Superior operational service is our core purpose, and we have long been recognized as the world's best Coast Guard. America expects that we will bring the same level of professionalism and maritime leadership to the war on terrorism that we have traditionally brought to all our other missions.
-Admiral Thomas H. Collins,
U.S. Coast Guard
Commandant's Direction 2003
It takes only a few minutes listening to Admiral Collins describe his sense of where the Coast Guard is and where he sees it headed to appreciate the immense challenges being addressed at the same time his "troops" are performing so superbly. he recalls a captain in Haiti who, on the Sunday President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled, commandeered two helicopters, loaded them with 20-30 Haitian Coast Guardsmen, and took them to the grounds of the presidential palace, which they guarded to prevent looting and sacking by mobs.