On August 4, 1790, Alexander Hamilton formed the Revenue Cutter Service in order to enforce the taxes and new export laws put into place after the Revolutionary War. Eventually the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life Saving Service would join together to become the modern day Coast Guard. For 225 years brave men and women have joined forces to protect our coasts, rescue boaters of all kinds, keep drugs off our shores, play a huge role in environmental protection, and so much more.
There is a quote from the 2006 movie The Guardian, that Coast Guard members and their families alike love, “When storms shut down entire ports, we go out. When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out. And when the holy Lord himself reaches down from heaven and destroys his good work with winds that rip houses off the ground, We. Go. Out.” We all like to laugh a little bit at this particular quote because it’s over the top, but reality is, it’s not so far off. The Coast Guard doesn’t have the option of saying, “No, we’re going to stay here safe and dry.” They go out in the worst weather and do what they need to do to save someone.
Coast Guard Mission: Protecting More Than Our Coasts…
A little known fact about the Coast Guard is that not only do they go out and rescue when others stay home, they have been there fighting side by side with the other branches since The War of 1812. They may be the smallest branch of the military, and yes, their mission revolves mainly around the shores of home. However, they have been there in each and every war defending our freedoms and protecting those on the ground from the waters. The Coast Guard even has members serving in the Middle East today.
The Coast Guard has so many parts to it and so many missions which most people aren’t aware of. They are considered simply Search and Rescue, but this is just one aspect of many. The Coast Guard’s missions span not only countrywide, but worldwide as well. One of their focus missions today is their research and patrols in the Arctic. As the planet changes and the environment shifts, the Coast Guard’s mission is constantly changing with it. Environmental protection has been one of their main missions for decades. This, along with drug and immigration interdiction, is just a few ways they help maintain our coasts and protect our shorelines.
The men and women of the Coast Guard, like any other military branch, don’t do what they do for the glory. They do it because they had a calling to serve. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect our freedoms, our shorelines, and to save lives every day. This past August 4th, the USCG celebrated their 225th birthday. Take a minute to think about those that are standing watch and say a prayer for them. Thank them for their sacrifices and their service. Remember them on this day and every day, because without their willingness to answer that call, our country would be vastly different.