The U.S. Coast Guard is bound tightly to the best, and worst, elements of the naval, military, maritime, and political history of the United States. No one can deny Coast Guard history is difficult to untangle. It is a complex mix of cross-purpose doctrines, stirred by conflicting personal and professional ideologies, all roaming through numerous agencies, governmental mandates, wars, and conflicts. Above all, a history of political wrangling gives the Coast Guard the most peculiar character among U.S. military forces.
This is an institution with a wide range of experience and diverse functions. Despite this varied background, one must wonder why the Coast Guard routinely dismisses its history. Perhaps it is a lack of knowledge, understanding, or caring. Whatever the reason, history remains the service's most overlooked and underused operational and planning asset.