In the year 2000 A.D. the active duty careers of many of our present junior officers will culminate. Some of them will be captains. A few will be admirals. What will the Coast Guard be like at that time?
Two factors will affect such a prediction. The first, and probably the most significant, is the influence that we, the officers, will exert, within, of course, the constraints of budget, politics, and technological advance. The second will be technological advance itself. If certain prominent futurists are to be believed, technology will advance so rapidly that the total change that will take place between now and the year 2000 will be comparable to that which has taken place between 1790, when the Coast Guard was formed, and the present.
Yet, the Coast Guard’s ability to adapt to change will be slowed by the expensive system of ships, planes, and stations we now have. Our budget will require that we cling to methods we can follow with our existing equipment.