Written by Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Bob Papp.
223 years ago today our Coast Guard was born as the Revenue Cutter Service when George Washington signed an Act calling for the construction of ten cutters “to be employed for the protection of the revenue.” From that early start, our missions have increased and our Service has grown to become the worlds best Coast Guard. From the Bering Sea to the Florida Straits to the Persian Gulf and beyond, we continue to protect those on the sea, protect the Nation from threats delivered by sea, and protect the sea itself. We provide maritime governance for the Nation and contribute to American prosperity by ensuring the safe and secure flow of commerce at sea and in the maritime approaches, within our ports and along our inland waterways.
Our most valuable asset is our Coast Guard men and women-active, reserve, civilian and auxiliary. As we have for 223 years, Coast Guardsmen continue to rise to every challenge, overcome every hardship, and put service before self. You have only to look at the stories behind the names of our new Fast Response Cutters to know that we are part of the same long blue line of heroes who have gone before us: Webber, Etheridge, Flores, Yered and Norvell. You can also see it in the actions of heroes of the past year, like Senior Chief Boatswains Mate Terrell Horne who died protecting his shipmates and the Nation from smugglers.
In the Coast Guard Day message last year, I released Shipmates 23 and my guiding intent on Proficiency. I outlined why it is important, what the Service is doing to improve it, and what I expect of each of you. Proficiency in craft, proficiency in leadership, and disciplined initiative continue to be the enduring anchors that define us as Coast Guardsmen and are crucial to our success.
This Coast Guard Day, the Vice Commandant has published an article, “Risk Management for the Proficient Operator,” which furthers our understanding of disciplined initiative as the optimal application of on-scene empowerment and management of operational risk. As we did last year, I encourage commanding officers and officers-in-charge to discuss the contents of the article at quarters or an appropriate muster. I encourage you to continue these discussion in the mess deck and hangar deck, Chiefs’ Mess, wardroom and among staffs and teams.
I am proud to be your Commandant. Linda and I are honored to serve our Coast Guard families. Stand proud knowing your work serves a noble purpose and a grateful nation.
Stand a Taut Watch. Semper Paratus.
Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant