Happy Coast Guard Day to all who have worn the “true blue” and to all who wish them well. If you want to take a look back, you might check out the “Heritage” page. Meanwhile Grand Haven has been putting on its usual show of appreciation.
This year also marked the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Probably one of the greatest bargain in the history of the US government.
Another ‘Coast Guard Day’ is upon us and there is still no comprehensive Coast Guard History Program. If the day is to honor the Service’s history the question for the most recent Coast Guard leadership is why does the Coast Guard shuns support for its history?
I have studied this problem and have come to the conclusion the Coast Guard does not want to know its history. True, there have been a few popular history books published but these lack depth of analysis of the Coast Guard’s historiography, or how did the history there is get to where is has became soft soap.
The Coast Guard appears satisfied with the easily read and understood surface skimming history. The Coast Guard continues to make heroes of people who did little or nothing and misses others who performed well.
One of the largest problems with Coast Guard History is the official Coast Guard continues to believe in the premise of “One Coast Guard.” The public affairs driven histories include everything whether or not the other agencies were in the Coast Guard. The only consistent link to the past is the Revenue Cutter Service (there was never a Revenue Marine Service). The rest are add-on and those histories must be done separately. The upside to separate histories is that concentration on what those agencies did and operated may be completed. Then, and only then, may an understanding of the impact of these individual agencies had, if any, on the Coast Guard.
In historical truth, there is no ‘One Coast Guard,’ and there never has been. Even today, the different groups are individual tribes supposedly under one chief–but is it really?