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Coast Guard Captain

O-6 Senior Officer, U.S. Coast Guard
(Next) O-7 DRMLCoast Guard Rear Admiral Lower Half
Rear Admiral Lower Half

Coast Guard Ranks » Captain RankCAPT PayCAPT Rank HistoryPromotion Information

How to get promoted to Captain History of the Coast Guard Captain Rank

A Captain is a Senior Officer in the United States Coast Guard at DoD paygrade O-6.

Traditionally, a naval officer in command of a large ship was a captain, with a number of lieutenants to support him. Thus, in naval terms, it has always denoted a senior officer, unlike the junior officer rank of that name in the Army. The naval captain's rank, adopted by the US Coast Guard, is equivalent to the army rank of colonel. Until the mid-nineteenth century, the captain was the most senior rank on early American naval vessels.

Since 1996, a captain has typically been in command of a new organisational element in the coast guard, known as a sector. Sectors are coordinated, multi-activity groups of units within a division of the coast guard that are designed to respond rapidly and efficiently to an emergency.

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History of the Coast Guard

The Coast Guard has changed names several times over its 200+ year history, but it is largely the same organization as it was in 1790 as the Revenue Marine. Uniforms, culture, and professions are very similar to the Navy, but the mission is different. While the Navy ensures freedom of navigation internationally, the Coast Guard does so for our nation's coasts through vessel inspections, law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, maintenance of navigation aids, environmental protection and research, ice operations, and search-and-rescue. Sailors of the Navy and Coast Guard have a high respect for each other, knowing that one can do what the other cannot.