At the Saturday evening Commodore's Banquet [Editors Note: USCG Aux National Conference] Admiral Thomas H. Collins, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard awarded the Coast Guard Unit Commendation with "O" device. The citation authorizes all current members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to wear this ribbon and device on their uniform. (for a complete listing of all USCG Auxiliary Ribbons/Medals)
The citation, as presented to COMO Viggo Bertelson and COMO Bill Edgerton on behalf of the entire Auxiliary, reads as follows:
1 September 2002
The Commandant of the Coast Guard takes pleasure in presenting the COAST GUARD UNIT COMMENDATION to:
STATES COAST GUARD AUXILIARY
for services as set forth in the following CITATION:
"For exceptionally meritorious service from 11 September 2001 through 1 September 2002 for providing unprecedented levels of dedicated public service and operational, logistical and administrative volunteer support to the United States Coast Guard and the Nation. Immediately following the events of 11 September, Auxiliarists stood up to the plate as never before, supporting operations to keep America's coasts, harbors and waterways secure.
To increase overall operational readiness and capability in order to provide the best support possible for both new and traditional missions, the Auxiliary initiated and then executed Operational Patriot Readiness. In the first year since implementation, this highly successful operation has resulted in an estimated one-half million hours of dedicated volunteer support for the maritime security mission, through operations involving surface and air multi-mission harbor patrols, backfill search and rescue support and standby duties, as well as administrative and logistics activities.
Further, the operation has been highly successful in preparing the Auxiliary for support in potential future maritime security surge operations. Since 11 September, Auxiliarists have proudly stood the watch side by side with Coast Guard active duty, reserve, and civilian shipmates onboard cutters as well as at stations, groups, air stations, and marine safety offices throughout America. They have patrolled waters across the country to ensure the safety of our citizens and the security of our port facilities, vessels, dams, and power plants. At the same time, Auxiliarists have continued to save lives and property at sea and assist mariners in distress.
They have never wavered in their strong commitment to the prevention of loss of life at sea through ongoing recreational and commercial vessel safety checks at berths and boat ramps, boating safety courses in classrooms, and marine dealer visits promoting the boating safety program.
The generous, patriotic spirit of America's Volunteer Lifesavers has exemplified our Nation's standard for volunteerism. The professionalism and devotion to duty of the 36,000 members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard."
The Operational Distinguishing Device is authorized.
Thomas H. Collins
Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard