CG 36500, Bernie Webber’s Boat, Lives On

The Finest Hours

The Boston Globe has a nice post about the now 69 year old, 36 foot, wooden hull, motor surfboat Bernie Webber and his pick-up crew used to rescue 32 crew members trapped on the stern of an oil tanker, SS Pendleton, that had broken in half in a storm, and the people who restored and care for it.

The story of this rescue was told in a book and is being made into a movie.

I have it on good authority that the organization that maintains the boat could use some support.

Coast Guard Annual Personnel Strength, 1947-2012


Click to enlarge or see the pdf directly.

An interesting chart showing the strength of various components of the Coast Guard’s personnel strength from the bottom of the post-WWII demobilization through FY2012.

In interpreting the chart, note that there are two different vertical axis scales.

A few things seem to stand out.

1. The Coast Guard has not been shrinking. There have been ups and downs but the size of the service is at or near an all time high. It is a little more than twice as large as it was in 1947, but to put that into perspective, the US population has also a bit more than doubled, so the number of Coasties as a percentage of the population is about the same, but not as high as it has been.

2. There was a dip in the number of auxiliarists about ten years ago, but this may be recovering.

3. Recently there has been a notable rise in the number of permanent civilian staff. Could these be (CG-9) Acquisitions staff?

4. The ratio of officers (O-1 and above) to enlisted has shown a steady rise. Where previously there were about one officer for seven or eight enlisted, there are now about one for six. Frankly this is not as much of a change as I thought it might have been.

We should stop saying the Coast Guard is smaller than the New York City Police Department. It is no longer true.

What we can say is, that the Coast Guard is, in terms of personnel, larger than the French Navy or Britain’s Royal Navy or any NATO navy, other than that of the US or Turkey.

I think it would also be true to say, that we have the oldest fleet, and not by just a little bit.


State of the Coast Guard Address–2015

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft delivers his first State of the Coast Guard Address and outlines how America’s Coast Guard will meet the challenges of today while preparing for complexities that remain ahead. U.S. Coast Guard video by Telfair. H. Brown, Sr.

The Commandant has issued his State of the Coast Guard address, and I think you will find it well said, even inspiring. You can watch it above or read more here.


“A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready” Kickoff, 13 March

There is an upcoming event some of you might be interested in. It is the introduction of the new Navy/USCG/USMC strategy, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready”, slated for roll-out on March 13. Speakers include the Commandant, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

It will likely fill up quickly, so sign up soon if you want to go.

When: 3/13/2015 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: 1616 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20036
Cost: Free

Anyone want to be my on-scene reporter?