The Coast Guard Celebrates its 232nd Birthday

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Every year on August 4th, the U.S Coast Guard celebrates its birthday. The day commemorates the military organization for its dedication and discipline to American’s safety and wellbeing. 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.

white and brown boat on sea during daytime

Today, the Coast Guard is both a military force and a federal law enforcement agency. In times of peace, the Coast Guard operates out of the Department of Homeland Security and is responsible for keeping law and order at sea, protecting the marine wildlife, and guarding the coastlines and ports. In times of war or at direction of the President, the Coast Guard serves under the Navy and helps defend the nation against terrorism or other foreign threats.

Since 1790, the Coast Guard has become a billion-dollar operation and there are millions of veterans who 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.

<>man in orange jacket standing on boat during daytime

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.