On January 28, 1915, Congress merged the Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service to create the United States Coast Guard. The Revenue Cutter Service was formed in 1790 by George Washington, and served as the nation’s only naval armed force until Congress established the Navy Department in 1798.
The US Coast Guard is both a federal law enforcement agency, and a branch of the US Military. It’s mission is to save lives, protect the environment, engage in stewardship, and enforce Federal laws on the inland waterways, coastal waters, and the high seas. It maintains lighthouses (and other aids of maritime navigation), as well as overseeing merchant marine safety and licensing.
The Coast Guard’s motto is Semper Paratus, which in Latin means “Always Ready”. The Coast Guard’s website (uscg.mil) states it currently has 38,000 active duty, 8,000 reserves, and 35,000 auxiliary personnel serving our country. The vessel in the attached photograph is the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane which is moored at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay.
The Coast Guard Foundation supports those serving in the Coast Guard, as well as their families. You can donate to the foundation by visiting: www.coastguardfoundation.org.