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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 8, 2023

Coast Guard new recruiting look is here! 

By AJ Pulkkinen, MyCG and Colin Macinnes, Coast Guard Recruiting Command 

Admiral Linda Fagan, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, revealed the new recruiting look at the State of the Coast Guard address Mar. 7. More than just an image, it’s also the very first impression future members will have of the service. It tells them who we are and invites them to share the pride we all feel. This new recruiting branding is just that: for recruiting. It does not replace the Coast Guard emblem or seal. 

“As we preserve our Coast Guard history, heritage, and traditions, it’s equally important that we position ourselves as a modern organization, particularly in attracting today’s youth and culture,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Heath Jones. “To be clear, this new logo is in no way, shape, or form intended to replace our internationally identifiable racing strip and shield. The new logo, which brings together four symbolic images – the bald eagle, star, life ring and waves – represents who we are as a service. And in aligning with the updated Coast Guard Ethos, we incorporated the new tagline—Protect. Defend. Save. So be on the lookout, because our new logo and tagline will be coming to Coast Guard community events and a recruiting office near you!” 

You’ll start seeing the new logo and tagline pop up everywhere –especially on the revamped GoCoastGuard/com recruiting site and in a multi-million-dollar digital advertising campaign. This branding will also be on recruiting materials such as posters, t-shirts, stickers, lanyards, and other such swag that recruiters use to create excitement about our service when talking to potential new members. 

What it means 

  • The Bald Eagle: America, military, federal, and authority. Hovering protectively atop the mark, the bald eagle is the nation’s symbol of strength and freedom that makes our shores and waterways its home. With a determined facial expression and shield-shaped wing outstretched in a guarding position, the eagle conveys the Coast Guard’s dedication to protecting our coasts, environment, and our citizens at home and abroad. 
  • The Star: Steadfast, beacon, navigation, military, and law enforcement. A single star above a stormy sea symbolizes the Coast Guard’s nautical mission and role as a military law enforcement service dedicated to saving lives and protecting our country. This point of light above the horizon represents a navigational star that guides mariners to safety, a beacon light to warn of danger, a distress signal, and a searchlight that cuts through the night to locate those in need of rescue. 
  • The Life Ring: Lifesaving and maritime rescue. A primary tool of maritime safety, the life ring tucked caringly beneath the eagle’s wing symbolizes the Coast Guard’s commitment to preventing and responding to life-threatening situations. The ring’s four sections represent the service’s active, reserve, civilian, and auxiliary components.  
  • The Waves: Water, turbulent, and powerful. Within the life ring, three waves represent the Coast Guard’s three core values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. Together, the waves signify our maritime focus and the ever-changing, fierce, and hostile environments from which we defend our nation.  

It may seem simple to create a new logo, but it needs to be versatile. It’ll be printed in full color, in black, white, or blue, and displayed on clothing, billboards, and pamphlets of varying colors, shapes, and materials. Since October 2021, Coast Guard recruiting has been working with a marketing team and focus groups of Coast Guard leaders, junior members, and potential applicants. They tested options multiple times on large representative sample groups of young adults unfamiliar with the Coast Guard on the way to the final design. 

This new logo goes hand-in-hand with the Coast Guard’s other recruiting efforts, such as:  

  • Increasing maximum age to 41 for active duty, 
  • Waiving ASVAB scores to 32, 
  • Waiving accessions for single parents with care plans,  
  • Establishing English as a second language training pipeline for non-native speakers,  
  • Piloting 10-week boot camp for those needing more physical preparation, 
  • Amending the tattoo policy, 
  • Relaxing personal debt criteria, 
  • Offering a $1,000 incentive and a Letter of Commendation for members who bring in new recruits, and  
  • Creating a recruiting liaison program.  

And there’s more on the way: Coast Guard Recruiting Command is rolling out “Gangway” recruiting software and opening seven new recruiting offices this year. 

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