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20 stupid questions about the Coast Guard


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It's common for the four major military branches — the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Army — to work together, but seldom do we share missions with the Coast Guard.

But it wasn't always this way. While the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, there have been instances when it fell under the Department of Defense. In actuality, the U.S. Coast Guard gets passed around a lot. In addition to the DoD, it has also fallen under the Department of Treasury, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Interior.

Related: 7 things you probably didn't know about the US Coast Guard

So, it isn't hard to imagine why some service members get confused when it comes to the Coast Guard. For this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, we invited fellow coastie and We Are The Mighty contributor Mary-Elizabeth Pratt to answer questions about the Coast Guard we've always wanted answers to but were too afraid to ask for fear of looking stupid.

Hosted by:

Guest:

  • Mary-Elizabeth Pratt: Coast Guard service member and historian

    Mary-Elizabeth Pratt is a DC-based freelance writer and non-profit employee. She combines her degrees in English and Military History with her experience as a Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist to teach others about the importance of the military's smallest branch. Currently working with the Fisher House Foundation in operations, Mary-Elizabeth has spent time with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, and several small museums as a civilian.

    More articles about the Coast Guard by Mary-Elizabeth Pratt

Selected links and show notes from the episode:

Related: 13 thoughts I had during Coast Guard boot camp graduation

  • [05:03] What was it like to work on a major movie about the U.S. Coast Guard?
  • [06:25] Which movie do coasties embrace the most, The Finest Hours or The Guardian?
  • [08:45] Why did you want to write the hater's guide to the Coast Guard?
  • [09:55] Why do people picture the TSA instead of the Coast Guard whenever the Department of Homeland Security is mentioned?
  • [11:00] Are coasties subject to the UCMJ or something else?

Related: The 5 military laws that nearly everyone breaks

  • [12:45] Do all the coasties go on drug busts?
  • [14:55] What's the quickest way to get a rise out of a coastie?
  • [16:00] Why is Sinbad the dog so beloved by Coast Guard?
  • [17:38] Why should anyone hate the Coast Guard?
  • [19:50] What does maritime law enforcement consist of?
  • [20:00] What's a B.U.I., is that like driving under the influence (D.U.I.)?
  • [20:23] What are some of the worst and best Coast Guard duty stations?
  • [23:00] What do coasties hate being called more: puddle pirates or shallow water sailors?
  • [23:55] Is it harder to get into the Coast Guard than it is to the main military service branches?
  • [24:50] Why should we love the Coast Guard?
  • [26:00] What are the differences and similarities between the Navy and the Coast Guard?
  • [28:45] What's it like to be around members of the other service branches?
  • [32:00] What are some popular coastie hangout spots?
  • [33:05] What's a Coast Guard deployment like?

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