|English: Always Ready|
Organizational anthem of the United States Coast Guard
|Lyrics||Homer Smith and Walton Butterfield, 1943|
|Music||Francis Saltus Van Boskerck, 1927|
"Semper Paratus" being played instrumentally by the U.S. Coast Guard Band in 1990.
"Semper Paratus" (Latin for "Always Ready") is a 1928 song and the official march of the United States Coast Guard, having been composed in 1927 by U.S. Coast Guard Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck.
Semper Paratus is the title of the song and is also the U.S. Coast Guard's official motto. The precise origin of the phrase is obscure, although the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office notes the first use was by the New Orleans Bee newspaper in 1836, in reference to the actions of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service during the Ingham incident.
The original lyrics (seen below) were written by Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck in 1922, at the cabin of USCGC Yamacraw in Savannah, Georgia; he wrote the music in 1927, on a "beat-up old piano" in Unalaska, Alaska.
The current verse, as well as a second chorus, were written by Homer Smith, 3rd Naval District Coast Guard quartet; Chief Cole; and Lieutenant Walton Butterfield in 1943. In 1969, the first line of the chorus was changed from “So here's the Coast Guard marching song, We sing on land and sea.” to “We're always ready for the call, We place our trust in Thee.”