September 2006

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Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons

From Nunes And Allison, Here Are A Few Points Of Comparison

Editorís Note: I am often asked the difference between Coast Guard Auxiliary and Power Squadron activities.

Consequently, I asked Tom Nunes, public affairs officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Division 10, Arizona, and Darrell Allison, marketing and public relations for the United States Power Squadrons for some clarification.

They offered a few points of comparison, which are printed below. Abbreviations used are USPS (United States Power Squadrons) and USCGAUX (United States Coast Guard Auxiliary).

 

USPS is a private, non-profit, volunteer boating club that is not supported by or part of any government agency. USCGAUX is the civilian volunteer arm of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard pays for fuels and other expenses for Auxiliarists who patrol.

USPS focuses on boating education and skill-building with extensive advanced courses as well as elective courses plus seminars. USCGAUX is involved with search and rescue plus public classes, as well as patrols under orders from the USCGAUX.

The Auxiliary is actively involved in teaching boating-safety courses, carrying out safety patrols, and augmenting the U.S. Coast Guard in all mission areas other than military and law enforcement.

USPS has several types of membership ó Active and Family as well as a special membership for Sea Scouts. Kids can be family members; USPS tends to be a family based organization. USCGAUX is an operations-based organization, and base membership age is 17. Also, U.S. Citizenship is required.

USPS has a uniform that is copied from a traditional yacht-club uniform. Unique Insignia Casual would be a USPS golf shirt.  Casual is acceptable for almost all events and activities.

USCGAUX uses the same uniforms as the Coast Guard with  some minor changes in the bolt-on hardware; the uniforms are required for any official activity ( e.g., boat shows, patrols, public classes ) Casual would be a USCGAUX golf shirt 

Coast Guard Auxiliarists wear a Coast Guard uniform with silver-colored devices instead of the Coast Guard gold.  There are no ranks in the Auxiliary. Shoulder boards and sleeve devices indicate offices held. Auxiliarists in the operations program wear the Coast Guard Operational Duty uniform.

USPS was started as a club within a club at the Boston Yacht Club in 1914. USCGAUX was commissioned to support the Coast Guard, and that mission is in place today. The Auxiliary is over 60 years old. 

There are educational requirements to be a member of both the USCGAUX and USPS; the Auxiliary classes satisfy that requirement. 

There are 50,000 members of USPS and over 30,000 of USCGAUX.

The base unit of USPS is the Squadron; there are 450 in the United States with an average membership of about 100.

The base unit of the Auxiliary is the Flotilla with an average membership of between 15 -50. The basic unit of the Auxiliary is the Flotilla. Flotillas make up Divisions. Here in Arizona, flotillas in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, and Kingman report to Division 9 based in Las Vegas. 

Flotillas in Page, Prescott, Tucson, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and the East Valley report to Division 10 in Phoenix.  There are over 150 Coast Guard Auxiliarists in Arizona. 



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