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,