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Young people
Last Post 24 Nov 2019 07:13 PM by Still_Waiting. 40 Replies.
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rrleUser is Offline
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16 Jul 2019 08:20 PM
There have been Auxiliarists who've entered water and came out the other side with an MOM - I recall seeing a whole video on one at AUXLAM.
I believe I saw the same video at an Annual Ops Workshop. The video was very old and the instructor could not explain how the actions depicted met the requirement to never enter the water. Also remember an quote I heard from a Coastie - "The line between being a hero or a goat is a very fine one." You might, just might get away with something if you are successful - fail and the world will come down on your head - assuming you survive your transgression.
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18 Aug 2019 05:42 PM
I'm simply astonished at the comments here. If your flotilla isn't operating up to snuff, fix it. It's your flotilla, it's not anyone else's responsibility.

The age issue isn't an AUX problem. It is affecting everyone from Amateur Radio to the Masons, I don't understand it, I've been working as a volunteer in some capacity since joining the police cadets at 16, and my kids have the same kind of spirit.

Our relationship with the station is amazing. They are always happy to see an AUX arrive, whether we're there to take watchstanding, AUXFS, gate guard, or work with the MSD group. Our 45-50 active members make a perceptible and appreciated difference in the operation of the station.

If your flotilla doesn't, it's likely a problem you can fix.
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11 Sep 2019 10:20 AM
I agree that the age issue is affecting everyone. We've seen volunteer fire departments in my state dwindle with the lack of volunteers. The pool of persons who have that sense of service is getting smaller and smaller.

We are also competing with other organizations for these volunteers. What do we have to offer versus CAP, Volunteer Fire, local Search and Rescue...

The recent recruitment videos have created some interest. Can we capitalize on that?

We need to all be part of the recruiting process. When a prospective member comes to a flotilla meeting we need to wear our uniforms correctly, we need to put a good attitude forward, we need to be a good face for the Auxiliary.
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11 Sep 2019 01:08 PM
Srtmack I think another part of volunteer fire departments is no one works where they live. My father was a volunteer fire fighter and first aider. It was because he worked close enough that when the alarms went off, he could make a call. Now even if I had the ability to volunteer, I live in Easton, Pennsylvania. I work in Bridgewater, New Jersey. If they waited for me to respond from work to home, it is over 35 miles one direction. The house would burn, the patient would die. I leave my house before 630 in the morning and some nights I don't get home until after 7. Life isn't what it was when my dad volunteered in the 1960's. I'm old and my life is slow in comparison to the activity level of young people today. I know there are some that are just selfish and won't volunteer. But a lot more, I truly I think, just comes down to people pulled in so many directions, so much distance, they just can't take on another commitment to something. It is just the world we live in.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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15 Sep 2019 08:40 PM
Posted By srtmack on 11 Sep 2019 10:20 AM
I agree that the age issue is affecting everyone. We've seen volunteer fire departments in my state dwindle with the lack of volunteers. The pool of persons who have that sense of service is getting smaller and smaller.

We are also competing with other organizations for these volunteers. What do we have to offer versus CAP, Volunteer Fire, local Search and Rescue...

The recent recruitment videos have created some interest. Can we capitalize on that?

We need to all be part of the recruiting process. When a prospective member comes to a flotilla meeting we need to wear our uniforms correctly, we need to put a good attitude forward, we need to be a good face for the Auxiliary.

I tried joining a volunteer fire department and gave up. There is the issue someone else mentioned --- location. Volunteer fire departments are typically in unincorporated areas out in the suburbs and rural areas. Even if you're willing to make the drive, some departments require you to either live in the service area or within one mile outside of it. There are some departments that require an EMT certification; I came across departments that required volunteers to go through a full-time fire academy. I applied to a department that said it was offering a stipend to certain volunteers to attract more people. At the same time, they had a competitive selection process. I wasn't selected because I neither had EMT nor firefighting experience. They didn't care that I had law enforcement and public safety dispatching experience. I wasted time and money getting a physical, driving down there to drop off the application, and driving there again for an interview. Some of these departments are asking too much for volunteer positions.
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07 Nov 2019 09:12 AM
@Still_Waiting

I'm a part-time Fire Fighter cross staffing an Engine and a Rescue and my day job is supporting law and fire. The pay is terrible, the commitment is high. Past shifts, we have details, and training. We run 24hr shifts so it works for me as I live 45 miles north of the station. I realize the process is frustrating but even the small agencies are required to follow state and NFPA standards. If you lack the training and certs you have to obtain them some how. Some agencies will sponsor and more often than not, you have to shell out cash. Opportunities such as the USCG Aux and a slew of others are out there. You will have to decide for yourself what is the right fit for you.

Regarding the age, I did notice that during Flotilla meetings. A very small percentage are in their late 30s and early 40s. It shouldn't stop you from what you want to do and many of them have served before you so it's a great learning experience. Hope you find what you're looking for.
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18 Nov 2019 01:42 PM
Honestly, a lot of young people are struggling to hold a job, not to mention college and lack of interest in hard work. I feel those are a few factors that keep the younger generation from joining- cost and work. That being said, when you think of getting into the Aux your looking at needing at least 1 set of trops and 1 set of ODU to get anything done. Personally, it might not be a bad idea to revamp and offer more. As I see it, the Aux does have a lot to offer and a great opportunity to serve and support. Here some ideas to encourage both recruitment and retention.

1) Rank- Think of this similar to CAP. While it does not give us authority over anyone, especially the coast guard, it is something to work towards. To advance would require time in grade, advancement in a specific track as well as specialized training (think history, custom and courtesies, etc). I feel this gives pride but would also push people to move up in office. For example- new members would have to complete all new member training (MADTR and BQ) and have six months as a new member before the ability to move into Ensign (O1). As an O1 they can begin working on a specialty track (such as PA, HR, etc). Upon a year as an ensign you could then petition to move into O1 (LT Jr) which would allow you to run for VC, however, you would have to be promoted into O3 (Lt) with a year as O2 in order to run for FC. And so forth. Essentially you would have to meet the requirements for advancement in grade in order to run for that equivalent office and meet any special training.

Some of the ideas to advance would be:

O1 Ensign- six months as a member with 75% attendance. Must complete all mandatory and BQ requirements and attend at least 1 public event as well. After advancing into the O2 grade they may then serve in an FSO position.

O2 Lieutenant Jr- Six months as ensign and completion of online training in an FSO position (example, completion of the LMS training for PA). Must have at least six months in an FSO position to advance.

O3 Lieutenant- 1 year in previous grade and completion of custom and courtesies. Must also be able to show knowledge of general coast guard rank recognition. Must have also completed the LMS PA program.

O4 Lieutenant Commander- 2 years as an O3 and completion of leadership C-School (which cost would be covered by Aux). In addition, should also have at least 40 hours logged in public affairs over the last two years as well (which includes social media, pa events, etc) in addition to at least 10 hours hours in public education.

And so on and so on. This is just an example, however, in order to move up you would put in the effort and feel more rewarded. Not that we use a lot of custom and courtesies in the flotilla (think saluting, etc) but building on the same skills as the active duty as we advance would allow us to feel a lot closer to the CG as well as the pride that comes with it.

2) Cost... I realize we have to all buy our own uniforms, and not taking away from that it would be great if new members at least received the polo shirt (DHS from Aux Cen, that one!)... It would be a way for us to get new members into the program with a uniform to start. They would still need grey pants and shoes, however, this would ONLY be issued after they achieve two elemets: BQ status and advancement into the grade of Ensign/FSO position. This allows members to have some kind of uniform to start while building up the rest of a complete set (be it trops or ODU).

3) Rank- you keep seeing me mention it and there is a reason. Being a Coast Guard Aux it would be great if we used it more, recognized it more, etc. Its a sign of pride. From the way we approach leadership, so those in specific staff positions, to etiquette and even history of those we serve. This does not mean we have authority as the gold sign would, but would be along the side of the silver only. It also shows our commitment to the coast guard with the continual and on going education we would be pursuing in order to advance.

4) Discounts for members- I know we have some, but unless you own a boat, a lot does no good for members (think the flares, boatus, etc). Some additional benefits could include networking with local gyms for member discounts (think 5.00/month vs 10.00/month for planet fitness, or maybe 25% off fore YMCA) as a way to encourage health, fitness and mission readiness. Maybe network with auto shops in order to promote discounts on basics such as tire rotation, oil change and tune ups, in addition to hotels, rentals and vacation packages. I know corporate businesses who offer these, so maybe the Aux could as well.

5) Petition to train- simply put, an opportunity to petition into coast guard training based on need and interest. Obviously need would be placed over personal interest, however, would still offer an opportunity to train, even if the training may not be something we can do directly as an aux member. We represent the coast guard as an aux in multiple areas, including recruiting and the academy. A good example would be petition to train in EMT, Firefighter or even rescue swimmer. Based on availability and needs, those who are accepted would still need to meet the exact requirements as active duty in that training.

For example of need, a member petitions to train at a coast guard school teaching EMT basic. Upon completion of training this member would be an additional asset because they can serve the Aux on patrol, or augment as a medical assistant at active duty stations or underway. They would still have to meet the height and weight requirements, as well as have the required gear for attending the course, which would be done right along side active duty shipmates.

An example of interest would be coast guard firefighter training. While we may not be able to augment and serve as a firefighter, this training could still be good to talk about for CG opportunities for recruiting, as well as a personal growth. This would be based HIGHLY on seats available during the class and the ability to meet all active duty requirements. This could, however, also serve for flotilla's to talk about fire safety underway so it could still serve a local purpose by building knowledge for promoting education. 

6) Lastly, ability to attend CG events such as balls, memorials, etc. Being able to attend these as Aux members I think would also establish networking and continual interest. Imagine attending an event five states away and networking with a cutter captain who invites you out. What an opportunity to learn, grow and get more involved.

The idea above is to encourage personal growth and create a relationship other than showing up and just doing the basics. It also offers something people can use in real life on a resume outside of "just volunteer service". You gaining knowledge, skill, leadership and a network of people with a common goal.

As mention, these are just some ideas to encourage recruitment, retention and also personal growth within the auxiliary.

My experience for this basis includes:
Member of the CG Aux
Former Civil Air Patrol
Former US Army (11B)
State cert as a Firefighter I
Training in Search and Rescue (Ground)
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19 Nov 2019 07:53 AM
Mclarke, I completely agree with your ideas. I pitched pretty much the same ideas to my Flotilla. The Auxiliary should model itself more like the Civil Air Patrol and create a rank system. The current system of holding an office doesn't really promote working towards moving upwards in the Aux.

I've also noticed that depending on where the Flotilla is based out of makes a difference in how active they are. Flotillas near major Active Duty Coast Guard units participate a lot in training activities and have a presence around the base.

I would love to see the Auxiliary gain a little more recognition with the public and the Active Duty Side. I do my best to promote the Auxiliary while I'm on Active Duty
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20 Nov 2019 09:27 AM
I'm speaking as a new guy in AP status. I have a really hard time observing the relationship between Active Duty, Reserves, AUX, and Civilian employees because I'm still at the Flotilla level. I'm sure this will improve over time as I continue training, obtaining qual, and getting involved. However, I can't seem to get a straight answer regarding the dynamics of the relationships between each group and if AUX presence is warranted and or respected. I understand everyone's experience and personality differs but I'm looking for an overall opinion before I fully invest my time and efforts.
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24 Nov 2019 06:48 PM
Posted By flatfour on 07 Nov 2019 09:12 AM
@Still_Waiting

I'm a part-time Fire Fighter cross staffing an Engine and a Rescue and my day job is supporting law and fire. The pay is terrible, the commitment is high. Past shifts, we have details, and training. We run 24hr shifts so it works for me as I live 45 miles north of the station. I realize the process is frustrating but even the small agencies are required to follow state and NFPA standards. If you lack the training and certs you have to obtain them some how. Some agencies will sponsor and more often than not, you have to shell out cash. Opportunities such as the USCG Aux and a slew of others are out there. You will have to decide for yourself what is the right fit for you.

Regarding the age, I did notice that during Flotilla meetings. A very small percentage are in their late 30s and early 40s. It shouldn't stop you from what you want to do and many of them have served before you so it's a great learning experience. Hope you find what you're looking for.

I wouldn't have applied to a position I didn't qualify for. No experience or certification was required. The agency provided SFFMA training, which is the certification program many volunteer fire departments use in Texas. When I turned in my application, the human resources person said that my public safety experience would make me look better. Apparently, they were looking for someone who had hung around firefighters and EMTs. They even asked me in the interview if I had any family members who were firefighters and/or EMTs. It was a stupid question, in my opinion, especially considering that I had worked in law enforcement and related jobs for many years. Why care if I'm related to firefighters? 

As for the Flotilla I joined, once younger leadership took over, more training opportunities were provided. Some of the younger members (under the age of 50) served in the military while some of the older members were wannabe military. The older members were content with only doing vessel safety checks and marching in parades. Now that I've moved, I have little interest in joining the local flotillas because it appears all of their members are over the age of 60, and there's no ethnic diversity. I was fortunate that my last flotilla became diverse in age and ethnicity in the past year.


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24 Nov 2019 07:13 PM
Posted By mclarke86 on 18 Nov 2019 01:42 PM
Honestly, a lot of young people are struggling to hold a job, not to mention college and lack of interest in hard work. I feel those are a few factors that keep the younger generation from joining- cost and work. That being said, when you think of getting into the Aux your looking at needing at least 1 set of trops and 1 set of ODU to get anything done. Personally, it might not be a bad idea to revamp and offer more. As I see it, the Aux does have a lot to offer and a great opportunity to serve and support. Here some ideas to encourage both recruitment and retention.

1) Rank- Think of this similar to CAP. While it does not give us authority over anyone, especially the coast guard, it is something to work towards. To advance would require time in grade, advancement in a specific track as well as specialized training (think history, custom and courtesies, etc). I feel this gives pride but would also push people to move up in office. For example- new members would have to complete all new member training (MADTR and BQ) and have six months as a new member before the ability to move into Ensign (O1). As an O1 they can begin working on a specialty track (such as PA, HR, etc). Upon a year as an ensign you could then petition to move into O1 (LT Jr) which would allow you to run for VC, however, you would have to be promoted into O3 (Lt) with a year as O2 in order to run for FC. And so forth. Essentially you would have to meet the requirements for advancement in grade in order to run for that equivalent office and meet any special training.

Some of the ideas to advance would be:

O1 Ensign- six months as a member with 75% attendance. Must complete all mandatory and BQ requirements and attend at least 1 public event as well. After advancing into the O2 grade they may then serve in an FSO position.

O2 Lieutenant Jr- Six months as ensign and completion of online training in an FSO position (example, completion of the LMS training for PA). Must have at least six months in an FSO position to advance.

O3 Lieutenant- 1 year in previous grade and completion of custom and courtesies. Must also be able to show knowledge of general coast guard rank recognition. Must have also completed the LMS PA program.

O4 Lieutenant Commander- 2 years as an O3 and completion of leadership C-School (which cost would be covered by Aux). In addition, should also have at least 40 hours logged in public affairs over the last two years as well (which includes social media, pa events, etc) in addition to at least 10 hours hours in public education.

And so on and so on. This is just an example, however, in order to move up you would put in the effort and feel more rewarded. Not that we use a lot of custom and courtesies in the flotilla (think saluting, etc) but building on the same skills as the active duty as we advance would allow us to feel a lot closer to the CG as well as the pride that comes with it.

2) Cost... I realize we have to all buy our own uniforms, and not taking away from that it would be great if new members at least received the polo shirt (DHS from Aux Cen, that one!)... It would be a way for us to get new members into the program with a uniform to start. They would still need grey pants and shoes, however, this would ONLY be issued after they achieve two elemets: BQ status and advancement into the grade of Ensign/FSO position. This allows members to have some kind of uniform to start while building up the rest of a complete set (be it trops or ODU).

3) Rank- you keep seeing me mention it and there is a reason. Being a Coast Guard Aux it would be great if we used it more, recognized it more, etc. Its a sign of pride. From the way we approach leadership, so those in specific staff positions, to etiquette and even history of those we serve. This does not mean we have authority as the gold sign would, but would be along the side of the silver only. It also shows our commitment to the coast guard with the continual and on going education we would be pursuing in order to advance.

4) Discounts for members- I know we have some, but unless you own a boat, a lot does no good for members (think the flares, boatus, etc). Some additional benefits could include networking with local gyms for member discounts (think 5.00/month vs 10.00/month for planet fitness, or maybe 25% off fore YMCA) as a way to encourage health, fitness and mission readiness. Maybe network with auto shops in order to promote discounts on basics such as tire rotation, oil change and tune ups, in addition to hotels, rentals and vacation packages. I know corporate businesses who offer these, so maybe the Aux could as well.

5) Petition to train- simply put, an opportunity to petition into coast guard training based on need and interest. Obviously need would be placed over personal interest, however, would still offer an opportunity to train, even if the training may not be something we can do directly as an aux member. We represent the coast guard as an aux in multiple areas, including recruiting and the academy. A good example would be petition to train in EMT, Firefighter or even rescue swimmer. Based on availability and needs, those who are accepted would still need to meet the exact requirements as active duty in that training.

For example of need, a member petitions to train at a coast guard school teaching EMT basic. Upon completion of training this member would be an additional asset because they can serve the Aux on patrol, or augment as a medical assistant at active duty stations or underway. They would still have to meet the height and weight requirements, as well as have the required gear for attending the course, which would be done right along side active duty shipmates.

An example of interest would be coast guard firefighter training. While we may not be able to augment and serve as a firefighter, this training could still be good to talk about for CG opportunities for recruiting, as well as a personal growth. This would be based HIGHLY on seats available during the class and the ability to meet all active duty requirements. This could, however, also serve for flotilla's to talk about fire safety underway so it could still serve a local purpose by building knowledge for promoting education. 

6) Lastly, ability to attend CG events such as balls, memorials, etc. Being able to attend these as Aux members I think would also establish networking and continual interest. Imagine attending an event five states away and networking with a cutter captain who invites you out. What an opportunity to learn, grow and get more involved.

The idea above is to encourage personal growth and create a relationship other than showing up and just doing the basics. It also offers something people can use in real life on a resume outside of "just volunteer service". You gaining knowledge, skill, leadership and a network of people with a common goal.

As mention, these are just some ideas to encourage recruitment, retention and also personal growth within the auxiliary.

My experience for this basis includes:
Member of the CG Aux
Former Civil Air Patrol
Former US Army (11B)
State cert as a Firefighter I
Training in Search and Rescue (Ground)

I'm currently in the Civil Air Patrol. While creating a rank system might help a little, CAP currently has issues with encouraging senior members to advance. Many are happy staying at 2nd or 1st lieutenant. I think there's also an issue with providing the required training and mentoring to advance. A couple of my former fellow flotilla members tried to join CAP, and they stopped showing up because there was no guidance on training. 

I think both organizations have issues with when and where training is provided. You want me to drive over three hours away to attend training on a weekday and stay there for a couple of days or more? Young people have to work. 

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