August 4 is celebrated each year as Coast Guard Day, to honor the establishment of the Revenue Cutter Service, which evolved into today's Coast Guard.

On August 4, 1790, at the urging of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Congress authorized the building of a fleet of ten cutters, whose responsibility would be the enforcement of the first tariff laws enacted by Congress under the Constitution.

The Coast Guard has been continuously at sea since its inception, although the name Coast Guard didn't come about until 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the Lifesaving Service. The Lighthouse Service joined the Coast Guard in 1939, followed in 1946 by the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection. Finally, in 1967, after 177 years in the Treasury Department, the Coast Guard was transferred to the newly formed Department
of Transportation.

While Coast Guard Day is primarily an internal activity for active duty Coast Guard personnel, civilian members, reservists, retirees, auxiliarists, and dependents, it does generate a significant share of interest outside the Service. Grand Haven, Michigan, also known as Coast Guard City, USA, annually sponsors the Coast Guard Festival around August 4. Typically it is
the largest community celebration of a branch of the Armed Forces in the nation.

Today, the Coast Guard is the smallest of America's Armed Forces, with fewer active duty Guardians than officers in the New York City Police Department, yet they are charged with military roles including combat, border security, drug and migrant interdiction, port security, marine safety, law enforcement, environmental protection, search and rescue, aids to navigation, homeland security and more! Their ranks are bolstered by reservists and by the Coast Guard Auxiliary - uniformed civilian volunteers who donate their time and resources supporting all missions of the Coast Guard except combat and direct law enforcement.

The motto of the US Coast Guard is "Semper Paratus"; Always Ready.

To learn more about boater education, Vessel Safety Checks and other services provided by the Coast Guard Auxiliary - or if you are interested in learning how to become one of us - please visit us online at <> or contact us at <>

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is composed of uniformed, non-military volunteer civilians who assist the Coast Guard in all of its varied missions, except for military and direct law enforcement. These men and women can be found on the nation's waterways, in classrooms and on the dock, performing safety patrols, vessel safety examinations and public education. The 31,000 members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary donate millions of hours annually in support of Coast Guard missions.

Stock up on all your favorite road trip snacks using a HALF-PRICE voucher, HURRY before they are gone! $10 for a $20 Voucher to Melville Dairy

Print Version Submit a News Tip