February 19 is the official birthday of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Officially set-up in the late 1930s as a “civilian reserve” operation, it was non-military in nature. The Coast Guard Reserve Act of 1939 was the earliest incarnation. The Reserve soon evolved into something much greater than the original authors of the law had envisioned.
The Coast Guard Reserve birthday will be on Friday, February 19th, 2021.
The “regular” Coast Guard was formed in 1790. It wasn’t until much later that Auxiliary and Reserve operations would be added to this branch of military service. But when the need arose, there were thousands of people ready to answer the call.
Those celebrating the Coast Guard Reserve birthday on February 19 will likely do so on a unit-level or local level. This is because the agency is fairly small, by comparison with its Air Force and Army Reserve counterparts. February 19th is a very important day to those who serve, their families, and loved ones. Individual Reserve units will schedule their own activities and events to honor February 19th.
At any observance of the Coast Guard Reserve birthday, you are likely to experience a recitation of the Coast Guard Ethos. It includes the following pledge, called The Coast Guard Ethos:
“I am a Coast Guardsman. I serve the people of the United States. I will protect them. I will defend them. I will save them. I am their shield. For them I am Semper Paratus I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman. We are the United States Coast Guard.”
The term mentioned in the ethos, Semper Paratus, is Latin for “always ready.”
Those interested in learning more about life in the Coast Guard Reserve or who want to volunteer for the Coast Guard Reserve should look at the official site. You can learn the differences between serving in the Regular Coast Guard, the civilian Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Coast Guard Reserve.