Q: Can I still perform Coast Guard missions, request patrol orders or be assigned to duty?
A: Yes, but the Coast Guard Order Issuing Authority (OIA) and the Auxiliarists involved must properly apply risk management principles prior to requesting, planning or undertaking any assignments that involve potential COVID-19 exposure. Do not request patrol orders or assignment to duty unless an authorized OIA has specifically identified the mission need for Auxiliary support. For more information, please review the most recent Coast Guard COVID-19 Planning Order (PLANORD).
OIAs and Auxiliary members should also be aware of any mission restrictions or prohibitions established by the Chief Director of Auxiliary (CG-BSX); the Headquarters program manager for a Headquarters unit or their designee (e.g., the Chief of Health, Safety and Work-Life (CG-11)); the Area Commander or their designee (e.g., Area Chief of External Affairs (092)); or the District Commander or their designee (e.g., Chief of Prevention (dp), Director of Auxiliary (dpa), District Chaplain (dch), Sector Commander).
Q: How should orders for patrols or missions be requested?
A: Requests for patrol orders should ONLY be requested after receiving a request from the OIA. The lead Auxiliarist for the patrol request or mission must contact the Order Issuing Authority (OIA) well in advance of the assignment to duty and as specified by the OIA to determine whether to proceed due to COVID-19 considerations. OIAs and Auxiliarists should also be aware of any mission restrictions or prohibitions established by the District Commander or their designee (e.g., Chief of Prevention (dp), Director of Auxiliary (dpa), Sector Commander). If an approved patrol is cancelled, go into AOM and cancel the patrol order.
Q: I’m an Auxiliarist who effectively serves as an Order Issuing Authority (OIA) for the assignment of Auxiliarists to duty for certain Auxiliary activities (e.g., conduct vessel safety checks and marine dealer visits). Can I continue performing such functions?
A: No. The cognizant District Director of Auxiliary (DIRAUX) will serve as the Coast Guard Order Issuing Authority for such activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Use the Auxiliary Chain of Leadership and Management (COLM) to obtain authorization from the DIRAUX office. Individual members must not contact the DIRAUX.
Q: I am supposed to attend a C-school soon. Will I still be able to attend?
A: Auxiliary C-schools that had been scheduled through September 2020 have been canceled. CG-BSX-1 will evaluate conditions for FY21 C-Schools and will issue future guidance.
Q: What do I need to know if I have been assigned to duty?
A: Auxiliarists assigned to duty should recognize the uncertain nature of COVID-19’s scope and its potential to spread. This requires heightened watchfulness when assigned to duty and in everyday life. Auxiliarists should vigilantly maintain good hygiene to safeguard themselves from exposure risks (see Health FAQs).
Coast Guard OIAs are continually assessing the operational risks posed by COVID-19 and developing strategies in advance of mission performance. OIAs are the best source for guidance regarding Auxiliary assignments to duty within their Area of Responsibility (AOR). As a reminder, any Auxiliarist who is requested to be assigned to duty for a Coast Guard mission has the absolute right to refuse orders or requests if they believe the risk outweighs the gain.
Q: I may have been exposed to COVID-19 while on a Coast Guard assignment to duty. What should I do?
A: Auxiliarists are encouraged to seek medical attention from their personal health providers and follow their guidance, whether they were exposed in the course of a Coast Guard assignment to duty or not. If an Auxiliarist suspects they were exposed to COVID-19 during an assignment to duty, it should be processed as “other Auxiliary injury claims” in accordance with the provisions of the Auxiliary Manual (COMDTINST M16790.1 (series). If an Auxiliarist tests positive, or is diagnosed with COVID-19, they should notify any CG unit where they recently performed duties to initiate contact tracing for any CG member who may have had close contact with the Auxiliarist.
Q: What should I do if I was denied entry to a Coast Guard installation?
A: You should follow the order of the individual denying you access and depart the location as directed. Commanding officers of Coast Guard installations are authorized to deny entry to any personnel, including Auxiliarists, to ensure the safety and security of the installation. Prior to arriving at a Coast Guard installation, it is recommended that you contact the unit and ask what screening criteria are in place so that you may determine, prior to traveling to the unit, whether you will be denied entry because you will not meet the screening criteria.
Q: Am I allowed to travel in my civilian capacity?
A: The Coast Guard does not prohibit Auxiliarists from traveling in their civilian capacity. However, you must abide by all state and local restrictions, including quarantine orders, when you are traveling in your civilian capacity.
Q: If I do travel, what should I do when I return?
A: IAW ALCOAST 211/20 All personnel, including Auxiliarists, returning from foreign travel to a country with an active CDC travel advisory should quarantine at home for 14 days. You are prohibited from participating in Coast Guard/Auxiliary activities or visiting units for 14 days following your return from travel. You must also advise your Flotilla Commander and your District Director of Auxiliary via your Auxiliary COLM.
Q: What should I do if I have been advised to self-monitor?
A: Any Auxiliarist asked to self-monitor is prohibited from participating in Coast Guard/Auxiliary activities or visiting units for 14 days. You must also inform your Auxiliary COLM at the earliest opportunity that you have been asked to self-monitor. If you are symptom free after 14 days, you will be authorized to resume participation in Coast Guard/Auxiliary activities. Consult your physician if you experience any symptoms related to the coronavirus.
Q: The COVID-19 pandemic is changing many things very quickly. Have there been any changes to the initial Auxiliary guidance that was issued in ALAUX 003/20 on March 17, 2020?
A: Yes. Now, when an Auxiliarist returns from travel from or through a foreign location that the CDC has issued a Level 2 or higher Travel Health Notice (THN), they are prohibited from participating in Coast Guard/Auxiliary activities or visiting Coast Guard/Auxiliary units during a period of 14 days.
Additionally, the Coast Guard has clarified that Auxiliarists are not precluded from engaging in Coast Guard missions with any risk of exposure to COVID-19. Such missions should no longer be considered an absolute limitation or restriction placed on assignment to duty of Auxiliary resources to support Coast Guard missions. See Question H1 for more details, or review the latest Coast Guard COVID-19 Planning Order (PLANORD).
Q: Will any changes be made to Auxiliary workshop training requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Yes, ALAUX 004/20 was issued on March 20, 2020, to address this concern. The required completion date for the Auxiliary Surface Operations workshop, which Auxiliary surface operators must complete this year, has been changed from June 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020. The 2020 Air Operations and Telecommunications Workshops remain optional.
All national operation workshops may be completed via webinar.
Workshop trainings must be delivered by an Auxiliarist qualified in the respective operations program, provided they are either a certified instructor or are under the supervision of a certified instructor. Instructors may use any webinar delivery platform that is available in their region.
If COVID-19 safety protocols are in effect for a longer period of time, the Chief Director of Auxiliary (CG-BSX) and the National Executive Committee (NEXCOM) will consider changing the completion date as circumstances warrant.
Q: With the significant curtailment of Auxiliarists’ ability to perform authorized activities and log the associated hours, will currency maintenance requirements be waived? How about annual performance service award criteria?
A: Currency maintenance is predicated on the conduct of requisite tasks during the course of a calendar year. At this point in both the calendar year and the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t have enough information yet to make a firm decision as to whether any Auxiliary currency maintenance requirements will be waived. The Chief Director of Auxiliary (CG-BSX) and the Auxiliary National Executive Committee (NEXCOM) continue to closely monitor and gauge the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with an eye toward the necessity of currency maintenance requirements in Calendar Year 2020. The same approach will be taken with respect to determining whether to change annual performance service award criteria.
Q: With the significant curtailment of Auxiliarists’ ability to perform authorized activities and log the associated hours, will election eligibility criteria be waived?
A: The Chief Director of Auxiliary (CG-BSX) and the Auxiliary National Executive Committee (NEXCOM) continue to closely gauge the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have not yet decided whether or not any Auxiliary election eligibility criteria will be waived.
Q: Is the Auxiliary National Supply Center (ANSC) still operating, or has it been shut down? What about the Auxiliary Center (AUXCEN)?
A: The Auxiliary National Supply Center (ANSC), located in Granite City, Illinois, is staffed by five personnel contracted by the Coast Guard. It is still operating under its normal weekday schedule with all personnel reporting to work each day and available to fill orders for materials. The Auxiliary Center (AUXCEN), located in St. Louis, Missouri, is following its normal weekday schedule, and remains available for filling orders for materials.
Q: Should Auxiliarists expect any change to their obligation to pay dues?
A: The Chief, Director of Auxiliary (CG-BSX) and the Auxiliary National Executive Committee (NEXCOM) continue to closely gauge the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enough information is still not yet available at this point to make a firm decision as to whether or not any Auxiliary dues will be waived or changed in any way.
Q: With springtime activities curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be nothing for Auxiliarists to do. What should we do?
A: The reconstitution of Auxiliary activities understandably continues to vary across Coast Guard Districts as local conditions are situationally factored into the assessment of mission risks and gains in the COVID-19 environment. That does not deter from the fact that there is always something to do with the Auxiliary! Have Auxiliary Core Training (AUXCT) courses to complete or renew? Well, now is a great time to do so. There are also many diverse training courses available through the Auxiliary Learning Management System (AUXLMS, https:///auxlearning.uscg.mil) that Auxiliarists can take to improve their programmatic skills and expertise. Auxiliarists can claim Auxiliary credit for all of the time that they engage in these types of activities. A great place to start is with the Auxiliary website (www.cgaux.org) and the Auxiliary’s sea-level leaders, its Flotilla Commanders.