The following message was issued by Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz on Wednesday to mark the U.S. Coast Guard’s birthday:
Today, as we celebrate the Coast Guard’s 231st birthday, I reflect on our rich history and heritage, as well as the extraordinary level of service of our talented Coast Guard workforce delivered throughout the past year. Across the globe, our Service responded amidst the ongoing global pandemic, adapting to constantly changing conditions and always maintaining a taut watch. Every one of you—active duty, reserve, civilian, and auxiliary—delivered mission excellence and remained “Always Ready.”
The Coast Guard performs complex missions in the most challenging maritime environments. Our multi- mission capabilities, broad authorities, organizational agility and flexibility, and incident response expertise position the Service for excellence and leadership in the maritime domain; this year is no exception. As Americans stepped-up to support their neighbors, and healthcare and service workers faced uncertain risks in their devoted care of others, our workforce faced each day with courage and skill. Coast Guard Day presents a terrific opportunity to pause for a moment and thank all those who have supported us through this dynamic 231st year.
What a year it has been. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our operational units have been working incredibly hard, deployed globally to enhance maritime security, partnerships, and vital national interests. CGC POLAR STAR conducted a two-month winter patrol in the Arctic, the first such patrol in 38 years, while CGC HAMILTON completed a historic deployment to the Black Sea – our first major cutter patrol there since 2008. And CGC MIDGETT and CGC OLIVER BERRY recently participated in 3rd Fleet training exercises with the Carl Vinson Strike Group off Hawaii, while CGC MUNRO is currently enroute to support 7th Fleet and INDOPACOM operations. Coast Guard Districts, Sectors, cutters, aircraft, and other assets responded to 12 storms impacting our U.S. coastline during the busiest Atlantic Basin hurricane season on record. They also assisted in wildfires in Oregon and California, deployed personnel in response to record flooding in the heartland, and provided medical and logistical support to DHS partners operating along the Southwest Border. Our inland cutters and Sectors responded to over 1,100 marine incidents including casualties, oil discharges, hazardous material releases, and myriad security threats. In May, our Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team embarked aboard USS Monterey, a Guided Missile Cruiser, boarded a dhow in the Northern Arabian Sea and confiscated thousands of illicit weapons. Of note, all of the aforementioned operational successes and accomplishments were enabled by the professionalism and responsiveness of our Mission Support workforce.
As we celebrate our 231st birthday, it is your perseverance and dedication that make the United States Coast Guard the best in the world. This year has truly accentuated a Coast Guard that is Ready, Relevant, and Responsive! I thank each and every one of you for your continued service, and your families for their perpetual support in these most worthy endeavors.