A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term implies widely different responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to being a volunteer organization tasked with search and rescue functions and lacking any law enforcement powers. However, a typical coast guard's functions are distinct from typical functions of both the navy (a pure military force) and a transportation police (a civilian law enforcement agency).
Among the responsibilities that may be entrusted to a coast guard service are:
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The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war.
Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the "Revenue Marine", it is the United States' oldest continuous seagoing service (The United States Navy lists its founding as 1775, for the formation of the Continental Navy. However, that was disbanded in 1785, and the modern U.S. Navy was founded in 1794). As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue Marine, whose original purpose was that of a collector of customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s the service was known as the United States Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue Marine gradually fell into disuse. The Coast Guard was formed from the merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the United States Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915. As one of the nation's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every war from 1790 to Iraq and Afghanistan. As of 2012[update] the Coast Guard had approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,900 reservists, 32,000 auxiliarists, and 8,700 full-time civilian employees. In terms of size, the US Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force.
The United States Coast Guard Reserve is the reserve component of the United States Coast Guard. It is organized, trained, administered, and supplied under the direction of the Commandant of the Coast Guard through the Director of Reserve and Military Personnel.
Awards and decorations of the United States Coast Guard are military medals and ribbons of the United States Coast Guard which are currently issued under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security.
Prior to 2002, such awards were issued by the Secretary of Transportation and Coast Guard personnel were eligible to receive a variety of Department of Transportation (DOT) civilian decorations. Since transferring to the Department of Homeland Security, the issuance of DOT awards has been discontinued in the Coast Guard, although such awards may still be seen on active duty Coast Guard uniforms.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.