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Coast Guard & Admissions staff are here to answer your questions.

We are always happy to discuss our leadership and service model and active campus military clubs and student organizations, but the following cover some of the most common FAQs.

What is the Coast Guard Auxiliary?

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is Team Coast Guard’s civilian, volunteer, uniformed component. On June 23, 1939, the U.S Congress passed legislation establishing the Coast Guard Reserve, its volunteer civilian component, to promote boating safety and to facilitate the operations of the Coast Guard. The volunteer reserve was renamed the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1941.

Under legislation passed in 1996, the Auxiliary’s role was expanded to allow members to assist in any Coast Guard mission, except direct law enforcement and military operations, as authorized by the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Thus, Auxiliarists can be found examining commercial fishing vessels, flying in aircraft, working in Coast Guard offices, and crewing alongside active-duty Coast Guard personnel. The four components of the service, the active-duty Coast Guard, the Reservists, civilian employees and Auxiliarists, truly constitute TEAM COAST GUARD.

What is the Mission of the Coast Guard Auxiliary?

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s overarching mission is to contribute to the safety and security of our citizens, ports, waterways and coastal regions. Missions of Recreational Boating Safety and Coast Guard Support are balanced with Maritime Homeland Security and other post-9/11 challenges.

What can I do as an Auxiliarist?

Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary can become qualified in a variety of mission areas. Here are just some of the areas you can gain qualifications:

  • Boat Crew or Coxswain
  • Coast Guard Radio Watchstander
  • Recreation Vessel Examiner
  • Public Education Instructor
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Marine Safety Specialist
  • Recreational Boating Safety Program Visitor
  • Auxiliary Culinary Assistant
  • Auxiliary Air Observer
  • Telecommunications Operator

Other roles for Auxiliarists to support the Coast Guard including musician, interpreter, health services specialist, chaplin support and recruiting specialist.

Who can join the Coast Guard Auxiliary?

The Auxiliary is an organization of civilian, uniformed volunteers. In general, membership is open to any citizen of the U.S. and its territories who is age 17 or older. Membership is predicated on full and successful completion of the Auxiliary enrollment application, including the passing of the new member exam. It is also predicated upon receipt of a favorable (FAV) personnel security investigation (PSI). Once officially enrolled, there are a variety of online and classroom training requirements associated with achieving levels of status and specific training for the qualifications a member works toward.

How do I join the Coast Guard Auxiliary?

It is a straightforward process using an automated system available on the Coast Guard Auxiliary website. Members join a Flotilla. That is the first-level unit within the Auxiliary. Flotillas make up Divisions; Divisions make up Districts.

Interested students will be provided support for this process, which is provided by a local member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, a faculty adviser or a current student involved in the Auxiliary University Program. Norwich University’s faculty advisor is Bradley I. Gallimore, Norwich University Corps of Cadets Company Mentor, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is the Auxiliary University Program?

The Auxiliary University Program (AUP) provides operational and leadership training, as well as real-world experience, to Norwich undergraduates at any point in their academic careers. The Coast Guard does not have a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. The Auxiliary University Program does not offer a military commission. Students interested in active duty or reserve Coast Guard opportunities must work with a Coast Guard recruiter.

The AUP is designed to provide a pathway to a Coast Guard commission, in lieu of an ROTC offering. Students interested in a Coast Guard commission will gain significant experience through the AUP Program of Study, leadership opportunities, Auxiliary-based training, as well as a Coast Guard internship program.

Approximately 70% of Auxiliary University Program graduates gain a Coast Guard commission, versus approximately 3% for non-AUP graduates who apply for Officer Candidate School.

How do I join the Auxiliary University Program?

First, you join the Coast Guard Auxiliary. All members of the Auxiliary University Program are also members of the Auxiliary. Once you are officially enrolled into the Auxiliary, you then complete an online application to the AUP.

What does the AUP curriculum look like?

The AUP Program of Study provides a robust curriculum. This involves online, as well in-person, training. Examples of the courses required to achieve AUP Graduate Status include:

  • Auxiliary Core Training that mirrors Homeland Security and Coast Guard required courses (Ethics – Personal Gifts, Sexual Harassment Prevention, Civil Rights Awareness, Privacy at DHS, Security Fundamentals, Workforce Resilience).
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Incident Command System online courses 100, 200, 700 and 800.
  • Defense Department online Cyber Awareness Challenge.
  • Seven online modules that are part of an introduction to the Coast Guard and the Auxiliary. Topics are: Core Values & Missions, Courtesy & Protocols, Human Resources & Awards, Member Training & Uniforms, Regulations & Policy, Membership Requirements & Structure, and Support-Materials & Reimbursement.
  • There is an academic course requirement (leadership-focused) and a leadership capstone project.
  • A Coast Guard internship (minimum four weeks) is required to achieve graduate status.

Have more questions on the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary University Program (AUP)? Check out the USCG AUP Website.

WHY Choose Coast Guard At Norwich

Interdisciplinary approach that is guided by current global challenges

Leadership and character development in a military environment

High performing peers with similar interests and goals

RADM Richard W. Schneider Coast Guard Scholarships for students pursuing a Coast Guard career


The only way to truly know if Norwich is for you is to experience it for yourself. So come explore our campus, talk with faculty, meet our students, and see for yourself how ROTC makes the most of beautiful Vermont.

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Not sure which service branch you are interested in, need help determining if Norwich is the right fit, or confused by what ROTC offers you, reach out to one of our dedicated Norwich Admission Counselors.

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U.S. Coast Guard University Program


Russ Gasdia, Branch Chief
Auxiliary University Programs Development & Outreach Auxiliary Unit Coordinator
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

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