The Veterans of Foreign Wars congratulates the U.S. Coast Guard on its 228th birthday! Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton created the Coast Guards predecessor, the Revenue Service, on Aug. 4, 1790, to collect customs duties at various seaports across the country.
The cutter Massachusetts was commissioned at Newburyport, Mass., in 1791, and is believed to be the first ship constructed by the Revenue Service. In 1915, the modern Coast Guard was formed and has been involved in every U.S. conflict ever since.
The Coast Guard is America’s oldest continuous maritime service, and it is comprised of 40,992 active duty personnel, 7,000 reservists, 8,577 civilian employees, and 31,000 Coast Guard Auxiliary members. The service operates 243 cutters, 201 aircraft and 1,650 boats and ships of every size. Several notables also served in the Coast Guard, to include actor Humphrey Bogart, journalist Walter Cronkite, boxer Jack Dempsey, and legendary professional golfer Arnold Palmer.
The more than 1.6 million members of the VFW and its auxiliary salute all who have and who continue to serve in America’s fifth armed service.