Celebrate 227 Years Of The U.S. Coast Guard [SLIDESHOW]

REUTERS/Henny Ray Abrams

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August 4th marks the 227th birthday of the United States Coast Guard.

In good humor, members of the Coast Guard boast that their service branch is older than the Navy’s. While the Continental Navy was formed in 1775 to fight the British, they were disbanded after the Revolutionary War because Congress saw no need for a standing Navy.

Later, Alexander Hamilton founded the Revenue Cutter Service, which marked the birth of the Coast Guard. In 1790, George Washington authorized the creation of 10 ships for enforcing tariff and trade laws in addition to preventing smuggling as proposed by Hamilton to Congress. Prior to the Navy’s permanent establishment by Congress in 1798, the Coast Guard was the “only armed force afloat.”

Today, the Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing federal law at sea, protecting maritime life and coastal ports, and performing rescue missions.

While the Coast Guard is the smallest branch of the armed services, they’re semper paratus (always ready).

Celebrate the Coast Guard’s birthday with a badass slideshow of some of their best moments.