The Coast Guard was founded on Aug. 4, 1790, when America's Congress authorized the building of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue.
Help celebrate this special day by educating others about about America's first and smallest service. Here are some fun facts you can share:
- More than 41,700 active-duty military; 7,800 reserve military part-time employees; 8,300 civilian full-time employees; and 31,000 civilian auxiliary volunteers serve in the Coast Guard.
- Since 2003, the service has operated as part of the Department of Homeland Security.
- During World War II, 241,093 Coast Guard members served.
- The service's core values are honor, respect and wwwotion to duty.
- Alex Haley, who wrote the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Roots,“ was the Coast Guard’s first journalist.
- The Coast Guard has a special FAQ to help answer Coast Guard families' questions.
- Admiral Paul F. Zukunft is the current Top Commandant of the service.
- The Coast Guard motto is "Sempar Paratus" – "Always Ready."
- President George Washington commissioned the first Coast Guard officer, Captain Hopley Yeaton, on March 21, 1791.