what does semper paratus mean ?


Semper Paratus is a Latin phrase that translates to “always ready.” It is the motto of the United States Coast Guard and represents the service’s commitment to being prepared at all times to protect the country’s waterways and interests. The phrase has become a rallying cry for Coast Guard personnel, who take pride in their readiness and ability to respond to emergencies and protect American citizens.

History and Origins of Semper Paratus

The origins of Semper Paratus can be traced back to the early 20th century when the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life-Saving Service merged to form the modern-day Coast Guard. The service needed a new motto that reflected its mission and values, and in 1910, Captain Francis Van Boskerck proposed Semper Paratus. The phrase was officially adopted as the Coast Guard’s motto in 1927.

The phrase has roots in the Irish Coast Guard, which used the motto “céad míle fáilte” or “a hundred thousand welcomes” to convey the importance of being hospitable and prepared to welcome visitors. Semper Paratus similarly emphasizes the importance of preparedness and readiness in protecting American interests and citizens.

The Significance of Semper Paratus

The motto has become a central tenet of the Coast Guard’s ethos, representing the service’s commitment to excellence, professionalism, and preparedness. Semper Paratus reminds Coast Guard personnel to be ready to respond to emergencies and protect the nation’s interests at all times, whether on land, sea, or air.

The motto has also become a source of pride and identity for Coast Guard members, who take it as a personal mission to always be ready for whatever challenges may come their way. Semper Paratus represents the Coast Guard’s dedication to service and highlights the sacrifices that Coast Guard personnel make to protect their fellow citizens.

Semper Paratus in Action

Coast Guard personnel put Semper Paratus into action every day through their service and commitment to excellence. Whether responding to natural disasters, conducting search and rescue operations, or interdicting drug smugglers, Coast Guard personnel embody the spirit of Semper Paratus and are always ready to serve.


Semper Paratus is more than just a motto; it is a way of life for Coast Guard personnel. It represents the service’s commitment to preparedness, professionalism, and service to the nation. The motto is a reminder to always be ready for whatever challenges may come our way and to serve with excellence and dedication. Semper Paratus is a source of pride and identity for Coast Guard members and serves as a rallying cry for all those who serve to protect American interests and citizens.

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