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United States Coast Guard
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Military Personnel
    (August 4, 1790- )
    Originally the Revenue Cutter Service
    Fought in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War
    Stopped issuing rum to its sailors (1835)
    US Coast Guard Academy founded (1876)
    Revenue Cutter Service, Lifesaving Service, and Steamship Inspection Bureau merged into the Coast Guard (1915)
    Involved in the enforcement of Prohibition
    Lighthouse Service merged into Coast Guard (1939)
    Sank 13 German and 2 Japanese submarines during World War II
    Seaman First Class Douglas Munro was the only member of the Coast Guard to (posthumously) receive the Medal of Honor, during the Battle of Guadacanal (1942)
    Helped evacuate the Korean Peninsula during the Korean War
    Charged with defending US ports and harbors (1950)
    Moved from the Treasury Department to the Department of Transportation (1967)
    Coast Guard Detachments 11, 12, and 13 fought Viet Cong and North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War
    Moved from Department of Transportation to Department of Homeland Security (2003)
    Deployed in small numbers to the Persian Gulf during both Iraq wars
    Composed of 6,000 officers, 1,300 warrant officers, and 31,000 enlisted personnel plus 7,800 reservists and 32,000 auxiliary volunteers
    There are 9 Coast Guard Districts
    Famous Coast Guards include Walter Cronkite, William Delahunt, Jack Kramer, Frank Murkowski, Sam Nunn, Ted Turner, Thomas O'Neil, and Arnold Palmer
    Commandant of the Coast Guard is Thomas H. Collins; Vice Commandant is Thomas J. Barrett; Chief of Staff is Thad W. Allen; Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard is Frank Welch
    Duties include tariff and trade law enforcement, anti-smuggling (especially drugs) and anti-piracy patrols, ice-breaking, port defense, counter terrorism, helping ships in distress, protecting the marine environment, and enforcing safety regulations
    Serves under the Navy Department during wars
    It never has enough funding.
    They are not regarded as equals by the other 4 services because they usually commit few ships to combat.
    It sometimes uses obsolete military equipment.
    Its nine districts have disorderly numbers (1st, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 17th).
    It was not headed by an admiral until 1923.
    It has switched departments twice, not including numerous transfers during wartime to the Navy Department.
    When Soviet sailor Simonas Kudirka attempted to defect to the US by boarding a Coast Guard cutter, the captain allowed KGB troops to board his ship and retrieve Kudirka (who was imprisoned but later released and emigrated to the US).
    It is the only branch of the military where members are frequently called on to commit acts of heroism outside of combat.
    It responds to spill accidents and illegal dumping, as well as protecting endangered plant and animal species.
    It offers safety and seamanship-related educational programs to civilians.
    Its volunteer members (Coast Guard Auxiliary) wear uniforms nearly identical to regular Coast Guards.
    It took no combat deaths whatsoever during the Korean, Spanish-American, and 1812 wars.
    On an average day, the Coast Guard saves 10 lives, seizes $9.6 million in illegal drugs, captures 14 illegal immigrants, and conducts 19 security boardings.
    Many of the coxswains of American landing craft during World War II were Coast Guard personnel.
    It has conducted thousands of sea rescues and saved many lives.
    It captured about 500 slave ships between 1794 and 1865, preventing slave importation.

Credit: Wang

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