100 years ago today, from his office in the Treasury Building in Washington, D.C., Captain-Commandant Ellsworth P. Bertholf, head of the now-former U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, or USRCS, ordered his Chief Clerk to send telegrams or radio messages to all offices, stations and cutters around the country announcing the official news of the creation of the U.S. Coast Guard.
“It’s always essential to know your roots. It’s vitally important to come back and look at our history because it can teach us things about the future, like what kind of threats may come up or technological changes we may have to adapt to. The Coast Guard has a legacy of saving lives and aviation is one of those technological changes that have helped to rescue millions upon millions of lives.”
But today – while seemingly familiar in sight and sound – was far from typical. Today marks 224 years of exceptional service by the men and women of America’s Coast Guard. It was Aug. 4, 1790, when President George Washington signed an act bringing to life ten cutters “to be employed for the protection of the revenue.” Alexander Hamilton first conceptualized these cutters as a viable asset for the country; at the time, he wrote, “a few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws.”
The origin of Women’s History Month as a national celebration began nearly 120 years before the first Hispanic-American woman served in the Coast Guard and its predecessor services. Maria Mestre de los Dolores Andreu assumed the watch as the lighthouse keeper at the St. Augustine Lighthouse after her husband, Juan, passed away in 1859. With a yearly salary of $400 she not only became the first Hispanic-American woman to serve in the Coast Guard but also to command a federal shore installation.
This blog entry comes from a recruit who attended the building dedication aboard Training Center Cape May for Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, who died during combat operations off the coast of Iraq. The ceremony was held today, the 13th anniversary of Bruckenthal’s graduation from basic training. Seaman Recruit Johnson was tasked with holding Bruckenthal’s company flag. Johnson’s company was also in attendance to the ceremony and they recited The Coast Guard Ethos. This is his story from that day.
Written by Senior Chief Petty Officer Sarah B. Foster, Atlantic Area Public Affairs. Uncovering the mysteries of our nation’s past can shed light on historical events, along with providing insight on how our past shaped our future. As our nation […]
On New Year’s Eve the midnight log entry at a Coast Guard unit takes on a life of its own and is traditionally written as a poem. The Compass reached out to those standing the mid-watch to share the tradition of applying verse to the log as we all rung in 2013.
When three men from the Civil Air Patrol walked into Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet in Riviera Beach, Fla., in December 2007 and requested assistance in laying wreaths on veteran’s graves in support of the national Wreaths Across America event, it occurred to Auxiliarist Ed Greenfield there were some veterans who had no headstone to mark their graves.
Tearful goodbyes, a mission on the other side of the world, sweltering heat and long days in the Persian Gulf followed by joyous homecomings. For the past 10 years Port Security Units have cycled through Kuwait Naval Base and provided security to for the vital personnel and supplies neeeded for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. After completing their mission overseas recently, here’s a look back at their journey through photos…
The Coast Guard’s roots in America’s maritime history is a daily reminder to Coast Guard men and women of their service’s unique contributions to the nation. Arguably, nowhere is that more true than aboard Coast Guard Barque Eagle. Crewmembers aboard the current Eagle had a unique opportunity to reflect on the service’s storied past when they visited the site of an intense battle fought by their maritime forefathers nearly 200 years before.