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 Who Are We?

Below is a brief but comprehensive listing of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's many missions.

Surface (water) Missions

  • Safety Patrol - Patrol under Coast Guard orders using an Auxiliary Operational Facility.
  • Regatta Patrol - Patrolling organized regattas and boat parades.
  • Chart Update Patrol - Verifying the accuracy and completeness of information published on charts and related navigation publications.
  • PWC Patrol - Patrolling on a Personal Water Craft (PWC).


Air Operations Missions

  • SAR Mission - Search And Rescue call out or the air equivalent to a vessel safety patrol.
  • Enforcement of Laws and Treaties - Air support of a Coast Guard law enforcement mission.
  • MEP Mission - Air support in the area of Marine Environmental Protection.
  • Ice Operations Mission - Air support in the area of ice patrol operations.
  • Logistics Mission - Transportation of personnel.
  • Training Mission - Training missions involving air operations.

Land-based Operations Missions

  • Radio Watch stander - Serving as a qualified watch stander at a Coast Guard or Auxiliary facility.
  • Officer of the Day Duties - OOD at a Coast Guard facility either ashore or afloat.
  • B-2 Alert SAR Standby - Time spent on stand-by.
  • B-0 Alert SAR Standby - Standing by under with an Auxiliary Operational Facility for immediate call out.
  • SAR Call Out - Search And Rescue call out involving communication facilities.
  • CG Crew Augmentation - Serving as a qualified crew on Coast Guard, not Auxiliary, vessels.
  • Enforcement of Laws and Treaties - Providing surface support of Coast Guard law enforcement mission.
  • MEP Mission - Surface support for a Marine Environmental Protection mission.
  • Auxiliary Radio Net Mission - Maintaining Coast Guard authorized Auxiliary radio nets.
  • Aids to Navigation Mission-Federal - Servicing federal or private Aids to Navigation.
  • Bridge Administration - Inspecting bridges.

Public Education Missions

  • Auxiliary single and multi-lesson public education classes.
  • State and Youth Courses - State public education classes and youth courses.
  • MT Instructor Mission - Member training activity, including specialty courses, boats crew training, and basic qualification classes.

Environmental Missions

  • Enforcement of Laws and Treaties - Provide support to a Coast Guard law enforcement mission.
  • Marine Environmental Protection - Provide support to the Coast Guard in the area of Marine Environmental Protection.

Coast Guard Support and Boating Safety Missions

  • CG Operational Support - A service provided to operational Coast Guard units in support of Coast Guard programs.
  • CG Administrative Support - Provide support to the Coast Guard in areas other than operations or recruiting.
  • AIM Mission - The Auxiliary's Academy Introduction Mission (AIM).
  • RAP Mission - Coast Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (RAP).
  • Courtesy Marine Examinations - Vessel Safety Checks; Personal Water Craft Safety Checks; Uninspected Passenger Vessel; and Commercial Fishing Vessel.
  • Public Affairs Mission - Promoting the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary or Coast Guard Reserve.
  • Marine Dealer Visits - Participating in the Marine Dealer Visitation Program.

Agency Support Missions

  • Federal Agencies - Provide non-operational support to other federal agencies, such as Customs, Corps of Engineers and NOAA.
  • State Agencies - Provide support to state agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources, State Police and Marine Patrols.
  • Local Agencies - Provide support to local agencies, such as local police, sheriff's offices, fire/rescue and Harbor Masters.


Coast Guard Auxiliary at a Glance

An Average Day in the Coast Guard Auxiliary

·      Completes 62.5 safety patrols


·      Completes 6.2 regatta patrols


·      Performs 10.2 vessel assists


·      Assists 28 people


·      Saves 1 life


·      Saves $341,290 in property


·      Participates in 100 operational support missions


·      Participates in 48.7 administrative support missions


·      Completes 13.4 recruiting support missions


·      Educates 369 people on boating safety


·      Performs 299 vessel safety checks


·      Attends 70 public affairs functions


Auxiliary Resources (2005 only)


·      Operational Vessels 4,758


·      Aircraft 272


·      Communications Stations  2,757


·      Members 30,083


·      Personal Watercraft Facilities 263


Auxiliary Volunteer Mission Hours (2005 only)


·      Public Affairs 24,939


·      Safety Patrol Hours



·      Air Patrol Hours 6,779


·      Support of CG Missions 25,381


·      Hours of Public Education 22,550


·      Hours of Member Training 38,654


Auxiliary Qualified Team Members (2005 only)


·      Boat Crew 5,054


·      Auxiliary Coxswains 3,854


·      Air Observers 565


·      Pilots 266


·      Navigation Aids Verifiers



·      Instructors 6,669


·      Personal Watercraft Operators 223





 Hudson River Rat


  The world’s premiere Coast Guard Auxiliary…
Ready today…Preparing for tomorrow


  The Coast Guard Auxiliary is a component of the United States Coast Guard which is a multi-mission maritime service and one of the Nation’s five Armed Services.


  The mission of the Auxiliary is to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests - in the Nation’s ports and waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security in a non-military role and non-direct law enforcement role.Top Of This Page


Core Values

Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.

Our Guiding Principles


 One Auxiliarist, One Flotilla, One Division, One District, One Auxiliary, One Coast Guard.


 Seize the Future – Stand the Watch – Build and Value our Team – Innovate for Superior Performance

– Partner for a Stronger America.Top Of This Page


  The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was established by Congress in June, 1939, to assist the Coast Guard in promoting boating safety.


  It is composed of over 30,000 members from all walks of life who are drawn together by their love of the water and a willingness to serve other boaters. Its members receive special training so that they may be a functional part of Team Coast Guard.


  The 1996 Coast Guard Authorization Act states, "The purpose of the Auxiliary is to assist the Coast Guard as authorized by the Commandant, in performing any coast Guard function, power, duty, role, mission, or operation authorized by law."


  In essence all Coast Guard missions are available except direct law enforcement and military operations, thus the term  COAST GUARD FORCES is used to describe the entire Coast Guard family.


  Auxiliarists assist the Coast Guard in non-law-enforcement programs such as public education, safety patrols, search and rescue, marine environmental protection, and Coast Guard Academy introduction programs for youth. Top Of This Page


  Auxiliary members volunteer approximately 2-million hours annually to benefit other boaters and their families.  The Auxiliary also provides a means for you to help America and participate in Homeland Defense.


Auxiliary Organizational Structure


U.S. Coast Guard

Parent Organization

National Board

Headquarters Unit


Geographic Grouping of Divisions


Geographic Grouping of Flotillas


Local Working Unit

  For over 60 years, tens-of-thousands of men and women of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have spent millions of volunteer hours helping the Coast Guard carry out its mission. Top Of This Page

  They have saved countless lives through their work, on and off the water. Auxiliarists are probably best known for educating the public through their boating  safety classes and Courtesy Marine Examinations.

  Yet, they  do much more since the passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996. The purpose of the Act, passed Oct. 19, is to assist the Coast Guard, as authorized by the Commandant, in performance of any Coast Guard function, duty, role, mission or operation authorized by law.

  This story hopefully will give you a broad knowledge of the Auxiliary, especially since  reservists will be working with Auxiliarists even more in the  future, as they become an increasingly important component in the Team Coast Guard line-up. 

  When the Coast Guard "Reserve" was authorized by act of  Congress on June 23, 1939, the Coast Guard was given a  legislative mandate to use civilian volunteers to promote  safety on and over the high seas and the nation's  navigable waters. The Coast Guard Reserve was then a  non-military service comprised of unpaid, volunteer U.S.  citizens who owned motorboats or yachts. 

  Two years later, on Feb. 19, Congress amended the 1939  act with passage of the Auxiliary and Reserve Act of 1941.  Passage of this act designated the Reserve as a military  branch of the active service, while the civilian volunteers,  formerly referred to as the Coast Guard Reserve, became  the Auxiliary.

  So, Feb. 19 is formally recognized as the birth  of the Coast Guard Reserve while June 23 is recognized as  birthday of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. 

  When America entered World War II, 50,000 Auxiliary m embers joined the war effort. Some Auxiliarists served  weeks at a time with the Temporary  Reserve. They guarded  waterfronts, carried out coastal picket patrols, rescued  survivors from scuttled ships and did anything else they  were asked to do. Many of their private vessels were aced in service. Top Of This Page

After the war, Auxiliarists resumed their recreational boating safety duties.

The Vessel Examination program evolved into the  known Vessel Safety Check (VSC), a free  examination available to any recreational boater. VSC's  help boaters ensure their craft complies with Federal regulations. 

  As for education, the Auxiliary teaches boating safety to  recreational boaters of all ages. The Auxiliary offers America's Boating course (ABC), Boating  Skills and Seamanship,  as well as basic and advanced navigation courses. 

  The Auxiliary operates safety and regatta patrols and is an  integral part of the Coast Guard Search and Rescue team.  Auxiliarists also stand communication watches, assist during  mobilization exercises, perform harbor and pollution patrols,  provide platforms for unarmed boarding parties and recruit  new people for the Service.


  During Olympic yachting  events in Savannah, Ga. the Coast Guard  Auxiliary had 29 boats and a CG Auxiliary aircraft on hand  for security operations.


  Today, as in 1939, Auxiliarists are civilian volunteers who are  authorized to wear a uniform similar to the Coast Guard  officer's uniform.  Distinctive emblems, buttons, insignias,  and ribbons are employed to identify the wearer as a  member of the Auxiliary. 


  One such insignia is the letter "A"  on the shoulder boards of an Auxiliarist.  Despite their silver  shoulder boards (versus gold for Coast Guard officers),  Auxiliarists hold no rank. The shoulder boards symbolize the  office and level to which an individual Auxiliarist has been  either appointed orTop Of This Page elected.   

  The Auxiliary has members in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the  Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam. 


  Membership is  open to men and women, 17 years or older, U.S. citizens of  all states and territories, civilians or active duty or former  members of any of the uniformed services and their  Reserve components, including the Coast Guard.  Facility  (radio station, boat or aircraft) ownership is desirable but  not mandatory.   

  Although under the authority of the Commandant of the  U.S. Coast Guard, the Auxiliary is internally autonomous,  operating on four organizational levels: Flotilla, Division,  District Regions and National.  


Flotilla - The Flotilla is the basic organizational unit of  the Auxiliary and is comprised of at least 15 qualified  members who carry out Auxiliary program activities.  Every Auxiliarist is a member of a local flotilla.  Each  flotilla is headed by a Flotilla Commander (FC). 


Division - For maximum administrative effectiveness in  carrying out Auxiliary programs, Flotillas in the same  general geographic area are grouped into divisions.  The division provides administrative, training and  supervisory support to Flotillas and promotes district  policy.  Each division is headed by a Division Captain  (DCP), and Division Vice Captain (VCP)Top Of This Page and usually  consists of five or more Flotillas. 


District/Region - Flotillas and divisions are organized in  districts comparable to the Coast Guard Districts and  must be assigned the same district number.  Some  Districts are further divided into regions. The  District/Region provides administrative and  supervisory support to divisions, promotes policies of  both the district commander and national Auxiliary  committee.


  All districts and regions are governed by  a District Commodore (DCO), District Vice  Commodore (VCO), and District Rear Commodore (RCO), under the guidance of the Coast Guard  District Commander. At this level, Coast Guard  officers are assigned to oversee and promote the  Auxiliary programs. 

National - The Auxiliary has national officers who are  responsible, along with the Commandant, for the  administration and policy making for the entire  Auxiliary. These officers comprise the National  Executive Committee (NEXCOM) that is composed of  the Chief Director of Auxiliary (an Active Duty officer),  National Commodore and theTop Of This Page National Vice  Commodores. 

NEXCOM and National Staff:   make up the Auxiliary  Headquarters organization. The Chief Director is a senior  Coast Guard officer and directs the administration of the  Auxiliary on policies established by the Commandant. The  overall supervision  of the Coast Guard Auxiliary is under the  Assistant Commandant for Operations (G-O), who reports  directly to the Commandant. 

  Auxiliarists are dedicated civilians who believe strongly in the Coast Guard and its missions. A hearty thank you is the  only pay an Auxiliarist expects.  Personally, they receive  tremendous satisfaction for a job well done. They have  proven valiant throughout the years and take the oath of  membership seriously. They contribute immeasurably to TeamTop Of This Page Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Forces Creed

Coast Guard Forces Prayer

What is a Warrior?

Local Auxiliary Web Pages


Auxiliary National Commodore's Web Site 


Coast Guard Auxiliary Association, Inc.

USCG Office of Coast Guard Auxiliary

USCG Aux Diversity Statement

Coast Guard Web Pages

USCG Auxiliary International Affairs

Other Organizations

Hudson River Launch Ramps

Click here for USCG Auxiliary and U.S. Coast Guard Organizational Structure

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.  To learn more go to Charting Your Course in the USCG Auxiliary

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Click here for U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary home page

Hudson River Revised: 12/18/07