The US Coast Guard was founded on August 4, 1790, when, at the recommendation of Alexander Hamilton, the first Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, protect the collection of federal revenue, and prevent smuggling. The responsibilities of the Coast Guard have expanded greatly over the years since its inception.
The Coast Guard is the smallest of the five branches of the US Military, however, they conduct their varied and diverse missions with consummate ease each day. The primary missions of today’s Coast Guard are the protection of the environment, the public, and US economic interests in the nation’s waterways. Other missions of the Coast Guard include: maritime law enforcement, maritime response, maritime prevention, marine transport systems management, maritime security operations, and defense operations.
This year marks the 230th birthday of the US Coast Guard. Throughout the centuries the Coast Guard and its missions have grown and evolved to stay with the times. After September 11, 2001 the prevention of terrorism and enhanced security of US waterways became even more of a focus for the Coast Guard. Today, in 2020, the Commandant of the Coast Guard also focuses much of his time on environmental protection and the best ways the Coast Guard can aid in the changing world we live in.