Happy 227th Birthday to the United States Coast Guard! The Coast Guard is the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. Since 1790 the Coast Guard has safeguarded our Nation’s maritime interests and the environment around the world. Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard put it best when he said, “We protect those on the Sea, We protect America from threats delivered by Sea, and We protect the Sea itself.”

The roots of the U.S. Coast Guard can be traced back to 1790 when Alexander Hamilton requested that the Congress create the “Revenue Marine” to collect custom duties in the nation’s seaports. It was later renamed the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service. This group went on to merge with the U.S. Life-Saving Service in 1915 and become what we know as the modern-day Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard’s motto is Semper Paratus, which means “always ready”. Learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard with the little-known facts below:

  • In 1918, twin sisters Genevieve and Lucille Baker of the Naval Coastal Defense Reserve became the first uniformed women to serve in the Coast Guard.
  • Today the U.S. Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security but can be moved under the Department of the Navy when needed by the President or Congress during war times.
  • The formal name for a uniformed member of the Coast Guard is “Coast Guardsman.” “Coastie” is an informal term commonly used to refer to current or former Coast Guard personnel.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard motto is Semper Paratus, Latin for Always Ready.
  • This branch is the only one that is empowered as a law enforcement agency.
  • The three basic rules of the Coast Guard are: Maritime Safety, Maritime security, and Maritime Stewardship.
  • Founded in 1876, the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) is the military academy of the United States Coast Guard. Located in New London, Connecticut, it is the smallest of the five federal service academies. The academy’s motto is Scientiæ cedit mare, which is Latin for “the sea yields to knowledge” (the trident, emblem of the Roman god Neptune, represents seapower.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Museum is located in Waesche Hall on the grounds of the United States Coast Guard Academy. The museum’s artifacts reflect the history of the U.S. Coast Guard and include ship models, carved figureheads, cannons, uniforms, medals, weapons, memorabilia, and paintings.
  • Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard has 42,190 military active, 7,899 military reserves, 8,722 civilians, 33,859 active retired, 6,537 reserve-retired, and 32,156 244 auxiliary staff. When it comes to the equipment they have 244 cutters, 1,776 boats, and 198 aircraft.
  • Jeh Charles Johnson is an American civil and criminal trial lawyer, and the current United States Secretary of Homeland Security. He was the General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2009 to 2012 during the first Obama Administration.

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