My son-in-law has decided to retire after 27 years of service in the Coast Guard. His last duty station was at the USCG Operations Center in Kearneysville, West Virginia - the software development center for the Coast Guard and Homeland Security. His first question upon receiving this assignment was: West Virginia! Is there any water or boats in West Virginia? And, the answer was, "No!" For a man used to being on a boat in the ocean, I would say this was disconcerting to say the least!
I am a lover of U.S. history, and I found the Coast Guard's history very interesting. Here are a few of those items I found to be interesting tidbits:
The Coast Guard is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States, and its original purpose was to collect customs duties in the nation's seaports under the U.S. Treasury Department, starting in 1790.
It has changed the department that it reports to seven times in its history, as follows: U.S. Dept. of Treasury (1790-1917); U.S. Dept. of Navy (1917-1919: World War I); U.S. Dept. of Treasury (1919-1946); U.S. Dept. of Navy (1941-1946: World War II); U.S. Dept. of Treasury (1946-1967); U.S. Dept. of Transportation (1967-2003); Dept. of Homeland Security (2003-present).
It can be transferred to the U.S. Dept. of Navy by the President at any time or by Congress during times of war; therefore, its motto is Always Ready.
It is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission with jurisdiction in domestic and international water, and also a federal regulatory agency as well.
In terms of size, the Coast Guard, by itself, is the world's 12th largest naval force.
For Don's retirement, effective July 1st, I made this card with a few photos of "boats" and/or duty stations to which he has been assigned throughout his 27-year career to commemorate and thank him for his years of service to our country.