Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Happy Birthday, U.S. Coast Guard!

A Revenue Marine officer looked down on the crowd, his gaze seeking out one dancer, and Julia felt that stare from across the room like a hit from a nine-pounder. He was standing with [redacted], and as with the other Revenue Marine officers, [redacted] dress uniform was more subdued than that worn by the navy men, but he hardly needed gold braid to stand out.

When he left [redacted] side, more than one pair of feminine eyes followed him as he crossed the ballroom, his dark blue coat set off by black braid and a black silk cravat. There was a flash of gold from the epaulette on his right shoulder, and from his service sword with its spread eagle beneath the Roman hilt. The sword with its gold bullion and silk sword knot was the most elaborate accoutrement of the revenue uniform, but it said what it needed to say. The Revenue Marine was a service that battled during peacetime, guarding the young nation’s borders and protecting the economy that drove it toward the first ranks of the world’s powers. It was a more powerful statement than gold trim and lace, and she thought he looked like a dark raptor among the uniformed popinjays.

Today is  the birthday of the United States Coast Guard, celebrating 225 years of service to this nation. In its early days it was known as the Revenue Marine and the Revenue Cutter service, reflecting its role in protecting the economy of the fledgling nation by ensuring monies flowed into the Treasury. 

Now its role is more varied and encompasses water safety, homeland defense, search and rescue and other services. The Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus, "Always Ready", reflects its service. But no matter what name it's known by, Happy Birthday, Coasties!  

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