Shielding America for 222 years
Posted by PA3 Jonathan Lally, Thursday, August 2, 2012
The U.S. Coast Guard has served the American public by guarding their shores for more than 222 years. On Friday, Coast Guard personnel around the country will be celebrating the nation’s oldest continuous sea-going service’s birthday with picnics, cookouts, games and other activities.
Although the Coast Guard’s actually birthday is Aug. 4, New Orleans-area Coast Guard units will be celebrating Friday with food, entertainment and camaraderie on the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans at Plaquedila Park.
In 1790, 15 years after the United States became an independent country Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, developed a system of cutters. These 10 cutters formed what would become known as the new Revenue Cutter.
Hamilton, considered the “father” of the Coast Guard, established the service as a way to enforce tariffs and handle the unchecked smuggling that occurred after the Revolutionary War. The Coast Guard, like a sturdy oak, has its roots well established and traced back to five independent agencies that merged together in 1915. The agencies combined were the U.S. Lighthouse Service, 1789; the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, 1790; the Steamboat Inspection Service, 1838; the U.S. Life-Saving Service and the Bureau of Navigation, 1848.
“While many Coast Guardsmen and their families spend today celebrating the 222nd birthday of their service, there are many others who diligently stand the watch,” said Lt. Daniel Parker, an offshore compliance specialist with the 8th Coast Guard District. “It is their commitment and dedication to something greater than themselves that upholds the service’s highest traditions and core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.”
Since the Coast Guard’s establishment in 1915, the service has assisted the nation in every armed conflict since the Quasi-War with France in 1798. Highlighting the service’s flexibility to respond to almost any situation, the Coast Guard also played a key role in the response efforts for the 9/11 attack, Hurricane Katrina and 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Though Coast Guardsmen and their families honor the establishment of the service with celebrations for its birth, they constantly honor Hamilton’s efforts by diligently serving the American people simply with dedication and devotion to duty. Those who stand the watch to protect the shores of America keep to the Coast Guard’s motto of Semper Paratus, which means always ready.