Coast Guard Auxiliary Celebrates Diversity

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Members of U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary listen intently to a pre-mission briefing at USCG Station Miami Beach. The Auxiliary has a wide range of members from diverse cultures and backgrounds. USCG Auxiliary Photo.

On August 28, 1963 in Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous speech in front of 250,000 people:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold those words to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” That was almost 49 years ago and had he not fallen to an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968 at the age of 39, he might have probably lived to see – at age 79 – some of this dream come true, when Barrack Obama was elected President of the United States.

Article by Auxiliarist George Barantseff

The philosophy of Dr. King’s speech embodies the spirit of Diversity, which is now an integral part of the United States Coast Guard program. This is graphically demonstrated by the diversity of those persons in command and leadership positions within all four Coast Guard branches: Active Duty, Reserve, Auxiliary, and Civil Service Civilians. The words: “equal opportunity employer,” are not just lip service and empty words in the Coast Guard – it is a factual statement.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site in downtown Atlanta, GA. Photo by: Steve Franklin

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is now a National holiday in America, and it falls on the third Monday of January. We have much to be thankful for to Dr. King – it was his courage, persistence, and dedication to a rightful cause that had paved the road for the Coast Guard to become a fully integrated and diverse organization.

It is worthwhile to note that Dr. King not only made eloquent speeches, but he showed by personal example of dedication and hard work that societal advancement is to be earned, and not merely received by virtue of being in a minority. He earned his BA degree from Morehouse College in 1948; he was awarded the BD in 1951 from the predominantly white Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania; he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University for his doctorate in 1953, earning it in 1955. His title of “Doctor” was not an honorary one.

His dedication to his cause was so strong, that when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 (he is the youngest recipient of the award) he turned over the US$54,123.00 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. That was an awesome gesture, because that was a huge amount of money in 1964. It is only right that we as Americans honor this great man on Monday, January 16, 2012 and every year thereafter.

Tags: , , , ,



  1. Bruce Perri says:


    Thank You,


    Bruce L. Perri, BC-PDA
    Department of Diversity and Inclusion
    Branch Chief – Atlantic East
    United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
    Department of Homeland Security
    (386) 562-4096

  2. COMO Lee Ward says:

    Well said.

Leave a Comment

We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit:

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.