Coast Guard Reserves Birthday

Next Event Date: Monday, February 19, 2018

The Coast Guard Reserve was established by the passage of the Coast Guard Reserve and Auxiliary Act of February 19, 1941. That act also established the Coast Guard Auxiliary under its present name (the Auxiliary had originally been called the ‘Coast Guard Reserve’). The new Coast Guard Reserve was modeled after the Naval Reserve as a military component. It was composed of two broad classifications: Regular Reservists and Temporary Reservists. Regular Reserve members served on active duty during World War II "for the duration," while Temporary Reserve members consisted of volunteers and former Auxiliary members whose paid and unpaid services were still needed in a military capacity for coastal patrols and port security work.

On November 23, 1942, Congress enacted Public Law 773 establishing the Women’s Reserve as a branch of the Coast Guard. Members of this branch became known as SPARs, an acronym drawn from the Service’s motto, Semper Paratus, Always Ready. More than 92% of the 214,000 personnel who served in the Coast Guard during World War II were Reservists, with an additional 125,000 personnel serving in the Temporary Reserve. They served in all Coast Guard mission areas.