“Nobody Asked Me, But . . . Rename the Coast Guard Districts”–USNI

The US Naval Institute has a short article by Cdr. Jim Hotchkiss (USCG Reserve). Unfortunately it is behind the paywall for those of you who are not members, but in short he points out that the current district number designations can be traced back to WWII and a desire to correspond to Naval District designations. Now that that is no longer a consideration, why not use more descriptive geographic designations?

His proposal is captured in the diagram above.

Certainly Cdr. Hotchkiss has a point. I only have a couple of comments. It would ease the transition if we continue to use the term “District” rather than the less specific term, “Command,” which he uses above, e.g., “Coast Guard District Northeast” rather than “Coast Guard Northeast Command.”

The actually choice of names would justify some additional thought, but I will suggest alternatives for three of the Districts.

  • For the current 7th District–CG District Southeast
  • For the current 8th District–CG District Gulf and Inland
  • For the current 11th District–CG District Southwest

4 thoughts on ““Nobody Asked Me, But . . . Rename the Coast Guard Districts”–USNI

  1. The District designations go much further back than WWII. They were originally the USLSS Districts. The original Coast Guard Districts had names of their principal headquarters cities.

    The original district commanders were the former USLSS superintendents after 1920. They remained in these positions until 1939.

    Would there be a corresponding reduction in flags?

    The history the Coast Guard won’t tel you.

  2. Thanks for reposting. Just now seeing this, was aware of your blog but have not been a follower. The original version which I submitted as part of the essay contest gave a little more explanation into the rationale behind the new names; that part was edited out for the magazine version. Any new geographical name is bound to be imperfect, my goal is to be forward oriented. Also, “Command” sounds more DoD-ish than “District,” my belief is that DoD and others will more readily perceive a Flag rank by using “Command” rather than “District”. My idea follows the theme of the Coast Guard’s effort to re-brand the organization, think “Offshore Patrol Cutter” instead of “Medium Endurance Cutter” and “Waterways Commerce Cutter” for “River Tender” and “Inland Construction Tender.” On the one hand, I think the old names are fine. But on the other hand, I think, what the heck is an Inland Construction Tender? Rebranding the what we call our ships makes it easier for others, especially Congress, to understand our organization. The better we are understood by others, the more interoperable we become.

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