NEW ORLEANS – Coast Guard men and women nationwide will celebrate the service’s 222nd birthday August 3 and 4.
Eighth Coast Guard District personnel from all along the Gulf Coast will host gatherings of families and friends to honor the service.
The Eighth Coast Guard District covers all or part of 26 states throughout the Gulf Coast and heartland of America, and has approximately 4,045 active duty and reserve members, 6,000 auxiliarists and 288 civilian personnel.
During 2011 Coast Guard personnel in the Eighth Coast Guard District saved approximately 555 lives, assisted 3,786 people in distress, recovered 7,313 pounds of drugs, and saved $13,617,679 worth of property.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina labeled the worst natural disaster in American history, created a 900,000 square-mile area of destruction along the Gulf coast. In that destruction were the homes of Coast Guard families. More than 33,400 people were saved and evacuated during the hurricane response effort.
"Coast Guard day is a great day to celebrate our heritage and accomplishments with our shipmates and our families, and take a well deserved break as we get ready for new challenges and future missions," said Capt. Todd Sokalzuk, chief of staff for the Eighth Coast Guard District.
The U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, the predecessor of the modern-day U.S. Coast Guard, was established at the urging of Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton’s Revenue Cutter Act authorized construction of the original 10 cutters of the Revenue Marine on Aug. 4, 1790.
The Coast Guard was created in 1915 when President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the "Act to Create the Coast Guard”. This law combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard, the nation's oldest, continuous, seagoing service.