On this day in 1790, the Coast Guard's was established when Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels known as "revenue cutters" to collect tariffs from ships importing goods into the United States. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about the Coast Guard...
Alexander Hamilton is The Father of The Coast Guard
One of Hamilton’s visionary acts while serving as Secretary of the Treasury was the creation of the first United States Coast Guard. An essay written by Hamilton suggested that the armed vessels at the country’s points of entry, could collect tariffs and enforce the maritime laws. Hamilton saw this as a way for the country to increase its revenue at a time it was broke. Originally known as the Revenue-Marine, the group merged in 1915 with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to become the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard Is Not Part of The Department of Defense The United States Coast Guard is the only branch of military service that doesn’t belong to the Defense Department. Instead, it is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security. Before it was placed under the DHS, it was under the Department of Transportation. Previous to that, it was under the Department of the Treasury.
An Average Day For The Coast Guard Isn't so Average According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Resource Center, on an average day the Coast Guard conducts 109 searches and rescues, saves ten lives, seizes 169 pounds of marijuana and 306 pounds of cocaine worth and investigates six vessel casualties.
The Coast Guard Isn’t Very Big
With roughly 40,500 Active Duty service members, the Coast Guard is slightly larger than the NYPD. When compared to other branches of the military, they may be small in numbers, but the Coast Guard faithfully stands the watch and protects the 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline and beyond. Since its service members have acting law enforcement authority, their mission goes a long way to keeping America's coastlines safe.
Their Motto Means “Always Ready”
While the Marines’ Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) is more famous, the Coast Guard’s motto of Semper Paratus reflects their status as an organization that’s regarded as a first responder. A 1928 song of the same name is also used as the U.S. Coast Guard's official march, and appears on the organization's flag.