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Coast Guard Birthday: The US Coast Guard Turns 232 in 2022

coast guard birthday

Coast Guard Birthday

“So here’s the Coast Guard marching song, We sing on land or sea. Through surf and storm and howling gale, High shall our purpose be. “Semper Paratus” is our guide, Our fame, our glory too, To fight to save or fight and die! Aye! Coast Guard we are for you!”

The US Coast Guard’s duty is to protect the waterways, ports, and shorelines in the US by enforcing the laws and serving as first responders on the sea. The Coast Guard is a part of the US Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security. According to Statista.com, there are 40,830 active duty Coast Guard members and 7,629 Coast Guard Reserve members, as of 2019. 

The Coast Guard can be transferred to the US Department of the Navy under the Department of Defense by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war. 

The History of the US Coast Guard

The Coast Guard has its beginning with the founding of the United States Revenue Cutter Service on August 4th, 1790, which is the official Coast Guard birthday. It merged with the United States Life-Saving Service and became the Coast Guard in 1915. In 1939, the United States Lighthouse Service was merged into the Coast Guard and put in charge of maritime navigation. 

In 1967, the Coast Guard was transferred to the Department of Transportation, and in 2003 to the Department of Homeland Security. Today, they are both a federal law enforcement agency and a military force. 

The Coast Guard Reserve was established on June 23, 1939, as a civilian reserve. It was renamed the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1941. 

Famous People Who Have Served in the US Coast Guard

The Bridges Family, Lloyd, and his sons Beau and Jeff all served in the Coast Guard or the Coast Guard Reserve. 

Lloyd Bridges, known for movies such as a Walk in the Sun, Little Big Horn, and Airplane, left Columbia Pictures during World War II to enlist in the Coast Guard. He returned to acting after his service ended. 

Beau Bridges, known for The Fabulous Baker Boys, Norma Rae, and Bloodline, enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve in 1959 and served for eight years. 

Jeff Bridges, known for The Big Lebowski, Iron Man, and True Grit, joined the Coast Guard Reserve in 1967 and served for eight years. 

Coast Guard Ranks

Within the enlisted branch of the Coast Guard, you find the ranks E-1 to E-9. They are:

  • Seaman Recruit E-1
  • Seaman Apprentice E-2
  • Seaman E-3
  • Petty Officer Third Class E-4
  • Petty Officer Second Class E-5
  • Petty Officer First Class E-6
  • Chief Petty Officer E-7
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer E-8
  • Master Chief Petty Officer E-9
  • Command Master Chief Petty Officer E-9
  • Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard E-9

Within the Warrant Officer branch, you find these ranks:

  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 W-2
  • Chief Warrant Officer 3 W-3
  • Chief Warrant Officer 4 W-4

Within the officer branch of the Coast Guard, you find the ranks O-1 to O-10. They are:

  • Ensign O-1
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade O-2
  • Lieutenant O-3
  • Lieutenant Commander O-4
  • Commander O-5
  • Captain O-6
  • Rear Admiral Lower Half O-7
  • Rear Admiral O-8
  • Vice Admiral O-9
  • Admiral O-10 

Coast Guard Bases, Stations, and Cutters

The Coast Guard has the Coast Guard Exchange, called the CGX. Their installations are separated into different districts. The 1st, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th districts serve the Atlantic and the 11th, 13th, 14th, and 17th serve the Pacific. The largest installation is Coast Guard Base Kodiak in Kodiak, Alaska. 

Scholarships for Coast Guard Service Members, Veterans, and Spouses

  1. Coast Guard Tuition Assistance – offering up to a max of $3,750 a year.
  2. Captain Ernest W. Fox Perpetual Scholarship – offering $2,000.
  3. Coast Guard Pre-Commissioning Scholarship – offers full tuition and fees, insurance, salary, and a housing allowance.
  4. The Kellar Scholarship – offering $750.
  5. The Colona Scholarship – offering $4,000, $1,000 a year.

Visit our 11 Best Scholarships for Coast Guard Members page for more information. 

Top Coast Guard Business

Badass Beard Care was started by Charlie Moyer, who founded the company in 2014 after being medically discharged from the Coast Guard. He started making beard products for himself, shared with his friends, and opened a website. It specializes in men’s grooming products using all-natural and organic ingredients. 

Happy 232nd birthday! 





About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, and blogger. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.