14 USC 1 - Sec. 1. Establishment of Coast Guard

§1. Establishment of Coast Guard

The Coast Guard, established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times.

(Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, 63 Stat. 496; Pub. L. 94–546, §1(1), Oct. 18, 1976, 90 Stat. 2519; Pub. L. 107–296, title XVII, §1704(a), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2314; Pub. L. 112–213, title II, §217(1), Dec. 20, 2012, 126 Stat. 1555.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 14, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §1 (Jan. 28, 1915, ch. 20, §1, 38 Stat. 800; July 11, 1941, ch. 290, §§5, 6(a), 55 Stat. 585).

Said section has been divided. Provisions relating to operation under the Navy in time of war are placed in sections 3 and 4 of this title, and the remainder is in this section.

This section continues the Coast Guard as a military service and branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times. By the act of July 11, 1941, 55 Stat. 585 (title 14, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §1), the Coast Guard was constituted a branch of the land and naval forces of the United States at all times. This section therefore merely continues an existing agency and codifies existing law on the military status of the Coast Guard, substituting “armed forces” for “land and naval forces” because of the recent establishment of the Department of the Air Force as an “armed force” rather than as a part of the “land and naval forces”. The Coast Guard is designated a service in the Treasury Department except when operating as a service in the Navy. This is a better definition of the status of the Coast Guard than one which defines it as a service under the Treasury Department in time of peace, because the President is authorized to place the Coast Guard under the Navy in time of emergency, which could be in time of peace.

Changes were made in phraseology. 81st Congress, House Report No. 557.

Amendments

2012—Pub. L. 112–213 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times. The Coast Guard shall be a service in the Department of Homeland Security, except when operating as a service in the Navy.”

2002—Pub. L. 107–296 substituted “Department of Homeland Security” for “Department of Transportation”.

1976—Pub. L. 94–546 substituted “Department of Transportation” for “Treasury Department”.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–296 effective on the date of transfer of the Coast Guard to the Department of Homeland Security, see section 1704(g) of Pub. L. 107–296, set out as a note under section 101 of Title 10, Armed Forces.

Short Title of 2012 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–213, §1(a), Dec. 20, 2012, 126 Stat. 1540, provided that: “This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the ‘Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012’.”

Short Title of 2010 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–281, title V, §501, Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2951, provided that: “This title [enacting sections 57 to 59, 102, and 200 of this title and section 2116 of Title 46, Shipping, amending sections 47, 50, 51, 52, 93, and 290 of this title and section 3309 of Title 46, repealing section 50a of this title, and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 50 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Coast Guard Modernization Act of 2010’.”

Short Title of 2006 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–241, §1, July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 516, provided that: “This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the ‘Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006’.”

Short Title of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–293, §1, Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1028, provided that: “This Act [see Tables for classification] may be referred to as the ‘Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004’.”

Short Title of 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–295, title III, §301, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2102, provided that: “This title [amending sections 259, 260, 271, 336, and 511 of this title, sections 1203, 1231a, 2073, 2302, and 2752 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, and sections 2110, 2302, 4508, 7302, 8701, and 13110 of Title 46, Shipping, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 88 and 92 of this title and section 1113 of Title 33] may be cited as the ‘Coast Guard Personnel and Maritime Safety Act of 2002’.”

Pub. L. 107–295, title IV, §401, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2113, provided that: “This title [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the ‘Omnibus Maritime and Coast Guard Improvements Act of 2002’.”

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation and all functions, powers, and duties, relating to Coast Guard, of Secretary of the Treasury and of other offices and officers of Department of the Treasury transferred to Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89–670, §6(b)(1), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 931. Section 6(b)(2) of Pub. L. 89–670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of functions, Coast Guard shall operate as part of Navy in time of war or when President directs as provided in section 3 of this title. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.