I wish I had found this book when I made my decision to join the Coast Guard. It answers a wide range of questions on everything from why Coast Guard vessels are called "cutters" to why members of the service wear the present-day blue uniform. From the first chapter, concerning the formation of the Coast Guard through the merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life Saving Service, to the final chapter describing the rescue of 319 passengers from the burning liner Prinsendam in 1979, this book holds the reader's attention throughout. It also deals with the mistakes as well, such as the Simas Kudirka incident, in which a Lithuaninan seaman tryig to defect was allowed to be taken back to his ship, and the collisions which sank the cutters Cuyahoga and Blackthorn. Anyone considering joining the service, or anyone who just wants to know more about our smallest branch of the armed forces, should read this book. It has helped me to understand more about the work I do in the Coast Guard than any other source of information.
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