Tag: Richard Etheridge

The Long Blue Line: Early African American service—first to serve and first to sacrifice

Very rare and faded photograph showing the original Pea Island Life-Saving Station crew and keeper, Richard Etheridge, on the left side. (U.S. Coast Guard)

African Americans comprise the longest serving minority in the United States Coast Guard. They were the first to serve and, in many ways, were the first to sacrifice, pioneering the way ahead for all minorities in the Coast Guard, U.S. military, and the nation.

Standing the watch over the Graveyard of the Atlantic

(Left to right): Richard Etheridge, Rasmus Midgett and John Allen Midgett's busts stand on the background of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, these waters have been home to shipwrecks and to rescues performed by members of the Life Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard illustration by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Canup.

For hundreds of years, mariners have nicknamed North Carolina’s Outer Banks the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” based on the history of ships lost in its waters. Even for experienced Coast Guard members, traversing the area can prove a difficult task. However, Coast Guard men and women stand the watch, just as the crews before them did.

The Long Blue Line: African-Americans in the U.S. Coast Guard (Part 1)

The history of African-American participation in the Coast Guard and its predecessor services dates back to the very founding of the service in 1790. In over 225 years of Coast Guard history, African-Americans have been the first minority group to serve, first to fight and the first to sacrifice.

225 years of Service to Nation: Coast Guard lineage

225 Years of Service to Nation

When many think about the Coast Guard, they think of the modern, sea-going service that remains ‘Always Ready’ to answer calls for help. But where did our Nation’s Coast Guard come from? The Coast Guard traces its history directly from the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, or RCS, created on Aug. 4, 1790 to protect the nation’s revenue laws at sea and to discourage smuggling, which had become a national pastime.

A force multiplier: Investigating the use of unmanned aircraft systems

Unmanned aircraft systems

For more than a decade, the U.S. military has employed unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, to patrol the skies over targets and areas of interest, providing critical surveillance capabilities without putting pilots and crew in harm’s way. With the recent demonstration of hand-launched UAS on board a Sector Miami Fast Response Cutter, the Coast Guard is continuing its evaluation of UAS capabilities and potential incorporation into future cutter operations.

Creating opportunity through leadership, mentorship and diversity

Shipmates, as we travel through life it is important to have trusted means of navigation to help guide us. Whether it’s family, faith, the Constitution, a mentor or a trusted organization, we all need navigational aids to keep us on track, both at home and with our careers.

“Rescue Men” – The story of the Pea Island Surfmen

Click on the image to watch a trailer of the documentary, “Rescue Men – the story of the Pea Island Surfmen.” “Rescue Men – The story of the Pea Island Surfmen” is a 90-minute documentary about to be released recognizing the extraordinary historical significance of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station. “Station 17” was manned by

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Black History Month: Honoring the service of African American Guardians

As part of the Coast Guard Compass’ ongoing celebration of Black History Month, we bring you the following article by Coast Guard Atlantic Area Historian William H. Thiesen. Mr. Thiesen’s piece on the history of African American service is a reminder not only of how far we’ve come as a nation, but also of the

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