U.S. Coast Guard Strategic Documents


Commandant's Guiding Principles image cover

As a maritime nation, the United States depends on a strong and agile Coast Guard to enhance the Nation’s maritime safety, security, and economic prosperity. For 232 years, we have applied our broad authorities and capabilities to save lives, protect our waters, and defend our national interests.

Our Coast Guard holds the trust of the Nation because of our enduring commitment to performing our missions with Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. We are esteemed among our fellow military Services, the Department of Homeland Security, partner agencies, the maritime industry, and our elected leaders. Around the world, nations and mariners see our racing stripe as a symbol of maritime governance and hope.

The pace of change in today’s world is accelerating. Geopolitical strategic competition, economic volatility, climate change impacts, shifting workforce expectations, evolving technologies, and emerging maritime uses are converging and driving change for our Service. If we do not adapt, this accelerating pace of change will overtake our ability to protect, defend, and save the American public we serve. Now is the time to move our Service forward.

We will transform our total workforce by modernizing how we recruit, hire, develop, train, and support our people and their families. We will sharpen our competitive edge by driving a culture of innovation to integrate new technology and provide our people with reliable assets, systems, and infrastructure. And we will advance our mission excellence by pioneering new operating concepts while enhancing our readiness.

Our Coast Guard succeeds because of our exceptional character, our high sense of purpose and dedication to who we are and what we stand for: our Core Values, our Ethos, and our sense of service to the Nation. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce reflective of the American people. We will create an environment where all people are respected, valued, and empowered. Delivering improvements for our Coast Guard workforce is my top priority, so our Service can meet the challenges of tomorrow and ensure the enduring prosperity of America.

This Strategy provides the vision and framework for why and how we will implement change to remain Semper Paratus. Every member of the Coast Guard is a leader - and every leader has an opportunity to contribute - I challenge you to align your work to this Strategy and take action to lead our Service forward.

Admiral Linda L. Fagan

Doctrine for the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve

Doctrine for the USCG Reserve image cover

The Coast Guard Reserve was established in 1941 to increase the military capability of the Service during World War II. Rooted in the port security mission, the Reserve Component evolved over the decades that followed, augmenting daily operations and responding to foreign and domestic man-made and natural threats in the maritime environment. Tested and shaped by time and experience, today’s Coast Guard Reserve is an agile force in garrison, an operational asset for the Service, the Department, and the Nation.

As a contingency-based workforce, the Reserve trains locally and deploys globally to provide appropriately-trained personnel to meet mission requirements. These extraordinary members accomplish this by augmenting the Service’s day-to-day missions while standing ready to mobilize in times of crisis. It is the duty of every commander, commanding officer, officer-in-charge, and program manager to ensure the Reserve is ready with the relevant competencies necessary to respond to contingencies when and where required. History shows that a well-prepared, ready Reserve in contingency and non-contingency environments is an essential force multiplier for Coast Guard operations.

Publication R is doctrine for the Reserve; it is paramount to the continued success of our truly unique, integrated structure for the total Coast Guard workforce to read and understand the foundational and directional information presented in this document. Ultimately, it is our Active Component commanders who are accountable for maintaining a resilient, ready, and right-sized Coast Guard Reserve.

Commanders shall require widest distribution and application of this capstone publication.

With “Professionalism, Preparedness, and Patriotism,”


Admiral Karl L. Schultz