Happy Birthday United States Coast Guard!
224 Years of Service and Dedication: Semper Paratus!
The United States Coast Guard celebrates its Birthday today. With more geographical responsibility and the fewest number of personnel this branch of the United States is considered to have more responsibility than just about any other branch of the US military. From drug interdiction, fending off pirates and drug lords, watching for unannounced visitors coming from a foreign land, often a country under Communist rule, protecting our ports and waterways, lakes, watching for any sailors finding themselves in harms way off the East or West coasts and rescuing the sword boat fisherman or Deadliest Catch crabbers in the Bering Sea the USCG has stood the test of time protecting us, saving us and putting themselves into harm’s way to make sure we are taken care of!
The United States Coast Guard is celebrating its 224th birthday in August this year. America’s Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, with its lineage tracing back to its inception on Aug. 4, 1790, when the 1st Congress authorized the building and construction of 10 vessels to create a force aiding in the enforcement of tariffs and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and the protect and collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress which has become more commonly known as Search and Rescue.
The USCG received its current name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service formed with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to create a unified maritime service with the dedication of safety of life at sea and enforcing America’s maritime laws.
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The Coast Guard is a powerful branch with responsibilities spanning from multi-mission, maritime, military service and is the smallest of the five Armed Services. It has many missions and roles from the protection of the public, the environment and U.S. economic interests in the nation’s waterways, ports, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security. It has the unique responsibility with is arresting authority over both civilians as well as military. No other branch has this.
History of Coast Guard Flags
Found at Military.Com ~ “The origins of the Coast Guard standard are very obscure. It may have evolved from an early jack. At least one contemporary painting supports this theory. In an 1840 painting, the Revenue cutter Alexander Hamilton flies a flag very similar to today’s Coast Guard standard as a jack.” Additional information on USCG Flags click here.
What is the USCG Auxiliary?
A great little know secret! The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG Aux) is the uniformed volunteer part of the United States Coast Guard (“USCG”). On JUne 23rd, 1939 the United State’s Congress created the USCG Aux as America’s Coast Guard Reserve. Just prior to two years later, on Feb 19, 1941, it was re-designated the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
What does the auxiliary do? The USCG Auxiliary exists to provide support for all USCG missions except ones that require involved and “direct” law enforcement or military engagement. Atypical mission roles include those in which an active USCG Guarsdman can be replaced by an Auxiliarist. This allows the active member to focus in other areas and in one of the two roles that can’t be filled by an Auxiliarist.
Did you know?
A few interesting facts about the USCG! As seen at Boating Safety Resource Center.
Each day, the men and women of the 35,000 plus active duty Coast Guard, 8,000 Reservists, and 32,000 Auxiliarists provide services over 3.4 million square miles of Exclusive Economic Zones.
On an average day, the Coast Guard:
Conducts 109 Search and Rescue Cases.
Saves 10 lives
Assists 192 people in distress.
Protects $2,791,841 in property.
Seizes 169 pounds of marijuana and 306 pounds of cocaine worth $9,589,000.00.
Processes 238 Seaman licenses and documents.
Investigates 6 vessel casualties involving collisions, allisions, or groundings.
What else happens during an average day?
Small boats are underway for 396 sorties/missions.
Aircraft fly 164 missions, logging 324 hours, of which 19 hours are flown off patrolling cutters.
Law enforcement teams board 144 vessels.
Cutter and small boat crews interdict and rescue 14 illegal immigrants.
Marine Safety personnel open 8 new cases for marine violation of federal statutes.
Marine Inspectors board 100 large vessels for port safety checks.
Vessel examiners conduct 20 commercial fishing vessel safety exams and issue 11 fishing vessel compliance decals.
Pollution investigators respond to 20 oil or hazardous chemical spills totaling 2,800 gallons.
Buoy tenders and Aids to Navigational Teams service 135 aids to navigation.
Vessel Traffic Service controllers assist 2,509 commercial ships entering & leaving U.S. ports.
Auxiliarists conduct 377 vessel safety checks and teach boating safety courses to 550 boaters.
Tell me more!
The U.S. Coast Guard seizes 1 drug smuggling vessel every five days.
Icebreakers and buoy tenders assist 196,938 tons of shipping daily during the Great Lakes ice season.
International Ice Patrol sorties provide ice safety information to facilitate the 163,238 tons of shipping during the North Atlantic ice season.
The Coast Guard is smaller than the New York City Police Department.
The number of Coast Guard personnel for 2001 is the same as it was in 1967.
There are 11 and they are identified and carried out by law.
Ports, waterways, and coastal security
Some insight into the missions, roles and a little perspective on the difficulty many of the activities of the United States Coast Guard gets involved with.