The Texas Veterans Land Board salutes the United States Coast Guard today, August 4th, on its 231st birthday! In 1790, Congress approved Alexander Hamilton’s plan for ten cutters to protect American shipping revenue. This group was referred to as the Revenue Service, and officially named the Revenue Cutter Service in 1863. In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill merging the Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service to establish the U.S. Coast Guard.
Today, the Coast Guard is our only Armed Force to share Homeland Security, law enforcement and military roles. Coast Guardsmen protect economic, national and border security. As Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl L. Schultz said in his 2021 State of the Coast Guard address in March, “Our energy, consumer goods, and other commodities — representing 26% of our Nation’s Gross Domestic Product — are transported on these waters, providing 31 million American jobs. Our seaports are the gateways for 90% of America’s international trade.” So the economic health of the nation is protected by these men and women.
In addition, they protect mariners on the waterways, and stop international law-breaking of many kinds. For example, 2.4 million pounds of illegal drugs has been stopped by the United States Coast Guard at sea over the past 5 years. As Admiral Schultz pointed out, “The drugs our teams interdict at sea are not “just” drugs kept out of our communities or off our streets, nor do they “just” represent billions of dollars less purchasing power for Transnational Criminal Organizations. The interdiction of these drugs symbolizes the enduring commitment of the broader U.S. government team to enhance regional security in Latin America — a commitment that matters here in America!”
Thanks to all our Coast Guardsmen for protecting us economically, physically and legally, and truly living up to the motto “Semper Paratus”, or Always Ready. The VLB salutes you and thanks you! Happy Birthday to the United States Coast Guard!
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