For 225 years, Coast Guard men and women have lived by the motto Semper Paratus. Being Semper Paratus, Always Ready, however, does not come without careful and diligent preparation. September is National Preparedness Month, and this year’s theme is “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.”
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, 225 years after our founding in 1790, the Coast Guard is still learning, and still improving our ability to serve the American people.
When Hurricane Katrina made landfall just outside of New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, it marked the beginning of one of the largest search and rescue operations the Coast Guard had ever seen. While the landfall may have marked the end of the storm, it was only just the beginning of a long-term response and recovery effort for the city of New Orleans and the region as a whole.
Throughout his time at the Coast Guard Academy, Capt. John Dickens, command chaplain, has worked tirelessly to further the Chaplain Corps motto of ‘Called to Serve.’ His leadership at all levels made Dickens an unparalleled choice to receive the John H. Craven Servant Leadership Award.
As Coast Guardsmen, we are trained and are always prepared to respond to emergency situations, but it’s rare that we’re called into action to fight what is being described as one of the worst wildland fires in the last 15 years. That is just what Fire Capt. Chad Davis, firefighter James Jeffers and Chief Petty Officer Nathan Mahoney did from July 29-August 5, as they, along with thousands of other firefighters, battled the Rocky Fire in Northern California.
The Coast Guard Art Program uses fine art as an outreach tool for educating diverse audiences about the U.S. Coast Guard. The artists that participate in the program obtain these scenes through stock photography taken by Coast Guard members or through first-hand experience by spending time with Coast Guard units.
Sometimes, the men and women that represent the U.S. Coast Guard wear a different type of uniform: a rugby jersey. Each year, the Coast Guard rugby team participates in the Armed Forces Rugby Tournament, a smaller tournament within the Serevi Rugbytown Sevens tournament. At the tournament, the team competes against rugby teams from all other branches of the armed forces.
After traveling to four foreign nations, navigating through a hurricane and steaming more than 9,000 miles over 46 days, Coast Guard Cutter Farallon has arrived in its new homeport of Valdez, Alaska.
“Joshua James began his life-saving career at 15 and saved more than 600 lives,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “What better namesake for a ship and crew that will serve our Nation with pride for the next half century saving lives, stopping smugglers, maintaining safety and security in the Arctic and wherever national objectives may require.”
“For me, the entire event was incredibly inspirational,” said Lt. Eric Libner. “The children and families of Camp Sunshine are incredibly brave and strong people. These children are in a daily fight for their lives and being a part of this event was in incredibly easy decision. It was an honor to be a part of this event. To be able to spend the day training with a group of my heroes so that we can raise money for our military families made this an easy choice. I look forward to being a part of another crazy adventure for next year.”