26 November 2008

New Members: the Auxiliary eDirectory

As a new member once you have received your member number you will want to activate your eDirectory password. Doing so allows you to:

To activate your account you will need your member number, your zip code, and the password you want to use. Visit this site to start the process.

New Members: Tropical Blue Long uniform

In the choosing a first uniform post I suggested two uniforms as potential choices for your first uniform, the ODU and Tropical Blue, Long. The Tropical Blue Long, or Trops, uniform is the more formal of these uniforms and should be your first purchase if you plan to participate primarily in activities other than operations.

As with many of the choices you face as a new member choosing and aquiring your first uniform should be done in consultation with your mentor. This post will familiarize you with the terms and sources of supply so you can make the most of your conversation with your mentor.

Trops consist of a number of components, many of which are also worn with othe uniforms. Click here to see a full size version of the image to the right which describes the components of the uniform and the sources of each component.

Some of the components are general Coast Guard issue and are available at the Coast Guard Uniform Distribution Center (UDC) and at the Coast Guard Exchage at Sector Portland. The UDC is generally the cheapest source for the uniform items they carry.

  • Garrison cap (UDC or Sector Exchange)
  • Light blue short sleeve shirt (UDC or Sector Exchange)
  • SDB trousers (UDC or Sector Exchange)
  • Auxiliary belt and buckle (UDC)
  • Black dress shoes (UDC, Sector Exchange, or commercial plain toe black oxfords)

A few items are Auxiliary unique and are only available from the Auxiliary District Store. Some of the uniform items above are also available from the District store but the prices can be substantially higher.

  • Auxiliary garrison cap device
  • Auxiliary member insignia or officer device (1 for cap)
  • Auxiliary member of officer shoulder boards
  • Auxiliary belt and buckle
There are two items from the commercial market:
  • Black dress socks
  • V-neck white undershirt. The undershirt should not show.
Finally, you will need an Auxiliary name tag - the flotilla provides these to all new members.
The assembly and wear, as well as various options, of the Trops uniform can be found in Chapter 10 of the Auxiliary Manual  

24 November 2008

AUXAIR Annual Training Weekend 2009

76 members involved or interested in AUXAIR should be aware of the following announcement. Mark your calendars now.


For details on participation see Gary Nepple.

12 November 2008

New members: Choosing a first uniform

Purchasing your first USCG Auxiliary uniform is a key milestone in becoming an Auxiliarist. The uniform identifies you as an Auxiliarist to the public and creates a sense of shared purpose with your fellow members.
Over time most members gather a fairly wide range of uniform items that are combined into various uniform ensembles. As a new member we encourage you to keep things simple and start with either the Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) or the Tropical Blue, Long uniform (usually called “Trops” or Tropical Blue). Eventually you will want both uniforms since owning these two uniforms, along with civilian clothing appropriate to formal occasions, will allow you to participate in any Auxiliary event.
Which uniform you choose is likely most influenced by your initial interests. If you plan on focusing on surface operations (boat crew) or vessel exams I suggest the Operational Dress Uniform (ODU). If you are more interested in teaching and public affairs I suggest Tropical Blue, Long.
A complete Tropical Blue, Long uniform including dress shoes ($60) costs around $175
A complete Operational Dress Uniform including boots ($60) costs around $145
We often have some donated uniform items available that can reduce this initial outlay.
Your mentor will guide you through the process of procuring the appropriate uniform items and we’ll discuss the elements of each uniform and proper wear in future posts.

08 November 2008

Qualifications: Becoming an Auxiliary Instructor

One of the most rewarding opportunities in the Auxiliary is teaching others about recreational boating safety (RBS). To teach our public classes you need to be a qualified instructor (IT) or candidate for IT status.

Most Auxiliary qualifications, of which the instructor qualification (IT) is one, are moving to the standard for Coast Guard qualifications the Performance Qualification System (PQS). A PQS is a set of tasks and other requirements to gain a qualification. Once you have been qualified many qualifications require annual currency maintenance, which will be discussed in future posts.

How do you become an instructor?

1. You read/study the Instructor Development Course (IDC) text  found here. Note a study guide for the course can be found here .

2. You take the online IDC test at the Auxiliary National Testing Center (NTC) and pass with a score of 90% or better. Print out the email the NTC sends and keep it. (You will need to sign in and get a pasword for the NTC using your Auxiliary eDirectory password. If you don't have an eDirectory password visit the eDirectory and set one up.)

3. The student is assigned a mentor that is a currently qualified Instructor and the mentor takes the student through 19 Tasks and signs off that the student knows and understands the tasks. (IDC appendix B-4 )

4. The student then presents a 10-30 minute lesson and a 1-2 hour lesson. The mentor evaluates the presentations using the "Instructor Qualification Check List" and then the "Instructor Evaluation Sheet" (appendix C-3 thru C-7 )

4. The mentor and the Flotilla Commander then certify the process by completing the "Certification of Instructor" form on appendix B-6 .

5. The  Flotilla Commander will then submit the "Certification of Instructor form" and a copy of the email response showing the score on the test and that the member passed by 90% to the District Staff Officer for Public Education (DSO-PE) for review. The DSO-PE will then recommend to the DIRAUX that the member be qualified.

6. Your certificate and ribbon will be sent to your FC for presentation at the next Flotilla meeting.

05 November 2008

Operations: Kokatat dry suit test required

A few of you have a Kokatat dry suit (see the photo). We've been directed to have each member with this type of dry suit test the suit to assure it is working properly and does not leak. We have a form that must be completed for each Kokatat dry suit. If you have one of these suits please contact me to arrange a testing time. The suit must be worn in the water for 15 minutes with a Type III PFD and the layer 1 and layer 2 thermal protection.
In order to facilitate this process the Division has arranged a testing session at the Monarch Hotel pool on Sunday 09NOV2008 at 1400 hours.
Please bring your dry suit, your Type III PFD, your thermal layers, a change of clothes and a large garbage bag to transport your wet gear after the test - we don't want to drip water in the lobby.
Address: 12566 SE 93rd Avenue, Portland/Clackamas, Oregon 97015

Vancouver Veterans Parade - Saturday November 8th

Division 7 will be participating in the Vancouver Veterans Parade on Saturday, November 8th. All Auxiliarists are encouraged to participate.

We will assemble at Crosley Bowl (2400 E. Evergreen BLVD, Vancouver WA, 98661). All Coast Guard units need to be in place by 0930 and the parade will commence at 1100.

The uniform of the day is ODU and the uniform is required for this event. There is currently a 70% chance of rain. Please be prepared for rain and remember that only uniform outwear should be worn.