The Auxiliary Leadership and Development Program: Accelerating your Auxiliary Career

Leaders of the Auxiliary must possess the skills to ensure the success of their units and assist members in developing their skills and abilities. The necessary tools to help develop these skills can be obtained through the Auxiliary Leadership and Development Program (ALDP).

The ALDP intends to help all Auxiliarists be successful at every level of Auxiliary leadership, developing skills and providing the tools Auxiliarists need to lead other Auxiliarists. It also promotes a culture that is receptive and supportive of proven leadership principles that help improve leadership skills at the flotilla, division, district, and national levels. The Coast Guard’s Unit Leadership Development Program has also been modified to reflect the specific needs of the Auxiliary as a volunteer organization.

The ALDP emphasizes the interaction of all three components of the leadership development framework: The 28 Coast Guard Leadership Competencies, levels of responsibility, and various methods for gaining and demonstrating competency. This model is used throughout the entire Coast Guard and lists the knowledge, skills, and expertise that is expected from their leaders. The ALDP can be instrumental to their success both as an individual and also as a member of the team.

Five separate levels have been established within the ALDP that align with the Auxiliary’s chain of leadership. At each level, the program utilizes a series of Instructor-led Auxiliary leadership skills and knowledge courses along with various self-guided courses and exams to test the comprehension of the 28 competencies. They are designed to create a strong foundation for members to build off of as they increase their roles and responsibilities and transition into higher levels of leadership within the Auxiliary. From there, the program expands further and offers members the opportunity to complete additional training, education, and other learning opportunities both inside and outside the Auxiliary.

Auxiliarists are in a unique position to participate in the Coast Guard’s numerous missions and help promote positive change and service enhancement. The ALDP provides valuable information and tools needed to demonstrate leadership and provides resources for members to function effectively as a team and inspire others to be successful. All Auxiliarists are encouraged to participate in the program no matter what position they may hold. Additional information on the ALDP and available leadership training materials can be found on the Training Directorate’s website under “Leadership Development.”

By Matthew Thompson, Branch Assistant (Selectee) – Publications Support

The U.S. Coast Guard's 28 Leadership Competencies - Courtesy of Dr. Michael Brzezicki and the T-Directorate website.

Table of the "Levels of Leadership" outlining courses and perquisites for each level - Courtesy of Dr. Michael Brzezicki

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Leadership Course Continuum within the Auxiliary Leadership Development Program outlining specialty courses as members move through the levels of leadership Courtesy of Dr. Michael Brzezicki



Chief Journalist Alex Haley Continues to Inspire USCG Auxiliary Public Affairs

Chief Journalist (ret.) Alex Haley won a Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for his ground-breaking book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for twenty-two weeks. Before Haley was famous, he served twenty years in the United States Coast Guard and quickly rose through the ranks in the service’s new journalism rating.

Born Alexander Palmer Haley in 1921, he was only fifteen years old when he graduated from high school. He subsequently continued his studies at State Teacher’s College in North Carolina. Haley enlisted as a Mess Attendant Third Class (E-3 Seaman) in the Coast Guard in May of 1939, one of only two ratings available to African Americans at the time.

His training occurred on the job, aboard the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) MENDOTA. While not on duty, Haley wrote to family and friends back home and even helped other shipmates write home as well. These efforts led to over 40 letters per week and sparked an interest to write articles based on stories shared by fellow crewmen. These articles appeared in numerous magazines, including Coast Guard Magazine.

Haley was promoted to Officer’s Steward Third Class (PO3) in 1942 while serving onboard the USCGC PAMLICO. His next transfer to the cargo vessel USS MURZIM (AK-95) occurred a year later when Haley and his shipmates faced dangerous duty in the Pacific region. He wrote about the experience of war and published a ship’s newsletter to pass the time.

His journalism work garnered a great deal of attention, which led to an assignment of editing an official Coast Guard periodical, where he received a commendable mention for his work. Gaining more responsibility over the years, he served the Coast Guard publication Helmsman as a reporter, assistant editor, and finally, editor. Haley’s talents were officially acknowledged in 1949 when the Coast Guard promoted him to Journalist First Class (PO1). More impressive, he became chief journalist six months later, the first chief journalist in the Coast Guard.

His last assignment was as the assistant to the Public Relations Officer at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., a position he held until retirement. In 1959, after 20 years of service and participation in World War II and Korea, Haley retired from the Coast Guard. His retirement allowed him to develop his desire to become a full-time writer. Nearly two decades later, CPO (ret.) Haley became a Pulitzer Prize winner. Alex Haley earned numerous awards and citations during his twenty-year career with the Coast Guard, as well as literary and public acclaim post-service for his writing. He died in 1992 yet continues to be an inspiration to Coast Guard Public Affairs and Auxiliary personnel to this day. The annual “Chief Journalist Alex Haley Award” is presented each year to the Coast Guard’s best individual authors and photographers, including Auxiliarists, who have raised the visibility of the service.

By Dawn Williams, Branch Assistant – Writer and Proofreader, Publications Division, A-Directorate; edited by Dr. Mark Snell, Division Chief, History Division, A-Directorate

Chicago's Christmas Ship delivers 1,200 trees to at-risk youth and families

When it comes to the Coast Guard’s role in the 22-year tradition of Chicago’s Christmas Ship, the effort is definitely an all-hands evolution.

Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw moors at Chicago's Navy Pier December 4, 2021, in preparation for unloading a cargo of 1,200 Christmas trees bound for Chicago families that otherwise wouldn't have one. This ship was participating in the 22nd Annual Chicago's Christmas Ship celebration. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Bradley Couch, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

For this year’s event, held Dec. 4, 2021, at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago, participants included active duty and reserve members, and auxiliary Coast Guard volunteers. The event followed months of planning by Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee, the Coast Guard, and the local non-profit organizations that distribute the donated Christmas trees to Chicago families that otherwise wouldn’t have one.

This year, Mackinaw transported 1,200 trees – purchased with donations to Chicago’s Christmas Ship Committee – from northern Michigan to Chicago during one of the ship’s seasonal aids to navigation missions.

The Coast Guard Academy Glee Club performs acapella holiday music for hundreds of spectators as part of Chicago's Christmas Ship ceremonies December 4, 2021, as senior officers adn Mackinaw crew members look on. The perfromace was part of the 22nd annual Christmas Ship celebration, which delivered 1,200 Christmas trees to Chicago families that otherwise would not have had one. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Mathrew Thompson, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Since the modern Christmas Ship tradition began in 1999, Coast Guard ships, usually the Mackinaw, have transported more than 26,000 trees from northern Michigan to Chicago. The ship follows a course that mirrors one taken by the original Christmas Ship, the schooner Rouse Simmons, which brought trees to Chicago for years before being lost with all hands during a 1912 gale on Lake Michigan.

Active duty Coast Guard units from the Mackinaw, Sector Lake Michigan, Marine Safety Unit Chicago, Station Chicago, and reservists and auxiliarists from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan volunteered countless hours this year supporting the event. These volunteering hours included planning, offloading trees from the cutter, loading them onto trucks with high school volunteers, and providing event security.

The Coast Guard Academy Glee Club sang holiday songs during a Navy Pier ceremony commemorating the loss of Rouse Simmons and all other mariners lost on the Great Lakes over the centuries.  Active duty and reserve personnel participated in all-hands sessions with Rear Adm. Michael Johnston, the Ninth District commander, and Rear Adm. James Kelly, the Assistant Commandant for Reserve.

Crew members aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw unload donated Christmas trees from a pile on the ship's fantail at Chicago's Navy Pier Saturday, December 4, 2021. The trees are among 1,200 bound for Chicago families that otherwise wouldn't have one, thanks to the 22nd annual Chicago's Christmas Ship celebration. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brian Hinton, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Auxiliarists from District 9WR, meanwhile, provided much-needed support by cooking in Mackinaw’s galley, giving cutter tours, manning a refreshment tent and the Mackinaw ship’s store, and providing public affairs support. Marine Safety Unit Chicago stepped in to coordinate Auxiliary assistance, with support by Division 35 Chicago leadership.

Article by Aux Public Affairs First Class John Saran and Chief Petty Officer John Masson, Ninth District Public Affairs.

Lois "The Coast Guard Lady" Bouton Crosses the Bar

Longtime Auxiliarist and former U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reservist Lois Bouton crossed the bar on Saturday, January 29, 2022. She leaves behind a legacy spanning over the course of her 102-year lifetime. Her steady contributions to the U.S. Coast Guard as a civilian and her service dating back to World War II rewarded her with the nickname of “The Coast Guard Lady”. Nothing speaks volumes more than an individual given the title of an entire organization to which she devoted her life.

A native of Lake County, Illinois, Ms. Bouton began her career as a teacher. She focused on history and soon became fascinated by the heroic acts of the U.S. Coast Guard on the Great Lakes. With World War II starting following the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941, Ms. Bouton attempted to join the U.S. Coast Guard, but was initially rejected. She was not deterred and enlisted in 1943 following the establishment of the Women’s Reserve of the U.S. Coast Guard, known as SPARS (Semper Paratus, Always Ready). During her service, she spent her free time writing letters to servicemembers overseas.

Following World War II, Ms. Bouton and her husband, whom she had met at radio training school, moved back to Illinois where she continued her passion for education. During the Vietnam War, she visited wounded servicemembers weekly at the Naval Station Great Lakes, bringing them homemade cookies and letters from her students. She paid particular attention to her fellow Coast Guardsmen, earning her the coveted nickname of “The Coast Guard Lady”.

Ms. Bouton retired from teaching in 1972 and relocated to Arkansas, where patriotism led her to continue writing letters and sending holiday cards to U.S. Coast Guard units across the country. Over the span of 48 years, she produced over 100,000 hand-written letters and cards, enshrining her lifetime service in the history books of the U.S. Coast Guard and our nation.

Ms. Bouton served as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for over 20 years in Bever Lake, Arkansas. The Auxiliary celebrated her milestone of reaching 100-years-old with a ceremony in 2019 that granted her the title of an Honorary Commodore on behalf of the Commandant of the Coast Guard. She was the first woman and one of only eleven others in the Auxiliary’s history to be granted the title. Her other honors include being awarded the rank of “Honorary Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard”, the “Spirit of Hope” Award from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award.

Ms. Bouton served our nation her entire life living by the true definition of Semper Paratus. Her legacy and her incredible devotion to duty will always remain an inspiration to all members of Team Coast Guard.

By Andrew Niquette, Branch Chief – Publications Support

Auxiliarists Thea Narkiewicz and Steven White visit with Lois Bouton during her 100th birthday presentation of the Honorary Commodore title on September 19th, 2019. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs.

An AUX Master Chef...a unique experience for auxiliary Barry A. Chapman

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach will be featured in an episode of MasterChef in 2022, and an auxiliarist, Barry A. Chapman, had the pleasure of being part of this unique experience.

When Chapman showed up on 20 OCT 21 for his normal eight-hour shift as a culinary assistant in the galley, he learned Chef Gordon Ramsey would be filming an episode of MasterChef onsite. This event was with a reward for the unit receiving the coveted Galley of the Year Award
for 2020.

On that pre-filming day, Chef Ramsay’s crew showed up unexpectedly to shoot background footage for the episode. Donning their white chef’s coats, the galley team went about their normal duties. The Senior Chief invited Chapman to work another shift the following day so that he could be part of the filming.

Chapman was the only auxiliarist that joined the approximately 140 Coast Guard personnel taking part in the event. The ten cooks in their chef’s whites stood out among the sea of blue and camouflage ODUs. While Ramsay’s two teams of chefs prepared meals, camera crews interviewed some of the active-duty personnel as well as Chapman. The group was served two complete meals, including steak and fish.

“While in line to get their meals, personnel were less than 15 feet away from Ramsay, and were treated to the chef’s signature ‘chewing people out, ’”Chapman said. The requisite vote on the meals was taken in a rather unusual way. The group placed rings on posts colored to represent the Red Team and the Blue Team. The winning team will ultimately be revealed during the broadcast.

Ramsay thanked the U.S. Coast Guard for its service, as well as the hospitality his team was offered during the days of filming. The episode will air at the start of MasterChef’s twelfth season on Fox Network in 2022.

Chapman is a qualified culinary assistant and currently serves as Auxiliary Culinary Assistance Program Branch Chief Pacific, under the auspices of the Auxiliary’s Human Resources Directorate.

Submitted by Dawn Williams, BA-AMSB, Publications Division

Going Above The Call: The 2020 Winner Of The Commodore Daniel Maxim Award For Excellence In Public Education

Going Above The Call: The 2020 Winner Of The Commodore Daniel Maxim Award For Excellence In Public Education.

Mr. Casale is pictured here in his Tropical Blue Uniform. Photo by Cono Casale, USCG AUX.

Auxiliarist Cono “Buddy” Casale of Seventh District (D7), Flotilla 11-10 in Dunedin, Florida recently received the 2020 Commodore Daniel Maxim Award for Excellence in Education (Maxim Award) because of his exemplary instructor performance and an outstanding spirit of service to the public and his shipmates.

The Auxiliary’s public education program remains one of the core ways we promote safe boating. But for some, the call to serve as an instructor remains a lifelong commitment. The Auxiliary established the Maxim Award to motivate and inspire the entire instructor cadre to reach beyond the comfortable or ordinary to achieve the extraordinary. The award also encourages auxiliarists to increase the diversity and the number of courses offered by units; to improve public education and member training instructor effectiveness and performance; to improve mentorship of newer or lesser experienced instructors; to develop new and innovative teaching methods and techniques, and to develop new and innovative teaching aids.

Since his Auxiliary career started in 2002, Mr. Casale has dedicated 75-100 hours a year towards Public Education and has even remained an authority on impeccable uniform appearance. His ability to identify the right message for the audience, including incorporating relevant information from the local area is unmatched. Building upon his vision for a more economical and accessible basic navigation course, Mr. Casale has welcomed over 300 students including those from local high schools to his on-site and virtual instructions since 2017. His wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of boating skills and safety support his distinction for the Maxim Award.

When asked about the distinction, Mr. Casale stated, “I find it most rewarding to help fulfill the most important task assigned to the Auxiliary way back in 1939, which is to promote safe boating for the recreational boater. In order to accomplish this task, the Public Education safe boating program was designed.”

Bravo Zulu to Mr. Casale for receiving the Maxim Award and to Auxiliarist Dennis Kellner of the Ninth District Western Region and Auxiliarist Douglas McPherson of the Eleventh District Northern Region, for being selected as regional winners from the Atlantic West and Pacific Regions, respectively.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Casale said, “I am humbled to receive the [Maxim Award]. Please recognize Flotilla Commander R. Bonnem and Vice Commander G. Thomas for their guidance and cooperation as well as the instructors’ dedication. We take pride that a different instructor volunteers for each chapter. These incredible members are the engine that could. I’m just the driver.”

By Andrew Niquette, Public Affairs Directorate, Branch Chief – Publications Support Caption: Mr. Casale is pictured here in his Tropical Blue Uniform. Photo by Cono Casale, USCG AUX

Beyond Volunteering: Auxiliarists Receive The 2021 AFRAS Silver Medal Award for Lifesaving Mission

Chicago-based Auxiliarists, Gary Markle and Shelley Markle, received high honors, the 2021 Silver Medal Award, for their lifesaving efforts at an Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) ceremony on November 2, 2021. Devotion to duty plays an impactful role in every Coast Guard Auxiliary mission, and in such lifesaving efforts in 2020-21, the Markles from the Ninth District Western Region showcase that devotion to duty and the critical role we hold as America’s Volunteer Guardians.

Auxiliarists Gary Markle and Shelley Markle received the 2021 AFRAS Silver Medal Award on November 2, 2021, with the Commandant, National Commodore and AFRAS leadership in attendance for the ceremony. Photo by David Markle.

This year’s AFRAS ceremony was well-attended, with the Commandant, National Commodore, and Vice National Commodore present among other senior leadership. AFRAS presents the Silver Medal Award to Auxiliarists on an annual basis and the Markles received such award for a Good Samaritan save in 2020. However, their efforts do not stop there, as they saved or assisted over twenty individuals in 2021 on Lake Michigan as well. An overview of the citation is below.

Auxiliarists Gary Markle and Shelley Markle are responsible for dozens of assists and saves on Lake Michigan using their personal watercrafts in the past few years. Photo by David Markle.

On August 8th, 2020, while returning to their slip-on their Personal Watercraft (PWC) at Burnham Harbor in Chicago, Illinois, Gary Markle, and Shelley Markle were notified of a possible drowning from a nearby vessel, ICEMAN II. Good Samaritans in the vicinity spotted an unresponsive swimmer, prompting a radio call to USCG Station Chicago and a perimeter is established. Using his PWC to maneuver safely to the crowd, Gary observed the unresponsive swimmer and the panicking passengers struggling to organize and remember CPR. Gary dismounted his PWC to assist in bringing the swimmer back onto ICEMAN II. While in the water, Gary instructed the surrounding swimmers on how to push water from the lungs of the unresponsive drowned swimmer, albeit unsuccessful. Shelley Markle then dismounted from her PWC, taking control of the situation by initiating CPR and instructing the others to assist her with proper CPR techniques.

As Shelley handled the management of panicked passengers, Gary boarded one of the PWCs and began transporting Chicago Fire Department personnel and paramedics from land to the ICEMAN II as it slowly transitioned towards the shore. When these rescue personnel eventually relieved Shelly from CPR duties, she continued to assist with counseling and managing the passengers aboard ICEMAN II. Once on land, the survivor was confirmed to be revived before his transport to a local hospital.

Their outstanding efforts included calm, controlled, and effective management of an emergent situation with a drowning person, their administration of life-saving CPR, and the victim's timely transfer to emergency services personnel. Their heroic actions brought great credit to the United States Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary!,” said Captain Troy Glendye, USCG Chief Director of Auxiliary.

Article by Andrew Niquette, Branch Chief – Publication Support; A-Directorate

The Virtual Museum of the Coast Guard Auxiliary

The Virtual Museum of the Coast Guard Auxiliary 
Preserving Our Unique Auxiliary History

The new virtual museum of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (VMCGA) launched on the A-Directorate, History Division’s website on October 6th, 2021, after a year of dedicated preparation by the History Divisionstaff. A visit will likely surprise you. Its digital exhibits provide a glimpse into the Auxiliary’s unique eighty-two-year history and honor the organization’s heritage and culture.

Currently, the VMCGA features a variety of covers, devices, flags, and uniform buttons dating from the Auxiliary’s inception in 1939 to the present day. Over time, the VMCGA’s digital archive will expand to display historic uniforms, medals, safety gear, and even historic Auxiliary facilities.

The VMCGA strives to reflect the Auxiliary’s unique history, which encompasses scientific, cultural, and social themes from both historical and modern contexts. To achieve this goal, the History Division is  seeking images of Auxiliary maritime and aeronautical equipment and gear, uniforms, heraldry, models, and artwork.

The virtual museum is in phase one of its comprehensive plan, and more artifacts will be displayed once they are properly photographed, and the staff establishes their provenance. Auxiliarists can do their part by spreading the word, looking for artifacts in their unit’s possession, sharing oral histories, coordinating with their district’s historian, and visiting the virtual museum as it builds its exhibits and archives.

Prior to visiting the VMCGA,we recommend that you first review the presentation, The History of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, by Mark A. Snell, PhD., Division Chief of History, A-Directorate. The presentation provides a brief chronological overview of the Auxiliary’s history, which will provide the necessary historical context that will streamline a virtual visit to the VMCGA.

Sample of Virtual Museum of the Coast Guard Auxiliary

A screenshot of the Auxiliary's Virtual Museum within the A-Directorate website. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo.

Image of Aux Com vehicle outside of Cape May County Tuna 1950

An Auxiliary communications vehicle outside of the Cape May County Tuna Clubhouse (now the Peter Shields Inn) in Cape May, NJ. Circa 1950. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo from Mark A. Snell, PhD.

Article by Kim Holland, BA-AMEC(s)    Edited By A-Directorate Staff

Grand Haven Michigan Coast Guard Festival 2021

Auxiliarist of the Year honored at Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival

Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Karl L. Schultz and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Jason M. Vanderhaden joined active duty, reserve and Auxiliary Coast Guard personnel to celebrate the service at the annual Grand Haven, Mich. Coast Guard Festival held from July 30 through August 8.

Heading the list of Auxiliary members participating in the nearly century old Coast Guard celebration was 2020 "Auxiliary of the Year" Michael A. Barth of New York City, who helped lead the Coast Guard Festival parade, participated in the dedication of the city's new Walk of Coast Guard History, took part in the memorial service honoring fallen members of the Coast Guard, and other civic and service-oriented events.

Since 1924, the city of Grand Haven has been the home of one of the nation's largest celebrations of the history, tradition and service of the United States Coast Guard. Officially designated as "Coast Guard City, USA" by President Bill Clinton in 1998, the Lake Michigan port joins forces each year with the neighboring communities of Spring Lake and Ferrysburg to welcome more than 350,000 people for a week-long celebration of all things Coast Guard.

Admiral Schultz and Auxiliarist Barth

Grand Haven, MI: Coast Guard Auxiliarist Michael Barth with Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. Barth was part of the Commandant's official party visiting the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven.  U.S. Coast Guard Photo by LTJG Pamela Manns.

Auxiliarist Michael Barth carriage
Auxiliarist Michael Barth

Grand Haven, MI: Auxiliarist Michael Barth helped lead the Grand Parade at the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven Michigan.  U.S. Coast Guard Photo.

USCG Aux Color Guard marching 2021

Grand Haven, MI: Coast Guard Auxiliary color guard marched in the Grand Parade at the 2021 Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival.  U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo by Alexander Quicke.

USCGC Parade of Ships GH Festival 2021

Grand Haven, MI: Coast Guard cutters line up outside the Grand Haven south pier head to begin the Parade of Ships to start the 2021 Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival.  U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Photo by Matthew Thompson.

15 OCT 2021 - Article by Jeremy L. Davis Branch Assistant-Publication

Patrick M. Brown of Mount Juliet, Tenn. Named Coast Guard "Auxiliarist of the Year".

Patrick M. Brown of Mount Juliet, TENN.
Name Coast Guard "Auxiliarist of the Year"



Developed Secure Cyber Election Process for 26,000 Member Organization During COVID Crisis; Assisted in Local Storm Damage Recovery Efforts.

Patrick M. Brown of Mount Juliet, Tenn. has been named the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's 2020 "Auxiliarist of the Year" in recognition of this efforts to develop and implement secure cyber elections for Auxiliary units at the national, regional and local levels during the on-going COVID-19 epidemic.

Brown, who has been active in the 26,000 members Coast Guard Auxiliary since 2014, formulated effective software programs that enabled the successful implementation of more than 1,000 timely and accurate cyber election events for units across the nation that were unable to meet in person during the pandemic shutdown.

"When I had the distinct honor of speaking with the Commandant as the 2020 award recipient," Brown said "my reaction then is the same as it is today - it's truly an honor, and one that has not fully sunk in."

As I've told those who have asked how I did it, my answer is simple," he added. "I was asked if I could help with virtual elections, and I did the job to the best of my ability - just as many Auxiliarists do every day. It's truly an honor to be recognized by our senior leadership, "Brown said. "And it's one that I will cherish for my entire Auxiliary career."

In addition to his work as the Auxiliary's election administrator, Brown also assisted in local recovery efforts following a tornado that heavily damaged several middle-Tennessee communities in March of 2020. Brown oversaw the removal of more than 50 tons of home and storm debris from local neighborhood, including vital storm water canals that fed directly into the Old Hickory watershed in the Cumberland River system.

As a member of the Auxiliary's Stones River Flotilla in Nashville, Brown also serves as an instructor and vessel safety examiner, contributing nearly 750 hours annually to the organization's public boating safety programs.

Report by Reid Oslin, Division Chief of Publication Division / Public Affairs Directorate (September 2021)


Alexander R. Rico has been named the recipient of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s prestigious Commodore

Image of Alex Rico

Charles S. Greanoff Inspirational Leadership Award for 2021 in recognition of his numerous contributions as flotilla commander of the First District – Southern Region’s Upper Manhattan unit.

Working through the restrictions of the COVID pandemic, Rico oversaw the implementation of a three-pronged flotilla strategy focused on recruitment, community relations, and adherence to the unit’s long tradition of community service. He instituted a successful unit recruiting drive that led to a 20 percent increase in flotilla membership and promoted extended community partnerships between the Auxiliary and several New York area historical sites and organizations.

“I am humbled and grateful for this honor,” Rico said. “Receiving this award is an acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication of the entire Upper Manhattan flotilla. Without our membership’s commitment to the community, none of the work we accomplished would have been possible.”

A member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary since 2014, Rico is immediate past commander of the Upper Manhattan Flotilla; serves as District Staff Officer for emergency management; and is Branch Chief – Web Content Manager for the Auxiliary’s national Public Affairs Directorate.

Image of Alex Rico and Michael Barth at U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb

Rico, a native of New York City, currently works as an external affairs officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region II. As a FEMA staff member, he has responded to several major national disasters, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Recently, he deployed to New Jersey as part of the federal government’s COVID-19 response effort. He is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and is currently working toward a master’s degree in public administration at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

The Greanoff Award recipient was selected by an eight-member panel of Coast Guard active duty, civilian and Auxiliary leaders. Joseph J. Espino of Severna Park, Md., immediate past commander of the West Annapolis Flotilla (District 5-SR), received an honorable mention citation as runner-up in the Greanoff Award selection.

Reported by DVC-AM Reid Oslin, and photos by Alex Rico (self portrait) and Greanoff Award recipient Alex Rico joins 2019 Auxiliarist of the Year Michael A. Barth at an historical commemoration event at the National Park Service's Tomb of Former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in New York City.

Three Auxiliarists Named Recipients of 2020 Captain Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards

Three Auxiliarists Named Recipients of 2020 Captain Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards

Auxiliarist Alvaro Ferrando of Doral, Fla. has been named a Coast Guard Auxiliary Achievement winner of the Coast Guard’s 2020 Captain Neils P. Thomsen Innovation Award in recognition of his efforts to implement education and outreach programs for operators of bareboat charters and uninspected passenger vessels. In addition, Commodore Bill Bowen and Auxiliarist Bruce Buckley – both Connecticut residents - have been selected for Honorable Mention awards in recognition of their efforts to develop the Research and Development Center Auxiliary Team Skills Bank.

The Innovation Awards were established to recognize members of Team Coast Guard who have found innovative ways to increase efficiencies across the service by reducing resource and personnel costs while collaborating with various stakeholders to encourage a more inclusive service. These process improvements include better information sharing and resource allocation to amplify Coast Guard operations. These recognition awards foster a culture of continuous innovation within the Coast Guard’s workforce to meet strategic objectives.

Auxiliarist Alvaro Ferrando:

Although most face-to-face education programs were restricted by COVID-19 protocols last year, Ferrando – a member of Coast Guard Sector Miami’s Prevention Investigations Division - worked with prevention officials to develop new ways to keep public education programs available and relevant. The team adapted established teaching methods and created new programs to keep the South Florida boating community informed and in compliance with passenger-for-hire regulations. In total, the team created six on-line products that were offered to the maritime industry using Commercial Virtual Remote and Microsoft Teams in English and Spanish to provide both education and opportunities to participate in Q&A.

In June, Auxiliarist Ferrando and the Sector Miami team presented a “Passenger-For-Hire Workshop” that drew 45 uninspected passenger vessels (UPV) and bare boat charter captains to an on-line teleconference meeting. The session was repeated for the area’s Spanish-speaking community later in the month, attracting 12 additional skippers.

The team also offered a “Passenger-for-Hire” workshop in July that was designed for boarding officers from Sector Miami.

Since UPVs are prevalent in South Florida waters, Ferrando’s team developed a presentation on “How to Pass Your UPV Examination” – a three-hour online workshop geared to prepare boat owners for future Coast Guard certification tests.

In recognition of his contributions to these innovative programs, Auxiliarist Ferrando will receive the prestigious Thomsen Auxiliary Innovation Award in a special ceremony at the Senior Leadership Conference (SLC) at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in April 30.

Ferrando, who joined the Auxiliary in 2013, is a member of the Miami South Flotilla in District 7. Ferrando is also the Sector Miami Investigations Division Education and Outreach Coordinator and Auxiliary Sector Coordinator for Sector Miami.

Commodore Bill Bowen and Auxiliarist Bruce Buckley:

The Auxiliary recently updated its Mission Statement to focus on the ability for our organization to leverage the private sector skills of our personnel to augment the Coast Guard. Commodore Bowen and Auxiliarist Buckley’s efforts with the Research and Development Center (RDC) led to the development of a “skills bank” that has identified resource gaps for funded research and development projects. Using this tool, assigned teams at the RDC can pinpoint Auxiliary resources to be quickly used to fill personnel gaps.

In August 2020, First District Commander Rear Admiral Thomas G. Allen, USCG, oversaw the creation of the first national Auxiliary unit dedicated to supporting the RDC. This highly specialized unit focuses on coordinating requests for subject matter expertise, field research activities, and public affairs. Auxiliarist Buckley, the unit coordinator, personally brokered these types of requests with Commodore Bowen over the past four years, but the two men looked for a sustainable impact on their efforts.

The creation of a dedicated unit to support the RDC means that there will be a legacy of volunteer assistance with the Coast Guard’s research projects. Auxiliarists with technology and science skills and other previously untapped talents can become force multipliers for the Coast Guard without having to go through air and water training. Moreover, Auxiliarists are involved in a wide variety of Coast Guard and other agency research projects and have high expectations for the future.

Commodore Bowen and Auxiliarist Buckley joined the Auxiliary in the early 2000s and are members of First District Southern. In addition to his work for the RDC, Bowen is an immediate past commodore. In addition to his work for the RDC, Buckley is an AUC.

Captain Neils P. Thomsen:

The Innovation Award is named after Captain Neils P. Thomsen, USCG, who began his career in the Merchant Marine before joining the Coast Guard during World War II. He received a Legion of Merit citation after his ship sank a Japanese submarine off the coast of Alaska and continued to serve in the Coast Guard until 1952, eventually earning the rank of commander. During his time in the Coast Guard, Thomsen’s innovations led to improved safety practices for moving buoys off ships.

After his service, Thomsen founded the Ketchikan Merchants Charter Association, a small shipping line that won a mail contract for the Aleutian Islands. In 1964, he founded Aleutian King Crab Inc. and was one of the first to open fishing for king crab in Alaska.

AUXAIR Shorebird Response

AUXAIR Teamed with Hawaii Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Last December 2020, AUXAIR teamed with the Hawaii Wildlife Rehabilitation Center located on Hawaii Island to help save aLanaiIsland critically endangered fledgling Wedge-tailed Shearwater shorebird,offering transport capabilities. Actually, Kauai Island is the habitat of 90% of the remaining population. Ensuring a protected rich, diverse and sustainable ocean environment is part of the Team Coast Guard environmental protection mission.


Aux Pilot William Melhn and Aux Pilot Heinz Gert de Couet


* U.S. Coast Guard (L-R) Auxiliary pilot William Melhn and pilot Heinz Gert de Couet of the 14th USCG District Handing over a fledgling Wedge-tailed shearwater to Wildlife Rehabilitation manager Juan Carlos Guerra, at Upolu Point Airfield.

The flight aircraft, a Cessna 172C, originated from the Honolulu airport via Lanai Airport, Upolu Point Airport and ended 3.6 hours later returning to Honolulu Airport. The crew was greeted by Ms. Christina Donehowerwho accepted delivery of a fledgling Wedge-tailed shearwater in need of special care by the veterinary staff at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Upolu Point. Within a few minutes, the flight was airborne again in the direction of the Big Island.At Upolu Point, the crew was greeted by Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager Juan Carlos Guerra, who accepted delivery of the sick bird.

Auxiliary Flotilla 140-01-10 Hawaii has a robust air corps with 25 qualified pilots and 22 trainees. Roughly 16 pilots are very active. On average, the team conducts about 15 flights monthly in support of routine patrols, first light search and rescue, pollution response, and specialty flights for transport of injured or recovered animals and birds. The efforts of the air corps are a significant force multiplier for the local Coast Guard air station. As demands on the Coast Guard have accelerated, legislation expanded the Commandant’s authority to use the Auxiliary, and especially AUXAIR, to assist other Federal agencies, State authorities, and local governments.

By 2011, AUXAIR began integrating routine patrols into operations with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), flying within the National Marine Sanctuary along the Nation’s coastlines; the sanctuaries, part and parcel of the Coast Guard’s mission of Marine Environmental Protection.

These are but a fragment of AUXAIR responsibilities.  As more missions and operations are integrated into Auxiliary Aviation’s area of responsibility, the need for pilots, and especially for observers, has become critical and recruitment has become a daily effort to enlist more observers.


Hawaii Ecological Diversity Images


*District 14 Hawaii has an amazing ecological diversity of aquatic, botanical adn bird species.


Wedge Tailed Shearwater Image


*(L) Wedge-Tailed Shearwater (C) Hawaii Wildlife Center Logo (R) Caring for an injured bird by specialists.

But with 200 aircraft and 300 personnel, Auxiliary aviators provide a dedicated force multiplier by increasing the number of aircraft available for the mission, or filling in when Coast Guard air is called away for more demanding missions.  Routine operations for AUXAIR are air safety patrols flown week-to-week, month-to-month year-round.  Auxiliary air patrols are requested by the pilots who fly them and must be approved by the Coast Guard air station to which they are assigned. “We’ve taken steps to minimize risk, and if for any reason our teams feel there’s unacceptable exposure risk to COVID-19, we’ll cancel the flight,” William Melohnpilot.

AUXAIR is an Auxiliary operational program with participation in various missions ranging from transport to search and rescue. AUXAIR aviators volunteer their aircraft for use as facilities, just as surface operators volunteer their boats. Member training and certification is available for pilots, observers and air crew.

For more information about the AUXAIR program, please visit

Auxiliary Honorary Chief

30-Year Auxiliary Member David G. McClure Receives Coveted Coast Guard "CHIEF" Honor


SANDWICH, Mass. – David G. McClure of Wareham, Mass., a 30-year member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, has beennamed an “Honorary Chief” by the U.S. Coast Guard – a rare honor for a member of the Auxiliary volunteer force. McClure, who has been a communications watchstander at Coast Guard Station Cape Cod Canal for the past 10 years, was nominated for the honor by Chief Boatswain’s Mate Nicholas Crews, Officer-In-Charge at Station Canal in recognition of McClure’s long and helpful service to the unit. Crews’ recommendation was

McClure 1 Image - with OIC Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Crewsunanimously supported by the other chief petty officers in Sector Southeastern New England, and final approval followed from the Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Master Chief Jason M. Vanderhaden, and the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl L. Schultz.

The citation was presented to McClure during the monthly “Chiefs’ Call” of the Sector’s top enlisted cadre held at Station Canal on Nov/2020. “I was absolutely amazed and very pleased to receive this award,” said McClure… “It was a surprise that I never expected, Thanks to all the Coast Guard members who thought me worthy to receive this award.”

McClure 2 Image - Petty Officer Third Class Jalil Ellis

The “Honorary Chief” designation permits holders to participate in the tradition-laden “Chiefs’ Mess” dining, fellowship and social activities aboard any Coast Guard vessel or shore station.

In addition to his watchstanding duties over the past decade, McClure is a certified Auxiliary Food Specialist who has provided support to the station’s galley – helping to prepare and serve meals on holidays and other special occasions. A former schoolteacher who holds a doctorate in education, McClure has also spent many hours providing educational counsel and advice to the unit’s active duty members. Recently, McClure and his wife Carolyn – also an Auxiliarist – worked to make protective face masks for the Station’s crew to help minimize risks from the COVID-19 virus.

McClure is also a qualified instructor in the Auxiliary’s public affairs directorate and recently was elected Chief of Staff for the Auxiliary’s First District-Northern Region, an area that includes all Auxiliarists from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.

Article written by DVC-AM Reid Oslin
Division Chief of Publications for the Public Affairs Directorate


McCLURE #1: Coast Guard Auxiliarist David McClure (left) received a designation as an “Honorary Coast Guard Chief” from Station Cape Cod Canal’s Officer-In-Charge, Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Crews. (Photo by AUX Reid Oslin.)

McCLURE #2: Auxiliarist David McClure accepts congratulations from Petty Officer Third Class Jalil Ellis and other members of the Station Cape Cod Canal crew after the presentation ceremony. (Photo by AUX Reid Oslin.)

Auxiliary Photograph In Running for USCG Photo of the Year

Auxiliarist David Lau's photograph recreating the USCG Postage Stamp is in the final running for the USCG Photo of the Year.  Please visit and click on "like" by  Mr. Lau's photo to support him!



Submitting Photographs to . . .

Before you submit photographs for publication in The Navigator, Navigator Express, LIVE, or use in a local publication please review that photograph carefully for the following issues. Make sure that everyone in the photo is wearing proper Coast Guard and USCG Auxiliary uniform according to the Uniform Guidelines. Look carefully at your shot, are all the activities shown in the photo proper (safe) procedures, no one standing right behind an active tow line? or not wearing a life jacket while underway or the life jacket is on but not buckled?

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National Commodore Tom Mallison Posts Welcome Video

Auxiliary National Commodore Tom Mallison has posted a welcome video on the National Website aimed at our membership. The two-minute video lays out COMO Mallison's vision for our organization, and can be accessed from his web page in the "Leadership" section of the National Website, or at this link:

Source [Barry S. Novakoff, DIR-A]

2012 NACON Info & Registration Available

The 2012 Auxiliary National Convention (NACON) is scheduled for August 22-26 in San Antonio, TX at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk Hotel. Conference registration is now open at where you may find conference information, as well as links to both online registration form and mail-in registration forms. Hotel reservation information is also available, along with the most up-to-date version of the Schedule of Events. Updates will be posted periodically.

This year's covention includes the National Auxiliary elections, preparatory to the biennial Change of Watch on November 1. The conference theme is "FIESTA!" Plan now to join your friends and colleagues in San Antonio and be part of the excitement!

Source [Martin L. Phillips - Executive Director CGAuxA]