VIDEO: United States Coast Guard Celebrates 230th Birthday

The United States Coast Guard, a branch of America’s armed forces, celebrated its 230th birthday on Tuesday.

On August 4, 1790, “Congress authorized Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton’s proposal to build ten cutters to protect the new nation’s revenue,” according to the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office website.

The site read:

Alternately known as the system of cutters, Revenue Service, and Revenue-Marine this service would officially be named the Revenue Cutter Service in 1863. The cutters were placed under the control of the Treasury Department. This date marks the officially recognized birthday of the Coast Guard.

The service shared an 1880 portrait of Hamilton on its Twitter page Monday and also offered birthday wishes:

“It was during these early years, that the cutter fleet adopted many missions performed by the Coast Guard today,” a post on the service’s official blog, the Coast Guard Compass, read.

The post continued:

The cutters defended American shipping against piracy and enforced quarantine restrictions. In addition to their law enforcement role, the cutters rendered aid and assistance to protect of lives and property at sea, a humanitarian life-saving role that defines the Coast Guard to this day.

The cutters proved effective in sounding and surveying the shores of the new republic, so Secretary Hamilton tasked them with charting navigable waterways in their patrol areas, writing “the cutters may be rendered an instrument of useful information, concerning the coast, inlets, bays and rivers of the United States, and it will be particularly acceptable if the officers improve the opportunities they have in making such observations . . . as may be useful in the interests of navigation . . . .” And, as the new republic engaged in military conflicts, the revenue cutters also adopted defense missions.

In a video Tuesday, Cmdr. Cynthia Kane, U.S. Navy, deputy chaplain of the Coast Guard, asked God’s blessing over the service:

In another video, two Coast Guard members at Training Center Cape May said they would continue to “stand the watch and go about the business of the service, keeping the highest traditions of the Coast Guard”:

“So, from the birthplace of our enlisted corps, we say happy birthday to the United States Coast Guard, and to the Coast Guard women and men, past, present, and future, devoted to the service of our nation. Happy birthday, Coast Guard!” the service members concluded.

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