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U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft delivers State of the Coast Guard Address

February 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft delivered the 2015 State of the Coast Guard Address at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

"Countries in our hemisphere are on the cusp of instability," said Zukunft. "The United States leads the world in oil and gas production. The cyber domain is transforming industries and governments at an astonishing rate. Arctic waters continue to open. There is no question: the United States Coast Guard is operating in a world unlike ever before."

The commandant outlined how America's Coast Guard will meet today's challenges while preparing for complexities that remain ahead. "I will take decisive action to alleviate the strain of an austere budget environment and will make tough decisions in the face of our increasing demands," said Zukunft. "Through investing in our people, the recapitalization of our aging cutter fleet, including acquisition of the Offshore Patrol Cutter and sustainment of front-line operations, the Coast Guard will return more operational value on every dollar."

The commandant stated that the service's increasing demands in the areas of drug interdiction, Arctic operations, cybersecurity in the maritime domain and transportation of energy resources are converging with its daily operations and limiting the Coast Guard's ability to respond to major contingencies. "I am committed to ensuring that our budget priorities are driven by a Coast Guard strategy aligned with national priorities to ensure our people have the platforms they need to serve the nation now and into the future," said Zukunft.

The commandant also spoke of the duty to the people of the Coast Guard and investing in the future of its workforce. Among the actions to be taken are reinforcing a culture of respect that is inhospitable to sexual assault and the behaviors that enable it; completing a human capital plan that will provide guiding principles to enable the human resources directorate to build an adaptive, specialized and 21st-century workforce; revision of the service's diversity and inclusion strategic plan; review of civilian career management processes to eliminate barriers and improve upward mobility; and build proficiency by continuing to specialize within the officer and enlisted communities and extend tour lengths where it makes sense.

You can find the commandant's complete speech and video of the 2015 State of the Coast Guard Address at Photographs of the State of the Coast Guard Address are available for public use at