Fast Facts: Happy Birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard!

On Aug. 4, the U.S. Coast Guard celebrated its 233 birthday. The Coast Guard has stood watch and kept the nation’s waterways safe, playing an important role in our nation’s security. Its 233 birthday commemorates the military’s organization in valor and discipline. 


Since 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard has been tasked with patrolling coasts and conducting law enforcement, security, and defense operations, safety and marine environmental protection, executing security operations, and successfully being first responders. 


Over the years and still today, our Coast Guard heroes’ courage, dedication, and vigilance have been reflected in their motto, Semper Paratus, meaning “Always Ready.” 


Alexander Hamilton established the foundation for today’s Coast Guard. Hamilton was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795 during George Washington’s presidency. Hamilton proposed the formation of the Revenue Marine, a seagoing military service that would enforce customs and navigation laws, collect tariffs, hail inbound ships, make inspections, and certify manifests.


President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling, officially launching the U.S. Coast Guard’s duties.


For those wishing to send a thank you card to the U.S. Coast Guard and wish it a happy birthday, please visit To learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard, please visit

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