I think it’s quite appropriate this Memorial Day to recognize all the current members of our Armed Forces and those who served so generously in the past. That includes the United States Navy, Army, Air Force, as well as the United States Coast Guard and the Marine Corps. Though all branches merit attention, because this is a blog about pirates, mariners, and the sea, and because of space constraints, I’m limiting this piece to those military branches that served primarily on the sea.
The following is a little quiz to see how much you know about the Armed Forces that have protected your Homeland and your Freedom since its birth. And here’s a little challenge to go along with that. How about contributing a dollar for every incorrect answer to a worthy cause that serves our Veterans. They need no introduction from me. Unsure if a charity really supports Vets? Check it out at www.charitynavigator.org/. You’ll find the answers to the quiz at the end of each section. Good luck. Hoorah!
True or False
- The United States Coast Guard was born August 4, 1790 at Alexander Hamilton’s request.
- The Coast Guard was once called the US Revenue Cutter Service.
- There are approximately 25,000 members of the Coast Guard.
- The US Coast Guard operates 100 cutters, 100 aircraft, and 500 other boats.
- The Coast Guard has been transferred to the Department of Navy four times in its history.
- The US Coast Guard is the only military branch within the Homeland Security.
- Boot camp for the USCG is located at Parris Island, SC.
- On the average day, the USCG saves 10 lives and conducts almost 50 Search and Rescue missions.
Answers: 1. True 2. True 3. False: members of the USCG exceed 50,000 4. False: There are 243 cutters, 201 aircraft, and over 1,600 other boats operated by the USCG. 5. False: The Coast Guard has been transferred to the Navy only twice; in WWI and WWII. 6. True. 7. False: Boot camp for the Coast Guard is located at Cape May, New Jersey. 8. True: Thank you Coast Guardians for saving our lives.
- The US Navy is actually older than the United States.
- Including reserves, over 400,000 personnel serve in the US Navy.
- A permanent Navy wasn’t established until 1794.
- Only China has a larger aircraft carrier fleet than the US Navy.
- Other than navy personnel assigned around the world, the largest concentration of the US Navy is at Hampton Rhodes, VA.
- The largest overseas naval base is located in the Philippines.
- The initials USS before a ship stands for United States Ship.
About half the US aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear-powered.
Answers: 9. True: It was founded as the Continental Navy October 13, 1775. 10. True. 11: True. 12. False: The US Navy has 10 aircraft carriers in service, two in reserve, and three under construction. 13. True 14. False: The largest overseas naval base is at Yokosuka, Japan. 15. True 16. False: All active subs and carriers are powered by nuclear energy.
- The US Marines were first formed to fight the British in 1775.
- The Marine Corps once actively fought pirates in what became known as the Barbary Wars.
- The marines have close to 90,000 serving in the Corps.
- Devil Dogs is an affectionate name for the marines.
- A detachment of marines frequently served on board regular Navy vessels as security guards.
- Those who serve 20 years in the Marine Corps are known as Lifers.
- The mascot of the Marine Corps is the eagle.
The motto of the USMC is “By Land or by Sea.” Answers: 17: True: Two battalions were formed in Philadelphia Nov. 10, 1775. 18. True: The fighting took place in the Mediterranean Sea off Tripoli, and inspired the line from the Marines’ Hymn: “To the shores of Tripoli.” 19. False: The number of Marines in the Corps exceeds 182,000 with another 40,000 in reserve. True. Leatherneck is also a nickname for a marine. 21. True. 22. True. 23. False: The Marines’ mascot is the English bulldog. 24. False: The motto of the USMC is: “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.”
Many thanks to the countless men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces who are keeping America strong and free. And many thanks to veterans past who likewise sacrificed so much to make this land the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free. May this country always stand by you as you have by it.