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Happy Birthday, United States Coast Guard

Did you know that today is the US Coast Guard’s birthday? We heard about it recently, though we still haven’t received our birthday party invitation (what’s with that?). Regardless, we will share what we know.

As we understand, this is the Coast Guard’s 233rd birthday. The UCSG traces its origins to August 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Over the years their responsibilities have increased to include humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress.

The service received its current name in 1915, when the Revenue Cutter Service (initiated by Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury) merged with the US Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation’s maritime laws.

And here are a few other bits and pieces:

The Lighthouse Service was created by George Washington in 1789, consolidating responsibility for 12 colonial-era lighthouses. The Commissioner of Revenue was established in 1792 and the Lighthouse Service absorbed into it at that time. In 1939, the Lighthouse Service merged with the Coast Guard. After years of DIY-ing water rescues, civilian volunteers were relieved by the US Life-Saving Service in 1848.

The Coast Guard is a multi-mission maritime military service, which comprises approximately 40,000 active-duty personnel and 7,000 reservists. Its mission is to protect the public, the environment and US economic interests in the nation’s waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all Coast Guard personnel for their efforts at keeping us and our fellow sailors safe, and for their countless hours spent searching for and rescuing mariners in distress (just take a look at some of the stories we’ve shared), and to wish them all a happy birthday. Now, where’s our cake?!


  1. jeffcollier56 7 months ago

    Happy Birthday Coast Guard. Thanks for keeping us safe out there. When will this month’s magazine be available for download ?

  2. Vic Conforti 7 months ago

    Semper Paratus (Always Ready)… Thanks for teaching us how to stay safe and keeping our vessels sound. I was in the Coast Guard Reserves 60 years ago. For the last 20 years sailing on the Bay, it makes me feel proud to see the USCG vessels watching out for us, and when needed rescuing us if our lives are threatened… Semper Paratus.

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