August 4th marks U. S. Coast Guard Day, a day to celebrate the establishment of the 12th largest naval force in the world. Here are a few facts about the military organization whose missions involve MARITIME Safety, MARITIME Security, and MARITIME Stewardship.
1. The Coast Guard is the only branch of the Armed Forces that does not belong to the Department of Defense
Many people believe the Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Defense. However, this is only true under war time conditions. The Coast Guard is actually a component of the Department of Homeland Security. During a state of war, however, the command of the Cost Guard resides wit hthe President as Commander in Chief of all Armed Forces.
2. The Coast Guard didn’t have an official name for 125 years
The Coast Guard traces its roots all the way back to a small fleet of vessels maintained by the United States Department of the Treasury in 1790. To enforce tariffs, an important source of revenue for the new nation, then Secretary Alexander Hamilton lobbied to found the United States Revenue Cutter Service. Congress funded the construction of ten cutters on 4 August 1790, which is now celebrated as the Coast Guard’s official birthday. Until the re-establishment of the Navy in 1798, these “revenue cutters” were the only naval force of the early United States. As such, the cutters and their crews frequently took on additional duties, including combating piracy, rescuing mariners in distress, transporting government officials, and even carrying mail. It wasn’t until 1915 that the Coast Guard officially was given its formal title. .
3. The Coast Guard is smaller than the New York City Police Department.
The Coast Guard has approximately 42,000 active duty members, not including civilian support. This is very similar to the size of the police department for the City of new York (approximately 50,000). This small fighting force has a large impact and has served in every war since 1790.
4. The Coast Guard motto is “Semper Paratus”
The Latin motto translates to English as “Always Ready”. These brave souls take on risks to provide for our safety on the seas. There’s no storm too great nor situation too tough for our ready fighting force to face. They may be small, but they get the job done!