August 4th marks the day the Coast Guard came to be. We at Low VA Rates are happy to celebrate this great force by delving into its history and sharing its legacy with all our customers and blog readers.
What is the United States Coast Guard?
The USCG serves as both a law enforcement agency and as one of the five branches of the United States armed forces. It is one of the oldest organizations in the United States government.
The History of the Coast Guard
The Coast Guard didn’t start out as the single entity it is today. When our country was just learning to walk, there were several distinct organizations in charge of navigation, maritime law enforcement, and rescue missions. Over time, these groups were lumped together for convenience and efficiency.
Here’s a timeline detailing when these separate groups were established and eventually consolidated:
August 4, 1790: A maritime service of ten vessels is formed to enforce custom laws, trade laws, and federal tariffs. This service is first called the system of cutters, then the Revenue Service, the Revenue-Marine, and at last the Revenue Cutter Service.
August 30 1852: The passing of the Steamboat Act marks the creation of the Steamboat Inspection Service.
October 9, 1852: The Lighthouse Board is organized for tending to the nation’s many lighthouses and other navigational structures. The board is made up of two Naval officers, two engineers from the Engineer Corps, and two civilian scientists.
July 5, 1884: The U.S. Bureau of Navigation is formed and takes over all administrative duties regarding navigation.
January 28, 1915: The Act to Create the Coast Guard is made law, combining the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service to make the United States Coast Guard.
June 30, 1932 to May 27, 1936: The U.S. Bureau of Navigation and the Steamboat Inspection Service are consolidated to form the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation.
July 1, 1939: The Coast Guard absorbs the Lighthouse Service.
July 16, 1946: The Coast Guard receives all the duties of the now decommissioned Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation.
March 1, 2003: The Coast Guard leaves the Department of Transportation in the U.S. Government and joins the Department of Homeland Security, officially becoming the loyal military force we know and love today.
What Does the Coast Guard Do?
The Act to Create the Coast Guard describes the USCG as a part of the U.S. armed forces and a federal agency that would single-handedly manage all search and rescue at sea and all maritime law enforcement. The Coast Guard constantly and simultaneously defends United States territories against physical harm and interdicts drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
The Coast Guard gets its legal authority from the Department of Defense and from the president of the United States directly.
Who’s in the Coast Guard?
As of 2015, the Coast Guard has 40,075 active duty commissioned officers and 7,417 on reserve. Though they’re smaller in numbers than, say, the Army, which has 490,326 active personnel, members of the Coast Guard are just as capable and essential to American freedom. But you don’t have to be enlisted to join the Coast Guard. Almost 7,000 civilians work with the USCG. These men and women serve as accountants, architects, engineers (civil, mechanical, and electric), educators, lawyers, child caretakers, administrators, and maintenance workers, to name just a few.
The Coast Guard’s latin motto, Semper Paratus, in English means “Always Ready.” As America’s watchmen, members of the Coast Guard work and prepare day and night to make sure our borders and laws are respected. We at Low VA Rates want to express our utmost gratitude to them and their tireless service, and we wish them a very happy birthday!
To learn more about the armed forces and all they do to protect our great country, visit our blog.