The Coast Guard Reserve celebrates its 79th birthday this February 19.
The passage of the Coast Guard Reserve and Auxiliary Act in 1941 set up the Coast Guard Reserve, modeling it after the Naval Reserve within the Coast Guard. There were the Regular Reservists and Temporary Reservists, with the former serving on active duty during World War II, and the latter performing coastal patrols and port security work. One of seven reserve components of the armed forces, the Coast Guard Reserve made up over 90 percent of the 214,000 members serving in the Coast Guard in World War II.
Coast Guard Reservists contribute to the national response to terrorism, disasters, and more, and provide valuable expeditionary support to the Department of Defense through eight Port Security Units. Reserve personnel have been activated to support 12 hurricane and six major flood operations, and 1,650 Reservists participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Coast Guard Reserve units also supported Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and continue to play a role in joint military exercises worldwide.
The Coast Guard was formed in 1790 as one of America's five armed forces. It is a multi-mission, maritime, military service with responsibility for protecting the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests in the nation's waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.