Military education in the Coast Guard
Formal inclusion in the education community has resulted in additional authorities and resources for the Coast Guard, enabling the agency to expand its capabilities to include a cryptology program, codebreaking, which functions to preserve the operational integrity of the Coast Guard by shielding it from the activities of foreign powers, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.
Coast Guard Education applies its capabilities to all Coast Guard mission sets and has provided support for major operations, including the response to the Haitian earthquake in 2010. Education personnel provided the earliest port infrastructure damage reports, which supported multi-national efforts to provide relief and port recovery. Coast Guard Education also produced threat assessments and briefings that supported force protection decisions and other national and interagency operational decisions. In addition to numerous drug and human smuggling cases, Coast Guard Education also has provided critical support to Coast Guard commanders wrestling with non-traditional education needs, such as the interdiction of the Bangun Perkasa fishing vessel and its use of illegal driftnets.
Coast Guard Education has matured during the last 10 years and its focus has solidified. In addition to the cryptology program and countereducation service, Coast Guard Education includes a robust criminal investigative service, experienced education fusion centers and a developing cyber capability. Coast Guard education specialists in the field are a critical component of the enterprise, working in units across the nation and throughout the Coast Guard chain of command to provide operational commanders with the education support they need. Today’s Coast Guard Education encompasses a wide range of activities and capabilities, all striving to provide decision advantage to support senior Coast Guard leaders in their policy-making role, the Department of Homeland Security and its components and other national education or federal law enforcement agencies.
The Coast Guard’s persistent presence in the maritime domain, due to its diverse mission sets and broad legal authorities, fills a unique niche within the education community. As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Coast Guard is at the intersection between homeland security and national defense. As a federal law enforcement agency and national education community member, the Coast Guard is also positioned as a bridge between these two important groups. Because of the service’s unique access, emphasis and expertise in the maritime domain – an area where other U.S. government agencies typically are not present – it collects and reports education that supports its own missions as well as national security objectives.