It is often the forgotten branch of the defense of our country but over the years it has been the single branch of the service solely devoted to the defense of the United States. Created by the U.S. Congress on August 4th, 1790 it was first known as the Revenue Cutter Service, it’s primary duty to ensure all good brought into the country were both legal and subject to tariffs and taxes.
Originally formed under the guidance of, yes, Alexander Hamilton, (I’m not sure if it’s in the musical “Hamilton” or not but it should be) and evolved from tax and tariff duty to include search and rescue, along with defense. Even though outside of it’s role it did serve sort of as an offensive group during World War 2 as many of the landing craft used to invade our enemies were piloted by Coast Guard trained helmsmen.
They became the police, and fire rescue of the coastal waterways, rivers and lakes of America. The Revenue Cutter Service was changed to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915 and today are a vital part of Homeland Security. But most of us know them best for the search and rescue of those in need in the water. They have saved untold thousands of people that would have perished otherwise.
Like most of the services, they have their own academy where students are educated in various different majors but include service to the Coast Guard. There are many, many unsung heroes that have given their all to help others and keep our country safe. Their motto, “Semper Paratus” meaning “Always Ready”.
We owe a lot to our men and women of the Coast Guard. They are the most forgotten of all our military services mainly because instead of causing death and destruction, they save and build.
How to celebrate – Read about the history of the Coast Guard. Thank any you see who serve in the Coast guard for their service. Go see “Hamilton” and see if the Coast Guard is mentioned in the show.