guard is to safeguard the lives and safety of U.S. citizens. In partnership with other federal agencies, state, local, and tribal governments, marine industries, and individual mariners, we improve safety at sea through programs of mishap prevention, search and rescue, and accident investigation.
The Coast Guard's stewardship role includes enforcing laws intended to protect the environment. As a result, we safeguard sensitive marine habitats, mammals, and endangered species. We enforce laws protecting our waters from the discharge of oil, hazardous substances, and non-indigenous invasive species. Other efforts include education and prevention; law enforcement; emergency response and containment; and disaster recovery.