Page 10: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 2019)

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Dennis L. Bryant

Dennis Bryant is with Bryant’s Maritime Consulting, and a regular contributor to Maritime Reporter & Engineering News as well as online at

Running on Reserves

The time is long overdue for Congress to fund and staff the Coast Guard at levels commensurate with the taskings it has assigned to this venerable service.

he US Coast Guard has a long sisting of 44,500 active duty members, ‘provide a trained force of of? cers and serve is now a permanent ? xture, pro- history of working coopera- 8.600 civilian employees, 8,700 Reserv- men which, when added to regular per- viding needed augmentation for matters tively with other maritime in- ists, and 24,000 Auxiliarists. Yet, its sonnel of the Coast Guard, will be able such as major oil spills.

Tterests to accomplish its myriad authorized strength has never kept pace to perform such extraordinary duties as Over recent years, though, the Re- missions. Over time, though, the Coast with its mission-creep. As a result, reli- may be necessitated by emergency con- serve, through the Extended Active Duty

Guard has relied increasingly on these ance on others has become dangerously ditions.’ That original legislation envi- (EAD) program, has become a source of other maritime interests for the perfor- commonplace. sioned the wind-down of the Reserves at additional personnel for relatively rou- mance of core missions. This has, in my the conclusion of the emergency condi- tine, albeit important, matters. Under opinion, undercut the professionalism of US Coast Guard Reserve tions. The USCG Reserve did largely the EAD, selected personnel, primar- the Coast Guard and been to the detri- The Coast Guard Reserve was estab- end after World War II, but the Korean ily of? cers, may volunteer to engage in ment of the United States and its taxpay- lished by Congress in February 1941 War lead to its ramping up again. That up to three years of active duty, serving ers. The Coast Guard is comprised of in the build-up preceding the US entry was followed by the Cold War and other alongside regular USCG personnel in a total of about 85,800 personnel, con- into World War II. The purpose was to challenges. As a result, the USCG Re- a variety of locations and on a variety

Members of the U.S. Coast

Guard’s Gulf Strike Team rescue an elderly couple af- ter ? oodwaters from the Wac- camaw River took over their apartment complex in Horry

County, South Carolina,

Sept. 19, 2018.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Of? cer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios.

10 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • OCTOBER 2019

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.