New Member Information

Welcome to the new member orientation section. Now that you have decided to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary, let me be the first to say “Welcome Aboard”. We’re an exceptional organization with a broad range of people and there are always areas of our mission where your help will be greatly appreciated. During your first year you’ll learn about uniforms, military acronyms, Auxiliary policies, the history of the Coast Guard and the Auxiliary, and the direction in which you’d like to go with the organization. While this can seem overwhelming at first, don’t worry, your Flotilla Staff Officers are here to help you in any way we can. If you have a question just let us know. As you browse through this section, make sure to check out the convenient link listed below.

Member Involvement Plan ~ Uniform Distribution Center

Uniform Care  ~  Customs & Courtesy  ~ Team Coordination Training (TCT)

On-Line 7029 Form (Member ID Required)  ~  Uniform Nametape: USCG Auxiliary


In getting started with the Auxiliary the first item you’re going to need is a uniform. One term you will often hear is gold side and silver side. We often refer to the active duty/reserves Coast Guard as the gold side and ourselves as the silver side because it’s what distinguishes active duty & reserve uniforms from those of the Auxiliary. While our uniforms are based on the design of those worn by Coast Guard Officers, we have silver sleeve lace, silver buttons, and silver lace on the combination cap where those on active duty and reserves have gold. Below you will find additional information on the uniforms of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Tropical Blues 

Commonly referred to as “trops” within the Auxiliary, the tropical blue uniform is considered the standard uniform for day-to-day wear. The tropical blues (shown in left photo) are worn to flotilla meetings, classes, Auxiliary functions and certain public affairs events. The tropical blues closely resembles the dress blues used by the Air Force, those they are a slightly different shade of blue.


Men's Uniforms 

Men's: Men’s items you will need for this uniform are trousers, shirt, belt w/Auxiliary buckle, name plate, shoulder boards, combo and/or garrison cap, V-neck undershirt (the collar of the undershirt must not be visible when dress shirt is worn without tie), and black dress shoes. For those of you who have previous military experience you will also want to get a ribbon bar as you can wear ribbons awarded from prior service with this uniform.

Trousers shall be the same as those prescribed for Service Dress Blue uniform. A black web belt with a silver buckle and tip is worn with this uniform. The buckle may be plain or display the Auxiliary emblem. There are two light blue, short sleeve shirts that may be worn. One may be the Air Force style short sleeve shirt with a stand-up collar with stays and epaulets. With this shirt, the collar is worn open, without a tie. The other may be the older Coast Guard officer style, short sleeve shirt with an open collar and shoulder loops.

Shoes shall be black, with heels, made of smooth leather or a synthetic material. Shoes shall be low cut of plain style without decoration. There shall be no stitching or seams across the toe. Heels shall be no higher than one inch. Sole edges, heels, and laces must be black. Socks shall also be black, made of knitted or rib knit, undecorated material.

Women's Uniforms 

Women's: The women’s uniform for tropical blues will require a skirt or trousers, dress shirt, stockings, dress shoes, combination or garrison cap, name plate, and insignia devices. As with the men’s tropical blue; those of you with previous military service can wear ribbons awarded to you on the ribbon bar.

The skirt and optional trousers are the same as prescribed for the Service Dress Blue and Bravo Uniforms. With dress shirts there are two that may be worn with this uniform. The first is the Air Force style shirt with a stand-up collar, short sleeves, epaulets, and front gathers below the shoulder seam. With this shirt, the collar is worn open with no tie. The other may be the older Coast Guard enlisted style, short sleeve shirt with open collar and no shoulder loops. Stockings are worn with dress shoes and shall be made of plain material, flesh-color, seamless and undecorated. When you’re wearing trousers, black socks, made of knitted or rib knit, undecorated material may be worn when wearing service shoes. Dress Shoes and Service Shoes shall be the same as prescribed for Service Dress Blue and Bravo uniforms.


Collar Devices 

Metal Collar devices are worn for insignia. The enhanced or soft shoulder boards are not worn with the Air Force style shirt. With hats you have a choice between the combination cap and the garrison cap. Most people choose to wear the garrison cap as it is both easier to obtain and is less formal. A combination cap would normally be worn to formal events such as Change of Watch ceremonies. For informal events where trops are worn, as well as Flotilla meetings, the garrison cap is the cover of choice. If you look at the images below you will see (starting from the left), the member device, belt, belt buckles, garrison cap insignia and name tag. These items are all worn with the tropical blue uniform.This information will be updated as uniform requirements and/or regulations change.



Operational Dress Uniform (ODU)

Another uniform you will need is the Operational Dress Uniform, also known as the ODU. The photo to the left is an active duty member in ODU. Notice the gold insignia on the collar and hat, hence the term gold side. The ODU worn by those in the Auxiliary is the same design, just silver instead of gold. The ODU is worn for more work and/or outdoor use such as safety patrols, operations and vessel safety checks.

Items you will need for the ODU are pants, blue undershirt with Coast Guard Auxiliary embroidery, ODU jacket, cloth name-tape, USCG Auxiliary cloth tape, member collar device, cap, black socks and black boots. Most items you'll need for the ODU can be purchased in the Coast Guard Exchange at Station Charleston. If the exchange does not have the item in the size you need, you can always try the UDC. Until you have an ID card however, you will need to be escorted by a member of the flotilla to purchase these items at the Exchange.

Uniform insignia consists of both sew-on and metal devices worn on uniforms. This would include your name tag, member collar device, belt buckles, hat devices, epaulets, metals and ribbons. Some of these items are carried by the uniform distribution center (UDC) but the District Seven Materials store and Uniform Nametape (for cloth and metal name tags) are often the best ways to go in procuring these items. You could also find out if anyone in your flotilla has a member device or insignia they’re no longer going to be using.