Today, Feb. 19, the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve will celebrate 75 years of serving the nation.
The theme for the milestone is “Thank You.” The service states on its anniversary website that it would like to thank “… the American public for their continued and unwavering support and for the privilege of allowing us to serve our great Nation.”
Signed into law Feb. 19, 1941, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Reserve Act established the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.
“The nearly 7,000 men and women that make up the Coast Guard Reserve want to use the opportunity of our 75th anniversary to thank the American public for the privilege of allowing us to serve them,” said Eric L. Johnson, master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard Reserve forces.
As “utility responders,” Reserve members support and assist critical Coast Guard missions, spending an average of one weekend a month and two weeks a year performing duties vital to the country. Their responsibilities include aiding the Coast Guard’s missions of maritime safety, security, national defense, and the protection of natural resources. Reservists are assigned to billets in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.
“The Coast Guard depends on the Reserve force to be always ready to mobilize with critical competencies in boat operations, contingency planning and response, expeditionary warfare, marine safety, port security, law enforcement and mission support,” said Rear Adm. Kurt B. Hinrichs, director of Reserve and Military Personnel.
Signed into law Feb. 19, 1941, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Reserve Act established the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, “…the purpose of which is to provide a trained force of officers and men which, added to regular personnel of the Coast Guard, will be adequate to enable that service to perform such extraordinary duties as may be necessitated by emergency conditions,” reads Title II, Section 201 of the act.
“I cannot applaud enough the great work that our reservists continually perform, as they have time and time again since 1941,” said Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Paul F. Zukunft.
Since its establishment, the Coast Guard Reserve has served in every major conflict or crisis the United States has faced.