Auxiliary members must be qualified in order to actively assist
with any operation of an Auxiliary vessel in Coast Guard surface
operations. While a member might be qualified to perform some
mission that needs to be done on a vessel (such as Aids to
Navigation Verification or various Marine Safety missions), only
Boat Crew qualified members can actively participate in vessel
There are two levels of qualification in D1NR: Crewmember and
Coxswain. To become qualified, a member uses training materials and
list of tasks in the
Coxswain qualification guide. A
mentor goes through each task with the member (underway on a vessel
or in a shore side location, depending upon the task), providing
training, practice, and feedback. When each task has been mastered,
the mentor signs the members qualification book for that task.
The completion of the process involves a dockside examination and
an underway check ride with a Qualification Examiner (QE), who is
acting as a representative for the Director of Auxiliary to verify
that the member is capable of operating safely, under Coast Guard
policy, and with all required knowledge and skills.
The Auxiliary Boat Crew program is designed for people with a
wide range of ages and abilities. There are no specific requirements
for age, weight, strength, or endurance. In place of detailed
physical requirements, members must meet the following standards in
completing each qualification task (in addition to the standards for
each specific task):
- each task must be performed personally by the member, with
no physical assistance
- each task must be performed with little hesitation
- each task must be performed with confidence
- each task must be performed safely
From the Auxiliary Boat Crew Training Manual:
"Members with disabilities are not
automatically precluded from qualifying in the Auxiliary boat crew
program. Risk management evaluation should be considered concerning
the safety of the individual, the crew, facility, and boating
public. If it is determined that the risk is acceptable, the member
may participate in operational training to achieve qualification and
certification. However, all trainees, regardless of disability must
successfully demonstrate the skill, ability, and endurance to
perform all qualification tasks utilizing the process established in
the appropriate qualification guide as established by Commandant."
Mentors guide each member through the
learning process. The mentor helps the member learn the knowledge
and skills required for each task. The mentor works with the member
to plan the training program - how many tasks will be worked on in
one assignment, in what order, arranging for underway time on
vessels, etc. The mentor helps the member identify references to
study for each task. When the trainee has mastered a task, the
mentor signs the qualification guide for that task.
Mentors are currently or recently (within 2
years) certified Boat Crew members. Coxswains may mentor coxswain or
crewmember candidates; crewmembers may only mentor crewmember
The flotilla commanders or their designee (FSO-MT
or FSO-OP) assign mentors to trainees. If inter-flotilla and/or
division training is offered with mentors from other flotillas, the
flotilla commanders (FC's) need to give their approval of the
mentors who will be signing off their members. This keeps the FC's
"in the loop" in knowing who is signing off their members.
Qualification is the process of initial entry into the program at
a particular level, in which the member learns and demonstrates the
knowledge and skills required to perform surface operations
Certification is the initial Coast Guard command verification
that the member has acquired the necessary knowledge and skills and
now may be assigned to duty in surface operations. Certification is
verified annually through the completion of annual minimum
activities. The Director of Auxiliary is responsible for certifying
members, through the Operations and Training Officer in the DIRAUX
Qualification Examiners assist the DIRAUX office; see the
Qualification Examiner F.A.Q.
The Boat Crew Qualification Guide
for (Crewmember, Coxswain) says some tasks are optional. Is this true?
There are no optional tasks in D1NR. All tasks in the
Qualification Guide must be learned and demonstrated.
I remember District-added tasks (like a
night check ride, SAR exercise, and others) years ago.
What happened to these?
Ages ago under previous incarnations of the Boat Crew
Qualification Program (which is 23 years old!), we (D1NR) added
district-specific tasks because we didn't think the national program
adequate. These were described in a First District Northern Region
Auxiliary Procedures Guide (expired now). Today, the national
program includes these tasks directly (or close enough for us).
There are no district-specific tasks. The Qualification Guides
contain all the required tasks; there are no additional items at
this time for either Crewmember or Coxswain candidates.
What about member security checks?
As of April 21, 2006, participation in surface operations only
requires the basic security check that all Auxiliary members must
pass. Previously, a more rigorous security classification was
I am a Approval Pending new member; can I participate in Boat
Yes, but there are some limitations. Access to USCG stations and
facilities should be with a non-AP Auxiliary member escort. All
training activities are authorized for both crewmember and coxswain
levels, and certification as boat crewmember is allowed. However,
the final step of certification by the Director of Auxiliary as
coxswain requires BQ or AUXOP membership status (e.g. had a
favorable security check determination).
See the Chief Director of
August 2007 document for the source material for this section.
I no longer wish to
participate in Boat Crew activities; how do I have my AUXDATA
You need to make your wishes explicitly known to the Director of
Auxiliary. Click here for
a sample fill-in PDF letter for this purpose. You don't have to say
why you wish to have your Boat Crew certification removed.
By removing your certification if you have no intention of
keeping it current or active, your name won't appear on lists of
current and past Boat Crew certified members. This will help your
flotilla member training and operations staff to make better plans.
Your past activities in the Boat Crew Qualification Program are
I am a Coxswain but
wish to change to Crewmember certification; how do I do this?
This requires two steps: first, you must undergo a Crewmember
currency check ride (regardless of your next check ride date as a
coxswain). When this is complete, you need to make your wishes
explicitly known to the Director of Auxiliary. Click
here for a sample fill-in
PDF letter for this purpose.
Don't forget that you still have to perform your required annual
underway hours to maintain your Crewmember currency.