More facts about the Auxiliary
On any average day, Coast Guard Auxiliarists throughout the United States will do the following:
- Complete 62.5 safety patrols
- Complete 6.2 regatta patrols
- Perform 10.2 vessel assists
- Assist 28 people
- Save 1 life
- Save $341,290 in property
- Participate in 100 operational support missions
- Participate in 48.7 administrative support missions
- Complete 13.4 recruiting support missions
- Educate 369 people on boating safety
- Perform 299 vessel safety checks
- Attend 70 public affairs functions
Auxiliarists wear the same military uniform as Coast Guard Officers, but with modified stripe colors (silver instead of gold). Auxiliarists wear rank insignia similar to the Coast Guard, but shoulder board stripes and sleeve stripes are silver, and the letter "A" is added to both the shield and the collar metal. Appointed staff officers insignia have a red "A", while elected officers wear a blue "A".
Auxiliarists are expected to adhere to the same rules of correct uniform wear as the Coast Guard, but are not subject to the weight and grooming restrictions as Active Duty or Reserve Coast Guard members. Due to the similarity in the uniform, members of the public will often not be able to discern the difference between an Auxiliarist and an Active or Reserve Coast Guard member.
When augmenting Coast Guard personnel, the military-style insignia of Auxiliary position is generally removed and the organizational insignia is worn.
Titles and military etiquette
While Auxiliarists wear military style rank insignia, they do not use military titles. For example, a Flotilla Commander (FC) wears insignia similar to a USCG Lieutenant, but is never referred to as "Lieutenant." The title most commonly used in official correspondence and reports is "Auxiliarist", abbreviated Aux (e.g. Aux. J. Smith). Exceptions to this rule are Commodores, who wear one to three stars depending on position, and are the only Auxiliarists who use a military style title ("Commodore") before their name.
Auxiliarists do not normally render military courtesies (such as saluting) to another Auxiliarist.
Auxiliarists are expected to return a salute when offered from Armed forces personnel, and it is considered good etiquette to offer a salute to all Armed Forces officers but only when in uniform and covered (i.e. wearing a cap).
Missions and core values
Historically, the primary missions of the Auxiliary have been providing free Vessel Safety Checks, boater education and USCG operations supplement. These three missions, together with Fellowship (the "glue" which held these missions and its members together), are known as the "Four Cornerstones" of the Auxiliary. Through the years, these four cornerstones served the Auxiliary and the Coast Guard well. In the current era, the Auxiliary's four cornerstones have become Member Services, Operations and Marine Safety, Recreational Boating Safety & Fellowship.
Auxiliarists can be found on the nation's waterways, in the air, in classrooms and on the dock, performing Maritime Domain Awareness patrols, safety patrols, vessel safety checks and public education. This is the public face of the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary also performs a lot of missions behind the scenes. Overall Members donate millions of hours annually in support of Coast Guard missions.
Current programs in which Auxiliary members are authorized to participate include, but are not limited to:
- Administrative support to the Coast Guard
- Aids to Navigation verification (ATON)
- Assistance to local government - e.g.: - Small Boat Course for Local Law Enforcement
- Augmentation of Coast Guard billets
- Bridge administration
- Auxiliary Air (AuxAir) - USCG aircraft support
- Contingency preparedness
- Licensing of merchant mariners
- Marine Safety and Environmental Protection (MSEP)
- Operational support to the Coast Guard (OPS): This includes radio watchstanding (RWS).
- Port Safety and Security (PS&S)
- Public Affairs support (PA)
- Recreational Boating Safety (RBS)
- Search and rescue (SAR)
- Vessel inspections
The basic organization of the Auxiliary is:
- Flotilla: A Flotilla is the basic building block of the Auxiliary. While a flotilla should have at least 10 members, several flotillas have more than 100 members. Most of the day to day work of the Auxiliary is performed at the Flotilla level. All members join the Auxiliary at the Flotilla level and pay their annual membership dues to their Flotilla. Flotillas normally meet on a monthly basis and visitors and prospective members are usually welcome to attend.
- Division: Several flotillas form a Division, which provides leadership and staff assistance to the flotillas.
- District/Regions: There are several divisions in a District. The District provides leadership and staff assistance to the Divisions. Each Auxiliary district is supervised by a Director of the Auxiliary who is a Coast Guard officer usually holds the rank of Commander.