Aug. 4, 2022 —
Today the Coast Guard celebrates 232 years of honorable and courageous service to the nation. This year, the celebration is focused not only on honoring the past, but also on shaping the future.
The Coast Guard was created Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton to construct 10 vessels, known as revenue cutters, to combat smuggling and enforce tariff laws. Today the Coast Guard has roughly 41,000 active duty personnel, more than 8,000 reserve personnel and some 30,000 civilian auxiliary volunteers. The service maintains a fleet of 259 cutters, 200 aircraft and 1,602 boats to support its missions. On any given day, Coast Guard law enforcement teams board 144 vessels, small boats launch nearly 400 missions, and aircraft fly 164 operations. In a typical year, the service will respond to nearly 20,000 search and rescue cases and save more than 3,500 lives.
The Revenue Cutter Service patrolled the coastline and waterways from New Hampshire to Georgia. Today the Coast Guard not only has a constant presence along the U.S. coast and significant waterways, Coast Guard personnel have served in all of America’s major conflicts, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Coast Guard has made many advancements since its beginning in 1790. The service will continue to meet the challenges of the future by transforming its total workforce, sharpening its competitive edge and shaping its mission excellence.
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