The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard. Created by an Act of Congress in 1939, the Auxiliary directly supports the Coast Guard in all missions, except military and law enforcement actions.
The Coast Guard’s philosophy is to be SEMPER PARATUS (ALWAYS READY) against all threats and all hazards. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is an integral part of that philosophy and the Coast Guard Forces.
We conduct safety patrols on local waterways, assist the Coast Guard with homeland security duties, teach boating safety classes, conduct free vessel safety checks for the public, as well as many other activities.
The Auxiliary has members in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 17 years old, and pass a basic check. There are no upper age limits or height/weight standards, although for operational activities, you must be physically able to perform certain tasks. There are no minimum service hours - you can serve as little or as much as you want.
You do not have to own a boat or participate in water-based operations to join the Auxiliary.
Finally, the Auxiliary supports its members through local unit meetings, regional conferences and enjoys heartfelt fellowship with each other.
The Auxiliary’s primary missions used to be vessel safety checks, public education, and operations. These three missions, together with Fellowship (the "glue" which holds these missions and Auxiliary membership together), were known as the "Four Cornerstones." Through the years, these four cornerstones served the Auxiliary and the Coast Guard well. In late 1997, the four cornerstones for the Auxiliary were officially re-established as:
A. Member Services (MS) (includes FN (Finance), IS (Information Services), CS (Communication Services), MA (Materials), PS (Personnel Services) , MT (Member Training), LP (Legal), PA (Public Affairs), PB (Publications), and SR (Secretary))
B. Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) (includes PV (Program Visitor), PE (Public Education), and VE (Vessel Exam))
C. Operations and Marine Safety (OMS) (includes NS (Navigation Systems), AV (Aviation), CM (Communication), MS (Marine Safety) and OP (Operations))