"Our Coast Guard began in 1790 with a plan to govern the maritime commerce of our fledgling Nation. In that year, Congress authorized the construction of ten cutters to improve enforcement of customs duties and tonnage taxes. Since then our responsibilities have continuously expanded to encompass every aspect of maritime governance. Today, as the Nation's maritime first responder, we fulfill our present day strategic mission of ensuring the Safety, Security and Stewardship of the Nation's waters by protecting those on the sea, protecting the Nation against threats delivered by sea, and protecting the sea itself. To meet the challenges of the dynamic maritime environment, the Coast Guard executes a layered, security-in-depth concept of operations, built upon a multidimensional framework of authorities, capabilities, competencies, and partnerships to apply its core operational concept of Prevention--Response. Through this approach, the Service seeks to prevent dangerous or illicit maritime activities, and if undesirable or unlawful events do occur--whether deliberate or accidental--to rapidly and effectively respond in order to protect the Nation, minimize the impact, and recover. All Coast Guard men and women (active, reserve, civilian, and auxiliarist) rely on proficiency in craft, proficiency in leadership, and disciplined initiative to ensure mission success. All Coast Guardsmen, and anyone about to become part of the extended Coast Guard family, should read and embrace the heritage, history, and enduring lessons presented in this document. Publication 1 describes where we came from, who we are, and where we're going. This is our way, and it is our enduring legacy for the Service."
Coast Guard Publication 1
U.S. Coast Guard: https://www.uscg.mil/