As a Coastie, I have traveled the States for the past 20 years going from coast to coast and one amazing adventure to another.
Read on in this blog to hear stories about my experiences living the Coast Guard life, not only as a military officer but also as a small town Midwestern girl who left home to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about... My Coast Guard Career.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

U.S. Coast Guard Jobs

When most people think of the Coast Guard they think of search and rescue and swimmers jumping out of helicopters to rescue people in the water. Ever since the movie The Guardian came out, people have been asking me if the Coast Guard is really like the movie. Well, the movie is a fictional and dramatic Hollywood movie and is not based on a real event or person, but if you want to know if the Coast Guard sends rescue personnel out to sea and puts trained swimmers into the water to perform search and rescue in extreme conditions, then the answer is yes. Like firefighters, police officers and other emergency services personnel, the men and women of the Coast Guard perform heroic duties in the line of duty to serve the people of the United States.

Check out this video to see a real rescue take place.

Although search and rescue is probably the most acclaimed and well-known job the Coast Guard performs it is only one among many other responsibilities. Here is a short summary of the different missions and responsibilities of the Coast Guard (see the Coast Guard's Web site for more detailed information).

Maritime Safety
- Search and Rescue
- Recreational Boating Safety
- Passenger Vessel Safety
- Port Security

Maritime Security
- Maritime Law Enforcement
- Drug Interdiction
- Migrant Interdiction

Maritime Mobility
- Aids to Navigation
- Icebreaking
- Bridge Administration
- Vessel Traffic/Waterways Management

National Defense
- Homeland Security
- Port and Waterway Security

Protection of Natural Resources
- Marine and Environmental Science
- Living Marine Resource Protection
- Marine Pollution Education, Prevention, Response, and Enforcement

Like any business or service, there are many other “behind the scenes” jobs going on as well. Beyond these missions and responsibilities, the Coast Guard has personnel handling human resource needs, maintenance, training and other logistical needs.

One of the best things about the Coast Guard is the opportunity to get involved in many different jobs within the service and not be stuck in one career path. Throughout my service, I have had jobs in recruit training, electronics maintenance, search and rescue, maritime homeland security, disaster recovery, marine environmental response and public affairs.

My experience in the Coast Guard has given me an invaluable opportunity to learn new things and serve my country. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


Karen Russell said...

Kept meaning to ask you if you've seen Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" about NO -- the Coast Guard is the only government agency that comes out looing good.

Maybe this is your next research topic -- the Coast Guard in Hollywood. ;)

Anonymous said...

You said: "Although search and rescue is probably the most acclaimed and well-known job the Coast Guard performs it is only one among many other responsibilities."

I recently saw an episode of "Dirty Jobs" with Mike Rowe where he went out with the Coast Guard to clean barnacles off of buoys. Talk about disgusting!

Dorsey said...

That is terrifying- I could never do that- get lowered down into water like that from a helicopter to save people. Connie, YOU'RE A HERO! Have you ever done anything that scary?

Anonymous said...

You're so brave for putting yourself on the line like that! I applaud you for being selfless in the midst of such a scary time!

LadyCoastie said...

dorsey... no I have never jumped out of a helicopter. I surely don't want to mislead anyone there. That is just one of the many jobs we do in the USCG. In my career, I handled search and rescue from the Command Center. This is where all the distress calls come in and where we dispatch the rescue boats and helicopters. I stayed in while the others had to go out. The hardest part for me is talking with the family members of those that are missing. It is one thing to be out there searching and another to be empathizing with family members and trying to keep them informed on what the USCG is doing to find their loved one(s).