Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
On June 23, 2018 , The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrated its 79th Anniversary. Originally known as the "Coast Guard Reserve", a uniformed group of Coast Guard sponsored volunteers providing their own boats, radios, air craft and uniforms the organization was formally divided at the start of WWII into an auxiliary of unpaid uniformed volunteers and a paid military reserve modeled after the Department of Defense Reserve Forces.
The Volunteer uniformed members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have supported Coast Guard missions along our coasts and on our inland navigable waters since June 23, 1939. On that date Congress authorised the formation of "Coast Guard Volunteer Reserve". Later as World War II appeared on the horizon Congress passed the Auxiliary and Reserve Act of 1941 creating the military Coast Guard Reserve Coast Guard Reserve and the uniformed volunteer civilian auxiliary under Title 14, Capter 23 of the United States Code. Title 14, Chapter 23 of the United States Code. Since 1941 the Auxiliary has augmented every Coast Guard mission area except armed combat and criminal law enforcement. During WWI a considerable number of Auxiliary members participated in antisubmarine warfare off of our coasts when transferred to the Coast Guard's Temporary Reserve. Similarly transferred members ( always volunteers) even joined General MacArthur in the liberation efforts of the Philippines bringing their own boats to operational area serving as dispatch, and courier vessels. The all volunteer citizen sailors of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are a major factor in the flexibility of the U.S Coast Guard and the service's ability to "surge" forces on demand. In the after math of Hurricane Katrina the Coast Guard in New Orleans was in need of extensive support services by large truck and tractor trailers rigs. There is no motorized division in the Coast Guard or even an overland transport company or platoon. The Auxiliary rounded up members familiar with large truck transport and formed a temporary motorized support group that served for months into the post Katrina recovery efforts.
All over the nation, including on some large lakes that straddle state borders where an Auxiliary manned station is the only daily Coast Guard presence and especially here on the Gulf Coast, we are happy to know the all volunteer uniformed branch of the Coast Guard is "Always ready" when needed. HAPPY BIRTHDAY US COAST GUARD AUXILIARY!