07-23-2014 02:13 PM
Born August 4, 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard becomes wiser with each passing birthday. Its mission of preventing terrorism and securing the nation’s 95,000 miles of coastline demands insight and exacting dedication.
In 2013, the Coast Guard confiscated 125 metric tons of contraband, detained 190 suspects and conducted 34,700 inspections.
It’s a big job for the branch’s 57,600 active-duty, reserve and civilian workforce, but one that members proudly embrace.
The sky is the limit
The Coast Guard is filled with profiles of courage. Travis Connick, a USAA employee, was awarded the Cmdr. Ray Evans Outstanding Coxswain Trophy this year for his Coast Guard service. Connick was crew leader on a pursuit that led to the capture of two men suspected in the killing of a Coast Guardsman.
Another example is Lt. Jeanine Menze, the first African-American female aviator in the Coast Guard. Her experience has shown newer members that opportunities are limitless in the Coast Guard. A ride in Menze’s C-130 Hercules aircraft inspired Lt. j.g. La'Shanda Jones to earn her own wings. Jones became the Coast Guard’s first African-American female helicopter pilot in 2010.
“Search and rescue is service,” Jones says. “It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 in the morning and the visibility is low. We will put those goggles on and hop in the aircraft, and we will go look for you, wherever you are. And we will keep looking until we find you. And that’s what I love about being a pilot in the Coast Guard.”
Jones is one of the Coast Guard’s 41,000 active-duty members, who are in the business of saving lives. In 2013 alone, they assisted more than 7,400 people.
Salute to the Coast Guard
Whether rescuing lives at sea, protecting our nation’s shores from terrorists or apprehending drug traffickers, the U.S. Coast Guard stays true to its motto: Semper Paratus — Always Ready.
On behalf of the citizens of a safer country, we at USAA want to thank the men and women who have served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Happy 224th birthday!
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