US Coast Guard Military Ranks, Lowest to Highest


US Coast Guard Military Ranks, Lowest to Highest

Defense of the homeland has always been an important role of the United States Military.


The United States Coast Guard (USCG) was born on August 4th, 1790 as what as then known as the “Revenue Marine” and, later, the “Revenue Cutter Service”. Her duties have always involved policing American waters in an effort to curtail various smuggling operations into and out of the United States as well as enforcing maritime laws while protecting vital regions. At the time of her inception, she stood as the only armed surface fleet in service to the United States of America for the official Navy Department was not formed until 1798. It was not until 1915 that the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life-Saving Service were melded together to become the “United States Coast Guard” that we know today.

Contrary to popular belief, the USCG actually operates under the banner of the Department of Homeland Security in times of peace and, by order of the President of the United States himself, falls under United States Navy management in times of war. The USCG exists as one of the five armed service branches for the United States military and, for the most part, her ranks (or “rates”) follow very much in line with those as offered by the United States Navy with the exception of the “Seaman” recruit rank and some insignia colors.

Beyond interception and enforcement missions, personnel of the USCG are called upon to assist in vital search and rescue actions, patrol sorties, enforce marine safety, ensure port security and environmental protection. Women first made their mark within the ranks of the USCG in the 1830s. Members of the USCG were also active participants (and award recipients) in the D-Day landings at Normandy, France on June 6th, 1944. Today, the USCG operates small- and medium-class surface ships, rescue helicopters, fixed-wing surveillance aircraft and several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

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