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.
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’s leadership role in Western Hemisphere security and prosperity is critical in the fight against transnational organized crime networks active in the Western Hemisphere as continually strained national security resources are stretched across the globe.
The Coast Guard continues to celebrate the legacy of its formative services and the heroism of those who served. Our missions may have changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant: the selfless service of each and every person that takes the oath to protect their country as part of the U.S. Coast Guard.
“What greater mission is there than saving lives?” This is exactly the thought Auxiliarist Jacob Thayer has when he thinks about the Coast Guard and why he decided to become a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
To say that the North Shore of Alaska is a remote place is an understatement. The North Shore borders the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea, two marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean. Even in the middle of July, the waters in the area are still icy with large ice flows in many areas. It is not hard to see that conducting search and rescue, one of the Coast Guard’s core missions in the area, presents unusual challenges.
In 1915, the ‘Act to Create the U.S. Coast Guard’ was signed, merging the Revenue Cutter Service and U.S. Life Saving Service to form the modern-day Coast Guard. The merging of these two organizations formed a service whose unique capabilities would prove to be invaluable just six month later on the Great Lakes.
Each and every day, the Coast Guard combats the illicit drug trade in a six-million square mile area, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. In addition to deterrence, Coast Guard drug interdiction accounts for nearly 52% of all U.S. government seizures of cocaine each year.
Military leadership is often perceived as those who hold a high rank, part of a command staff, who foster the development of their junior members to one day become leaders themselves. But as with Coast Guardsmen like Petty Officer 2nd Class Noel Cordero, a junior member aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, a good leader can come from any rank.