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The Coast Guard has been continuously at sea since its inception in 1790, although the name Coast Guard wasn't introduced until 1915 when the then-named Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the Lifesaving Service. There are Coast Guard bases all around the country and around the world.
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Coast Guard Featured Article

OUR NATION'S OLDEST ESTABLISHED ORGANIZATION

The Coast Guard has been continuously at sea since its inception in 1790, although the name Coast Guard wasn't introduced until 1915 when the then-named Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the Lifesaving Service. Thus, today's Coast Guard is 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.

On August 4, 1790, Congress, guided by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, authorized the building of a fleet of ten cutters, with responsibility to enforce the first tariff laws enacted by Congress under the Constitution.

The Lighthouse Service joined the Coast Guard in 1939, followed in 1946 by the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection. In 1967, after 177 years in the Treasury Department, the Coast Guard was transferred to the Department of Transportation.

There are Coast Guard bases all around the country and around the world. Having served in many wars, the Coast Guard boasts monuments and memorials honoring their brave service members including a memorial plaque on Gibraltar honoring the USS Tampa, CG, which was sunk by a German U-boat during World War I; a Coast Guard World War II monument located in Lower Manhattan's Battery Park in New York City near the ferry that takes Coast Guard members to Governors Island; and the Coast Guard monument at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 4) dedicated May 23, 1928 as a tribute to the Coast Guardsmen who lost their lives in World War I.

Each year, August 4 is celebrated as Coast Guard Day to honor the establishment of the Revenue Cutter Service, forebear of today's Coast Guard. Grand Haven, Michigan, known as Coast Guard City, USA, sponsors the annual Coast Guard Day Festival, the largest community celebration of a branch of the Armed Forces in the nation. Coast Guard members also participate in Armed Forces Day activities.

In times of peace, the Coast Guard operates as part of the Department of Homeland Security, serving as the nation's front-line agency for enforcing our laws at sea, protecting the marine environment and our vast coastline and ports, and saving lives. In times of war, or at the direction of the President, the Coast Guard serve under the Navy Department.


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