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This page contains answers to common questions, along with other information that we have found useful and presented here as questions.

(Click here for a special F.A.Q. on Qualification Examiners.)
(Click here for a special F.A.Q. on Mentors.)
(Click here for a special F.A.Q. on Currency.)
(Click here for a special F.A.Q. on ICS/NIMS.)

Why would I want to become Boat Crew qualified?

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 operation.

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How do I become Boat Crew qualified?

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 Crewmember or 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.

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Are there physical fitness or health requirements?

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."

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What are mentors? Who assigns them? Is inter-flotilla and/or division training allowed, and if so, who are the mentors?

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 candidates.

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.

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What is Qualification? What is Certification?

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 missions.

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 office.

Qualification Examiners assist the DIRAUX office; see the Qualification Examiner F.A.Q.

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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.

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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.

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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 required.

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I am a Approval Pending new member; can I participate in Boat Crew activities?

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 Auxiliary's August 2007 document for the source material for this section.

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I no longer wish to participate in Boat Crew activities; how do I have my AUXDATA certification removed?

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 always appreciated.

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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.

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This website is intended for USCG Auxiliary members in the First District, Northern Region.
Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to .
Copyright 2005-2012 E. Kroeker/D1NR CQEC. All rights reserved beyond any reserved by the USCG Auxiliary and the Coast Guard Auxiliary Association, Inc.
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