How Alexander Hamilton Launched The Coast Guard

History
Revenue Captain William Cooke seizes contraband gold landed from a French privateer in 1793.
Coast Guard photo

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is in the midst of renaissance, largely due to the wildly successful Broadway musical “Hamilton.” These days, his name can be found often alongside George Washington’s, in the annals of history, and all over New York City.


Throughout his later years, Hamilton held several prominent roles in early American history as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, contributor to the Federalist papers, the first United States' treasury secretary, and now the face of the $10 bill.

But what you may not know is that Hamilton is also the founder of the Coast Guard. Though, at the time, it wasn’t intended to be a search-and-rescue service.

The original Coast Guard, founded on August 4, 1790, was called the Revenue Marine, but was later renamed the Revenue Cutter Service. Hamilton, while serving as the first treasury secretary, charged the Revenue Cutter Service with performing seaport customs duties.

According to the Coast Guard’s blog, “Hamilton assigned revenue cutters to the East Coast’s ten major seaports, allowing for import tariff collection, critically important to the economic viability of the nation.”

In addition to customs duties, the small fleet provided aid “for the protection of lives and property at sea.”

And although that is what the modern-day Coast Guard holds as its primary mission, the fleet was not renamed until 1915. During that year, the Department of the Treasury merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the Lighthouse Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, the Bureau of Navigation, and the Lifesaving Service to create the all-inclusive maritime service we have today.

It is one of the five armed services in addition to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. And as a result, the Coast Guard has played a role in every war since its inception in 1790. And in May 2016, the newest National Security Cutter, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, became the sixth cutter to bear the name of its legendary founder.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton transits the Delaware River en route to Philadelphia, Tuesday, May 10, 2016.Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Micallef

A search is ongoing for a Camp Lejeune Marine who is wanted in Virginia on a murder charge.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Rocky Mount, Virginia, said Monday they have issued an arrest warrant for Michael Alexander Brown, 22, for second-degree murder as well as use of a firearm in commission of a felony in connection with a Nov. 9 homicide.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Marine Corps may one day launch crawling unmanned robots from ships to clear paths through deadly minefields for approaching assault troops to come ashore.

Read More Show Less
Jennifer Nagy (Courtesy photo)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Lowe's committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Lowe's is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.

As a military-friendly employer, Lowe's has prioritized hiring military members, veterans, and military spouses while finding value in what they bring to the table. As Jennifer Nagy puts it, Lowe's is working hard to prove it deserves this title.

Read More Show Less
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (U.S. Army photo(

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman should not fear retaliation over his testimony to the U.S. Congress in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday.

Vindman, now detailed to the White House National Security Council, has been targeted by Trump following his Oct. 29 congressional testimony. Trump tweeted that Vindman was a "Never Trumper witness," raising questions about potential fallout on his military career.

"He shouldn't have any fear of retaliation," Esper told a small group of reporters during a flight to New York, adding that he had reinforced the "no retaliation" message in a conversation with the secretary of the Army.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump (Associated Press photo)

A senior Pentagon official told impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump's freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine posed a strategic nightmare for the Defense Department and put the American-allied country in a deeply dangerous position, according to impeachment inquiry testimony released Monday.

Read More Show Less