Spring District Training & Awards Banquet is coming up fast!
It’s time to get back together. We are returning to the same location where we had Spring 2023 DTRAIN. The Member Training Team and Conference Coordinators have been working hard to bring you an outstanding variety of courses, workshops and meetings—truly something for everyone!
The District Board Meeting, open to all members, will be on Friday Morning. Scheduled events and training for members will be on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Be sure to join us for Fun Night on Friday!
You will hear from the U.S. Coast Guard Active Duty about exciting new opportunities for D5NR Auxiliarists at our Annual Awards Banquet Saturday evening. There will be special awards for members and recognition for the amazing contribution of our entire team.
Every District member is encouraged to come join us for the entire DTRAIN weekend, or just for a day. Your time will be well invested while having a great time, gaining valuable knowledge, and making new friends. I’m looking forward to meeting with everyone and having a chat.
Looking forward to seeing you at DTRAIN!
Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
This communication gives you a summary of the courses and workshops being offered at our Spring District Training Event. Special emphasis has been made to provide diverse opportunities for personal advancement as well as offering required workshops for member readiness for the 2024 boating and operational season.
There will be the usual meetings for engagement for leadership and departmental interactions as well as plenty of time for social gatherings among members from across the entire District. Make no mistake, some of the best benefits in attending this event come from the times between formal sessions.
Come with a desire to learn and you will be richly rewarded. While we are all unique individuals, we do share common Core Values that bind us together as shipmates.
More DTRAIN details and information will be coming in the days and weeks ahead—watch for them!
Spring 2024 DTRAIN
AUXDATA Training—This workshop will be to provide a better understanding of AUXDATA II System. At the end there will be a Question-and-Answer Period.
AUXDATA Report Training—This workshop will provide insight into AUXDATA II reporting along with a Question-and-Answer session.
Auxiliary Culinary Assistance
Intro to Culinary Assistance—A discussion of the requirements of becoming an Auxiliary Culinary Assistant, including the annual requirements for Auxiliarists. Culinary Assistants augment Coast Guard Culinary Specialist ashore and afloat.
Annual Budgets and Audits—A review of Auxiliary annual budgets and annual audits that should be held.
Financial Ops Training—A workshop that summarizes the key changes to USCG Auxiliary Financial Controls Standard Operating Procedures, a few significant changes that everyone needs to be aware of in the Auxiliary financial field.
Financial Staff Officers Meeting—Meeting for Division Staff Officers-FN and Flotilla Staff Officers-FN with the District Staff Officer-Finance.
Individual Member Reimbursement
ETS Training—An orientation session on using E2Solutions for Coast Guard travel which includes completing and submitting the FSMS supplier request form, logging into ETS, completing the travel authorization and travel voucher, and reviewing the process for local travel.
Flotilla Leadership Training—Newly elected, Planning on running for Flotilla office or an Appointed Flotilla Officer? Selected “Nuts and Bolts” subjects will be covered to assist you on starting off on the right foot and keeping on course.
Conflict Management—This workshop will instruct how to best handle conflict within the unit and any required reporting methods. The workshop will be presented by Operational Training Officer CWO4 Mickey Price and guest presenters.
New Member Training—Provides new members as well as Flotilla Commanders (FC) and member training (MT) officers an easy-to-follow, flexible plan that will help integrate new (or reactivating) members into the Auxiliary.
Human Resource Processing—Training on new application processes; privacy/confidentiality; terminations/disenrollments; transfers; ID cards; CORE Values classes & BQ2 online courses and lastly, AAMS Contact Management Program (w/Dave DeSimone)
Telecommunications (Radio Operations)
Annual TCO Workshop—This annual workshop is strongly recommended for all operators and owners of Auxiliary Radio Facilities, those currently holding Telecommunications Operator (TCO), or in training for TCO qualification, and those who are using AUXCOM as their “grandfathered” qualification for radio operation.
TCO Training—This training is for all individuals that wish to be owners/operators of Auxiliary Radio Facilities, those not currently holding Telecommunications Operator (TCO), or in training for TCO qualification, and those who are using AUXCOM as their “grandfathered” qualification for radio operation.
Annual Operations Workshop—The Operations workshop is focused on providing members with the latest information to prepare for the operational season. All surface operations and TCO members must complete this workshop before the operational season.
Annual Risk Management/Team Coordination Training Workshop—This RM/TCT mandatory training is focused on providing the members with the latest risk management information to prepare for the operational season. All surface operations members must complete before the operational season.
RS&S Training—Training on the process of get all of the District Operations PPE Equipment entered and inventoried utilizing the functionality in AuxData II, which will assist with budgeting and ordering of equipment in the future (i.e.: PLB batteries and more).
Vessel Examiner Workshop—The mandatory VE workshop is always focused on providing the Vessel Examiners with the latest information to prepare for the boating season. Candidates must have passed the VE Exam prior to taking this workshop.
Auxiliary & Sea Scouts
How the Sea Scouts can Help the Auxiliary—This class will cover a complete introduction to the Sea Scouts. How they are organized. What they are allowed to do when working with the Auxiliary. What training the Auxiliary personnel are required to have, and where they can take it. We will also have key personnel from the Auxiliary/Sea Scout Program to answer any questions
Emergency Management at Sector Delaware Bay
Incident Command System (ICS) Opportunities at Sector Delaware Bay—This course covers a brief description of ICS, the AUX ICS structure within the Sector; such as, the District Staff Officer-Emergency Management and IMAST Coordinator, the opportunities available within the Sector and, how to get qualified.
Intro to Incident Management Auxiliary Support Team (IMAST)—This session covers basic information as to why the team was formed; types of events the team supports; how it is managed by Sector Delaware Bay; how a complex, longer-term ICS response is organized geographically; and internal team organization.
Security Threats Awareness
AWW Security Threats—Session on identifying various security threats as part of our America’s Waterways Watch program.
State Government Liaison
State Liaison Officer Awareness—Workshop to make members aware of the various legal processes that are monitored by the SLOs.
Auxiliary Public Affairs Two Part Presentation. For all current and interested members including elected unit leaders and all Appointed Public Affairs Officers. U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs augmentation is a fast-growing opportunity to serve the active duty.
Part 1: Intro to Auxiliary Public Affairs—A comprehensive overview of the AUX-PA program featuring personal opportunities, qualifications, duties and responsibilities. Training Opportunities and needs to augment active duty public affairs units will be shared. Subjects include a review of PA programs: Public Affairs Specialist Qualifications, Mascot Program, Public Affairs Outreach, Speakers Bureau, Photography and Uniform Standards. Handouts: Protocol Guides, USCG & Auxiliary Ranks, Auxiliary Brand Standards (Logos, use and approved applications), District Public Affairs Policies and Guidelines, and Resource Guides (Banners, Posters, Displays, etc.). Questions encouraged.
Public Affairs Part 2: Social Media Policies & Guidelines. New Social Media Policies reviewed, with emphasis on training and explanations of requirements and limitations. Approved social media platforms will be discussed. Ample samples will be presented of approved and non-approved posts. Photographic standards and proper attribution policies will be explained. Expect to engage in discussions so that all will better understand where this ever-changing environment is headed. We will have a limited discussion on generative Artificial Intelligence and its impact on social media.
By the end of this class, students will have an overview of social media platforms and ways to help increase positive visibility for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and share our message with the public we serve.
Same Great Location
as Spring 2023 DTRAIN!
The Hilton Christiana/Wilmington in Delaware has recently been entirely renovated. The facility is very nice and the staff and management are eager to host our event to the best of their ability.
Watch Your Email and D5NR Social Media
for More Complete Information
And Registration Details
Good Day Shipmates,
There are several reasons why your Auxiliary Leadership determined that the only course of action that makes sense is to shift N-TRAIN 2024 from an in-person to a virtual event.
On 18 JAN 2024 the House and Senate passed a third continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal 2024. That CR avoided a partial government shutdown that would have occurred on 19 JAN 2024, but it will expire between 1 and 8 MAR 2024. N-TRAIN 2024 was scheduled to run between 3 and 10 MAR 2024. If Congress failed to either pass a budget or another CR before then, we would have been without funding for the scheduled C School instructors, students, and many reimbursable incidental expenses, and no active-duty members would have been able to attend. Moreover, waiting until the very last moment to cancel N-Train would be disrespectful of our members who have lives outside the Auxiliary.
Further mandating the decision now is that the deadline for cancelling N-TRAIN without a significant financial penalty from the hotel is tomorrow, 22 JAN. Whle we could have stood by and hoped that Congress would pass a budget or another CR in time, hope is rarely an effective strategy, so the decision had to be made now. Waiting to see whether Congress acted in time to hold an in-person event would have been irresponsible.
Finally, your Auxiliary is facing a severe shortfall in funding for the programs that are targeted at supporting our primary mission of protecting the lives and property of the nation’s recreational boaters, support the Coast Guard, and support Auxiliary operations. Converting from an in-person to a virtual N-TRAIN will save thousands of dollars to fund those programs.
Please standby for further information. A schedule of events, meetings, and addresses from Coast Guard Leadership will be forthcoming.
Agostino “Gus” Formato, National Commodore United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Effective 19 & 20 January 2024
RISK vs GAIN (RM) Assessments are required for any and all
in-person Coast Guard Auxiliary activities that are scheduled in D5NR between Friday and Saturday (19 & 20 JANUARY 2024).
Send your completed Risk vs Gain Assessment to your Area District Captain
with a cc to the District Commodore.
We understand with a District as large as ours, some areas will be affected more than others. Individual discretion is mandated.
The safety and the well-being of all members is paramount.
Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Good day, Shipmates, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The New Year brought with it the commencement of our program requiring member participation in a uniform inspection at least once each calendar year. The overarching purpose is to help guide our members to wear the USCG Auxiliary uniform in a manner that reflects positively on us individually, and as proud members of Team Coast Guard.
The Uniform Inspection Program was promulgated as part of BSX Policy Letter 23-02 (28 NOV 2023). That Policy Letter, which supersedes many of the uniform regulations found in Chapter 10 of the Auxiliary Manual (COMDTINST M16790.1 (Series)), is located on the Chief Directors website at: https://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=BX-GROUP. All Auxiliairists should become familiar with the many changes to the Uniform Guidelines.
The portion of the policy letter that describes the Uniform Inspection Program is reproduced, in its entirety at the end of this message for your review and understanding. Any questions should be directed to your elected leaders thourgh the chain of leadership and management.
Reviewing the information below, and enthusiastically participating in the program, will help you to always wear the USCG Auxiliary uniform correctly and with the pride that comes from being an active, informed, and valuable member of the greatest volunteer organization in the world, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Agostimo “Gus” Formato, National Commodore
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
IS OFFICERS PLEASE NOTE:
The Member Detail page in AUXDATA II has been updated with fields for reporting uniform inspection information for members. “Uniform Exempt” is a checkbox that identifies when, per policy, a member is exempt from inspection. “Uniform Last Inspected” is a date field to record the most recent uniform inspection completed for a member. The fields may only be edited by active elected or IS officers. Neither Auxiliary nor active-duty Coast Guard members may edit or inspect either field.
Auxiliary Manual Section Chapter 10.Section C.1. –
Setting an Example and Uniform Inspection Requirements
Elected and appointed officers are expected to wear the uniform properly to set an example. They must motivate and inspire other Auxiliarists to maintain the highest standards of personal appearance, hygiene, and grooming when wearing the uniform. They must also hold membership accountable for maintaining the same high standards. Accordingly, the following provisions in this section are effective beginning in CY 2024.
Auxiliarists in a membership status other than Approval Pending (AP) or retired shall undergo a uniform inspection each calendar year performed and validated for AUXDATA II entry purposes by their FC, VFC, IPFC, or other elected officer (i.e., this includes other immediate past elected officers) in their Chain of Leadership and Management (COLM) (e.g., uniform inspections may be conducted for attendees at a district conference or division training forum). The Chief Director of Auxiliary (CHDIRAUX), Deputy CHDIRAUX, District Directors of Auxiliary (DIRAUX), and Operations Training Officers (OTO) may also conduct these inspections. An Auxiliarist may not inspect themselves. The AUXDATA II entry may be made by an elected or Information Services (IS) staff officer in the Auxiliarist’s COLM at flotilla, division, or district level.
Undergoing inspection by an elected or immediate past elected officer in another Auxiliary COLM is also authorized. For example, an Auxiliarist may undergo their uniform inspection in another Auxiliary region while away from their home (e.g., at the annual Auxiliary National Conference). In such case, the Auxiliarist must provide the inspector’s attestation of inspection to their FC for AUXDATA II record entry purposes (email acceptable).
Those authorized to perform uniform inspections may not specify the uniform to be worn. Dinner Dress Jacket uniforms, Hot Weather Uniform (HWU) versions, the Auxiliary jump suit, flight suit, or any organizational clothing (defined as Coast Guard unit-owned clothing that is issued to individuals) are not authorized for the purpose of this annual inspection. An Auxiliarist may otherwise choose any of their personal uniforms they are authorized and outfitted to wear (e.g., a certified vessel examiner (VE) who is also a coxswain and instructor may choose to be inspected in the ODU, CGWU, or AWU with authorized VE polo shirt; an Auxiliarist who only wears the Blue Blazer Outfit for their Auxiliary activities must wear that for inspection purposes).
Flexibility shall also be afforded Auxiliarists to undergo inspection. Multiple opportunities for inspection shall be provided (e.g., flotillas and divisions should hold inspection opportunities at meetings). The inspected Auxiliarist shall be immediately advised of any discrepancies stemming from their inspection so as to correct them as soon as possible.
If an Auxiliarist does not own an Auxiliary uniform nor wears the Blue Blazer Outfit, or when they determine they will no longer wear Auxiliary uniforms, then they must notify their FC and be recorded in AUXDATA II as exempt from this requirement. Such Auxiliarists remain authorized to wear Dinner Dress Jacket uniforms at appropriate events. Auxiliarists in retired membership status are exempt from uniform inspections. Auxiliarists who only engage in Auxiliary Lifejacket Wear Observation (AUXLWO) program activities, for which civilian clothing is authorized to be worn, shall also be exempt from uniform inspections.
If distance or physical ability do not allow in-person inspection, then an Auxiliarist may provide a photo(s) to their FC, VFC, or IPFC to perform the inspection (email acceptable). The photo(s) must allow for a full-frontal view that includes headgear to footwear and makes all ribbons, nametags, and insignia readily identifiable (any authorized ribbon configuration is allowed). If the provided photo(s) is insufficient to properly perform the inspection, then the inspector shall request submission of additional photos needed to complete it. The inspection may also be performed virtually (e.g., via video teleconference application) if amenable to both the Auxiliarist and the inspector.
Inspections shall include presentation and review of an Auxiliarist’s ID card. If the Auxiliarist’s ID card is expired or the photo no longer resembles their appearance, it is the Auxiliarist’s responsibility to obtain a new ID card as soon after inspection as possible. If the inspection is performed by photo(s) or virtually, the Auxiliarist may sanitize the ID card blocks for Date of Birth and Blood Type before mailing or displaying it.
Annual inspection shall count as an annual currency maintenance task applicable to all Auxiliary competencies. Auxiliarists are encouraged to pursue its completion as early in the calendar year as possible and to be inspected in a different uniform they are authorized to wear each year to confirm they are wearing all their authorized uniforms properly.
Except as exempted above from inspection, Auxiliarists who do not undergo this uniform inspection requirement during the calendar year shall lose their currency and eligibility to be assigned to duty in all their competencies for the following calendar year (i.e., they shall be placed in REYR status), they shall not be eligible to hold or run for elected office, and they shall be issued a Letter of Caution by the FC that conveys the importance of their adherence to uniform policies and expectations (copy to DCDR and the Director; Chapter 3 investigative requirements are waived for this purpose). If this happens for a second consecutive year, then REYR status and ineligibility for elected office shall continue to apply and a Letter of Reprimand shall be issued by the District Commodore (DCO) (copy to FC, DCDR, DCAPT, and the Director; Chapter 3 investigative requirements are waived for this purpose). If this happens for a third consecutive year, then the Auxiliarist may be disenrolled by the Director (Chapter 3 investigative requirements are waived for this purpose).
Completion of the annual uniform requirement is sufficient for an Auxiliarist to be removed from REYR status when REYR status has been imposed because of not having undergone that requirement. An Auxiliarist may also be removed from REYR status in such circumstance if they determine they will no longer wear Auxiliary uniforms and notify their FC to be recorded in AUXDATA II as exempt from this requirement. Removal from REYR status shall be performed at DIRAUX level based on validation by the FC.
For Auxiliarists in AP membership status and who intend to engage in Auxiliary activities that require uniform wear, undergoing uniform inspection is required for their AP membership status to be changed to any other status (i.e., Initially Qualified (IQ); Basically Qualified (BQ); Operational Auxiliarist (AX)). Waiver to serve in an elected office shall not be granted until they have undergone the uniform inspection. Such Auxiliarists may perform authorized Auxiliary activities in a prescribed uniform while in a trainee status prior to undergoing the uniform inspection.
All Auxiliarists, particularly those in leadership positions, are expected and have the responsibility to render judgments and take appropriate action regarding adherence to the Coast Guard’s high standards of appearance. This is of particular importance in the context of serviceability of uniform items worn by themselves and their fellow Auxiliarists. of appearance. This is of particular importance in the context of serviceability of uniform items worn by themselves and their fellow Auxiliarists.
Uniforms shall be properly pressed, clean, fit, and maintained in good repair. The nature of Auxiliary uniform policies occasionally justifies the authorized wear of specific items until they are no longer in serviceable condition. For uniform items, no longer serviceable condition is defined as being in a condition that detracts from the purpose of projecting the Coast Guard’s high standards of pride and professionalism. A uniform item shall be considered no longer serviceable when any aspect of it is irreparably damaged; creased or bunched in an inappropriate and irreversible fashion; torn; soiled; stained; frayed; worn; discolored; faded; inappropriately altered; repaired in a manner that results in an inappropriate or unprofessional appearance; or officially declared obsolete.
Although Auxiliarists are not required to closely adhere to some Coast Guard appearance standards, circumstances may arise in which close adherence to standards is required. For example, assignment to duty at a Coast Guard training facility for recruits, enlisted leaders, or new officers carries the inherent need for Auxiliarists to closely adhere to Coast Guard standards of appearance to sustain and support the examples that are strived and set for these groups. Substantial deviation from Coast Guard standards would be inappropriate in such circumstances and give cause to Auxiliary leaders to consider the propriety of allowing an Auxiliarist who does not closely adhere to them to so serve. Particular attention shall therefore be paid by Auxiliary leaders to ensure that Auxiliary representatives in such circumstances closely adhere to Coast Guard overall appearance standards.
Any Auxiliarist who desires to pursue a recurring assignment to duty at or aboard a Coast Guard, other military, or other governmental unit shall not perform such assignment until they have been visually inspected in the uniform prescribed by the unit by their FC or DCDR. If distance or physical ability do not allow ready in-person inspection, then the provisions for the FC’s or DCDR’s inspection by photo or virtually shall apply. The Auxiliarist shall ensure any discrepancies (e.g., ribbon/name tag misplacement; frayed/faded uniform items) are corrected prior to reporting to the unit. If the annual inspection has already been completed in the uniform prescribed by the unit, then this inspection requirement is waived. If not, then this inspection may also be credited to the annual uniform inspection requirement. For example, if an Auxiliarist desires to fill a recurring assignment to duty at a Coast Guard sector office that prescribes the ODU and has already completed their annual inspection in the ODU, then they do not have to undergo another inspection by the FC or DCDR. If the annual inspection was completed in the Tropical Blue uniform, then they would have to undergo inspection in the ODU by the FC or DCDR,
and an Abundance of Joy
Dear Fifth District-Northern Region Auxiliarists
and U.S. Coast Guard shipmates,
I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. During this holiday season, I want to extend my warmest wishes to each of you.
First and foremost, I want to express my deep gratitude for your unwavering dedication and tireless efforts in supporting our Coast Guard and nation. Your commitment to service is truly commendable, and it does not go unnoticed. Whether it’s assisting with search and rescue operations, promoting boating safety, or providing valuable support in various community outreach programs, your contributions make a significant impact on the safety and welfare of our coastal regions.
I want to emphasize the importance of taking time for yourselves and your loved ones during this festive season. It is vital to recharge and rejuvenate, both physically and mentally. Prioritize your own well-being and find joy in the company of family and friends.
As we embark on a new year filled with hope and possibilities, know that your efforts are truly valued and make a difference. Your dedication to our Coast Guard and fellow citizens is an inspiration to us all.
Thank you for your remarkable service.
May this holiday season bring you peace, happiness, and an abundance of joy. Stay safe and cherish the moments that matter most.
With warmest regards,
Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Honor Respect Devotion to Duty
Join me in extending to
and ever-serving shipmate
the very best wishes
for his birthday.
Harry you have been our faithful beacon for nearly half a century—
a shining light for our Core Values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. Lighting the way for generations of Auxliarists.
Given your indominable wit and sense of humor, I might be tempted to make comment on the concern of the fire marshal for the number of candles on your cake. But, I won’t. Rather, on behalf of the entire District and the thousands of Auxiliarists that have received the benefit of the most generous sharing of your skills and knowledge, please know that we are proud to acknowledge you to be truly worthy of the title Shipmate.
May God Bless You and Keep You!
With abiding respect,
Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Good day Shipmates
A brief reminder that Auxiliarists may wear the uniform only when assigned to duty. The Auxiliary Manual provides a few specific examples of when Auxiliary uniform wear is prohibited, but even if not specifically prohibited, uniform wear is only authorized when assigned to duty.
An Auxiliarist is assigned to duty only when these 3 prerequisites are satisfied:
1. The Auxiliarist is engaged in an activity in support of an authorized Auxiliary program.
2. The Auxiliarist is qualified to engage in that activity in accordance with CG Auxiliary policy.
3. The Auxiliarist is performing the activity in conformity with applicable CG or CG Auxiliary policy (i.e. the Auxiliarist is acting within the scope of duty).
When those three criteria are met, then, and only then, the Auxiliarist is assigned to duty and may wear the uniform. Also, it is only then that an Auxiliarist is deemed an employee of the United States for purposes of eligibility for the federal statutory protections described in the Auxiliary Manual.
If ever in doubt, before donning the uniform, seek guidance from your elected unit leader, because violation of this rule may subject the member to severe disciplinary sanctions.
Best Wishes to all for a very happy and healthy Holiday season.
Agostino “Gus” Formato, National Commodore
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary