Given current and projected threats, fiscal constraints, shifting alliances, and a shrinking Navy, it is vital for U.S. national security that the Coast Guard and Navy plan and field forces collaboratively.
On 27 September 1942, Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Munro and Navy Reserve Coxswain Samuel Roberts were killed in action as they evacuated 500 Marines from a Guadalcanal beach. They served together in a joint Navy-Coast Guard unit, and on that eventful day, both had placed their Higgins landing craft between the beachhead and the enemy, drawing Japanese fire and covering the Marines until they could be taken aboard.1
Sixty years later, on 25 April 2004, Coast Guard Damage Controlman Third Class Nathan Bruckenthal and Navy Boatswain's Mate First Class Michael Pernaselli and Signalman second Class Christopher Watts were killed in action by a suicide bomber driving a wooden boat packed with explosives. They served together in a joint Navy-Coast Guard unit conducting maritime intercept operations in the northern Arabian Gulf, and they died together while defending Iraqi oil terminals.2