In his annual message to Congress in December 1862, Abraham Lincoln recognized, "The dogmas of the tranquil past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, subsequently we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."
Today, our nation again faces a stormy present. In spite of a successful ongoing military operation against al Qaeda and the Taliban and the tremendous changes that have taken place since 11 September to enhance security in the air, at our seaports, and along our borders, we have no assurance that terrorists cannot or will not strike at the United States again. Thus, the Coast Guard and our area commanders are transforming to meet the requirements imposed by the post- 11 September world while we meet our Commandant's direction of readiness, people, and stewardship. As Lincoln said, we must think and act anew.
The Origin of Area Commanders