Chairman’s Corner: Happy Birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2011 — Two hun­dred and twen­ty-one years ago today, Con­gress cre­at­ed the U.S. Rev­enue-Marine to pro­tect a vul­ner­a­ble young nation’s shores, on a date we now cel­e­brate as the birth­day of the Unit­ed States Coast Guard.

Since then, gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­cans have brave­ly served our old­est con­tin­u­ous seago­ing ser­vice, keep­ing our home­land safe, pro­tect­ing our mar­itime resources, and indeed ben­e­fit­ting every cit­i­zen regard­less of whether we live on or near the water or far inland.

In fact, Admi­ral Bob Papp, Com­man­dant of the Unit­ed States Coast Guard, recent­ly observed that, “In the past year, our cit­i­zens have wit­nessed the Coast Guard in action like nev­er before,” and

I would add that this ser­vice extends far beyond our Nation’s shores.

From the six cut­ters and 700 Coast Guards­men who sup­port oper­a­tions in the Ara­bi­an Gulf, to the men and women fight­ing pira­cy off the coast of Africa, to counter-drug oper­a­tions in the Caribbean and East­ern Pacif­ic, the Coast Guard’s glob­al impact con­tin­ues to grow, all the while keep­ing our peo­ple, our ports and our water­ways safe, by respond­ing to sit­u­a­tions as diverse as the unprece­dent­ed oil spill in the Gulf of Mex­i­co to the flood rav­aged Ohio and Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er Val­leys this spring.

From hum­ble begin­nings, the Unit­ed States Coast Guard has emerged as a mod­el with­in our gov­ern­ment and, indeed, around the world. I am so very proud to serve with you and your fam­i­lies who make pos­si­ble every­thing their loved ones do for our Nation.
The Joint Chiefs and I salute the extra­or­di­nary men, women, and fam­i­lies of our Unit­ed States Coast Guard, Reserve and Aux­il­iary. Amer­i­ca is safer and more secure because of you.

Hap­py Birth­day, and Sem­per Para­tus!

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)