Although the Port Security Specialist (PS) rating was established in 1999 from the Port Securityman rating, its lineage extends back to World War I and the passage of the Espionage Act, spurred on by a series of explosions at Black Tom’s Island in New Jersey that had been caused by German saboteurs. This legislation authorized the President to exercise control over ports and restricted areas as well as the vessels entering and leaving them, including the storage and handling of any explosive cargo or munitions. These tasks were delegated to the Coast Guard and led to the creation of the Captain of the Port, defined in Title 33 of Code of Federal Regulations as a Coast Guard officer designated by the Commandant to control Coast Guard law-enforcement activities within an assigned area.

The threat of sabotage loomed large with the outbreak of World War II, leading the Coast Guard to establish the emergency specialty of Port Security Patrolman, which eventually was redesignated Port Securityman (PS). Tasked with the protection and security of vessels, harbors, ports, and waterfront facilities, Port Securitymen had the authority to enforce regulations regarding the handling, transportation, and stowage of explosives, dangerous articles, hazardous munitions. They also could prevent vessels from entering ports and harbors, and could prevent  (and if need be detain) unauthorized pedestrian traffic at waterfront facilities. PS personnel also worked alongside Firefighters to prevent, detect, control, and extinguish fires at waterfronts and on vessels.

In 1999, the Coast Guard changed the name of the rating to Port Security Specialist, but less than ten years later announced that the rating would be disestablished and its members incorporated into the new Maritime Enforcement Specialist (ME) rating. The ME rating reflected the changing nature of the Coast Guard’s mission as part of the Global War on Terror, extending (and expanding) the types of tasks Port Security Specialists had performed at domestic ports to anchorages across the globe.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.