14 U.S. Code § 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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
“The headquarters building of the Coast Guard on the campus located at 2701 Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue Southeast in the District of Columbia shall be known and designated as the ‘Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building’.
“Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the building referred to in section 1 shall be deemed to be a reference to the ‘Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building’.”
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