Honoring the United States Coast Guard – Reserve (USCG-R): The History of the Coast Guard from a Reservist's Perspective

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The Coast Guard has the world’s worst publicist. Much of the general public doesn’t realize that the Coast Guard is actually one of the branches of the American Military Services and is the nation’s oldest continuous sea going service. They see the Coast Guard as; life savers at sea; heroes during hurricanes; or as boarder protectors against drug smugglers. There is so much more to tell.

The Coast Guard has undertaken missions ranging from; defending this nation during EVERY war; breaking the ice in the Antarctic to maintain operations at McMurdo Station; to having boots on the ground in Central America during the height of the drug wars. Even less publicized to the public and within the Coast Guard is that for over the last seventy years the Coast Guard Reserve has been a major partner in the success of the Coast Guard.

Honoring the United States Coast Guard Reserve (USCG-R) attempts to correct that deficiency. It is the real-life story of a career Reservist telling the history of the Coast Guard Reserve, the Coast Guard, and “Team Coast Guard” from a ‘deck plate’ perspective.

At times the story is light hearted and even irreverent, how many people know that Humphrey Bogart was a Coast Guard Reservists and Popeye was a Coast Guardman? But the story is always serious about the efforts of the Coast Guard Reserve in their over seven decades of service to the citizens of the United States of America.

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Published on
Mar 1, 2015
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History / Military / United States
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Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.

They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.
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