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Aux. and fitness / PT standards
Last Post 28 Sep 2017 10:20 PM by DaMaverick. 8 Replies.
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VicNaz1User is Offline
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VicNaz1

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08 Sep 2012 07:39 AM
    OK, in this topic I'll try to clarify some of the issues with Aux. and both age related and operational duty related fitness issues.

    First and foremost, you do NOT have to be in any particular physical shape or be free from medical conditions to join the Aux. If you are diabetic or missing a limb or have no vision, you can still be in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

    The Auxiliary does have a lot of activity specific and mission specific requirements and as with any other uniformed service, the regulations on what is and is not acceptable are well defined and open to very little interpretation. When I say interpretation, it may (or may not) be possible to get a waiver for something physical or medical associated with duty or an operational activity but don't count on it. Operational commanders and order-issuing-authroity people seldom want to take the chance on an Aux. member being put in harms way due to an infirmity or disability. In addition to this, local Directors of Auxiliary (DirAux), Station Commanders, and Officers in Charge (OIC) can enact extra-tough standards for physical and medical circumstances based on known hazards or special circumstances in those Areas of Responsibility (AOR's).

    OK, here are some examples. You can join the Aux. and support meetings by taking notes, helping with admin. paperwork or distributing safety materials to boat dealers & marinas. You'll have NO physical or medical standards to deal with. None that I'm aware of anyway. You can indeed be an Aux. staff officer and enjoy all of the privileges (and responsibilities) of Aux. membership and contribute in many ways without running a single lap around the track or swimming a single length of the pool. No sit ups, no push ups, no eye exam and no blood test. You simply join, pass the written test(s), pass the background check, wait for your paperwork to process, take the oath and start serving your nation.

    If however, you want to want to serve in a more rigorous and adventurous way, you may want to qualify for operational duty on a boat or plane and that will indeed require some physical and medical hurdles. For on-the-water duty you have to qualify as boat crew and in most areas, swim across a pool and back and have no obvious medical issues that would prevent you for carrying out your duties. No medical exam is usually required. In some AOR's the DirAux. or other appropriate authority may have instituted additional requirements or higher standards. For example, in the Chesapeake Bay, to serve as boat crew during cold weather you must get a Dry Suit issued to you and you MUST go through a yearly refresher on its use including a get-in-the-cold-water-and-swim exercise while wearing the dry suit. It's not as simple or easy as it may sound.

    For aviation duty you have to pass more rigorous swim test which involves 3 lengths of the pool (not across it) and climbing into a life raft unassisted at the end. You must also pass a FAA flight medical exam and conform to all other civil requirements to be allowed to fly in an ongoing basis. That means you can't just pass the tests once, you have to pass them every year AND conform to whatever schedule the FAA requires for other issues. If the FAA says you pay for a flight medical exam every year, that's what you MUST do.

    Ok, that's the start but there is one more thing (yes, I sound like Steve Jobs), if you want to augment the Active Duty in some function you will have to conform to Active Duty fitness and health standards. This means that if you want to serve on an active duty boat, the Station Commander or Officer in Charge will almost certainly require you to conform to the regulations associated with being an active duty or reserve personnel. That means every year running the 1.5 mile run (or 500 yard swim - your choice), doing the sit ups, pushups, stretch-and-reach, etc. It also means he or she can restrict your duty based on his personal assessment (more likely on the assessment of his XO, XPO or Training PO). These guys have final authority on this and you MUST hack the standards if you want to try to pull the duty.

    It's hard, believe me. At 47 getting my fat ass on the treadmill 3 times a week and running a mile and a half in under 14 minutes (I am allowed 14:28) is NOT particularly fun but I'm doing it and I'm proud of it and proud of serving on 41453 at Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes (and before that, Annapolis). The same goes for my 3rd Class FAA medical exam. I passed it with flying colors (pun intended) and even though I have better things to do with $105 I'm glad I have the little ticket that says I medically qualified to fly under orders. It also means I can rack up student flight time (when I'm safely allowed to) and believe me, flying is cool, learning to fly is even cool-er.

    So, think it over. You can join in no shape whatsoever and use the intensives of interesting duties to get yourself in better shape. If not, you can join and contribute what you can at your current fitness level, regardless of what that is.
    jvj1911User is Offline
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    jvj1911

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    31 Mar 2016 06:06 PM
    I know this is true but at 46 I need any and all motivations to get in shape. I plan to get myself to a point where I can meet the CG PT standards. That's a personal goal even if its not an Aux requirement.
    James V. Jackson U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary District 9CR Division 18 SO-OP Flotilla 18-05 FSO-SR/FSO-PB
    Boat DriverUser is Offline
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    Boat Driver

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    03 Apr 2016 03:59 PM
    The Coast Guard should establish physical fitness standards for all Aux members who are on the water or in the air. They should be tested on these standards annually.
    jvj1911User is Offline
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    jvj1911

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    03 Apr 2016 07:26 PM
    The Coast Guard should establish physical fitness standards for all Aux members who are on the water or in the air. They should be tested on these standards annually.


    I would support that Boat Driver. I would want to know that the crew assisting me could physically help me if necessary. That would definitely motivate me to workout more often.
    James V. Jackson U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary District 9CR Division 18 SO-OP Flotilla 18-05 FSO-SR/FSO-PB
    Ardalan11bUser is Offline
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    Ardalan11b

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    03 May 2016 09:18 AM
    I agree, I am new and AP status. I have been working out alot more now to get back in shape, gained like 40 lbs after ETSing. I would not want to wear any uniform and look out of shape. I think it reflects poorly. I understand this is not the military or any type of contracted service, so I'd not want to exclude anyone or their knowledge, and I know people have their own issues. I certainly agree with you both, if your are on mission and can be looked at by others for help on the water, you should be fit, or you are an unfair burden on those you are with if something happens.
    uscg72auxUser is Offline
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    uscg72aux

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    19 Sep 2017 03:47 PM
    In complete agreement with VicNaz1.

    I am very happy with the fact that the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary provides a platform for individuals with different levels of physical challenges and/or disabilities; giving a sense of meaning and accomplishment for citizens who desire to help in any way or shape possible. In many instances, lots of these individuals bring solid, important skills Team Coast Guard can benefit from. Just as VicNaz1 stated, there are sooooooo many areas which requires no specific physical strength, endurance and/or ability in order to make a difference.

    Having said that...anything else, (written or not written), which requires some important level of physical ability (for Active Duty and Reservists) should be seriously taken in consideration by members of the Auxiliary. First and foremost, for the safety of members of the Auxiliary. THERE ARE PLENTY OF REASONS why those "physical requirements" are set in motion. And the majority of them are there to protect Crewmen and Coxswains from physical injuries; and mainly, to be able to perform all 57 Crewmen tasks "with no physical assistance, without hesitation and with confidence".

    I have been a Crewman since 2011. When I serve on a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel which is in constant training (often in collaboration with Coast Guard Station Active Duty personnel in Connecticut, during a 6-hour patrol, at times in challenging weather conditions including night patrols), even "in decent shape" at almost 50 years of age, the next morning upon attempting to come out of bed, my body is reminded of all the water related activities that took place the previous day. Imagine how would our bodies feel if we are not in some kind of "positive" physical shape? Being part of "Operational Duty" teams, such as Crewmen & Coxswain, we must be (at a very minimum), making conscious efforts (even medically supervised, if need be), to better prepare our bodies and better our overall health in order to properly perform the job. If is a "requirement" for Active Duty personnel, then it should be (out of respect to them), a "personal goal" for us as Auxiliarists. - Requirements recycled into Goals - .

    THERE IS NOTHING WORSE, (for me)....than being aboard an Auxiliary vessel, knowing that you are minutes away from meeting with an Active Duty Coast Guard vessel, and knowing there are several Auxiliarists on my vessel that are in important levels of "out-of-shape" conditions. Why is that bad? For several reasons:

    1. Their health might be in alarming levels of danger, (most important one!!!).

    2. In the event of an emergency, the efficiency of the crew and evolution might be compromised.

    3. The chances for them to get hurt while performing an evolution increases by a lot (such as bringing an unconscious, dead-weighted, person-on-the-water aboard the vessel - followed by performing CPR for as long as needed until an Active Duty vessel or Helicopter arrives).

    *** I personally know of an American Red Cross instructor (fairly in shape) - a professional EMT, who found a person not breathing while he was walking alone at a beach; performed CPR on an individual for more than half-an-hour until some noticed the situation and called 911. While the individual survived - thanks to his CPR intervention - the EMT ended up hospitalized for 3 days, due to the tremendous among of "life-giving" strength he lost during the process.***

    4. I knew that upon meeting with the Active Duty personnel vessel, we were going to send a "non-spoken" message: "We can wear THE SAME UNIFORM you guys are wearing, and we can (look and feel) in whatever condition we want. It doesn't matter...because we are Auxiliarist." I don;t know about you, but what a terrible thing to say or think!!!

    5. Last but not least, the image we provide to the GENERAL PUBLIC regarding the Coast Guard is NOT a positive one. They don't know the difference between "Active Duty and Auxiliary"....they only say or think..."Why are those Coasties looking so unhealthy?" I have often seen citizens in private boats, looking at members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and laugh, while pointing at them. (Of course, they would not laugh if their vessel was taking on water, and someone who seems "out of shape" on board an Auxiliary vessel would pass them a dewatering pump....don't you think?)

    The point is....whether we like it or not....we, the Operational Duty personnel in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary (and everyone else "who can" for that matter), should consider maintaining some important level of physical health in order to better serve our beloved United States (Team) Coast Guard, and live healthy lives for ourselves and for our beloved families.

    In shape, or not in shape...I respect you all....and I thank you for all your selfless service to our beloved Nation, United States of America. Keep up the good work, Shipmates!

    HONOR, RESPECT, DEVOTION TO DUTY!
    eirikr1User is Offline
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    eirikr1

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    24 Sep 2017 08:09 AM
    Posted By jvj1911 on 31 Mar 2016 07:06 PM
    I know this is true but at 46 I need any and all motivations to get in shape. I plan to get myself to a point where I can meet the CG PT standards. That's a personal goal even if its not an Aux requirement.

    +1

    that's why I started WALKING to the store to buy more beer instead of driving.
    eirikr1User is Offline
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    eirikr1

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    24 Sep 2017 08:18 AM
    Posted By jvj1911 on 03 Apr 2016 08:26 PM
    The Coast Guard should establish physical fitness standards for all Aux members who are on the water or in the air. They should be tested on these standards annually.


    I would support that Boat Driver. I would want to know that the crew assisting me could physically help me if necessary. That would definitely motivate me to workout more often.

    There are no official number of pushups you can do and etc. But there is a rule that you must be in good enough shape to perform the duty in question, and physically help with a rescue in case of boat crew. 

    We had a guy that was requalifying for boat crew. He was a great guy, well respected, but was dreaming. He might have felt like a physically fit 40 yr old in his mind, but reality pointed out that he was over 70 and post heart attack. He was refused requalification, but was given a chance to prove himself. 

    So actually we do have a Physical standard, it's generous and practical, but practical can equal a "no way" and no appeal, also.
    DaMaverickUser is Offline
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    DaMaverick

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    28 Sep 2017 10:20 PM
    Well if you have base access with your Aux ID in your area you should be eligible to go to the gym on the military bases. Not to mention they have group meetups for boot camp fitness on the bases. I would recommend those for anyone that needs to get into shape.
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