UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
AUXILIARY UNOFFICIAL NEWSLETTER
BOAT CREW FACT SHEET
If you want
participate surface patrols with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, you need to complete
the training required to be a qualified Boat Crewmember. Here is how you go
1. What does the
Member Training Program do for me?
- It provides a
training pathway to prepare you to become a boat crewmember that can serve
on afloat patrols. Further training can learn to certification as
coxswain—i.e. patrol boat skipper.
2. What sort of
afloat patrols can a boat crew qualified member go on?
- Venue patrols
(maritime safety checks of our area of operation)
- Regatta patrols
- ATON patrols
(inspecting maritime aids to navigation)
- Derelict patrols
(inspecting known abandoned vessels for evidence of sinking or leakage of
oil or gas)
- Training patrols
(patrols wherein trainees learn and demonstrate their competence in the
required steps of training)
- SAR patrols
(Search And Rescue patrols)
- Maritime safety
patrols (e.g. evaluating a reported possible oil spill)
- Training with
active duty and reserve Coast Guard and Navy personnel
3. How do I get
- First, you must
become BQ (basic qualified) that means that you have to
take an approved boating safety
class. If you have not taken such a class,
speak with your FSO-PE, who can tell
you what classes are available
locally, where and when.
What is the
next step in getting boat crew qualified?
- The elements of
the training include textbook work, practical dockside and/or afloat
training, self-assessment exercises, review of selected topics with a mentor
who will certify on a sign-off sheet that you know the material and a final
evaluation of your knowledge and capabilities by a Coast Guard Auxiliary
4. What materials
do I need?
- The Coast Guard
will provide you for free a CD with all of the training material (boat crew
and coxswain) on it. The reason that the CG will give you a CD instead of
the printed version of the manual is that the CD costs the Coast Guard 20
cents while the printed manual costs the CG $40! Unfortunately, training
material on the CD prints out to over 1000 pages—which will choke your
printer! (Auxiliary Boat Crew Qualification Guide, Volume I: Crew Member, COMDTINST M16794.52A) and for coxswain (Auxiliary Boat Crew Qualification Guide, Volume II: Coxswain, COMDTINST M16794.53A) for PWC Operator (Auxiliary Boat Crew Qualification Guide, Volume III: PWC Operator, COMDTINST M16794.54A)
- The Small Boat
Seamanship Manual has been re-published by International Marine/McGraw-Hill
(re-titled "Small Boat Seamanship Manual") and have made it available online
through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The content is identical to the Coast
Guard manual. The editor is Richard Aarons and the ISBN is 0-07-146882-X.
A new copy sells for $20 with a variable selection of used copies available
for less. This book is identical to the official Coast Guard training
manual but more compact and less expensive. However, it does not include
the sign off sheets needed to certify that you have passed each required
step of learning.
- You can
purchase this manual at:
CD onto your printer. See Boat Crew Training
appendices and enclosures from
http://cgauxsurfaceops.us/manuals.htm for more
5. Fine. Now how
do I get the training?
Meet at times of mutual convenience with a mentor who will
review the material stipulated in the sign-off sheets with you. Such a
mentor must be a currently qualified boat crewman or coxswain. The key thing is to meet all of the training requirements and demonstrate your mastery of the material.
6. After I become
a boat crewmember, how do I advance to coxswain?
- The procedure is
the same except that the breadth and depth of the required material to be
mastered is much greater.
- In addition, a
member must have served as a boat crewmember under orders for no less than
28 hours to be eligible for advancement to coxswain.
7. I have a
boat. After I become boat crew qualified, can I function as the coxswain
(i.e. the skipper) of my boat on a patrol?
- No. On every
patrol, the crew requires a currently certified coxswain who is in charge.
However, traditionally, the boat owner drives the boat during departure and
8. What about
- Training that is
underway under Coast Guard orders require that the crew be in appropriate
uniform with the required personal protective equipment. Appropriate
uniform means either the ODU or long tropical blue uniforms. Steel toe
boots are recommended but not required for the Auxiliary. Dark colored
sneakers or boat shoes are acceptable. Go to the Aux Uniform Distribution Center for ordering information.
- During dockside
training or afloat training that is not under Coast Guard orders, the
ODU uniform is recommended but not required. See the following links The U.S. Coast Guard Operation Dress Uniform (ODU) How To Wear The ODU Uniform
How long does it take to become boat crew qualified?
- That all depends
on how you do it. It you attend the Boat Crew Academy; four months on
mostly weekend work should do it.
- It you earn your
qualifications by working with individual mentors and work hard, you can
become qualified in a few weeks. Coxswain qualifications take much longer
10. Do I have to
be boat crew qualified to go on a patrol?
- Not usually. An
individual who is working on his/her boat crew qualifications can go along
as a trainee once they are BC and pass the swim test. There are a few
exceptions such as operational exercises with the active duty/reserve Coast
Guard and/or Navy.
11. What is TCT
and how do I get the training?
- TCT stands for
Team Coordination Training. It is an all day, 8-hour, course taught by the
Coast Guard and its Auxiliary staff to all active duty, reserve and
auxiliary members. It specifies the principals needed to work closely,
effectively and harmoniously together as a boat crew or an aircrew.
Completion of this training is required before a person can be certified as
a boat crewmember.
- TCT is
taught during one day of the Boat Crew Academy and at other selected times
during the year. A one-hour TCT refresher class is required for all
coxswains and boat crewmembers every year.
2008 TCT Power Point Presentation.
- All boat
crewmembers and coxswains must take an annual Operations Workshop. Click the
links for the
Operations Workshop 2008 Facilitator Slide Notes
2008 Operations Workshop PowerPoint Slides.
12. What is ICS
training and how do I get that?
- ICS 100 and 700 are two online courses offered by FEMA on their web site. They stipulate how the Incident Command System is intended to function at the time of a local, regional or national emergency. An Auxiliarist must pass the online courses before he/she can be certified as a boat crewmember.
- Coxswains must
pass ICS 200 and 800 as well. It is worth remembering that the Coast Guard
Auxiliary is the only volunteer organization that serves under the command
of the Department of Homeland Security.
FEMA training site has at E-training
IS-700 and IS-800
13. How often are
- The summer time is
the busiest time and patrols are frequent. The current plan for 2008 is to
have at least as many patrols as needed to assist the Coast Guard and to
meet all training requirements for those who want to achieve and/or maintain
their boat crew and coxswain certifications.
14. Is this going
to be fun?
- You bet. You will
learn a great deal about boating, you will contribute to the safety and
welfare of the boating community and your country, and you will develop some
great friendships along the way.
Like Anything Else, You Will Get Out Of It What You Put Into It!
We Need You
-- The Coast
Guard Auxiliary is called upon to provide essential services to the Coast
Guard as they focus more heavily on their military missions. We need all the
help we can get. You needn't own a boat or be an experienced boater, since
our missions are wide-ranging. For information about Auxiliary missions and
the Auxiliary in general, go to our
Join the Auxiliary web page. You
will find there a form through which you can ask that a local Auxiliarist make
contact with you to explore the ways in which you can assist Team Coast Guard.
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