When terrorists slammed into icons of American financial success and military might on 11 September 2001, the U. S. Coast Guard was thrust into a period of seismic change and given a mandate for transformation. Notwithstanding increased emphasis upon homeland security and expeditionary requirements under Title 10 U.S. Code, the Coast Guard faced a crossroads. The Pew Oceans Report highlighted the degradation of fishery stocks vital to the future of our planet. Small boat populations increased at a rapid pace, as did maritime trade. Coast Guard missions expanded, placing the agency in the forefront of organizational change. Yet, according to Admiral Thomas H. Collins' 20 April 2005 Deepwater testimony on Capitol Hill, ". . . the U.S. government has no more important mission than protecting the homeland from future terrorist attacks." That remark signaled deep, transformative change throughout the Coast Guard.
A Coast Guard for the 21st Century
By Petty Officer Second Class Judy L. Silverstein, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve