Frequently Asked Questions

Confused about uniforms, policies, or what all the abbreviations stand for? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you need here, or have questions about how to join, please go to the "About Flotilla 5-3" page and email the FSO-HR.

Q: What is the Coast Guard Auxiliary?
    A: The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian volunteer arm of the Coast Guard. 
Q: What is the purpose of the Coast Guard Auxiliary?
    A: The Coast Guard Auxiliary is a civilian force multiplier for the Coast Guard. We perform
        many tasks, the most important being recreational boating safety.
Q: Is the Coast Guard Auxiliary a branch of the military?
    A: No, the Auxiliary is comprised of civilians who volunteer their time.
Q: What are some of the things I could do in the Coast Guard Auxiliary?
    A: In the Coast Guard Auxiliary you could become boat crew certified, or if the sky is your liking take part in Aux Air and become trained as an observer or pilot. You can become a watch-stander, helping the coast guard with communications, or become a vessel safety examiner. There are an infinite number of things you can become involved in, all of which are exiting and incredibly important. Want to find out more? Contact the FSO-HR at for more information on what you can do.  
 Q: I keep seeing things like FSO, FC, SO, what does this stand for?
    A: There are many abbreviations that we use that may look confusing, but just takes a little getting used to. The abbreviations above are basic command structure. FSO stands for "Flotilla Staff Officer", FC stands for "Flotilla Commander", and SO stands for "Staff Officer". These are different roles and jobs within the Auxiliary. An FSO specializes in something within a flotilla. An FC is the Commander of the Flotilla, and an SO is a Staff Officer at a higher level.
Q: What is a Flotilla?
    A: A Flotilla is a unit within the Auxiliary. The breakdown from large to small is goes National, District, Division, & Flotilla.