United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard

In an oil painting on masonite, renowned aviation artist William S. Phillips depicts two icons of the Coast Guard in the United States Coast Guard Forever Stamp issue: the cutter Eagle, a three-masted sailing ship known as “America’s Tall Ship,” and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the standard rescue aircraft of the Coast Guard.

One hundred years ago, the agency received its current name when President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the 1915 “Act to Create the Coast Guard.” The origins of the Coast Guard, however, go back to 1790, when President George Washington signed into law an act that provided for a fleet of ten boats, or “revenue cutters,” to aid in “the collection of duties . . . imported into the United States.”

Today’s Coast Guard has 41,000 active-duty men and women; 8,000 Reservists; 8,000 civilian employees, and 30,000 volunteer auxiliary personnel. In addition to saving lives at sea, their responsibilities include enforcing maritime law, overseeing aids to navigation, carrying out icebreaking operations, protecting the marine environment, responding to oil spills and water pollution, ensuring port security, supporting scientific research at sea, combating terrorism, and aiding in the nation’s defense.

The stamp set is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.

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