CG 83rd

FROM THE COMMODORE


Fellow Auxiliarists,

Join me in wishing a Happy 83rd Anniversary to the Coast Guard Reserve!

Since 1941, the dedicated men and women of our Reserves have consistently responded to the call in times of war and emergencies. They have been deployed worldwide to defend our nation and mobilized nationally to safeguard the American people. Being a Coast Guard Reservist isn’t just a part-time commitment; it’s a way of life.

To our shipmates, America expresses gratitude for your unwavering Devotion to Duty.

Semper Paratus!

Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
District Commodore
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

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N-TRAIN 2024 Will be Held Virtually

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.

Semper Paratus

Very respectfully,

Agostino “Gus” Formato, National Commodore United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Risk Management Assessment Notice

Risk Management Assessment Required

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.
Act accordingly.

Semper Paratus!



Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
District Commodore
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

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Auxiliary Uniform and Appearance

Inspection Program

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.

Semper Paratus

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,

Commodore Sarac

D5NR Commodore’s Holiday Message

Peace, Happiness,
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,




Semper Paratus!

Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
District Commodore
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Honor      Respect      Devotion to Duty

Commodore Sarac

91st Birthday Wishes to Harry Dyer

Fellow Auxiliarists—
Join me in extending to
our long-standing
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,



Semper Paratus!

Commodore Kurt P. Sarac, Sr.,
District Commodore
Fifth District-Northern Region
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

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Uniform Wear

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.

Semper Paratus

Agostino “Gus” Formato, National Commodore

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

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Authorized Wear of Auxiliary Uniform

When Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary May Wear the

Coast Guard Auxiliary Uniform

Good day shipmates,

From time to time questions arise with respect to when wearing the Coast Guard Auxiliary uniform is authorized.  The Auxiliary Manual at chapter 1 section A.4.a provides that “Uniforms shall be worn as prescribed in Coast Guard Uniform Regulations, COMDTINST M1020.6 (series), except as noted in Chapter 10.” The policies at chapter 10 of the Auxiliary Manual and subsequent guidance documents contain the policies that instruct as to what uniforms we may wear, how they are to be worn, and when they may be worn. 

The overarching Coast Guard policy is that an Auxiliarist may only wear the Auxiliary uniform when assigned to duty. The Auxiliary Manual provides some examples of when Auxiliary uniform wear is prohibited, but whether or not specifically prohibited, uniform wear is only authorized when assigned to duty.     

“Assignment to duty” is addressed in the Auxiliary Manual at chapter 5 section J. as follows:

“The Commandant employs the services of qualified Auxiliarists in support of various Coast Guard programs. To this end, specific Auxiliary activities are authorized in support of Auxiliary programs or Coast Guard units. An Auxiliarist performing such duties is considered to have been assigned to duty within the meaning of 14 U.S.C. [§§3912 and 3903a] when these activities have been authorized and clearly communicated verbally and/or in writing by appropriate authority.”

The Auxiliary Manual, other manuals, guidance documents, SOPs, Letters and Instructions, are all “writings” that may function to assign us to duty. Written or oral orders are not necessarily required to be assigned to duty, although for certain Auxiliary activities, (e.g. surface or air operations), orders from an authorized Order Issuing Authority (OIA) are mandatory for assignment to duty. 

An Auxiliarist is assigned to duty when 3 prerequisites are satisfied:

            • The Auxiliarist is engaged in an activity in support of an authorized Auxiliary program.

            • The Auxiliarist is qualified to engage in that activity in accordance with CG or CG Auxiliary policy.

            • 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. Also, it is only then, that an Auxiliarist is deemed an employee of the United States, and eligible for the federal statutory protections described more fully by the Auxiliary Manual at chapter 5 section J. 

Many examples of authorized activities are given at Table 5-1 on page 5-50 of the Auxiliary Manual, but given the “Semper Gumby” nature of the Coast Guard and Auxiliary, that list is by no means intended to be all-inclusive.

Chapter 10 section A of the Auxiliary Manual specifically authorizes wear of the Auxiliary uniform as follows:

•Auxiliarists onboard vessel facilities during an ordered mission and Auxiliarists involved with mobile radio facility operations and shore-side harbor patrols.

•Vessel Examiners conducting vessel safety checks.

•Pilots, air observers, and aircrew on ordered missions in aircraft facilities.

•All instructors (IT) and assistant ITs in public education classes.

•Auxiliarists serving as Recreational Boating Safety Program Visitors.

•Auxiliarists travelling on any Coast Guard or military air or surface craft if so prescribed by the local commander.

 •Auxiliarists for whom an Order Issuing Authority (OIA) has prescribed an Auxiliary uniform as a condition for assignment to duty.

•Auxiliarists interacting with, acting on behalf of, or representing the unit when assigned to duty

•Auxiliarists when performing duty on a Coast Guard vessel.

•Wearing an appropriate Auxiliary uniform by active or retired Auxiliarists for formal and ceremonial occasions events with a military or Auxiliary nexus that require formal wear.

•During military ceremonies such as retirements, changes of command, funerals, patriotic parades on national holidays or occasions in which active or Reserve personnel are taking part or social and other functions when the invitation has been influenced by the member’s military service.

•At civilian, military, and Auxiliary ceremonies and events that are clearly military service-centric in nature (e.g.,military changes of command; Auxiliary changes of watch; military and Auxiliary retirements; Coast Guard Foundation dinners; local community banquets in honor of military services; patriotic parades on national holidays; funerals of military veterans and Auxiliarists) and which require a uniform.

•Certain formal Auxiliary events like changes of watch, conferences, and banquets recognized as falling within the general scope of military ceremony.

Uniform wear is prohibited unless specifically authorized, but as noted, there are certain occasions when uniform wear is specifically prohibited by the Auxiliary Manual, including:

•In places of dubious reputation where the uniform might be discredited or disgraced.

•When engaged in political activities.

 •During paid employment or sports.

•Aboard an Auxiliary vessel or aircraft facility unless the facility is on an authorized patrol.

•Entry to or while present in a foreign country or territory unless specifically authorized by an appropriate Coast Guard authority. 

Authorization may be granted in the following cases:

•A scheduled patrol or deployment that might enter foreign territories.

•An authorized SAR mission involving foreign borders or territories.

   •Deployment or guest status aboard a Coast Guard cutter or aircraft that enters foreign territory.     

   •Visiting a foreign country as an Auxiliarist on official business.

Except as authorized in the Auxiliary Manual, Auxiliary uniforms may not be worn for any personal ceremony or event (e.g., an Auxiliarist may not wear an Auxiliary uniform for their own wedding, college graduation, vacation, etc.).

Auxiliarists may not wear any distinctive part of the uniform or official Auxiliary insignia with civilian clothing when not assigned to duty. This includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is marked with wording that includes, “USCG Auxiliary” or any version thereof (e.g., life jackets, cold weather gear).

If ever in doubt, before donning the uniform, seek guidance from your elected unit leader.

Semper Paratus

Very respectfully,

Agostino “Gus” Formato, National Commodore U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary