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US Coast Guard turns 231 today – here’s how the military celebrated

Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Los Angeles near Santa Barbara on Oct. 24, 2016. (Andrea L. Anderson/U.S. Coast Guard)
August 04, 2021

Today is the 231st birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard, the nation’s first armed sea force.

The branch shared a string of posts to commemorate the day, the first of which said, “For the past 231 years, we have been proud to serve in the interest of all people around the world. We strive to serve you with #Honor, #Respect and #DevotiontoDuty.”

The Coast Guard was first formed as “The Revenue Cutter Service” by authorization of the Tariff Act signed into law on Aug. 4, 1790, by President George Washington.

The law, originally proposed by Secretary Alexander Hamilton, authorized the construction of ten “cutter” vessels intended to combat smuggling by enforcing federal laws on tariff and trade.

“231 years ago, Alexander Hamilton created what would become the U.S. Coast Guard. We’re pretty sure he’d raise a glass with us today if he could!” the Coast Guard said.

Admiral Linda Fagan, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, tweeted a message of praise to the branch.

“I am proud of the women and men of the @USCG who stand the watch, carry out our missions, and protect America’s maritime interests, at home and aboard. Happy Coast Guard Day!” Fagan tweeted.

The U.S. Army posted its own video commemorating the Coast Guard’s birthday, which looked at the branch’s support during the invasion of Normandy during World War II.

“Semper Paratus! Today, we honor the 231st birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard and look back at their unwavering support during the Battle of Normandy. Happy birthday and thank you for your support to this nation!” the Army tweeted.

The Army also released a separate video honoring the Coast Guard.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, released a video addressed to the Coast Guard for its birthday.

“For 231 years, the men and women of the United States Coast Guard have safeguarded the American people and they have promoted national security,” McKenzie said.

The U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration posted a tribute video honoring the Coast Guard.

The U.S. Marine Corps also paid tribute to the Coast Guard with a nod to the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy.

“Happy 231st birthday to the United States Coast Guard. We look forward to deepening our integration as we implement the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy. Semper Paratus,” the branch tweeted.

The newest military branch, the U.S. Space Force, tweeted to commemorate the Coast Guard’s birthday with a reminder of the branch’s unique status as the only military branch under the Department of Homeland Security.

“The @USCG is the only military branch in the Department of Homeland Security. It is responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship in U.S. ports and waterways.”