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New Game Plan fromtheeditor


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Each uniformed service has had to adjust its strategies to meet the demands of fi ghting a two-front war. The Coast Guard is no exception, says Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp.


The world has changed dramatically since Sept. 11, 2001. We’ve lost a sense of security, even in our very own homeland. Maybe we don’t feel quite as comfort- able at large public gatherings, especially around transportation terminals. And — although necessary — airline screening can be a humbling experience. More than 10 years of combating terror- ism also have transformed our nation’s uni- formed services. Every service has had to rethink doctrine and training and materiel development to conduct a two-front over- seas war while defending the homeland. To keep you up-to-date on what’s hap- pening within our nation’s armed services, we regularly go straight to the top and talk with each service chief. This issue of Military Offi cer brings you an exclusive interview with U.S. Coast Guard Com- mandant Adm. Robert J. Papp. In a frank conversation, Papp lays out the tremendous challenges the Coast Guard faces today and talks about how it is planning for the future. The Coast Guard is one of the fi ve armed forces in the U.S. and the only mili- tary organization within the Department of Homeland Security. It traces its origin to the Revenue-Marine (later renamed Revenue Cutter Service) created in 1790 within the Treasury Department. Upon the declaration of war or when the president directs, the Coast Guard operates under the authority of the Department of the Navy. The Coast Guard, by law, has 11 mis- sions. They include such diverse areas as


10 MILITARY OFFICER FEBRUARY 2012


port security, drug interdiction, search and rescue, marine safety, migrant interdic- tion, marine environmental protection, ice operations, and other law enforcement. The focus can be stated as being military, multi-mission, and maritime. These diverse missions, complicated


by post-Sept. 11, 2001, imperatives, have strained the resources of America’s mari- time guardian. “I want our Coast Guard to be the absolute best in the world,” says Papp. “I think we are. But we have lost our edge a little bit because we’ve been trying to do so many things. It’s time to refocus on the most important things and make sure we’re very good at them.” Read “Up to Speed,” page 52, for details. In this issue, we also salute Black Histo-


ry Month. “Making History,” page 58, is the story of the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne), an all-black unit that served in Korea in 1950 and 1951. This unit, like many others, demonstrated the dedication and courage of black servicemembers in combat and helped prove the importance of desegregation within the armed forces. Finally, how about considering a dif-


ferent type of vacation? “A Taste for Travel,” page 66, tells how many travel- ers are planning entire itineraries around the culinary experience. Bon appétit!


— Col. Warren S. Lacy, USA-Ret.


PHOTO: STEVE BARRETT


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