Semper Paratus


“Always Ready”

There will forever be a fond place in my heart for the United States Coast Guard.  Having only briefly been a member of said service; for a mere six month stint at the Academy, one would not imagine how deeply set in my soul it is…

It’s a good motto…, one of two that I have served. Both are strangely akin as the other is “Be Prepared”, the motto of the Boy Scouts of America.  One cannot be ready if one is not prepared.

In troubled times, adhering to and living  such mottos can be the difference of life or death. I do not know that I’d say America is in troubled times, perhaps troubling times would be a more apt term. We are at a period which could easily lead us into troubled times.

As such, I’ve been seeking how to be both prepared and ready.  And what am I preparing for?  For what need must I be ready?  I don’t know specifically.  The zombieapocalypse?  Naw… but perhaps other troubles? Economic hardship? Food shortages? Riots? Loss of liberty? Or perhaps a hurricane, earthquake or other natural disaster? All of these are possibilities…

What it really boils down to is this. I endeavor to be prepared and ready to:

a) protect my family and our well-being

b) provide aid to my neighbors and community

c) come to the call to serve if my nation requires it of me

Note, nation does not necessarily equate to the government entity, but rather to “We the People” and the ideals of the Constitution and Liberty. I swore an oath to protect this nation from powers both foreign and domestic.  I took that oath when I entered service in the United States Coast Guard.  I do not consider that oath relinquished upon my departing, I believe it continues to this day.

I hear some talk about stock piling food, arms, ammo, savings, etc.  I believe such to be prudent. Americans, myself included, have forgotten how to be thrifty, how to be savers who store up during the fat years for when the lean years come.  But I believe it important to think beyond our individual selves.

We were asked after 9-11 to stockpile food, water and supplies for a minimum of 3 days.  How many Americans in fact did this?  If a day of trouble were to come, such as hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans.  Are you prepared to handle more than yourself?  If your neighbors homes were washed away and yours still stood. Could you offer them food, water, and protection?

If not, you’re a loner. A lone wolf is not as strong as the community of a pack of wolves.  Americans have grown into lone wolves, with most of our attentions focused on ourselves.  Communities have become merely a group of families living in a neighborhood where all promise to keep their grass golf course green.

I’ve been fondly thinking back on memories of my time in the Coast Guard. Having just re-connected with a few service mates. As I do so, it seemed fitting to pass on to you the motto, and share my thoughts regarding the need for us to become a “communities” again.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

– Pastor Martin Niemöller

If you do not know your neighbors, how will they speak out for you?  Or you for them?



Regarding the history of “Semper Paratus”, the first recorded reference was in the New Orleans Bee newspaper in the 1830’s in reference to the Revenue Cutter Service (which later became the U.S. Coast Guard).[1] In 1910 it appeared on the Coast Guard ensign,[2] and was put to music in the 20’s.

Further information available here.

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 3:59 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. For a better understanding of the Coast Guard’s motto, see my article

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