U.S. Coast Guard Celebrates 220 Years Today

Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., the Coast Guard Commandant, and Seaman John Kroll, a member of the Ceremonial Honor Guard, salute the statue of the ÒLone SailorÓ during the Coast Guard Dixieland Band Concert at the Navy Memorial Plaza, Aug. 3, 2010. The concert was held to honor the 220th birthday of the Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kip Wadlow.

From its genesis as the Revenue Marine, the Coast Guard has evolved to become the world’s premier multi-mission, maritime service, conducting operations around the globe to execute its 11 missions.  

“Coast Guardsmen are agile, adaptable and multi-missioned,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr.  “Born as revenue cuttermen, lighthouse keepers, steamboat inspectors and surfmen, we have expanded to meet the maritime needs of our nation.  As Coast Guard men and women, we share a bond of pride in our rich heritage and a common purpose to uphold our honorable traditions.”

The Coast Guard began its service to America in 1790 within the Treasury Department as the Revenue Marine, later renamed the Revenue Cutter Service.  The Revenue Cutter Service joined with the U.S. Lifesaving Service in 1915 to create the Coast Guard.  The U.S. Lighthouse Service was added to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939, followed by the Steamboat Inspection Service in 1946.  The Coast Guard transferred from the Treasury Department to the Department of Transportation in 1967 and to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

“We are still keepers of the lights, but we also now patrol far more distant waters,” said Papp. “We readily go wherever there are important, difficult and dangerous maritime duties to be performed.”

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