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February 19 – Coast Guard Reserve Birthday

February 19, 1941

Today is the birthday of the Coast Guard Reserve. Here’s to many more years of professionalism, patriotism, and preparedness!

The Coast Guard Reserve and Auxiliary Act, passed in 1941, set up the Coast Guard Reserve, modeling it after the Naval Reserve within the Coast Guard. There were the Regular Reservists, who served on active duty during World War II, and Temporary Reservists, who performed coastal patrols and port security work. 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 disasters, terrorism, and provide valuable expeditionary support to the Department of Defense through eight Port Security units. Reserve units have been activated to support 12 hurricanes and six major flood operations, and 1,650 Reservists participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. These units also supported Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti and continue to play a role in joint military exercises worldwide.