August 4th, 2017 marks the Coast Guard’s 227th birthday. On that date in 1790, President George Washington signed an Act, passed by Congress and championed by the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, that authorized the creation of a federal fleet of 10 revenue cutters charged with enforcing laws and protecting commerce of the new nation. Since the federal government did not have a navy at the time, the small federal fleet of sea-going, revenue cutters was the only naval force capable of protecting U.S. maritime interests on the high seas and along the coastline. National defense has therefore been a core mission since its founding. Revenue and later Coast Guard cutters, along with the men and women in Coast Guard service, participated in all of the nation’s major conflicts since its founding, including the Vietnam War. Coast Guard afloat units served in two Coast Guard squadrons in the waters of Southeast Asia and engaged in combat patrols, gunfire support, and humanitarian missions. After a request for navigation support, the Coast Guard established Long Range Navigation (LORAN) stations throughout Southeast Asia. The Coast Guard role in South Vietnam ended with the closing of LORAN stations in South Vietnam and Thailand in 1975, as Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces. The Coast Guard’s service was not without cost, as eight Coast Guardsmen perished in the line of duty in Vietnam, while another 61 were wounded in action. It would do well, on this Coast Guard birthday, to remember their sacrifices along with the sacrifices of all Coast Guardsmen who gave their all in service of their country.