Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Coast Guard

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman cites Coast Guard's 219th birthday

Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton convinced Congress to authorize construction of 10 topsail schooners Aug. 4, 1790, for the U.S. Revenue-Marine to combat widespread smuggling. Our nation proudly celebrates that day 219 years ago when the U.S. Coast Guard was born.

Since then, thousands of men and women have stood watch in our oldest continuous seagoing service on land, sea and in the air: ever vigilant, keeping our homeland safe, and protecting our maritime resources. Last year alone, our nation's maritime guardians saved more than four thousand lives with professionalism and courage.

Their proud service today extends far beyond our own shores. Nearly 400 Coast Guardsmen are now serving on point in locations across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Coast Guard patrol missions take place wherever America needs: from the waters off Kodiak Island to the Arabian Gulf, across the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Malacca.

Whether conducting drug interdiction, search and rescue operations, confronting our nation's adversaries or training partner nations in maritime security, no one is more skilled or better equipped than our Coast Guard.

The Joint Chiefs and I salute you, all of the hard working men, women and supportive families of our United States Coast Guard. America would not be safe without you.

Happy Birthday and Semper Paratus!

More from National Review:

Thanks for your post on the Coast Guard. It is worth noting that while other federal, state and local agencies utterly screwed up the response to Hurricane Katrina, the Coast Guard (and to a lesser extent both the state and federal Fish and Wildlife Services) rescued tens of thousands of people — at least 33,500 by this count, which I've seen confirmed elsewhere.

The Guardsmen were true heroes, yet never really got the credit due them. I'm glad you gave them some notice.

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