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American Legion Unit 323: Happy birthday!

By Staff | Aug 19, 2020

Submitted by Pat Whitehall

Tuesday, Aug. 4 saw the 230th birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard. It was created by Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Marine and is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States. The original purpose was to collect customs duties at U.S. seaports. Its headquarters are in Southwest Washington, Washington D.C.

The main duties of the Coast Guard are coastal defense, search and rescue and maritime law enforcement. It is one of the country’s 8 uniformed services and has jurisdiction in domestic and international waters.

The modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of US Revenue Cutter Service and US Lifesaving services in January, the 28th, 1915, and was under the Department of Treasury. 1939 saw the emergence of the US Lighthouse Service with the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard has been in every major war since 1790 to the current war on Terrorism. It operates under the US Department of Homeland Security, but can be transferred to the US Navy Department by the US President at any time or by Congress during war times.

The motto of the coast Guard is SEMPER PARATUS, which is Latin for Always Ready. The Coast Guard is kept busy rescuing boaters, seizing illegal drug shipments, guarding the coast lines and doing search and rescue missions.

As of 2018, the coast Guard had 40,992 active duty personnel, 7,000 reservists, 8,577 full time civilian employees and 31,000 Auxiliary members. While the US Coast Guard is the second smallest of US Military Branches in terms of membership, by itself, the US Coast Guard was the 12th largest naval force in 2018.

We at the American Legion Auxiliary, salute you and wish you a very Happy birthday!