Washington, D.C. - The United States Coast Guard
Auxiliary celebrated the 67th anniversary of its
founding on June 23.
The Auxiliary, an all volunteer workforce of over
31,000 members, appears to be as valuable and relevant
today as it was during its inception. Originally
founded on June 23, 1939 as the U.S. Coast Guard
Reserve, and later renamed in 1941 as the Coast Guard
Auxiliary, this all volunteer force has donated millions
of hours to both the public and the Coast Guard over
these last years.
According to Gene Seibert, national commodore, "Much
has changed in the years since the Auxiliary came into
being - new Auxiliary uniforms, more modern and
sophisticated training programs, and greater
professionalism. Terrorism has replaced world war as a
threat to our nation's survival. But, much has remained
the same," said Seibert.
"Then, as now, the Coast Guard faced budget and
personnel shortfalls, and the Auxiliary provided a key
force multiplier. Then, as now, men and women
volunteered their services in support of the Coast
Then, as now, we rallied to such words as 'Duty,
Honor, Country.' Then, as now, we were a key component
of the Coast Guard and in many of the inland areas, we
are 'the Coast Guard.'"
Looking back over the last year, the 32,000 members
of the Auxiliary can be proud of their distinguished
service to their country and their community. In
late August 2005, and throughout the next several
months, Auxiliarists - as part of the Coast Guard Forces
- responded to the demands of Hurricane Katrina, Rita
and all the other hurricanes that hit the United States.
Auxiliarists responded to Katrina in several ways: as
Auxiliarists, as paid employees of FEMA, as members of
other organized volunteer groups, and as individuals.
Operation Life Ring
www.operationlifering.org) was also established to
assist fellow Auxiliarists and Coast Guard members who
suffered the effects of Katrina and Rita.
During this period, Auxiliarists performed both
their everyday functions, which include recreational
boating-safety duties, as well as maritime domain
awareness (MDA) patrols. In addition, they also
backfilled many of the jobs left vacant as the Coast
Guard moved Active Duty and Reserve personnel around the
country to aid directly in the relief efforts.
Impressed with both the response of the Coast Guard
and the Auxiliary, President George W. Bush recently
presented the Coast Guard with a Presidential Unit
Citation, which specifically mentioned the Auxiliary and
Hurricane relief was not the only high point last
year. Auxiliarists also made contributions that included
saving lives and property, educating the boating public
in safe-boating procedures, as well as performing
countless Vessel Safety Checks to ensure boaters carried
at least the minimum prescribed safety equipment on
Admiral Thad Allen, who was recently sworn in as
Commandant of the Coast Guard, is a staunch ally of the
Auxiliary. "As the finest all-volunteer organization in
our Nation, I consider each of you an integral part of
our Coast Guard.
"We simply could not meet the challenges we face or
conduct the missions we do on a day-to-day basis without
your selfless devotion to duty, as was so vividly
demonstrated most recently in the Coast Guard's
extraordinary response to the many hurricanes we
responded to last year," commented ADM Allen in a letter
to the Coast Guard upon his becoming the 23rd Commandant
of the Coast Guard.
For a summary of the Coast Guard Auxiliary's mission
statistics for 2005, visit
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the
uniformed, volunteer component of Team Coast Guard who
assist the active duty Coast Guard in all of its varied
missions, except for military and direct law
These men and women can be found on the nation's
waterways, in the air, in classrooms and on the dock,
performing Maritime Domain Awareness patrols, safety
patrols, vessel safety checks and public education.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was founded
in 1939 by an Act of Congress as the U.S. Coast Guard
Reserve and re-designated as the Auxiliary in 1941. Its
members donate millions of hours annually in support of
Coast Guard missions.