28 January 2009

DHS Leadership Journal: Secretary Napolitano

Secretary Napolitano has posted her first message on the DHS leadership journal. I encourage our members to add the Leadership Journal to your regular Coast Guard reading. While you are at it don't forget to read the iCommandant blog regularly.

27 January 2009

A forum for D13 Auxiliary memebers

Auxiliary members can now communicate with members of the Coast Guard DIRAUX staff, the USCG Auxiliary leadership and other Auxiliary members in the Maritime Information Initiative's (MII) website -- a tool developed exclusively for you!

The MII website gives members a secure forum in which they can post vital and timely information including photos, stories and any other vital information about the marine environment, security, search and rescue or any other topic of interest or importance.  MII is broken down into geographic forums or topics so that information exchanged is pertinent to your area of interest.

The MII web server is secure and is managed by the Navy via its Naval Post Graduate School. To sign up for the MII visit the Center for Homeland Defense and Security website at:

Simply fill out the required highlighted fields and your login information will be e-mailed back. The sign up process will take two steps as you will have to be approved to participate.

22 January 2009

Un-tucked ODU supply update

The un-tucked ODU will likely not be available to Auxiliarists until sometime after June 2009 when active duty pre-orders are expected to be complete.

Please remember that if and when you do procure the un-tucked ODU you may not mix and match uniform pieces with the current tucked version (ODU 1.0). Also the current ODU must not be worn un-tucked.

Subject: ODU untucked status - Jan 09
In June 2008, an ALCOAST was issued announcing pre-ordering of the Un-tucked ODU. In late September 2008, thru size testing, the Uniform Program identified that a large percentage of the wear test members were not using the size prediction chart designed for the untucked ODU. Additionally, some members incorrectly used their tucked ODU's as a size reference. The tucked ODU and the untucked ODU are fitted and measured differently. The Uniform Program recognized the above as a potential issue prior to releasing any pre-orders. During the same time period, the Uniform Program identified a fabric shading problem. The actions taken to correct this problem effected a large amount of the untucked ODU inventory we had at the UDC; resulting in a need to remanufacture this inventory.
The UDC has filled 52% of the untucked ODU pre-orders and currently has approximately 3,000 more pre-orders to fill; representing 16,000 individual uniform items. The UDC continues to receive and enter approximately 50 to 60 untucked ODU pre-orders daily.
The Untucked ODU will be a mandatory uniform at the close of 2012. However, the Uniform Program understands that many members have a strong desire to immediately transition to the new uniform; therefore, we are aggressively working with CG-9 and the manufacturer to increase production. The UDC continues to ship pre-orders daily; we anticipate pre-orders will be shipped by June 2009.
The entire Uniform Program greatly appreciates your patience and we are personally committed to the successful and expedient fulfillment of your untucked ODU's orders.
[Mr.] Carol W. Brewton
Uniform Program Manager- USCG

FL76 Surface Operations PPE Request Form

If you need PPE please fill out the following form. Please note that answers to all questions are required to maintain data integrity and assure you are fully equipped.

19 January 2009

Admiral Allen on the Inaguration

Admiral Allen has a very thoughtful post on the Inaguration of Barack Obama as President. I encourage each of you to read the whole post. The Commandant sums up with the following:

Tomorrow we will witness the true genius of our American Constitution and the promise of the American Revolution. I will be there, I will represent you. Barack Obama will be sworn in as our Commander in Chief. My charge and the charge to all men and women who serve in our Coast Guard: stand erect, salute, defend the Constitution, and execute the mission.
Tomorrow I will stand on the steps of the Capitol with our Commander in Chief. He will direct, we will follow. It is my duty, is your duty. Carry it out .. with Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.

Transitions: DHS Secretary Chertoff's formal farewell to USCG members and employees

As we prepare for another peaceful transition of political power in our nation I wanted you to see this video from CGHQ.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff visited Coast Guard headquarters on January 13 to give a formal farewell to the members and employees.

Hopefully we'll have a video from our incoming DHS/Coast Guard Secretary Janet Napolitano in the near future.

18 January 2009

Buying, preparing and wearing the ODU

UPDATE NOV2010: This document is focused on the tucked-ODU. There are a few items of policy that are not reflected in the document and require updates.2009.01.11 - ODU Uniform Presentation

Ribbon precedence (order)

Correct wearing of the Coast Guard uniform includes correct wear of your awards. The proper order for your awards can be confusing for new members.

The Auxiliary Manual [COMDTINST M16790.1F] sets the precedence for awards received in the Auxiliary as well as prior service awards.

Luckily the Chief Director of Auxiliary provides an easy online tool to help you configure your ribbon bars, the ribbon checker .

Review the list, viewing awards using the "fx" button as required, and check off your Auxiliary awards and any prior service awards. Once you are finished the ribbon checker will display the proper order for you.

Finally, ask an experienced member to review your ribbon bar.

Steam tug portland incident

There is a fair amount of discussion about the balance of operations with other missions but there are times when our high operational tempo, and the experience it brings really pay off. The grounding and drift of the steam tug Portland last summer is just such a case. Here are some photos of the Portland cruise, grounding and response taken by Doug Gordon, our SO-PA accompanied by a reading of the Meritorious Team Commendation for the response.

Photo of the week - Pump training

Chris and Paul at the de-watering pump training 10JAN.

05 January 2009

Division 7 Change of Watch

There is no Division meeting this month as we had our Division Change of Watch. Photos of the event can be seen here: ...and the movie version which may be a bit more fun: 

At the meeting we received a number of individual awards for 76 members and a Flotilla award for membership growth and retention. 
  • Ed B. was recognized for his 10th Sustained Auxiliary Service Award - 7,500 hours - and receives the coveted bronze hourglass for his award
  • Gary N. and I were each recognized for our second Sustained Auxiliary Service Awards - proving that we both don't report our hours as well as we should.
  • Tony T. received an Operational Excellence certificate and commanders coin from Captain Meyer for his work at Station Portland. Tony's efforts were specifically detailed by the Captain in his remarks.
  • Ed B. received an Operational Excellence certificate and commanders coin from Captain Meyer for his work at Sector Portland.
  • Murrianna T. received an Operational Excellence certificate and commanders coin from Captain Meyer for her work at Station Portland.
  • John P. was recognized for the largest contribution to membership growth in Division 7
Bravo Zulu to everyone!

04 January 2009

Uniforms: Foul Weather Parka II

The Foul Weather Parka II is a great optional uniform item. It:

  • is Gortex for rain and spray protection
  • is, with the optional liner, very warm
  • looks sharp
  • protects your uniform ribbons and attachments from the dreaded seatbelt when driving
  • and can be worn with all the standard Aux uniforms including ODUs, Tropical Blue Long, Winter Dress Blue and in place of the Service Dress Blue coat for informal situations
The FWP II has two components, the parka itself and the optional Polartec Jacket/Liner II. There is also a set of matching Goretex trousers.
The liner and trousers available directly from the manufacturer, Propper (
Obviously this is a very expensive ensemble, I recommend starting with the FWP II and then considering the liner and trousers. Please remember this is a 100% optional item. There are likely a number of other uniform purchases you will want to make first (ODUs AND Trops).
Some members consider getting a float coat instead of the FWP II but the float coat is PPE and cannot be worn except during operations and operations related training so the FWP II is much more flexible.
Note: The FWP II replaces the All Weather Parka (AWP) and is designed to fit over the new un-tucked ODUs. The AWP is still authorized as long as your un-tucked ODU shirt does not show. Propper still has the AWP listed as a closeout item online but the $30 savings is probably not worth the risk that you will be unable to wear the un-tucked ODU with your parka.

02 January 2009

Portland Boat Show Jan 3-11

If you attend the Portland Boat Show over the next week stop by and visit the Auxiliary in Pavilion A! Look for the Station Portland SAFE boat and you'll know you are there.