Admiral Allen took a bold step toward solidifying a common culture within the Coast Guard with his recent promulgation of the guardian ethos, which defines the qualities intrinsic to an identity as a "guardian." This identity represents an ideal that will require a dedicated investment of effort. Creating a service culture in which every member lives the guardian ethos involves first identifying the gaps between it and the reality of the service, then devising a plan to close those gaps. Coast Guard Fight and Save Training (CG FAST) described here is a vision for a comprehensive effort to forge the guardian ethos in every Coast Guard member through combined physical, mental, and moral development. Such training will provide a catalyst to accelerate implementation of the ethos throughout the Coast Guard with substantial benefit to the service.
The first step in forging an ethos is understanding what it means. Admiral Allen's message to all Coast Guard personnel reads:
I am America's maritime guardian.
I serve the citizens of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their shield.