Virtual: A Brief History of the Coast Guard with Captain Greg Ketchen (Retired)

Virtual: A Brief History of the Coast Guard with Captain Greg Ketchen (Retired)


April 16, 2024    
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Beaman Memorial Library - Virtual
8 Newton St, West Boylston, MA, 01581

Event Type

Massachusetts is the birthplace of the Coast Guard. America’s oldest seagoing service has an exceptionally rich history and those who have served in the Coast Guard here in Massachusetts have made significant contributions to that history. The U.S. Lighthouse Establishment, U.S. Lifesaving Service, Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service were all predecessors to today’s modern Coast Guard. From the Departments of Treasury, Transportation to Homeland Security, this federal service has evolved into an organization with dozens of missions, some of which may surprise. Most are aware of the role of Coast Guard men and women as first responders, law enforcement officers and boating safety experts but few know that some are oceanographers, combat veterans, arctic explorers and even astronauts.

Greg Ketchen is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain living in Osterville, MA. He is a volunteer at the Coast Guard Heritage Museum located in Barnstable’s Old Customs House and has served as its president for the past six years. Before moving to the Cape thirteen years ago, Greg’s career included providing support to Massachusetts’ commercial ports as a development consultant, heading operations at the New England Aquarium, and filling a wide variety of Coast Guard jobs. These included performing duties at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, completing assignments as chief oceanographer for the International Ice Patrol and on the faculty of the Coast Guard Academy, and serving as commander of Coast Guard Group Boston and a NATO station in Italy. He has completed graduate studies in both Physical Oceanography and Business Administration. He is a frequent lecturer on a variety of topics related to Coast Guard missions and history. *Image: Boston Light, America’s 1st Lighthouse 1716)

The Coast Guard Heritage Museum occupies the historic 1856 U.S. Custom House in Barnstable Village on a campus that also includes the oldest surviving wooden jail in the United States (circa 1695) and an operating village blacksmith shop. The museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the Coast Guard’s rich history.

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