5 facts you didn't know about the Coast Guard

Kaylah Jackson
August 01, 2018 - 11:28 am

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David Weydert/Released)


We often joke that the Coasties are sort of an estranged cousin of the military. Although they may be a small force (88,000 personnel to be exact), they pack a serious punch when it comes to search and rescue missions, water safety, and counter-drug efforts. In honor of the Coast Guard turning a ripe 228 years old today, here are a few facts you might not have known...Semper Paratus!

The Coast Guard is not a part of the Department of Defense, it’s actually part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). After merging the Revenue Cutter Service with the U.S. Life-Saving Service and renaming it, the Coast Guard was then transferred to the Department of Transportation before being transferred again, to DHS.

(U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd class DaVonte' Marrow.)

Like the military, they have some pretty interesting slang. For example, a drinking fountain or a rumor is often called a "scuttlebutt," a pen is an "ink stick," and sneakers are "go fasters."

The Coast Guard knows how to track down narcotics. Since March 31, they’ve removed over 26,000 pounds of cocaine but on an average day, they seize about 874 pounds!

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Taylor Bacon/released)

There are quite a few famous faces who were Coasties, including Walter Cronkite, Alex Haley and Jeff Bridges.

The Coast Guard has an all-volunteer component. The Auxiliary was founded in 1939 and has over 26,000 men and women who support the Coast Guard on its various missions, like search and rescue, boat safety, and patrols.



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