The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday is celebrating 225 years of service to the nation.
It was on this day in 1790 when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act, authorizing the construction 10 “revenue cutters” requested by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. It was later in 1915 that the “Revenue Cutter Service”, as the service became known, merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to become the United States Coast Guard as we know it today.
Today, the U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security.
On any given day, the U.S. Coast Guard conducts 48 search and rescue cases; saves 9 lives; assists 73 people in distress; saves over $132,000 in property; seizes 297 pounds of marijuana and 549 pounds of cocaine worth $8.2 million; services 134 buoys and fixed aids to navigation; interdicts 6 illegal migrants; conducts 24 security boardings in and around U.S. ports; escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels; conducts 54 waterborne patrols of critical maritime infrastructure; investigates 24 pollution incidents; inspects 127 vessels, containers and marine facilities; issues 173 credentials to merchant mariners; and facilitates movement of $8.7 billion worth of goods and commodities through the Nations marine transportation system.
“The Coast Guard is more relevant today than at any time in our 225-year history,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Transnational criminal organizations use drug profits to destabilize governments in our hemisphere. Our nation’s resurgence in American energy production has increased the flow of maritime commerce on our waterways. There is increased human activity in the Arctic and cyber threats endanger our digital systems. We are evolving to meet these challenges and invest in a 21st century Coast Guard that will continue our service to nation that is 225 years strong.”