Welcome aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, "America's Tall Ship."
I am Captain Matt Meilstrup, Eagle's 28th and current Commanding Officer. Thank you for your interest in Eagle and for visiting our website. My shipmates and I are very proud of Eagle and her missions, and we enjoy sharing our experiences aboard this very special Coast Guard cutter through this site. Here's a little background on who we are and what we do.
Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the Stars and Stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service. A three-masted Barque, Eagle's foremast and mainmast carry square sails and her mizzenmast carries fore-and-aft sails. The ship was built in 1936 in Germany and commissioned as Horst Wessel, one of three sail training ships operated by the pre-World War II German navy. At the close of World War II, Horst Wessel was taken as a war reparation by the United States, recommissioned as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle and has trained thousands of Coast Guard men and women ever since 1946.
Eagle provides an unparalleled at-sea leadership and professional development experience for future officers of the U.S. Coast Guard, one of the smallest but arguably the busiest of the U.S. armed forces. A seasoned permanent crew of eight assigned officers and 50 assigned enlisted personnel maintain the ship and provide a strong base of knowledge and seamanship for the training of up to 153 cadets or officer candidates at a time. Augmented by temporary crew during our training deployments, Eagle routinely sails with over 230 hands on board. Eagle offers our future officers the opportunity to apply the navigation, engineering, and other professional theory that they have learned in the classroom. Concurrently, they must handle the challenges of living aboard and working a large square-rigger at sea in order to build the teamwork, character, and leadership skills necessary for success in the service.
Please explore the rest of our site and select the links to learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
M. T. Meilstrup, Captain, USCG
Commanding Officer, USCGC Eagle