Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “coast guard background and tools”

US Coast Guard Directives

US Coast Guard Directives – http://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-C4IT-CG-6-/The-Office-of-Information-Management-CG-61/About-CG-Directives-System/

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Would a Coast Guard character have an anchor tattoo on her forearm?
  • What measures does the Coast Guard take to protect its members from Malaria?
  • What should be contained in a properly stocked cutter repair locker?


Like their service counterparts, the Coast Guard has directives and manuals to regulate the work and personal lives of their members. The directives use the Standard Subject Identification Code (SSIC) that the Marine Corps employ and so are divided into the following subjects:

  • 1000-1999 Military Personnel
  • 2000-2999 Telecommunications
  • 3000-3999 Operations and Readiness
  • 4000-4999 Logistics
  • 5000-5999 General Admin and Management
  • 6000-6999 Medicine and Dentistry
  • 7000-7999 Financial Management
  • 8000-8999 Ordnance Material
  • 9000-9999 Ship Design and Material
  • 10000-10999 General Material
  • 11000-11999 Facilities and Activities Ashore
  • 12000-12999 Civilian Personnel
  • 13000-13999 Aero/Astronautical Material
  • 16000-16999 Coast Guard Missions

Most of these publications will be useful for general background and ensure that your Coast Guard characters do things the Coast Guard way.

Two publications that might provide material for military character personal problems are:

  • CI 1000.1B TATTOO, BODY MARKING, BODY PIERCING, AND MUTILATION POLICY – Like other services, the Coast Guard has limitations on Tattoos based on location and content. This publication has photos of these unacceptable locations and piercing. It also has a sample letter saying “remove this tattoo or we’ll throw you out.” Aside from providing angst for a Coast Guard character, this policy could also be useful in spotting counterfeit personnel. That guy in a CG uniform with the spiderweb on his cheek is NOT a servicemember.
  • CI 1000.9 PREGNANCY IN THE COAST GUARD – This document outlines the responsibilities of pregnant servicemembers and of their commanding officers. It includes information on abortion options in the Coast Guard and how people should be kept working at regular assignments as long as it is safe to do so.

Coast Guard Aircraft and Ships

Coast Guard Aircraft and Ships – https://www.uscg.mil/datasheet/

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What is a Coast Guard definition of a boat?
  • What is the top speed of a UH-65 helicopter?
  • What is the length of a Polar Class icebreaker?
  • How many Coastal Patrol Boats does the Coast Guard use?
  • Does the Coastal Patrol Boat meet the Coast Guard definition of a boat?


The site is divided into three sections (annotations from website):

  • Aircraft – Includes Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Boats – “All vessels under 65 feet in length are classified as boats and usually operate near shore and on inland waterways.”
  • Cutters – “A “Cutter” is basically any CG vessel 65 feet in length or greater, having adequate accommodations for crew to live on board.”

What sort of information can be found here? It depends on the category:

  • Aircraft – Picture, Overview, Air station, Specifications
  • Boats – Picture, Characteristics, Description
  • Cutters – Description, Characteristics, picture and list of cutters of the given class in service. Some of the cutter names link to individual cutter websites where more information is sometimes available.

An asterisk next to a certain class of aircraft, boat or cutter indicates it is not yet operational.

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