An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 14, 2023

Coast Guard adds first new insignia in over 20 years

By AJ Pulkkinen, MyCG writer

The Coast Guard Commandant just approved the service’s first new insignia in over 20 years.

The Response Operations Ashore Insignia (ROAI) shows a compass rose, framed by a life ring, overlapping a crossed oar and rifle surrounded by breaking wave crests. The insignia is pewter with gold accents on the compass rose, life ring, oar and rifle. 

And here’s another first: This is the first uniform device in the entire U.S. military that displays breaking wave crests. 

“This is a historic day for members of the Operations Ashore Response community,” said Rear Adm. Todd Wiemers, the Assistant Commandant for Capabilities (CG-7). “We now have an insignia that represents our full world of work and unites us as a response ashore community.” 

Please check out the video (CAC required) from Wiemers and Rear Adm. Jo Burdian, the Assistant Commandant for Response Policy (CG-5R), who jointly announced the new insignia. The video includes a picture board detailing the final approved design. 

The Response Operations Ashore Insignia identifies members who possess the skills and experience to be considered professionals as they carry out each of the Coast Guard’s roles of maritime safety, maritime security, and maritime stewardship.

Insignias are worn on a member’s uniform, signaling that person’s professional achievement while creating esprit de corps. Last year, Adm. Linda Fagan encouraged the service to ensure all communities can earn insignia that honor their expertise.

The Response Operations Ashore Insignia is the first of these new insignias to receive Commandant approval and is the service’s first new insignia in over 20 years.

How can I earn the insignia?

The ROAI has options for both a temporary and a permanent entitlement. The qualifying competencies are different depending on whether you are an officer, chief warrant officer, enlisted member, or civilian. 

To earn a temporary entitlement: You must attain a minimum of three qualifying competencies, be assigned to a response operations ashore billet, and be certified by an issuing authority (usually your unit commander). 

To earn a permanent entitlement: You must attain a minimum of four qualifying competencies, serve a minimum of five years in a designated response operations ashore billet, and be certified by an issuing authority.  Only a maximum of two years of qualifying experience from a unit that earns another insignia can be used toward the five years required to earn the permanent ROAI.

  • For chief warrant officers, enlisted members, or civilian employees: At least one of your four qualifying competencies must be an advanced competency as defined in the Response Operations Ashore Qualification Insignia Commandant Instruction (COMDINST 1200.4). 
  • For officers: One of your four qualifying competencies must be as a Command Duty Officer. 

Members are now authorized to route insignia requests through their chain of commands. Once approved by the issuing authority, the accomplishment can be added to the member’s record. (For details on how to apply for the insignia, see ALCOAST 150/23.). 

In coming months, the insignia will be available to purchase through the CG Exchange system and wear as a uniform item.

Who designed the insignia?

The Office of Shore Forces (CG-741) spearheaded the insignia initiative. RADM Wiemers signed the authorizing instruction.

CG-741 compiled a list of representational objects that, when combined, accurately reflect the response ashore community. 

Laura Young, a Coast Guard civilian employee at the Coast GUard's Clothing Design and Technical Office in Natick, Massachusetts, combined these symbols to design the new insignia. Young is the service's resident expert on designing and certifying new Coast Guard devices and insignias. 

In the News