Coast Guard Day - August 4th

Primarily celebrated internally, August 4th is the official date of the U.S. Coast Guard Day. The Coast Guard is the branch of military services that protects our waters and coastlines. More prominently as of late it has had a more extensive role in Homeland security.

On August 4, 1790, the Revenue Cutter Service was created by the U.S. Congress. Congress authorized the construction of ten cutters. These ships were built to enforce U.S. tariff laws. The Revenue Cutter Service was the predecessor to the U.S. Coast Guard. The name “Coast Guard” was first used in 1915.

Founded by Alexander Hamilton it lays claim to being the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service. As of August 2009, the Coast Guard had approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,500 reservists, 30,000 auxiliarists, and 7,700 full-time civilian employees. The Coast Guard’s legal authority differs from the other four armed services, and it operates simultaneously under Title 10 of the United States Code and its other organic authorities. Because of its legal authority, the Coast Guard can conduct military operations under the Department of Defense or directly for the President in accordance with Title 14 USC 1–3.

The Coast Guard motto is “Semper Paratus”, Latin for “Always Ready” or “Always Prepared”. The Coast Guard has roles in maritime homeland security, maritime law enforcement (MLE), search and rescue (SAR), marine environmental protection (MEP), and the maintenance of river, intracoastal and offshore aids to navigation (ATON). Grand Haven, Michigan, also known as Coast Guard City, USA, annually sponsors the Coast Guard Festival around August 4. Typically it is the largest community celebration of a branch of the Armed Forces in the nation.

By: Pat Prescott
Published: Aug 4, 2021
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