Happy 224th Birthday, Coast Guard! We’ve all watched “The Guardian” and routinely watch the “Coast Guard Alaska” show on The Weather Channel, right?
So we totally all know rescue swimmers are the most amazing thing ever and Alaska is the best place to live if you want to have a successful Coastie career, right?
Quite possibly. But for those of us who don’t get to star in our own show or live in Alaska, allow me to share five things to love about the Coast Guard on their 224th birthday August 4.
1. The Coast Guard comes to the rescue.
In 2012 the Coast Guard responded to 19,790 Search and Rescue cases and saved 3,560 lives and more than $77 million in property.
They removed 107 metric tons of cocaine bound for the United States via the Transit Zone. They continued the deployment of six Patrol Boats and 400 personnel to protect Iraqi critical maritime oil infrastructure and train Iraqi naval forces.
They conducted 25,500 container inspections, 5,000 facility safety and marine pollution related inspections, and 1,195 cargo transfer monitors to ensure security, safety, and environmental stewardship of the maritime domain.
They did a ton more, but you get the point – they’re a busy branch of the armed forces…and quite truthfully they continue to rock it out keeping our country safe.
2. The Coast Guard is the nation’s oldest continuous maritime service.
In 1790, Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. (In the 19th and early 20th centuries the Coast Guard was known as the Revenue Marine and the Revenue Cutter Service).
The Coast Guard is the hard nucleus about which the Navy forms in times of war, right? We kid…we love our Navy family, too.
3. The Coast Guard has 11 missions.
The missions of the Coast Guard include:
Ports, waterways, and coastal security. Drug interdiction Aids to navigation Search and rescue. Living marine resources. Marine safety. Defense readiness. Migrant interdiction. Marine environmental protection. Ice operations and other law enforcement
4. The Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security.
In 2003, the Coast Guard began operating as part of the Department of Homeland Security, serving as the nation’s front-line agency for enforcing our laws at sea, protecting the marine environment and the nation’s vast coastline and ports, and saving lives.
Random side note: in times of war, or at the direction of the President, the Coast Guard serves under the Navy Department.
5. The Coast Guard is always prepared.
Semper Paratus is the motto of the Coast Guard and it means “always prepared.” The Coast Guard’s core values are honor, respect, and devotion to duty.
6. My husband’s in the Coast Guard…and that’s totally an amazing fact worth noting.
(I had to scratch that one…I promised I’d only share five.)
So today I toast to the Coast Guard. I thank the men and women who spend their careers dedicated to ensuring the safety, security, and stewardship of our waters.
I applaud your law enforcement efforts, incident responses, and disaster management in times of need in the maritime environment in addition to your support of all the nation’s defense efforts.
As a wife of a Coastie, I know the sacrifices required to protect our country and I see you lead daily with honor, respect and an extreme devotion to duty for our great nation!
Happy birthday to all our Coasties!
Jessica Bertsch is a proud Coastie wife and mom of a 2½ year old. In her “spare” time she runs Powerhouse Planning, LLC www.powerhouseplanning.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.