"ripped" from U.S.C.G.'s Website
Use of Force Policy
A component of the CG maritime law enforcement
mission is use of force against persons and vessels. The CG use
of force policy applies to all CG personnel and Navy units
operating under CG tactical control.
- Explain how CG use of force policy
minimizes the potential for an international inciden, while
providing maximum protection for CG personnel.
- Describe how processes followed when using force to stop
a vessel ensure minimal damage and the lowest risk to personnel
Title 14 United States Code 89 provides
authority for CG commissioned, warrant and petty officers to
enforce all applicable U.S. laws and to use all necessary force
to compel compliance. In recent years, CG has revised its use of
force policy to provide additional tools to conduct the mission
with reduced risk of injury to CG personnel.
- Only minimum force reasonably necessary
may be used. Force is not used when assigned duties can
be discharged without it. Excessive force may never be
used. CG personnel have the inherent right to use all
available means and to take all appropriate action to
defend themselves and others from physical harm.
- CG units and personnel conducting law
enforcement operations do not have a duty to retreat.
However, retreat is an alternative and may be reasonable
in a given circumstance.
- Approval from higher authority is not required
prior to using force, except for warning shots and the
use of disabling fire to stop a vessel and in some
instances the use of warp cutters.
- This policy applies to all CG personnel and
vessels, and those aircraft specifically authorized. It
applies to all non-CG personnel on board CG units as well
as all non-CG units or personnel operating under CG
command or control.
- When operating in military situations, the CG
applies the Standing Rules of Engagement promulgated by
the Department of Defense.
- All law enforcement personnel are formally
trained and regularly evaluated in their understanding of
the policy and ability to properly apply the continuum of
- All use of force instances are reported to
enable Law Enforcement trainers and program managers to
review them for effectiveness, ensure policy compliance,
and/or take appropriate follow-on actions.
- CG use of force policy is reviewed on a
Proposed Action / The Course Ahead
The CG has created a team of experts, Project
Erickson, to determine the viability of various less-than-lethal
technologies for compelling compliance and to provide more tools
for boarding teams to compel compliance short of using deadly