Happy 224th Birthday to the United States Coast Guard

While subjects abound for writing when I have some time, today we celebrate the 224th birthday of the US Coast Guard with a few interesting factoids.

But first, my sincere thanks to all who serve and have served the US Coast Guard on behalf of a proud American proprietor and citizen. Your service to our country, both locally and abroad, is deserved of recognition right along with those who have had boots on the ground in the ongoing conflicts in the middle east and abroad, throughout history.

I used to take vets from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on fishing charters on Lake Michigan as a unique way to say thanks for their sacrifices. I admit ignorance many years ago when my invitation was accepted by a vet from the US Coast Guard. Of course I did not scrutinize or question anyone who took me up on my offer, but during the trip I learned of the guard missions of off shore oil platforms and accompaniment of both military and commerce transport. The US Coast Guard supports the US Navy and Air Force with rescue operations on sea and provides many other supporting services to our troops. I was not previously aware of the role they played outside of providing law enforcement and rescue services within the boundaries of the United States and its waters.

The eleven statutory missions of the US Coast Guard are summarized in three role categories: Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Maritime Stewardship. These roles and missions are described in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR’s as we commonly note them). They fall under the Department of Homeland Security since the re-organization, but can also fall under the direction of the US Navy at the President’s discretion.

Congress created the “Revenue Marine” service on August 4th, 1790 which later became the US Revenue Cutter Service, and in 1915, merged with the US Life Saving Service to become the US Coast Guard. It is technically the oldest branch of the military and has played a role in every war since 1790 in US history.

Their motto is “Semper Paratus” which means “Always Ready.” Known among most recreational boaters simply as law enforcement and possibly a rescue service on the water, they serve many other roles in defending our country and have stood in harm’s way alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and National Guard. Include them in your thoughts and prayers for our military and thank them even if they are writing you up for expired flares. They put their name on the dotted line just the same and do their duty to protect our safety both at home on our waterways, and abroad on the war fronts.

Happy Birthday United States Coast Guard!!!