There have been 10 with that name, dating back to the country’s and the Coast Guard’s early days as the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service shortly after the Revolutionary War to the currently on-duty cutter named Vigilant commissioned more than 50 years ago.
In a series on the Coast Guard’s official blog, PA2 Diana Honings surveyed why the name Vigilant has had such long-lasting appeal.
The series, “The Long Blue Line,” honors the long line of Coast Guard men and women (and ships) who served before.
“Vigilant is named for an inspirational trait meaning to keep careful watch, especially for possible danger or difficulties,” Honings explains in her post. “Its motto is Semper Vigilans, meaning ‘Always Vigilant,’ and its nicknames have included ‘RONC Captain Bob’s Econo-Fill,’ ‘None Here in Charge’ (a play on the cutter’s radio call sign NHIC), ‘We Must Eat Chicken (a play on the cutter’s designation WMEC),’ ‘Baby Dallas,’ ‘Warship U-617’ ‘The Zone of Insanity’ and ‘Home of the Broken Orange Flying Chicken.’”
The first cutter named Vigilant was one of the service’s original 10 revenue cutters, Honings noted. It saw service out of New York from 1791-98 and patrolled the Hudson River, New York Harbor, and the coastlines of Northern New Jersey and Long Island.
The 10th Vigilant has been serving the country since 1964.
“During those many years, the cutter and its crews have performed the missions of maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, national defense, and international engagement,” Honings wrote.
Read more about the many Vigilants, and what names come in second and third: “The Long Blue Line: Vigilant – 10 Coast Guard vessels, 1 name.”
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