R 191425 SEP 19
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-7//
UNCLAS //N01710// ;
SUBJ: EIGHT BELLS – A SEA SERVICE CELEBRATION ON 18 OCTOBER 2019
1. The Coast Guard Office of Cutter Forces (CG-751), the Heart of the Service, is
sponsoring a Sea Service Celebration centered around 18 October 2019 that honors
the sacrifices of the men and women serving aboard Coast Guard cutters, and
highlights the hard work of the thousands of shoreside administrative, training,
and engineering personnel who enable our fleet to operate. On 18 October 1974,
the Office of Personnel promulgated the Coast Guard Cutterman Insignia program,
to “recognize the contributions and qualifications of our personnel.”
2. This year, we celebrate more than 229 years of our sea-going traditions,
currently upheld by over 8,000 active duty personnel aboard our 255 cutters. The
theme of this year’s Celebration is “Cutter Art.” There are countless examples of
artistic creations by Cuttermen who take pride in their work and we want to
recognize their abilities and the time they dedicated to creating this wide array
3. These are exciting times to be a Cutterman – The 7th and 8th National Security
Cutters (NSC) were commissioned in August, NSC #9-11 are under construction and 25
Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC) are planned. There are 33 commissioned Fast Response
Cutters (FRC) of the 56 planned for the domestic program of record. An additional
six are scheduled for commissioning in FY 2020 alone; we are also preparing to
transition FRCs to PATFORSWA, with the first two tentatively arriving in 2020.
The Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) received funding for expedited development of
plans for a replacement of the WLIC/WLI/WLR cutters. The Polar Security Cutter
(PSC) contract was awarded with funding approved for PSC #1 and long lead time
materials for PSC #2. To outfit our cutters, the new Cutter Boat Large 210/225
(CB-L) is in production and OTH-V and LRI-III are in initial acquisition stages.
All boats and cutters are scheduled to be furnished or retro-fitted with SINS-II
systems as we continue on our trackline to completely paperless navigation.
These substantial national investments are clear evidence of the great value
American leadership places in the hard work of our professional mariners and
support personnel fleetwide.
4. As part of this year’s Sea Service Celebration, COMDT (CG-751) is hosting a
Cutter Art contest and encourages participation by all current, past and aspiring
future professional mariners. Digital submissions of Cutter Art are due by 15
October 2019 and should follow the below guidelines:
a. Potential artworks and examples of Cutter Art include, but are not limited
to; unofficial cutter seals or logos, pictures of artfully painted equipment, images
of fancy work, pictures of unit murals, and digital renderings of hand drawn images.
b. Submissions will be judged on creativity, quality and ability to inspire
esprit de corps. Entries are limited to 5MB, formats that can be viewed and opened
on a standard CG workstation, and three submissions per unit. Photographers and
artists retain ownership and copyright of their submitted images. In consideration
of the contest, artists and photographers grant the use of their submissions to the
Coast Guard for use in various media starting from submission for a duration of one
c. All submissions should be of good taste, professional in nature, and with due
regard to what is considered acceptable in 2019 versus historic examples of
military art containing what is now widely held as inappropriate.
d. Chain of command approved contest submissions should be sent via email to the
two POCs listed below. The top three winning entries will be posted on the COMDT
(CG-751) portal page and social media platforms, and shared with Surface Naval
Association Presidents, Rating Force Master Chiefs, and Operational Commanders
for distribution within the cutter community.
5. COMDT (CG-751) further encourages all Cuttermen and operational commanders to
participate in the following events:
a. Cutter Public Affairs Officers (PAO) are encouraged to utilize their Official
Facebook pages to post CO/OIC-approved photos and media under the hashtag #CutterArt
throughout the year.
b. Local events: All commands are encouraged to host appropriate functions that
celebrate sea service traditions during the month of October, particularly on 18 October.
Suggestions include: local Cuttermen’s Calls, Dining-Ins, or cutter round-ups with
friendly competitions (DC Olympics, shiphandling challenge, etc.).
c. For a concurrent annual Surface Naval Association (SNA) competition, submit photos
and videos by 01 October 2019 at: http://navysna.org/awards/komorowski-photo/ and at:
http://navysna.org/awards/video-competition.html (Won by USCGC BAILEY BARCO in 2018).
6. POCs: LT Keith Blevins at Keith.A.Blevins@uscg.mil and LT Micah Howell at
7. RDML Matthew W. Sibley, Assistant Commandant for Capability, sends.
8. Internet release is authorized.
“8,000 active duty personnel aboard our 255 cutters.” Whenever I see numbers used for reference, I would like to see the break down. Are they all cutters by definition? Personally, I’ve never considered tenders and tugs cutters. They certainly do not hold the seagoing image of the past that is being celebrated here.
Even with these numbers, the numbers of people afloat is abysmal. Just 19% of the Coast Guard in seagoing billets. This is a long way from the 1960s when about 65% were at sea. The issue here is, Does the Coast Guard still consider itself a seagoing service?
Even the Cutterman Insignia as been so corrupted with wannabe add-ons that it is largely meaningless.
I wonder if images of tattoos are allowed? They are art.
Just noticed there is an error here, in that the domestic program of record for FRCs is 58 not 56. Does look like we will build at least 64, that is a significant improvement over the 49 WPB 110s they are replacing.