Office of Auxiliary CG-BSX-1

Charting Your
Course for Service

in the

UNITED STATES

COAST GUARD AUXILIARY

CG Cutter

 

NEW MEMBER

HANDBOOK

 


WELCOME TO OUR FLOTILLA !

Congratulations on becoming a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary member! We are pleased and proud to have you as a member of our Flotilla.

This New Member Booklet is designed as a quick reference to supplement the information you have already received. We look forward to your active involvement in our flotilla activities.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 


Your Part in the Auxiliary...

MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES

The Prologue to the Membership Pledge states you have joined:

"an organization dedicated to the promotion of boating safety and to assisting the Coast Guard in carrying out its civil functions. By accepting membership in this organization, you do so as a volunteer. However, this does not mean that you are without certain responsibilities and obligations. Your pledge to support the Coast Guard Auxiliary and its purposes include a promise to make a conscientious effort to participate in the Auxiliary's programs to the very best of your ability - as time and circumstance permit."

Meetings

MEETINGS

Your attendance at Flotilla Meetings is very important. At our meetings we will share information regarding:

* Division activities *Commander's report *Communications
*Staff Officer Reports *Old Business *New Business
*In-Flotilla training *Fellowship

Attending these meetings will keep you up to date on all of the Flotilla's activities and will enable you to meet and interact with other members in the Flotilla. Exercising your right and responsibility to VOTE is very important to the conduct of these meetings.

Staff Meetings may also be scheduled for elected and appointed officers, as well as committee chairpersons. All members are welcome to attend these meetings.

As a member, you are also welcome to attend Division Meetings. Attending a Division meeting will give you a broader prospective of the Auxiliary's activities. The Flotilla Commander(FC) and Vice Flotilla Commander (VFC) attend the Division meetings and enjoy having flotilla members accompany them.

UNIFORMS

The Auxiliary uniform is similar to the Coast Guard uniform and should be worn when on any mission where you represent the Auxiliary or the Coast Guard. Each member is responsible for purchase and maintenance of uniforms appropriate to the activities in which they participate. All uniform purchases are considered tax deductible.

As a new member, you should consider purchasing the Undress Blue uniform . This basic uniform, both summer and winter versions, can be worn for most Auxiliary activities. This uniform, as well as the Winter Dress Blue, Tropical Blue Long and all other options of uniform selection and their appropriate use, is outlined in detail in your Auxiliary Manual .

The Flotilla Personnel Officer (FSO-PS) will be able to help you order the clothing for your uniform and the Flotilla Materials Officer (FSO-MA) can order the insignia and devices needed to make it complete.

MANUALS

You have already received your Auxiliary Manual. This book is the first of many manuals and other publications you will obtain as an Auxiliary member. Your membership will be enhanced by the frequent use of the information contained in them. It is important for every member to thoroughly read their manuals and keep them updated.

ACRONYMS

What in the world is an AUXOP, DCP, or FSO???? One of the first puzzles for a new member is the shorthand (acronyms) with which we sprinkle our conversations and writing. It's the "insider" Auxiliary language, just like other insider languages. Acronyms are a part of the process, don't become frustrated, no one knows them all ... so ask a fellow Auxiliarist or look them up in Enclosure 2 in the back of your Auxiliary Manual.

PE - Public Education VE - Vessel Examinations
OP - Operations MT - Member Training
BS&S - Boating Skills & Seamanship
MEMBER NUMBER

You have been given an official Member Number. From this point on, your status, activities and accomplishments will be recorded in the Auxiliary Management Information System (AUXMIS) using that number. The Coast Guard has provided you with a Membership Card. We suggest you use a typewriter to fill in the information, attach a picture for identification and have it laminated. A space for your Member Number is provided on your card. You should know and understand your Member Number.

Reporting

REPORTING

The status, qualifications, and activities of all members and units in the USCG Auxiliary are tracked in the Auxiliary Management Information System (AUXMIS) utilizing the member number. Since the Auxiliary plays a significant part in the USCG accomplishments, AUXMIS data have a direct bearing on USCG funding. Reporting is very important to you, your Flotilla and Division and the Coast Guard.

The Activity Mission Report (CGAUX-26) and Member Activity Report (CGAUX-31) are the forms to be used for individual member activities. Just how to fill out these forms and report via AUXMIS will continue to be part of your training. If you have any questions about reporting your activities, ask the Flotilla Information and Communication Services Officer (FSO-IS).

DUES

Each year you will receive a notice when dues are payable. Your total dues are divided into four parts: Flotilla, Division, District and National. You pay your total to the Flotilla and the Flotilla Finance Officer (FSO-FN), in turn, sends the appropriate portions of your dues to the other organizational levels. Our dues help to support Auxiliary activities at all organizational levels and are tax deductible.


Who We Are...

TEAM COAST GUARD

The Auxiliary is the nonmilitary, volunteer portion of TEAM COAST GUARD, working alongside the Active Duty Coast Guard, Coast Guard civilians and Reserve within the sphere of the Coast Guard's civil functions.

The word "volunteer" makes a big difference. Auxiliary authority isn't like the military or business authority. Although we have rules and regulations to follow, we depend completely on support and cooperation. Your leaders are volunteers too, and cooperation is a two-way street.

USCG Emblem
USCG Aux Emblem
HOW USCGAUX IS LIKE USCG: HOW USCGAUX DIFFERS:
* Represent the federal government * We aren't paid with money
* Wear uniforms, observe military "good" manners * We don't enforce the laws

* Do not take sides in political activities to raise funds 

* We elect our leaders
* Activities are limited to approved programs * We furnish and maintain our own equipment
* Qualify through training * We can choose to participate or not
* We work where we live instead of living where we work

POLICY MAKING

Only the Coast Guard Commandant and the National Board make policies, the rest carry out these policies. Within the parameters of these policies, Districts may create their own policy manuals. The members decide, by vote, within which areas and at what level the Flotilla will participate.

Who We Are ...

FLOTILLA LEADERS

A complete description of the elected and appointed officers' duties can be found in the Administrative Procedures Guide. The Flotilla Commander has a copy of this publication. Names and addresses of your Flotilla officers can be found in the Flotilla Roster.

Flotilla elections are held in the Fall of each year, after the Division elections. At that time we elect our Flotilla Commander (FC) and Vice Commander (VFC) to serve for one year. The FC then appoints the Staff Officers who also serve for one year, beginning 1 January. Staff Officers are responsible for reporting on a monthly basis to the VFC and to their corresponding Division Staff Officer on activities in their areas of responsibility. A member may hold more than one appointed or staff office, but no one may hold more than one elected office at a time.

The Flotilla Commander (FC) may also appoint Flotilla Committees for Fellowship, Nominations, Historian and Audit.The Flotilla Commander (FC) also serves on the Division Board and helps to elect the Division Captain (DCP) and Division Vice Captain (VCP).

 USCG Aux Cap Device

Should you desire to seek elected office at some time in your career as an Auxiliarist, you should talk to the Member Training Officer (FSO-MT) about completing the required Administrative Procedures Course. All qualifications for elected office can be found in your Auxiliary Manual. Should you be interested in serving as a Flotilla Staff Officer, be sure to discuss the requirements with your Flotilla Commander.

ELECTED OFFICERS:

Elected by the members of the flotilla

Flotilla Commander (FC):

FC insignia Pins

Represents the Flotilla. Presides at Flotilla meetings. Appoints FSOs and committee chairpersons

Vice Commander (VFC):
VFC Insignia Pins

As Chief of Staff, is responsible for activities of Flotilla Staff Officers. Presides at Staff Meetings and serves in the absence of the Flotilla Commander.

 

FLOTILLA STAFF OFFICERS (FSOs):

Appointed by the Flotilla Commander

The Flotilla Staff Officers organize activities in the following program areas:

Aids to Navigation

(FSO-AN): Update charts. Plan chart patrols

Career Counselor

(FSO-CC): Academy Introduction Mission (AIM) recruiting and Recruitment Assistance Program (RAP).

Communications

(FSO-CM): Radio facility inspections. Radio support of Coast Guard, Auxiliary patrol communications.

Finance

(FSO-FN): Budget, expenditures, dues.

Information and
Communication Services

(FSO-IS): AUXMIS reporting, official activity records.

Materials

(FSO-MA): Order books, materials , postage for the flotilla.

Marine Dealer Visitor (FSO-MV): Distribute safety material to marine dealers.
Member Training (FSO-MT): Organize training sessions for all Auxiliary program qualifications and speciality courses.
Operations (FSO-OP): Schedule and organize on-water and air patrols, Coast Guard operational support missions.
Personnel Services (FSO-PS): Oversee Member Resources, recruiting, retention and fellowship activities.
Public Affairs (FSO-PA): Publicity, posters, public speaking, safety booths.
Public Education (FSO-PE): Organize courses and schedule instructors for adults and children's public boating classes
Publications (FSO-PB): Flotilla newsletter and materials for other Auxiliary publications.
Secretary/Records (FSO-SR): Record and publish minutes. Maintain Flotilla records.
Vessel Examinations (FSO-VE): Organize Courtesy Marine Examination program and facility inspections.
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What We Do ...

and HOW YOU CAN DO IT, TOO!

The Prologue to your induction ceremony also stated:

"As an Auxiliarist, you will be able to contribute to boating safety, with its reward of lives saved and injuries avoided, through the Auxiliary's Courtesy Marine Examination program and public education courses. In many areas of the country, operationally oriented Auxiliarists make major contributions in assisting the Coast Guard in search and rescue operations. Your value to the Coast Guard can be further enhanced by a program of continuous education in boating safety. Finally, through these programs, you benefit materially from the fellowship with other dedicated Auxiliarists."

As described in your Auxiliary Manual, all of the Auxiliary missions fall under two major categories:

Recreational Boating Safety and Coast Guard Support.

USCG Aux Ensign


BASIC AUXILIARY PROGRAMS

Courtesy Marine Examinations Aids to Navigation
Public Education Chart Updating

Operations   

Marine Dealer Visitation

Academy Introduction Mission 

Commercial Fishing Vessel Examinations

Recruiting Assistance Program

Public Affairs Support

National Safe Boating Week

Auxiliary State Liaison

Boat Show Participation

Marine Environmental Education

Administrative and Operational Support of the Coast Guard

Membership Recruiting
MEMBER TRAINING

For full enjoyment and participation in these Auxiliary Programs, you will need to become involved in the Member Training program. Members do not have to follow a required sequence of training. You will choose your training according to your interests. All programs are available to any member without cost. The training is available from instructors within our Flotilla, Division, District and Coast Guard.

Talk to your Member Training Officer (FSO-MT) and refer to the appropriate Coast Guard Auxiliary publications for more specific information on the program of interest to you. Some programs requiring preliminary study include :

 

COURTESY MARINE EXAMINATIONS - (CME) - Vessel Examiner (VE)

  • Objective: one-on-one safety education for boat owners

  • Qualifications: Boating Safety Course credit, Vessel Examiner Manual - complete course, pass open book exam, conduct vessel exams under supervision

  • Reference: Vessel Examiner Manual M16796.2 (series)

INSTRUCTOR PROGRAM - Instructor (IT)

  • Objective: teach courses on boating safety to adults and children in the general public and training courses for Auxiliary Members.

  • Qualifications: complete Instructor Qualifications course for level desired pass open book exam

  • Reference: Instructor Manual P16794.44 (series)

OPERATIONS - Coxswain and Crew (CX and CR)

  • Objective: to provide operation/patrol support to the Coast Guard to enhance recreational boating safety

  • Qualifications: Boating Safety Course credit complete Boat Crew Qualifications Program for level desired including ashore and on-water tasks for Coxswain - pass closed book Navigation Rules test

  • Reference: Operations Policy Manual M16798.3 (series)

AIR OPERATIONS - Aircraft Commander (AC), First Pilot (FP), Co-Pilot (CP) and Air Observers

  • Objective: to provide air support to the Coast Guard in the form of transport flights, aids to navigation and chart updating patrols, pollution patrols and area familiarization flights.

  • Qualifications: pilots must have an FAA private pilot license, a specific number of (depending on level) pilot-in-command flight hours, night flight currency and complete CG Auxiliary in-flight training complete Air Operations Training Course pass open book exam .

  • Reference: Air Operations Manual M16798.5 (series)

MARINE DEALER VISITATION - Marine Dealer Visitor (MDV)

  • Objective: provide boating safety information to marine dealers

  • Qualifications: Boating Safety Course credit complete Marine Dealer Visitor course pass open book exam .

  • Reference: Marine Dealer Visitor Manual M16796.3 (series)

AIDS TO NAVIGATION - ATON Verifier

  • Objective: verify private aids to navigation Chart updating

  • Qualifications: complete Aids to Navigation Course Chart Updating Manual Reference: Per local Group or Station requirements.

COMMUNICATIONS - Watchstander

  • Objective: communications missions for the Coast Guard

  • Qualifications: at CG unit: complete Group or Station Communications Watchstander Qualifications Guide and training local familiarization knowledge of plotting at Auxiliary facility: AUXCOM qualified local familiarization according to local DIRAUX policies

  • Reference: AUXCOM Communications Course P16793.2 (series) Per local Group or Station requirements.

SPECIALTY COURSES -

Auxiliarists who are interested in further increasing their knowledge are offered a series of seven Auxiliary Operational Specialty Courses. These courses are known as the AUXOP program. The Flotilla Member Training Officer (FSO-MT) will be able to tell you when these training courses will be offered:

  • Seamanship
  • Navigation
  • Communications
  • Search & Rescue
  • Patrols
  • Weather
  • Auxiliary Administration

More detailed information on any of these specific training programs can be obtained from the Flotilla Member Training Officer, the Auxiliary Manual and the Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual.

SELECT YOUR MISSIONS

There are many other opportunities for service within the Auxiliary. Ask the Flotilla Personnel Officer (FSO-PS) to explain some of the clerical, administrative , technical and social tasks which need to be done for the Auxiliary and which assist the Coast Guard.

Select the activity which interests you the most. Our Flotilla has many interesting ways in which you can participate. We need your help and are looking forward to

Benefits

 

What Do You Get Out of It ?

BENEFITS

The benefits of Auxilairy membership are both tangible and intangible. You'll proudly wear the uniform and insignia and fly the Auxiliary ensign while participating in the activities involved in the Auxiliary's missions of Recreational Boating Safety and Support of the Coast Guard .

In addition to the pride and satisfaction which comes to every volunteer, Auxiliarists enjoy many valuable benefits and privileges not available to the general public. For additional information, contact your Flotilla Commander:

COAST GUARD FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

The Coast Guard Credit Union provides all the services of a bank, but returns profits to the members instead of stockholders. From savings and checking accounts to home equity lines of credit, the Credit Union has a lot to offer. For more information you can call toll free:

1-800-554-4590

COAST GUARD MUTUAL ASSISTANCE

Mutual Assistance provides an emergency fund which can provide fast financial relief when a member faces an unexpected or "impossible" financial burden causing personal hardship. Auxiliaists may apply for such a loan and are considered as "Sponsor Members" under the program. If approved, the emergency loan is interest free.

COAST GUARD WORK-LIFE PROGRAMS

Auxiliarists can take advantage of certain Coast Guard Work-Life Programs such as:

  • Family

  • Wellness

  • Dependent Resources

  • Employee Assistance

  • Relocation Assistance

Further information is available from your Director of Auxiliary or call:  1- 800-872-4957

INSURANCE

A variety of insurance programs the Auxiliarist operating under Coast Guard orders. This coverage includes medical, hospitalization, disability and death benefits should an accident occur in the performance of duty on official orders.

If your boat, aircraft or other authorized Auxiliary facility is damaged or destroyed while officially engaged in Auxiliary operations, coverage for repairs or replacement would be provided. Government liability coverage protects the Auxiliarist from third party claims made as a result of actions occuring when the Auxiliarist is performing authorized missions and has been properly assigned to duty on approved orders.

In order to maintain this coverage, incidents and accidents must be reported to your order issuing authority for the mission. As a caution, there must be strict adherence with Coast Guard regulations and orders, or the claim will be denied.

EXCHANGE PRIVILEGES

Auxiliarists in uniform, with proper identification, can purchase anything sold in Coast Guard Exchange Stores except liquor and cigarettes. Family members may accompany Auxiliarists to the Exchange, but may not make individual purchases. Auxiliary members are also welcome at Department of Defense (DOD) Exchanges, but only uniform items or accessories may be purchased in those facilities. Coast Guard and Department of Defense (DOD) Commissarys are not available to Auxiliarists as these priviledges are restricted to Active Duty, Reservists, or Retired Military.

PUBLICATIONS

Members receive the Auxiliary National publication, The Navigator, their own District publication, and other bulletins to stay informed about Coast Guard , Auxiliary and general boating information.

UNIFORMS AND AWARDS

The pride of wearing the Auxiliary uniform is amplified by an Auxiliary awards system, with ample opportunities to receive recognition by completing Auxiliary training courses and participating in programs authorized by your Auxiliary leadership.

TAX DEDUCTIONS

Uniforms, their cleaning and maintenance, and reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred in duty performance are "considered" contributions for tax purposes. The foregoing is not intended to be advise on tax deductibility. One should consult a professional tax advisor and the Auxiliary Manual.


Many members feel improved boat handling, technical skills and competence on and off the water is their reason for being a part of the USCG Auxiliary. Opportunities to develop your own abilities or learn new nontraditional skills needed to support the Coast Guard, may be of primary benefit to others.

Enjoying doing something useful with friends may be the benefit which will bring satisfaction to your membership. Satisfaction could be derived from tossing a towline to a distressed boater or tossing a salad at a flotilla picnic. It could mean being a student or an instructor, checking a boat or an exam, using computer skills or accounting skills...personal benefits can mean a lot of things.

THE DECISION IS UP TO YOU ... a little or a lot, once a month or once a day - activities which interest you "as your time and circumstances permit." The personal benefits and satisfaction youreceive from your membership will depend upon your choice and level of participation.

USCG Aux Emblem

WELCOME ABOARD !

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Last Modified 6/3/2014