The Coast Guard Reserve was established on February 19, 1941 to serve as a ready, reliable and flexible surge force in support of Coast Guard missions. On the 73rd anniversary of this important date, it seems only fitting to say, “Bravo Zulu,” to you, the men and women who make up the Coast Guard Reserve, for recently achieving a 90% readiness rate and for all of the outstanding contributions you have provided over the years.
During World War II, over 214,000 Coast Guard personnel were mobilized, and nine out of ten were reservists. In addition, another 125,000 members were serving in the Temporary Reserve, which consisted of volunteers and auxiliary members detailed for coastal port security. Over 8,000 dedicated men and women serve in today’s Coast Guard Reserve, and you support the Coast Guard roles of maritime homeland security, national defense (domestic and expeditionary) and response to natural and man-made domestic disasters.
Over the past year, you supported several multi-mission operations, providing boat forces, marine safety, port security, law enforcement, and mission support.
• Although Hurricane Sandy occurred in October 2012, approximately 60 reservists remained on active duty through February 2013 to support repairing buildings at Station New York or serving as liaison officers for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
• Reservists provided security support during Super Bowl XLVIII 2014 in New Jersey.
• Reserve members from Port Security Unit 305 of Fort Eustis, Va., proudly marched for the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C.
• Reservists from both Pacific and Atlantic Areas, trained and participated in a three-month mobilization exercise that augmented active duty members for the America’s Cup sailing races in San Francisco Bay. Reservists served alongside their active duty shipmates as boarding team members and officers, boat-crew members, engineering officers and liaison officers.
• Port Security Unit 301 of Cape Cod, Massachusetts relieved Port Security Unit 311 of Long Beach, California from their deployment in support of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay.
• Middle East support operations continued with Redeployment Assistance and Inspection Detachment teams comprised of both active duty and reservists deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
As evidenced through regular training and augmentation, you are routinely working to obtain required skills and competencies that are necessary for mobilization. Your attendance at joint-force schools, boat-crew colleges, and “C” schools help you to further develop and maintain your proficiency. As a result, you collectively bring a unique and valuable blend of both military and civilian professional experience and training to the workforce. On any given day, you can be found training locally to support a wide variety of Coast Guard missions across the country and overseas. Whether it is a PSU providing port security in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or a boat-crew augmenting active duty boat forces, you provide our Nation with a reliable and ready response capability.
Given your outstanding achievements in operational readiness, response and devotion to duty, the Coast Guard Reserve is most heartily commended for 73 years of preserving our proud motto and tradition – Semper Paratus – always ready.