I don’t remember having an ethos when I was in the Coast Guard. We just tried to do our jobs as best we could, and we were proud to be a part of the service. I am not sure having one published, changes the way we act, but the new Coast Guard Strategy includes a new ethos, which prompted me to compare the old with the new. Have to say, I like the new one better.
The Old Version:
I am a Coast Guardsman.
I serve the people of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman.
We are the United States Coast Guard.
Ten lines, “I” nine times, “We” once, 57 words.
The New Version:
In Service to our Nation
With Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty
We are Semper Paratus
We are the United States Coast Guard
Seven Lines, no “I”, “We” five times, 29 words.
Short and to the point is always better, and I like the shift from “I” to “we.”
Our ethos when I was in “The Guard.” was
You have to go out
No one says you have to come back
Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty were made up corporate tag lines from the 1990’s. Those terms have no historical context to the Coast Guard, the Lifesaving Service, or the Revenue Cutter Service, yet the current Coast Guardsmen have had those words shoved down their collective throats for the past 20 years. Somehow, today’s CG personnel think they are part of the Coast Guard’s history.
Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty were often times used during a Captain’s Mast, to justify the giving out punishment to those the command had already had determined was guilty of some charge.
Where’s Bill Wells – he’ll give us historical context.
Yep seems like all we have in the Coast Guard now is word salads, anyone know how to cancel the subscription to the blue line. Nothing of substance in that magazine. Would like to do something for our environment by cancelling it, one less tree they have to destroy
I believe this new ethos formally cancels the term, “Coastguardsman”. A term that dates back to our founding. I wonder what will replace it? What do we call a person serving in the Coast Guard, past or present? I remain proud to be a retired Coastguardsman, Shipmate, and Cutterman.
I don’t see it as cancelling the term Coastguardsman. I and many others will certainly continue to use the term.