On August 4th, 2023, the United States Coast Guard celebrates its 233rd birthday!
The day commemorates the military organization for its dedication and discipline to America’s safety and well-being. Since 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard has played a vital role in national security by carefully protecting the waterways surrounding the United States.
The Coast Guard is one of America’s oldest organizations sponsored by the federal government. In August of 1790, President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten sea vessels to enforce federal tariff laws and help prevent smuggling. From there, the government increased the size and responsibility of the fleet as the nation continued to grow. Proceeding the Navy by 8 years, the Coast Guard was the first armed force to protect the States by sea.
Today, the Coast Guard is both a military force and a federal law enforcement agency. Now under the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard operates to fulfill three important roles: maritime security, maritime stewardship, and maritime safety. Along with protecting and defending more than 100,000 miles of U.S. coastline and inland waterways, the Coast Guard ensures the safety of an Exclusive Economic Zone of 4.5 million square miles. This EEZ is the largest in the world, encompassing nine time zones, reaching from the Arctic Circle to south of the equator, and across from Puerto Rico to Guam.
In addition, the Coast Guard is dedicated to the search and rescue of those in need. Coast Guardsmen are constantly helping seafarers in distress. From rivers to oceans and every body of water across this great nation, when in need, the Coast Guard is available to help!
Since 1790, the Coast Guard has become a billion-dollar operation and millions of veterans have proudly served. Up until the early 1990s, the Coast Guard cutters, or vessels, relied on asbestos. Beginning as early as the 1920s, asbestos was considered an important material to keep those aboard Coast Guard vessels safe. It served as an insulator and fireproofing agent and was used on board in a multitude of other products including electric wires, insulation, floor tiles, valves, and gaskets.
While the U.S. military took steps to remove asbestos from its ships and bases beginning in the 1980s, cutters built through 1991 continued to utilize asbestos. Unfortunately, Coast Guard veterans who served on these vessels may have been exposed to asbestos and may be at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease. If you or a loved one are a Coast Guard veteran or other military veteran and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, fill out a free case evaluation today.