Barry P. Smith
Chief, Director of the Auxiliary
From the Cabin…
"The first duty of a soldier or good citizen is to attend to the safety and interest of his/her country."
- Andrew Jackson
This is a quote still aptly pertains to Americans - and especially you; the exceptional citizens that are members of our Coast Guard Auxiliary. You are indeed carrying out that "first duty". Everyday, I am made aware of the achievements of our Auxiliarists as your Chief Director. I can’t express how impressed I am with the Auxiliarists' zeal, volunteer spirit and professionalism.
I will attempt to ensure my staff is appropriately responsive to all requests for support made to my office. A number of important matters are on our plate: Increasing the Standardized Auxiliary Maintenance Allowance for boats; making the mandated Personnel Security Initiative as simple and painless as possible; updating our Auxiliary Manual; enhancing Auxiliary training opportunities; clarifying ICS requirements; making AUXDATA and POMS more responsive; and providing guidance and limited funds to your District Directors are but just a few.
And I will promote our Auxiliary as a “force-in-being” for the Coast Guard - a multimission, maritime, security-conscience Auxiliary, but one that continues to focus on the cornerstone missions of public education and recreational boating safety.
But I ask some things of our Auxiliary in return:
"The prosperity of the nation is in proportion to the discipline of its forces" - John Adams
That quote was meant to describe General Washington's Continental Army and associated militia - all of which made up what was essentially an unpaid volunteer force. I ask that our Auxiliary's leadership at all levels continue to enhance appropriate organizational discipline (for the prosperity of our Auxiliary) by ensuring our grooming, uniform, and "model citizen" behavioral standards, and the practice of good leadership are instilled and enforced per Commandant policies.
I also ask you to encourage members to use the Chain of Leadership and Management to ensure procedures for proper and expedient communications work well within our Auxiliary. We need to make sure info passed from the top of our Auxiliary and Coast Guard leadership chain should make it down to the working level in a timely and accurate manner, and concerns coming up our chain should be shared at all levels prior to appearing suddenly at the highest.
I ask that you, the member give our Chain of Leadership and Management (including Directors and my staff) an honest try prior to zinging off ideas and complaints to the highest level of our federal government.
I ask that you continue to embrace the "one team, one fight" attitude to ensure we cooperate appropriately with other organizations such as the Civil Air Patrol, US Power Squadrons, and state and local groups. There is no reason to avoid cooperation with others - we all want the best for our organizations and ultimately for our shared customers.
I ask that you all be mindful of our expenses - we are all faced with the funding limitations due to the need for priority Coast Guard programs such as Deepwater, Rescue 21, small boat replacement, and standup of new port security assets. We should be frugal with respect to travel, conferences, and workshops to ensure the best bang-for-the-buck.
This is especially relevant in the next couple of years because of the impact on Auxiliary cash flow due to members choosing to leave our ranks rather than take part in the mandatory yet simple Operational Support level personnel security process.
Please encourage those that do choose to depart to simply switch to Associate Membership via application to the Auxiliary Association. And please ask Active Duty members to considering joining - even if they can only contribute at the minimal level. I consider those that are Gold and Silver (like me) to be a very precious metal – “Platinum”.
Please note that other domestic and international government agencies have long held the Auxiliary as the model volunteer service - and there are initiatives to create volunteer services in the image of the Auxiliary. Imitation is the finest form of flattery. I say to you, to the departed founders of our Auxiliary and those that have followed in this fine organization - "nicely done".
It’s a distinct pleasure and honor for me to serve as Chief Director (and as a fellow Auxiliarist). I continue to be amazed and proud of what our Auxiliary has done, can do, and will continue to do, and will serve you to the best of my ability.
Please be careful out there (use your Team Coordination Training), and have a great Coast Guard day!
BP SMITH, CAPT, USCG
Chief Director Auxiliary
Chief, HQ Office of Auxiliary
Member - D5SR 14-07