U.S. Coast Guard Command Structure

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It reports to the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. Coast Guard's organizational structure comprises a wide range of ship and land based units. Together We Served has compiled the most complete database of USCG units available. Each Unit Page on Together We Served contains comprehensive information on Coast Guard Unit History, Citations, Patches, Photos, Reunions and also includes a list of Together We Served Members who were assigned to this Coast Guard Unit. TWS serves as a virtual military base where Coast Guard Veterans of all eras can share in the camaraderie of other Veterans in a secure military-only environment.

As you browse the Together We Served Unit Directory, you can easily see how the USCG commands are organized.

The command elements of the U.S. Coast Guard include:

Area Commands

There are two Area Commands that the US Coast Guard maintains: the Pacific Coast and the Atlantic Coast. Each of these areas is commanded by a Vice Admiral.

District Commands

Within the two Area Commands there are a total of nine District Commands. Four on the Pacific Coast, five on the Atlantic Coast. Each of these areas is commanded by a Rear Admiral.

There are also three main operational commands that exist outside of the United States, in Bahrain, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Coast Guard Sector

Smaller than a District Command is a Coast Guard Sector. There are 37 Sectors in total, each focused on a geographic area e.g. Sector Boston, Sector Delaware Bay, Sector New Orleans, Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach, Sector Honolulu etc. The Commanding Officer of a Sector is usually a Captain. This Captain will have ultimate responsibility for the execution of all operations that take place in their Sector.

Coast Guard Stations

Smaller than Sectors, there are Stations. Stations, split into small boat stations and air stations, occupy slightly different positions in the organization of the U.S. Coast Guard. Small boat stations report to Sector Commanders, while air stations report to District Commanders.

Cutters and Boats

Cutters and Boats are not organized into fleets. Instead, each occupies its own place in the organizational structure of the Coast Guard, depending on its size and strategic significance. Smaller vessels may report to a Sector Commander, while larger and more significant vessels may report to a District, or even an Area Commander.