Revenue Cutter Service

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(PD) Photo: USCG
Revenue Cutter Service cadets aboard their training vessel the Itasco.

The United States Revenue Cutter Service was a uniformed armed service of the United States of America government.[1] Its first vessels were commissioned late in the eighteenth century, shortly after the founding of the republic. In 1915 it was merged into what is now the United States Coast Guard.

Based on its roots in the Revenue Cutter Service, the Coast Guard is sometimes described as an older service than the United States Navy.[2][3] The Continental Congress had a navy, composed largely of former merchant vessels. Initially the United States Congress did not create a Navy for the new republic.

Some vessels of the Revenue Cutter Service were very successful commerce raiders during the War of 1812.

The Revenue Cutter Service had its own School of Instruction, and its own training vessels, such as the USRC Itasco.


  1. Robert Scheina. THE COAST GUARD AT WAR, United States Coast Guard. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
  2. United States Revenue Cutter Service: Cutters and Crews, Semper Paratus, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-04-24. “The Coast Guard, through the Revenue Cutter Service, is the oldest continuous seagoing service and has fought in almost every war since the Constitution became the law of the land in 1789.”
  3. Dennis L. Noble. Historical Register: U.S. Revenue Cutter Service officers, 1790-1914, United States Coast Guard, 1990. Retrieved on 2013-04-24.