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The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U. 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. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, and have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue.
Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the U. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to [a military effort when catastrophe hits] may be as a model of flexibility, and most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself." designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, and the United States Air Force as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR.
With a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on even the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is frequently lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies.
To carry out those roles, it has 11 statutory missions as defined in The Coast Guard has roles in maritime homeland security, maritime law enforcement (MLE), search and rescue (SAR), marine environmental protection (MEP), the maintenance of river, intracoastal and offshore aids to navigation (ATON).
The Coast Guard's enduring roles are maritime safety, security, and stewardship.
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. The modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. Because of its legal authority, the Coast Guard can conduct military operations under the U. Department of Defense or directly for the President in accordance with Title 14 USC 1–3.
This has happened twice, in 1917, during World War I, and in 1941, during World War II. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue Marine gradually fell into disuse. As one of the country's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. war from 1790 to the Iraq War The Coast Guard's legal authority differs from the other four armed services, as it operates simultaneously under Title 10 of the U. Code and its other organic authorities, such as Titles 6, 14, 19, 33, and 46.