Nation’s first Coast Guard community established in Camden County, Georgia

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard join members of the Camden County Partnership, the cities of Kingsland and St. Marys, and the State Board of Transportation of Georgia’s 1st Congressional District in a sign unveiling at the Kingsland Welcome Center, Oct. 26, 2015. The sign unveiled is part of a project that officially designates Camden County, Georgia, as the nation’s first Coast Guard community. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony L. Soto)

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard join members of the Camden County Partnership, the cities of Kingsland and St. Marys, and the State Board of Transportation of Georgia’s 1st Congressional District in a sign unveiling at the Kingsland Welcome Center, Oct. 26, 2015.(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony L. Soto)

KINGSLAND, Ga. — Community leaders officially designated Camden County, Georgia, as the nation’s first Coast Guard community during a ceremony held in Kingsland, Monday.

Many towns, municipalities, and cities across the country have been designated as official Coast Guard cities. However, Camden County is the first all-encompassing Coast Guard community.

Members from the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Dog and Coast Guard Cutter Sea Dragon, along with members from Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit, Kings Bay, and Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team, Kings Bay, joined community leaders, Georgia Department of Transportation representatives and the Camden Partnership for the official ceremony. Joining them were Vice Adm. Charles Michel, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard and Ann Purcell, Georgia DOT board member representing the first district.

“The single greatest enabler of success for our families is the community around them, and a great community is why the Coast Guard is here in Camden County – enjoying a truly amazing level of unusual and sustained support,” said Vice Adm. Charles D. Michel.

The highlight of the ceremony was the unveiling of two interstate signs, displaying the county’s new designation. These signs will be placed along Interstate 95 exits going through the area.

“We appreciate DOT for providing the opportunity to showcase our Coast Guard in Camden County,” said Sheila McNeill, president of the Camden Partnership. “Not only are we the first Coast Guard community in America, but we will be the best.”

The purpose of the Coast Guard city program is to recognize communities who support the Coast Guard across the nation. A city, municipality, or county earns the distinction of being named a Coast Guard city by making special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of the Coast Guard men and women assigned to its area. Coast Guard cities regularly reach out to Coast Guard personnel and their families and make them feel “at home, at their home away from home.” The city’s efforts illustrate a longstanding and enduring relationship, with an emphasis on considerations the community has made, for the members of the Coast Guard family.

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