225 Candles for the United States Coast Guard

By: Valerie Cox, guest contributor, American Red Cross

Happy Birthday, United States Coast Guard!
Bring out the streamers, balloons, cake, and presents…turning 225 is a monumental occasion!  Today, we celebrate the 225th birthday of the United States Coast Guard and the tremendous service they perform for our country.  Without the courage and dedication of the men and women who make up the United States Coast Guard, America would not be the country it is today. So on today, August 4, we will celebrate the valor and sacrifice embodied by the Coast Guard.

Founded in 1790, the United States Coast Guard was originally known as the Revenue Marine Service and functioned under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department, and in 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service, renamed from the Revenue Marine Service, combined with the United States Lifesaving Service to form the United States Coast Guard.  In 1967, the Coast Guard was transferred to the Department of Transportation, and in 2003, it moved to serve under the Department of Homeland Security’s control.  Since 1790, the Coast Guard has played an active role in every war America has fought, and when a declaration of war occurs, the Coast Guard moves to operate under the Navy’s authority.

Few people understand the depth of the Coast Guard.  From coastal security to controlling illegal immigration to search and rescue missions to stopping drug trafficking, the Coast Guard has many responsibilities that impact our great country.  As their motto “Semper Paratus” describes, they are always ready for whenever duty calls.  Because three sides of our country are surrounded by water, the Coast Guard plays a vital role in protecting us from outside forces and maintaining safety and security within America.  Out of the military branches, the Coast Guard is known for their flexibility and spirit.  The camaraderie among fellow Guardians, members of the Coast Guard, is truly a relationship like no other, and all members of the Coast Guard fulfill different roles but function together as one unit.

Today, we celebrate 225 years of the United States Coast Guard, including each individual who has shaped it into the defense vessel it is today.  We celebrate their bravery.  We celebrate their service.  We celebrate their commitment.  We celebrate their sacrifice.  We salute you!

Veterans, active duty service members, and families of military personnel are welcome to tap into the resources at the American Red Cross through our Service to the Armed Forces.

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