April 2007

Nunes, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Is More Than A ‘Volunteer’

Editor’s Note: It is our pleasure to present — in this and future issues — some of the key personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Phoenix Power Squadron, AZGFD, the Maritime Institute of San Diego and others, all of whom are vital advocates  and teachers of  safety on and near the water.

If you have ever attended a boat show in Arizona, chances are good that you have seen Thomas (Tom) Nunes in front of a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary booth, answering questions about boating and water safety and operating Coastie for the kids.

Nunes is more than a volunteer. He is a volunteer with a significant number of positions and duties, as well as a notable background of education and experience.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Positions

Nunes has a number of duties within the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, including the following:

  • Branch Chief – National Public Affairs Training
  • State Liaison Officer – Arizona
  • Legislative Liaison officer – Arizona
  • Assistant District 11S Public Affairs Staff Officer
  • Public Affairs Officer – Arizona
  • Flotilla 114-10-8 Staff Officer – Public Education

Duties Include

Nunes has a number of duties that keep him active in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Arizona community, and beyond. He is active all over the state and the nation. Some he has listed include the following:

  • supervision of on-line and resident public affairs training nationally including teaching and ensuring content is appropriate and systems are continually improved,
  • serves as principal contact person for Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Legislature on boating and Coast Guard-related issues,
  • publicizes the Coast Guard Auxiliary throughout Arizona via print, radio, and television appearances, interviews, releases, and feature stories;
  • works with other USCG Auxiliary and U.S. Coast Guard staff throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah;
  • manages and teaches public education courses in Phoenix and is principal instructor for Coast Guard Auxiliary member training,
  • organized and managed USCG Auxiliary Operational exercises at Roosevelt Lake,
  • works with various marine dealers and others interested in boating safety ensuring various locales are well stocked with boating safety literature, and
  • conducts vessel safety checks and participates in patrols of Arizona’s several waterways.

It Started With The Coast Guard

Tom Nunes served 24 (1960-1984) years in the U.S. Coast Guard, retiring as a Commander.  He worked with the Auxiliary on search-and-rescue missions. Upon retiring to the private sector, Nunes sought out the Auxiliary as a prime volunteer opportunity.

Nunes was originally from Cranston, R.I. He has a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Coast Guard. He is married to the former Pamela Monti, and the couple has three children and nine grandchildren.

Events Nunes Attends During A Year

  • Coast Guard Auxiliary District 11S Conference – Costa Mesa, Calif.
  • Arizona National Boat Show – Phoenix, Ariz.
  • USCG Division 114-10 Change of Watch – Casa Grande, Ariz.
  • Flotilla 114010-8 Change of Watch – Tempe, Ariz.
  • USCG Public Affairs Training – Alameda, Calif.
  • USCG Web Site Development Training – New London, Conn.
  • Arizona Game Fish Department Law Enforcement Training – Lake Pleasant, Ariz.
  • Big Bass Days – Lake Pleasant, Ariz.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy Career Days – various Phoenix-area high schools
  • Tri-State Boating Safety Celebration – Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
  • Arizona Boating Safety Celebration – Lake Pleasant, Ariz.
  • Division 114-10 Operations Exercises – Roosevelt Lake, Ariz.
  • Fishing with an Attitude – Roosevelt Lake, Ariz.
  • Men’s Luxury Toys Expo – Glendale, Ariz.
  • Paddle Sport Trails Planning Meeting – Tempe, Ariz.
  • Veterans Day Parade – Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Arizona Territorial Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA): the 18th Annual JROTC and Armed Forces Career Day – Phoenix, Ariz.


Nunes comments that his future plans are to continue as a very active Auxiliarist. He has this message for all boaters: “Take a boating-safety class even if you have been boating for years, and above all — always wear your lifejacket.