US Coast Guard Birthday
Reported By SPC K.Skitz
Photo Credit: U.S Coast Guard
On August 4th, 1790 President George Washington approved the creation of ten Cutters to prevent international smuggling in American waters and thus the United States Coast Guard was born. This action was lobbied by the Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamiliton to fund the vessels needed to protect America’s coasts. While the title of US Coast Guard wasn’t officially established until 1915, the US Coast Guard is one of the oldest branches of the United States Military, aging past that of the US Navy.
In the early years of the Coast Guard vessels were used to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent pirates from operating in American waters. Fast-forward to 1915 two separate organizations, the Revenue Cutter Service and the US Life-Saving Service merged and the title of United States Coast Guard was officially given to the service. The USCG would migrate from the Department of Transportation in 1967 to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 and that is officially where we are today.
While the Coast Guard has undergone changes in the past, it has always held the same primary focus; to protect the United States of America from smuggling, to serve those in maritime need and to protect the marine environment either from foreign or domestic abuse. On an average day the Coast Guard performs 45 search and rescue missions, seizes over 1,000 pounds of illicit drugs, screens over 300 merchant vessels for security reasons and performs over 100 marine inspections a day just to name a few.
The United States Coast Guard is often overlooked over that of the four primary military branches but the USCG is a vital part of American security and well-being. Without the Coast Guard there would be an abundance of distress and criminal activity going unchecked on America’s shores and open seas and on August 4, 2020 the United States as well as the 3rd Infantry Division acknowledges the Birthday of the Coast Guard on 230 years of service.