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The overarching mission of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is to contribute to the safety and security of our citizens, ports, waterways and coastal regions.We will balance our missions of Recreational Boating Safety and Coast Guard Support with Maritime Homeland Security and other challenges that emerge as a result of our growing understanding of changes required in the post-9/11 era.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary was authorized by Congress on June 23, 1939. This act authorized the Coast Guard to use civilian volunteers to promote boating safety on the nation's waterways. During World War II, many Auxiliarists joined the war effort in either active duty branches of the service, or as members of the Temporary Reserve. These Reservists watched waterfronts, performed coastal patrols and rescued survivors from sinking ships.On October 19, 1996 Congress greatly increased the responsibilities and training of the Auxiliary. The intent of Congress was to expand the ability of the Coast Guard to utilize the Coast Guard Auxiliary for missions not contemplated in 1939. The Coast Guard Authorization Act increased the scope of the Auxiliaries' duties to include any role, mission, or operation that the Commandant of the Coast Guard might envision. Thus, the Auxiliary, traditionally known for its Boating Safely Classes and Vessel Safety Checks, will have greatly increased responsibilities. Currently, the Auxiliary has 35,000 members in all 50 states.
- Thomas Nunes
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