Table of Contents
The US Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAUX) is the uniformed, volunteer, non-military support component of the United States Coast Guard. There are flotillas (the smallest unit in the Coast Guard Auxiliary) in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
The primary missions of the CGAUX include recreational boating safety, public education, Radio Watchstanding (relieving active duty Coast Guardsmen of this mission), safety patrols, search and rescue and other activities.
I’ve been interested in the CGAUX since I learned about their mission. I was medically disqualified from the military but I’ve always had that itch to serve. I think the CGAUX may provide some of that.
Joining the CGAUX
The first step to joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary is to identify a Flotilla you want to join. Most people have more than Flotilla close to them, although in my case they are all 70+ miles away. I decided to join the Des Moines Flotilla (33-4) because it is the largest near me.
After filling out the inquiry form, I was contacted within minutes! The individual (whose title I unfortunately did not write down, but I believe may have been the Division Commander), asked me a few screening questions and let me know that he would forward my information on to my local Flotilla.
A few days later, I heard from the Division Staff Officer of Division 33, which the Des Moines Flotilla is under. She connected me with the HR Officer (who is also the Flotilla Commander) of 33-4.
The HR officers provided me with the paperwork I needed to fill out. One interesting thing is that the enrollment application requires your citizenship to be verified by either a law enforcement officer or a Fingerprint Technician (FT)/Citizenship Verifier (CV) before it is sent to the Director of the Auxiliary (DIRAUX).
After completing the paperwork I was going to meet with the Flotilla Commander. During this meeting, they basically go over the screening information (what the Aux is and is not, what your responsibilities are, what the benefits are, etc.) and then send your file to DIRAUX.
At this point you are in AP (Applicant) status while your application processes. You gain access to AUXDATA II which is the Salesforce Experience Cloud-based platform to record training, and to the CGAUX Virtual Classroom where you take your basic classes on things like the history of the Auxiliary and recognizing and preventing sexual harassment.
Once your Personnel Security Investigation (PSI) comes back favorably, you are considered to be in Initially Qualified (IQ) status. When you complete your 7 basic training courses through the CGAUX classroom, you move to Basically Qualified (BQ).
From here, you can complete whichever courses you want for the specific role you’d like to play in the auxiliary. If you wanted to become a Vessel Examiner (VE) for example, you could complete the VE course and then meet with a trained VE who would mentor you through several inspections. Once they signed off on your inspection hours and completion of the course, you would be certified to do your own vessel examinations.
I decided not to proceed with joining the CGAUX at this time. Even though I think it will be really exciting, I have a few other things going on right now (I recently signed a book contract and am trying to set a Guinness World Record – more on those things later), and my wife asked me to focus on those things first.
I hope I can still join the CGAUX in a couple years when my life isn’t so busy. I recommend it to everyone.