SEATTLE, Wash. — A new report from researchers at the University of Washington has confirmed widely held assumptions that most people have no idea what the Coast Guard is, does, or that they even exist, Duffel Blog has learned.
Surveying thousands of Americans over a four-year period, the 300-page report concluded that even though the Coast Guard has been around since 1790, one in four people did not know that the Coast Guard existed or was even a branch of the armed forces.
Most interviews found people asking if the Coast Guard had a reality show about the wacky expeditions they perform or if they had a show about a rag-tag crew of lovable idiots that minimally do their job while making wisecracks toward the camera.
The report also found that some people believed the Coast Guard was a giant wall to keep the Mexicans from swimming to America.
“All through our study, we discovered that most people only knew there were four military branches and even then, many struggled to name them all,” said lead researcher Jim Grant, who noted that due to the zero advertising the Coast Guard does and the fact that there is only one film based on the efforts of the Coast Guard (2006’s The Guardian), he’s not surprised. “I mean, Ashton Kutcher? Is that the best you could do? The film was basically An Officer and a Gentleman but with Coasties.”
Perhaps most surprising was the revelation that most people were unaware of who to call if they had an emergency in the middle of the ocean.
"About 59 percent of people said they’d yell for help as loud as they could, 28 percent said they would write a help note in a bottle and toss it overboard, 10 percent would kill a seagull and feed off it for days until help arrived, and 3 percent said they would play Candy Crush until they died or whatever," said Grant, noting that most people experiencing an ocean emergency would indeed be fucked.
The research affirmed that all the problems concerning the Coast Guard — from budget issues to aging ships — are somewhat direct results of the public’s confusion as to why the Coast Guard exists at all. The study also demonstrated that even people with limited knowledge didn’t even think it had its own boot camp.
“My son is in the Coast Guard and even I have no idea what he does,” said Grant, who highlighted the fact that most people in the Coast Guard don’t even let others know what they do. “I think the Coast Guard is just one big conspiracy to spend money on an experiment to see what happens when a bunch of government employees have nothing to do. It’s like Congress."
Grant went on to affirm that maybe if there was a video game about coasties killing zombies or had an online multiplayer system where young people could shoot each other and yell misogynistic and racist remarks at other players, then people would know what the service actually is.
“Our investigation basically shows that unless the Coast Guard likes people not knowing what they do, this trend will surely continue,” Grant said. “Maybe the Coast Guard should come up with a slogan or something for people to remember. Like, 'LETS GO GUARD SOME SHIT!' or something.”