The obverse side of the medal features the inspiring painting "To the Rescue" by Anton Otto Fischer, depicting a 19th - century Coast Guard rescue boat battling stormy seas to aid a disabled vessel. Lieutenant Commander Fischer painted it while on active duty in the Coast Guard Reserve. It is a perfect example of the outstanding work of the Coast Guard throughout our nation's history, and is displayed on the Coast Guard medal with dramatic detail and exceptional beauty. The words "GUARDIANS OF THE SEA" are inscribed upon a flowing banner across the top and "200 YEARS OF SERVICE" are on the bottom. On the reverse is the official Coast Guard seal - the shield of the Coat of Arms of the United States, the motto "SEMPER PARATUS" or "always ready," and "UNITED STATES COAST GUARD 1790" superimposed upon two crossed anchors.
Obverse - Anton Otto Fischer Reverse - U.S. Coast Guard