Family Traditions of Service: “Piping All Hands for the U.S. Coast Guard” Recruitment Booklet

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

“Piping All Hands for the U.S. Coast Guard” Recruitment Booklet, Date: 1942

“Piping All Hands for the U.S. Coast Guard” Recruitment Booklet, Date: 1942

This 1942 fold-out recruitment booklet for the U.S. Coast Guard was used in North Carolina to advertise for civilians with specialty training to enlist in the Coast Guard for advanced pay. Recruitment materials in World War II were somewhat misleading: many men and women who enlisted for one job or role often were transferred to another position depending on the military branch’s need.

This fold-out booklet shows on the inside the specialty ratings and jobs for which civilian experience would transfer under the Coast Guard. It details      the roles and skills needed for these jobs—many of which North Carolina men and women fulfilled in the Coast Guard in North Carolina and overseas. The booklet uses interesting and dynamic graphics to communicate to potential recruits about the need for their service to their country. WWII propaganda and recruitment materials took advantage of photography and artwork to convey patriotism, a sense of duty, and career opportunities to Americans’ facing the option of being drafted, or choosing their branch of service by enlisting.

Learn what other types of imagery and messages the U.S. Coast Guard used to recruit individuals in WWII by checking out the Recruiting Materials collection of the WWII Papers, found in the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina.


This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.