Skip to main content

Coast Guard Auxiliary turns 70

On June 23, 1939, Congress chartered the Coast Guard Auxiliary authorizing the Coast Guard to use civilian volunteers to promote boating safety on the nation's waterways. On its 70th anniversary, the auxiliary, "America's Volunteer Guardians" continues the long tradition of helping protect boaters and all Americans.
Nationwide, 30,000 auxiliarists assist in patrolling harbors and providing boating education and free vessel safety checks to recreational boaters. Since 1996, Congress has authorized the auxiliary to provide support for most Coast Guard missions.

Through the decade, auxiliary members:

•    Saved 5,083 lives, assisted 141,980 people and saved $1,460, 055, 940 in property
•    Taught boating safety to 1,678,946 people with 980,000 hours of classroom work.
•    Conducted 1,170,535 Vessel Safety Checks (VSCs) during 579,000 hours
•    Made more than 418,000 Recreational Boating Safety Program visits spending more than 279,000 mission hours
•    Served 4,297,312 hours under way on safety patrols
•    Verified 138,867 private aids to navigation
•    Examined more than 10,223 Commercial Fishing Vessels
•    Provided 2,358,200 hours directly supporting the Coast Guard
•    Served 44,417,850 hours

Coast Guard commandant Thad Allen recognizing the auxiliary stated, "...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 ..."