Commandant’s Coast Guard Day Message

Posted from ADM Papp’s All Hands e-mail of 8/3/2010:


Admiral Robert Papp

Admiral Robert J. Papp, 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Today, as it is our custom, we celebrate on the 4th day of August, the anniversary of the establishment of our Service.

The creation of the Revenue Cutter Service closely followed the birth of our Nation. Two hundred and twenty years ago today, or only fourteen years after the date of the Declaration of Independence, President George Washington signed an act of the First Congress providing for the creation of the Revenue Cutter Service.

While I could use this opportunity to recognize the outstanding work of our Active Duty, Reserve, Civilian and Auxiliary members over the past year in Haiti, Deepwater Horizon and across our many missions, I choose instead to honor your outstanding performance by using this occasion to reflect upon what it means to be a Coast Guardsman.

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.

We are defined by unsung heroism and selfless service. We defend our Nation. We risk our lives to save others. We give our utmost when cold, wet and tired. Countless times, we have extended our arm down into the water to rescue those in peril from the sea. We will unhesitatingly extend that same arm to help a shipmate in need.

Coast Guardsmen are always ready. We perform our security, humanitarian and environmental response missions with an unrelenting sense of pride. When disaster strikes, whether natural or manmade, we are first on scene. We are often the last to depart.

Coast Guardsmen are agile, adaptable and multi-missioned. Born as revenue cuttermen, lighthouse keepers, steamboat inspectors and surfmen, we have expanded to meet the maritime needs of our Nation. We are still the keepers of the lights, but we also now patrol far more distant waters. We readily go wherever there are important, difficult and dangerous maritime duties to be performed.

Coast Guardsmen are shipmates; they are family. Though our Service has grown, it is still small enough that we know our shipmates by name. We follow their careers. Their successes and achievements are a matter of interest and pride to the entire Service. This reason is also why it cuts deep when we lose a shipmate. We assemble to carry out the manners of our profession, to grieve their loss and honor their service, and we collectively feel the sorrow. This year has been no exception. We know their names. We know our lost shipmates and we miss them. As the Coast Guardsman’s creed states, we revere that long line of expert seamen who by their devotion to duty and sacrifice of self have made it possible for us to be a member of a Service honored and respected, in peace and in war, throughout the world.

This is our chosen profession. This is our way. This is what we do. We are privileged to be members of a very unique Service that, due to our collection of missions, and legacy agencies, sometimes defies logic when someone attempts to classify us, or to place a label on us. For this reason, whenever I am asked to describe what I am, I always reply with pride, I am a Coast Guardsman. We are the men and women of the United States Coast Guard, past and present.

On this Coast Guard day, and for the many that will follow, we will continue to faithfully serve. Stand a taut watch.

Semper Paratus,

Admiral Bob Papp



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20 Responses

  1. Eduardo F. Cidade, Sr. says:

    Retired 14 years ago but still stand ready if you ever need me.

    Semper Paratus to all who:

    …still serve
    …will serve

    For God, Country, and my Coast Guard!

  2. Ismael Ramos says:

    I, as a loyal admirer of the US Coast Guard, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and wish the USCG a Happy 220th Anniversary. May God be with you at all times.

    Ismael Ramos

  3. Maueen Mills says:

    Happy Anniversary, you do a great job at Sea. It was so very nice meeting you at Grant and Sally’s wedding.
    Have a great day.
    moe and tim mills

  4. Ed Browning says:

    Well said Admiral….well said

  5. Fred Mann says:

    Happy Birthday to the Gold Side!!

    Fred Mann, USCG Auxiliary, Port Isabel/South Padre Island,Flotilla 7-2

  6. Irma says:

    Great work,,,keep on a great work and god bless you all.

  7. Robert McGill says:

    On this celebration of Coast Guard Day I could not be any prouder,my son Mark is serving at his first duty station on the USCGC Thetis. I myself served from 1977-1981 and have realized how much I really miss serving in the USCG. To all coasties be proud and keep up the good work.

  8. Robert Gioffre says:

    Serving in the Coast Guard decades ago still defines my life, and instilled a value in me that has resulted in me always working in a capacity that served others. Because of my Coast Guard values I have always selected the types of jobs where the pay-off was beyond the scope of a paycheck. I will always be grateful too the Guard!

  9. Floyd Richardson says:

    I very proud to be in the Coast Guard Auxillary for 13 years now. Happy Birthday Coast Guard. Semper Paratus God Bless America

  10. Tari Clark says:

    As the wife of a CG Aviator, I could not be prouder to be affiliated with this service. Thank you to all who have gone before, serve now, and will come behind us.

  11. Jerry Wolf says:

    I proudly served from 1972 until I retired in 1992 and now one of my sons is in his 7th year of service. Semper Paratus!

  12. Milt Mustian says:

    Thanks for a job well-done in defense of our freedoms and great nation.
    Former Army Sgt.Milton Mustian
    Viet Nam veteran

  13. Joel Curtis says:

    We love you folks. Thank you for your service to everyone.
    We’ll do anything to help your mission. Have a very good day

    Joel Curtis
    Juneau Forecast Office

  14. World Trade Center of New Orleans says:

    Special salute to Rear Admiral Mary Landry and the men and women of the 8th District. Thank you for protecting our coast and patrolling the Mississippi.

  15. Michael Poynor says:

    Greatly appreciated opportunity to serve on active duty 1964-67 (SPENCER and MIO New York) and in reserve 1967-81 as merchant marine officer, and continue to benefit from experiences and things learned during that time.

    Keep up the good work

    Semper Paratus,

    Mike Poynor,
    Marine Technical Advisor
    GBA Ships e.V.

  16. Bonnye Manning says:

    As a Coastie mom for almost 4 years, I am amazed at what I have learned about the USCG. I try to educate those who have no clue or idea that it is the 5th branch of the military. I am also amazed at what people take for granted here in these United States. We are so lucky. I, for one, am so thankful.

    When my son decided this as a path, I couldn’t figure out where he came up with the ambition to do so. No matter. I am so glad and so proud he chose the USCG and as a BM2, he loves his job.

    Thanks to all members past and present for always being ready!

  17. Patti Baker says:

    I may be a day late but;
    Congratulations to all the courageous men and women of the Coast Guard! Y’all do a tremendous job and we are blessed by your existence!

    Thank you, thank you!

  18. Kadi Brooke says:

    Happy 220th Birthday to the United States Coast Guard, the words “Thank You” do no begin to describe the grattitude I have for the brave men and women of our United States Coast Guard.The men and Women of the U.S.C.G have set out to do what others would never even dream of, risking your life as a daily job, and also giving your time, safety, and energy to those who call upon it. Thank you again to the United States Coast Guard. May God be with each and every one of you, protecting all from anything that may come your way.

    “So Others May Live”

    With all do repsect and love,
    – Kadi

  19. Richard White says:

    I served from 1977-1981 and was a proud coast guardsman. I was defined for the rest of my life by the values and experiences I had in the Always ready service. “greater love hath no man”

  20. Gary gardner says:

    After boot camp, I served for 4 years, 1962-1966, on the old cutter White Sumac out of Key West and went from SA to QM2 in that time under S.P. Creech and L.D. Mead. I was standing OD watches underway and in port after I made 3rd class, and that helps a fellow grow up mighty fast. I still remember some of those long watches, standing up Hawk Channel on the mid-watch, threading through those reefs and shoals; and this was long before global positioning, computers, and all that.

    If I have led a good life since, much is due to the aims and standards I learned in the Coast Guard.

    Also, I had a damned good time.