The Long Blue Line: Merle Smith – the first African American graduate of the Coast Guard Academy

During his time in the service, Merle Smith did not consider himself a pioneer of ethnic diversity at the Academy or in the U.S. military. His primary concern was to serve his country and apply his military training like any other Coast Guardsman. Smith proved a great credit to his service and country and many minority men and women have followed in his path. He paved the way for numerous African American officers and served as a member of the long blue line.