First Honorable Mention, Coast Guard Essay Contest
The downsized Coast Guard has been stretched too thin answering the call to protect the country's shores and valuable marine resources. The Deepwater recapitalization project offers the service the best shot at achieving its myriad of missions.
The start of the new millennium is a time of stark contrasts for the U.S. Coast Guard. In February, a blue ribbon presidential task force concluded that the roles and missions of the Coast Guard will not only endure well into the 21st century but also are likely to increase in national importance. This was a strong endorsement for the future of a military, multimission, maritime service with a proud 210-year heritage. Yet less than a month later, the Coast Guard Commandant and top field commanders announced that chronic readiness shortfalls required a cutback in operations, an unprecedented action for a service with the motto Semper Paratus—Always Ready.