This blog post is the 20th in a series of posts highlighting the various specialties and sub-specialties offered by the recently launched Officer Specialty Management System. Stay tuned as we share key information about each specialty/sub-specialty in the coming weeks!
Written by Cmdr. Mike DaPonte
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the Coast Guard workforce. Our Auxiliary consists of approximately 30,000 men and women who are committed to promoting and improving recreational boating safety, providing trained crews and facilities to augment Coast Guard operations, and support Coast Guard operational, administrative, and logistical requirements. They freely dedicate their time, talent, and treasure to help the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. A large part of our Service’s success depends on how well we leverage our Auxiliary workforce.
In the Auxiliary Policy Statement, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft charges “… all Commanders, Commanding Officers, and Officers in Charge to continually strive to include the Auxiliary in mission execution and support so that we can maximize sustained excellence across all mission areas.”
While all members of the Coast Guard come in contact with the Auxiliary at some point during their career, certain assignments provide Coast Guard officers with greater opportunities to interact with the Auxiliary workforce.
CG-OAP15 recognizes officers who excel at integrating the Auxiliary with Coast Guard activities. This specialty code can be earned by officers who come in sustained contact with their Auxiliary counterparts. Specifically, it can be earned upon completing two years satisfactory performance as a unit Auxiliary Liaison Officer, or AUXLO or sector division officer, or following two years of satisfactory performance as a district Director of Auxiliary, or DIRAUX or in a CG-BSX-1 staff billet. In essence, officers with the CG-OAP15 specialty code know how to get the get the job done by leading volunteers.
If you have been designated as your unit’s AUXLO – congratulations! There isn’t another collateral duty in the Coast Guard that offers as much interaction with a volunteer organization. This experience will serve you well in any leadership position. As AUXLO, you will be the link between your command and local Auxiliary units to facilitate and coordinate mutual support. There are countless ways you can engage the Auxiliary to support your unit. The Coast Guard Auxiliary Manual and the Coast Guard Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual provide guidance on how to administer Auxiliary activities within your area of responsibility. There are no formal training prerequisites for AUXLOs. Your command’s favorable endorsement and comments on Officer Specialty Code Application – Addition are the primary means of documenting satisfactory performance as AUXLO in order to earn the CG-OAP15 specialty code.
Additionally, each Coast Guard District has one, and in some cases two, DIRAUX, who fills an O-4/O-5 billet in the District Prevention office. These officers are in charge of administering the Auxiliary within their respective districts. Each DIRAUX office has an experienced staff which can provide programmatic information and counsel to you as the AUXLO, and can help you reach out to Auxiliary leaders in your area.
Serving in a billet that places you in direct contact with our Auxiliarists is truly a unique and rewarding experience. Interacting with these volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to help the Coast Guard without any compensation is a gratifying experience. You will also earn the CG-OAP15 Specialty Code and gain significant leadership experience that will help you throughout your Coast Guard career.