Click photo to hear special message from MCPOCG Vince W. Patton III, USCG (Ret.)

Let’s Make Coast Guard History Together!

One of the many prestigious designations that is bestowed upon an individual in maritime service is that of “Plankowner.” In nautical terms, a Plankowner is any individual who served as a member of the original crew comprised to build and commission a new vessel. The origin of the phrase denotes that this individual was actively engaged when the ship was being constructed, and served in the unit when fully commissioned and placed into service. As a member of the original crew, an individual earns the enduring title of “Plankowner.”

Consistent with this maritime tradition, you can become a National Coast Guard Museum Plankowner.  Simply establish a monthly donation of an amount you feel appropriate, and maintain this support of the project. Our Plankowners will ‘heave around together’ until we commission the Museum.

To start a monthly deduction, click here.

* NCGMA will process recurring donation payments to your individual account prior to the 5th of each month.

** To make changes to an existing Plankowner contribution, contact NCGMA at or call (860) 443-4200.

Once you set up your recurring monthly donation, you will receive an email acknowledging your participation and a temporary Plankowner certificate, which will be mailed to you. Once the Museum is constructed and transferred to the United States Coast Guard, those who have continued their recurring donation through commissioning (Opening Day) will receive a formal signed and stamped certificate, suitable for framing.

Organizations or their affiliated chapters (e.g. Units, CPOA or CPOA regional chapters; Auxiliary, Districts, Divisions, or Flotillas; CGA Alumni or individual Class Year groups, etc.) interested in earning their own recognition can achieve Plankowner status and a certificate through 25% or greater participation of its members.

About the Certificate

Retired Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Schon Russell designed the certificate based on nautical tradition.  Before creating his design, Russell spent countless hours examining historical records to ensure the artwork will represent the Service well. The certificate pays tribute to many facets of the Coast Guard story, and highlights the organizations that were the foundation of the modern day Coast Guard.

The top left corner shows the likeness of one of the original 10 ships of the Revenue Cutter Service. Taking center stage is a lighthouse shining its beacon to portray the Lighthouse Service. The seal of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation hearkens back to the beginnings of merchant vessel oversight. Representing the Life-Saving Service on the top right is an old surfboat and breeches buoy, used to bring stranded souls ashore.

Most of all, the Plankowner Certificate respects the past and highlights the sacrifice and service of all who have served in the United States Coast Guard.

Thank you again for your interest and support of the National Coast Guard Museum!