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Thursday, 28 July 2016 10:12

Happy 77th Birthday To The Coast Guard Featured

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The Coast Guard Auxiliary
just celebrated 77 years of continuous
service to the U.S. Coast
Guard. Our local chapter is no
slouch when it comes to living up a
proud tradition of providing assistance
wherever needed by Coast
Guard regulars or helping the public
enjoy our waters better and
The Auxiliary serves as a
force multiplier to the U.S. Coast
Guard, working alongside active
duty and reserve shipmates performing
similar tasks and has units
all throughout the nation – including
all 50 states, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, the Virgin
Islands, American Samoa, and
Guam. As uniformed civilian volunteers,
its 28,000 members give
freely of their time and talents.
When the Coast Guard
“Reserve” was authorized by act of
Congress on June 23, 1939, the
Coast Guard was given a legislative
mandate to use civilians to
promote safety on and over the
high seas and the nation’s navigable
Two years later on February
19, Congress amended the
1939 act with passage of the Auxiliary
and Reserve Act of 1941. Passage
of this act designated the
Reserve as a military branch of the
active service while the civilian
section, formerly referred to as the
Coast Guard Reserve, became the
Auxiliary under title 14, chapter 23
of the United States Code.
The Auxiliary’s missions
support Coast Guard operational,
administrative, and logistical requirements.
They promote and improve
recreationalboating safety, as well as provide a
diverse array of specialized skills,
trained crews and facilities to augment
the Coast Guard and enhance
the safety and security of ports,
waterways, and coastal regions.
Auxiliarists not only offer
administrative support at Coast
Guard stations, but they stand radio
watches, cook food, are an extra
set of hands for the engineers, observe
ice flows by air, and participate
in drills to keep Coast Guard
men and women proficient.
They teach boating safety
classes, conduct free vessel safety
checks, and help marina owners receive
the latest Coast Guard regulations
and policies. During times
of natural disasters, qualified Auxiliarists
augment Incident Command
The Auxiliary conducts
safety and security patrols, performs
search and rescue missions,
and responds to pollution incidents.
The organization assists during
mass casualty or other emergency
situations, assists with homeland
security and serves as platforms for
boarding parties. Auxiliarists perform
commercial fishing and vessel
exams, and recruits for the
Coast Guard.
Locally, the U.S. Coast
Guard Auxiliary is probably not
what you think. The Coast Guard
Auxiliary is made up of volunteers
that work hand in hand with the
U.S.C.G. in all missions except for
military and law enforcement.
There are over 500 Coast
Guard Auxiliary volunteers in
South West Florida a just over
6,000 from South Carolina to
Florida. Their training is separate
from the U.S.C.G. but they still
wear the same uniforms.
Here in SW Florida, the
Coast Guard Auxiliary offers recreational
boating safety classes once
a month, they will perform a safety
inspection for your boat upon request.
An interesting part of the
Auxiliary is that you can work in
all kinds of different fields from
the Chaplain Corps to a PR person.
After you become a member they
check where your interests or
strengths are so one can be placed
it their area of expertise.
Tom Bramford, who has
volunteered on Fort Myers Beach
for over 25 years, talked to the Sun
Bay about his service.
“We accommodate everyone's
schedule when you volunteer,
you can stay local or if your interest
show skill you can
work on a national
When the U.S.C.G.
is called out in the
Gulf of Mexico or off
the Atlantic for a
Florida search and
rescue mission, they
favor the Auxiliary for
their flat bottom boats
because the Coast
Guards boats can only
operate in certain
depths, or if the waterway
is really skinny,
the call again goes out
to the Auxiliary for
these missions.
When asked what it means
to be a part of the local volunteers,
Dan Eaton who has long been associated
with the Auxiliary in SW
Florida was happy to share his
thoughts with our readers.
“Members take great personal
pride in the ability to become
force multipliers in times of need
and continuously train to maintain
qualifications and develop skill
sets that provide both quantity and
quality support to the U.S. Coast
Guard," Eaton said with equal
pride in his voice.
David Schwartz, another
local volunteer with seven years of
service, added "this is the best
group of guys he has ever worked
with, their smart, and want to advance."
“Members go through a rigorous
training process that includes
online and classroom programs,
followed up by an oral board of review
examination that demonstrates
and verifies competency,”
elaborated Eaton, adding, “we’re
always looking for new quality
As you can see, the Auxiliary
not only supports, but exemplifies
the Coast Guard core values
of honor, respect and devotion to
With the U.S. Coast Guard
active duty, reserve and civilian
work force, the Auxiliary stands
Semper Paratus (Always Ready).

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