The traditional model of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary supplementing Coast Guard services by conducting safety patrols, vessel safety checks, public education and other independent flotilla missions continues. The 26,000 members of the auxiliary contribute 3.8 million hours annually in support of the Coast Guard, in the classroom, at the ramp and pier and in operating 1,800 vessels, 160 aircraft and 1,400 radio facilities. On any given day, the auxiliary: saves one life, assists 28 people, completes 62 safety patrols, performs 300 vessel safety checks, educates 400 people on boating safety, participates in 100 Coast Guard operational support missions, attends 70 public affairs functions and more.

Since 9/11, the concept of the Coast Guard and the auxiliary working together has taken on new and expanded meaning. The auxiliary has been integrated into the Department of Homeland Security, and members now perform a variety of port security functions. The services of auxiliarists are being employed to fill critical positions at Coast Guard groups, stations, cutters and offices — positions traditionally staffed by active duty and reserve personnel. Auxiliarists may also perform support jobs not traditionally thought of as critical to Coast Guard operations but which are necessary to the day-to-day administration of a Coast Guard unit. When these ancillary jobs — storekeeper, facility maintenance, training center instructors, cooking, data entry, accounting, personnel services and a host of others — are performed by auxiliarists, it frees up active duty and reserve personnel for assignment to direct operational duties.

The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the largest volunteer marine safety organization in the world. You can be part of it! If you are looking to volunteer your time and service to your nation and community, consider joining the USCG Auxiliary. Brigantine Flotilla 85 seeks men and women, age 17 and older, who want to help perform the auxiliary’s new and expanded role of service to the Coast Guard. Military veterans are welcome. You do not need to own a boat or have boating experience to join the auxiliary. Brigantine Flotilla 85 meets 6:45 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month at the Brigantine Beach Community Center, 265 42nd St. Come join us at our next meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 16, and see what the auxiliary is all about. For more information leave a message at 609-926-7607 or email Visit us on the web at

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