Navy vs. Coast Guard

  • By reComparison Contributor
  • comments 2
  • views16085

Difference between Navy and Coast Guard

Many people are already aware of the Navy as a branc of service of the military, but not many are aware that the Coast Guard is a part of the same military as well. While it is hard to believe that the hunky Coast Guard personnel that patrol the waters of your local beach may be called upon to fight for the country in the future, this is only one of the many similarities that they share with the Navy. Let's see what else they have in common!

Coast Guard

In Brief

The Navy was established by Congress in 1775 and today, it has well over 54,000 officers and 324,000 enlisted personnel in active duty. When necessary, the Navy is augmented by Naval Reserve personnel. The Coast Guard was established in 1790 as the Revenue Cutter Service, and it was reformed into the United States Coast Guard in 1915, when it fell under the jurisdiction of the United States Treasury Department. Control of the Coast Guard was passed to the Department of Transportation in 1967, and today, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.


The primary function of the Navy is to protect the interests and security of the U.S. by way of sea power. To this end, the Navy utilizes a host of vehicles, equipment and weaponry, including everything from jets to nuclear subs, to guided missiles and even specialized Navy personnel such as SEALs. As for the Coast Guard, its main function is to protect the U.S. waters from potential threats coming from terrorists and/or smugglers. During times of peace, the Coast Guard is primarily occupied with law enforcement, sea rescue, and anti-illegal immigration campaigns. In times of war, parts of the Coast Guard may fall under Navy control.

Career Opportunities

The Navy and the Coast Guard offer similar advancement opportunities and pay to each other, and enlisted personnel enjoy pretty much the same benefits as well. That being said, many feel that the Coast Guard offers more advancement opportunities than the Navy.



  • Was officially established by an act of Congress in 1775
  • Has about 54,000 officers and 324,000 enlisted personnel on active duty
  • Is supported by the Naval Reserves when necessary
  • Is a part of the Department of Defense
  • Has a primary goal of maintaining the freedom of the seas

Coast Guard

  • Was originally established in 1790 as the Revenue Cutter Service
  • Was reformed as the United States Coast Guard in 1915, after which it fell under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department.
  • Was transferred to the Department of Transportation in 1967
  • Was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security in 2002
  • Is the smallest military service in the United States
  • Has about 7,000 officers and 29,000 enlisted personnel on active duty
  • Its primary goals are to protect US waters through maritime law enforcement
  • Is involved in search and rescue and anti-smuggling and terrorist attempts
  • Main peacetime concerns are law enforcement, boating safety, sea rescue, and illegal immigration
  • May be assigned to the Department of the Navy in times of war
Which one has a larger marine fleet?
  • Navy
  • Coast Guard

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • Dennis Parker wrote on January 2015

You have one major error in your article. The U.S. Navy was not founded in 1775. The Continental Congress founded the Continental Navy in 1775. In 1784 this Continental Navy was disbanded and all ships either sold or scrapped. At the same time the Continental Marines were disbanded. In 1790 the Revenue Cutter Service was founded by the U.S. Congress. It wasn't until 1797 that the U.S. Navy was authorized and the Dept. of Navy founded. It was 1798 before the first U.S. Navy ship was launched and at that time the U.S. Congress authorized enlisting U.S. Marines to man these new Navy Ships. So, from 1790 until 1798 the only sea going service the U.S. had was the Revenue Cutter Service. Both the Navy and Marines claim 1775 as their birthday but this is not true.

  • Guest
  • Anit nobody got time for dis wrote on October 2015

OHHHHH BURN!!! Go Coast Guard

Post a Comment
  • Name*
  • Email*
  • Website (optional)
  • arrow You are commenting as a Guest
  • arrow Your email will not be public
  • arrow Login or Sign Up and post using your reComparison account
  • arrow Facebook Connect