U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Jon-Paul Rios

On August 4, 1790, President George Washington okayed the creation of a Revenue Cutter Service to collect tariffs from U.S.-bound ships. Two-hundred and twenty-seven years later — after absorbing the Lifesaving Service and the Lighthouse Service — the U.S. Coast Guard is alive and well, charged with preserving life and property on the water… along with drug interdiction, counterterror, ice operations, these Huggies, and whatever cash you got.

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Ah, service academy graduation! That wonderful springtime rite in which plebes become plebes no more, firsties drunkenly don cadet dress uniforms for the last time, and some old dignitary gives them a brief, rousing pep talk about the sacred duties they're about to undertake. Some grads get a secretary of defense or a vice president; some get the big cheese himself, the president of the United States, to tell them what a great thing they've done with their four years, and how much the uniformed forces will appreciate their commissioned service.

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