“You are all troopers,” First Lady Michelle Obama told a cold, wet crowd as she attended a ceremony in Alameda Saturday to formally commission the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton into active duty.


U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Dorothy Stratton, the first woman accepted for service in the women’s reserve of the Coast Guard, known as “SPARs,” an acronym for the Coast Guard’s motto, “semper paratus,” and its English translation, “always ready.”

As Mrs. Obama was escorted down the gangplank to the stage for the Commissioning Ceremony a gust of wind blew the umbrella inside out. Exemplifying just that motto, there was a replacement at the bottom of the steps. Mrs. Obama waved to people in the crowd as the escort exchanged the damaged umbrella for a good one.


Once seated under the canopy protecting the speakers platform, Mrs Obama smiled at the people seated on the other side of the podium.


As the sponsor of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Strattton, the First Lady of the United States addressed the commissioning ceremony.

“These women are heroes,” said Obama of “SPARs”.

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