Author(s)Nelson, Thomas G.
Contributor(s)ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
KeywordsMilitary Forces and Organizations
Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
*COAST GUARD OPERATIONS
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AbstractThe United States Coast Guard has strong historical ties to the Navy. Having participated in most of the nation's armed conflicts, the Coast Guard has clearly demonstrated its value as a naval force. Numerous times during the previous two hundred years however, this ability, viewed by some as redundant, has led to inquiries as to the suitability of disbanding the small service or having the Navy absorb it. Consistently preventing this was the fact the role as a naval force was only one of the numerous functions the Coast Guard performed. Many of these other missions, especially those involving law enforcement, could not be undertaken by any other service because of what is commonly known as the Posse Comitatus Act. This has had great significance in the aftermath of 9/11. With the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard has been given the lead role in the maritime realm of preventing terrorist attacks and reducing vulnerabilities. Maybe now is the time for the Coast Guard to step out of the larger service's shadow and end the two-century-old struggle for parity with the Navy by concentrating on being what it really is . . . the world's best coast guard.