United States Coast Guard


The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under theU.S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and 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, and 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 as the collector of 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 gradually fell into disuse.