MIAMI – Coast Guard men and women throughout Florida celebrate the service’s 219th birthday Tuesday.”Today, on our 219th birthday, we are proud to celebrate our rich maritime history and are looking forward to continuing our service as America’s maritime guardians,” said Capt. Scott Buschman, acting Seventh Coast Guard District commander.
The smallest of America’s five armed forces, the Coast Guard traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress. The service received its present name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation’s maritime laws.
Most recently, the Seventh Coast Guard District commissioned four new 87-foot coastal patrol boats, re-engined its MH-65 Dolphin helicopters and revamped its rescue-communications system. These improvements have been made to keep the Coast Guard always ready for its various unique missions.
The Coast Guard is a multi-mission, maritime, military service. Its mission is to protect the public, the environment and U.S. economic interests in the nation’s waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.The Coast Guard is also one of the oldest organizations of the federal government and until the Navy Department was established in 1798, served as the nation’s only armed force afloat. The Coast Guard has continued to protect the nation throughout its long history–both at home and abroad–and Coast Guardsmen have proudly served in every one of the nation’s major conflicts, including Operation Iraqi Freedom.