The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was established on June 23, 1939 by an act of Congress as the United States Coast Guard Reserve and re-designated as the Auxiliary on February 19, 1941. It is a volunteer uniformed component (a civilian auxiliary) of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and works with the rest of the Coast Guard in all of its varied missions with the exception that Auxiliary Members (Auxiliarists) may only support, but not directly participate in, the Coast Guard's military and law enforcement missions. Auxiliarists are not allowed to carry any weapons while serving in any Auxiliary capacity. As of November 18, 2007 there were 30,074 active Auxiliarists.
Auxiliarists are civilians and volunteers. They are not paid for any service they perform, and they take part in activities at their own discretion. Unlike the active duty and reserve components of the USCG, Auxiliarists are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Auxiliarists usually use their own boats, aircraft and radios (and also serve on Coast Guard assets) in carrying out Coast Guard operation missions, or apply specialized skills such as carpentry, cooking, or professional skills such as medical, legal or computer sciences to assist in Coast Guard missions. When using their own boats, aircraft and radios they first offer their property to the Coast Guard, and upon acceptance, become US Government property while they are performing authorized missions for the Coast Guard.
WHY JOIN THE AUXILIARY?
- Be Part of the Action & Help
Since the recreational boating population in the United States is growing rapidly, the Coast Guard Auxiliary needs a few good men and women like you. As an Auxiliarist, you will have the opportunity to select and participate in one or more of the Auxiliary's major programs. If you feel strongly about the rewards you can get from serving your community, the Coast Guard Auxiliary is the right place for you! Either through on- water Operations, the Auxiliary's Public Education Program, Courtesy Examination Program, Radio Watchstander, Coast Guard Recruiting, Marine Environmental Protection or Coast Guard Administration.
- Increase Your Skills
The Auxiliary and the Coast Guard provide specialized training on all aspects of boating, as well as leadership and administration. Auxiliarists receive valuable training in seamanship and related skills, and enjoy the sense of confidence of knowing that they are better and safer boaters.
- Support the Coast Guard
Auxiliarists provide direct operational and administrative support to many local Coast Guard units. You can wear the Coast Guard Auxiliary uniform and become part of Team Coast Guard. When you qualify through training, you can take part in Search and Rescue operations, stand radio watch at the Coast Guard Station, work with the Marine Safety Office on pollution matters or work in the Recruiting Office.
- Service to Your Community
Auxiliarists aren't paid with money, but with satisfaction. We furnish and maintain our own equipment and can choose to participate at a level tailored to our individual capabilities. We provide boating safety classes for youth and adults and examine recreational vessel for safety equipment to ensure that our neighbors will be safe on the waterways.
- Enjoy Fun & Fellowship
In all activities, enjoy fellowship - the good company of other Auxiliarists at meetings and training sessions, on patrols and other missions, and at ceremonies and social events. One of he Auxiliary's trademarks is good old-fashioned hospitality. Friends, neighbors and interested members of the public are always welcome to attend one of our flotilla meetings. In addition, dedication to boating safety provides the atmosphere for getting together to swap boating experiences and participate in cruises and rendezvous. You'll find a special camaraderie among Auxiliarists that's hard to beat. There's time to relax and have fun at Auxiliary outings, training sessions, patrols, CMEs, classes, and conferences. Auxiliarists make lasting, meaningful friendships. Knowing that you belong to a special group of people and directly participate in helping save lives gives your Auxiliary membership a special meaning.
The basic requirements to become a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary are
- United States citizenship
- Minimum 17 years of age
- No criminal background (minor misdemeanors like some traffic violations do not disqualify)
- Interest in boating, aviation, radio communications, or any other of the myriad of missions the Coast Guard is charged with prosecuting
- Interest in supporting the aims of the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary
A background fingerprint check and citizenship verification is performed by the Coast Guard of all new members. This is done to conduct a criminal background check and confirm identity before the Coast Guard approves membership.
Individuals who meet the above criteria and are interested in serving their country and the boating public by joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary can contact the nearest flotilla.