Staff Officer Training and Resources
Welcome to the USCG Auxiliary Staff Officer Training and Resources Portal!
Are you a new or current staff officer in a Flotilla (FSO), Division (SO) or District (DSO/ADSO) or interested in becoming one? Well, as part of an ongoing initiative to help our Auxiliary appointed staff officers, the Training Directorate is pleased to present the Staff Officer's Training and Resource portal to help mentor and ensure your success in your role as an appointed staff officer.
As staff officers ourselves, we've heard, seen, and experienced the need (and importance) to have relevant training, robust mentoring, and useful resources to help you (as appointed staff officers) perform a critical role to support elected leaders and ensure success in accomplishing the mission of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Knowing the experience level of staff officers can vary from being a freshly minted Flotilla Staff Officer (FSO) who is looking to learn about the basics of being a FSO to a seasoned District Staff Officer (DSO) who has to implement components of the district's strategic plan, this portal will provide training and reference materials to address these needs.
If you are a new FSO, we recommend that you view this new multimedia presentation or if you are an experienced FSO, SO, or DSO and want to mentor a new staff officer, please sit down with your mentee and view this content together.
In this presentation you will learn the purpose and function of a staff officer and identify the qualities of an effective staff officer, with the expectation that you (or your mentee) will apply these "best practices" in the staff officer role.
As a staff officer, it is critical to develop your leadership and management toolbox so you can be effective in your role either at the district, division, or flotilla level. We've chosen the four (4) most relevant out of seven (7) courses from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute Professional Development Series that provide developmental training, skills, and tools useful in any staff officer role (or any role/job outside of the Auxiliary).
We recommend that you complete these courses in this recommended order of completion starting with IS-240.b - Leadership & Influence as this course provides a baseline of training on how to lead teams and collaborate with others to achieve your shared goals:
- IS-240.b - Leadership & Influence
- IS-241.b - Decision Making and Problem Solving
- IS-242.b - Effective Communication
- IS-244.b - Developing and Managing Volunteers
Exportable Training for District Staff Officers (DSO): Strategic Plan Execution
As a DSO (or ADSO), you will play a critical role in managing projects to ensure the successful execution of your district's strategic plan. Like yourself, members of the National Staff have managed similar projects to support the National Strategic plan; based on our experiences, we have distilled our project management resources into a stepwise toolbox of easily digestible training content, instructional job aids, and core project management tools to support your efforts as a DSO and are pleased to present these below:
- Strategic Plan Overview (Training). If you are asked to assist in the development of a strategic plan for your district or if you would like to review the concepts of how to develop and execute a strategic plan, download and review this excerpt (pp. 13-30) from the Coast Guard Performance Improvement Guide (PIG).
- Action Plan Development (Training). If you have been assigned sections of your district strategic plan and need to execute an action plan, download and review this short excerpt (pp. 26-30) from the PIG.
- Project Plan Template (Job Aid). If you have been assigned projects to support an action plan, here is an annotated and simple project requirements template (.docx) to help you determine the goals, objectives, tactics, and risks that need to be considered in the development process for each project.
- Project Tracker (Tool). Once you have established which projects need to be executed to support the strategic plan, you will need to use a project tracking tool to track and monitor the project to completion. A simple and straightforward tool employed by the National Staff uses a spreadsheet approach to allow each directorate to track its projects to completion. These directorate project trackers were placed on a shared drive/cloud (Google Drive) to facilitate National Staff collaboration; as a DSO you should consider using a shared drive approach as well. For more information on how to set up a collaboration spreadsheet, visit Google Sheets.
- Google Spreadsheet. This is an example project tracker hosted on Google Drive with sample data. This file can be downloaded in various formats within the Google menu interface.
- Excel Spreadsheet. This is the same project tracker but in an Excel spreadsheet format that you can download onto your local computer; this format is appropriate if you prefer to manage projects locally on your personal machine and not use a Google Sheets account. If you need to send updates to your stakeholders, you would simply email the latest version of project tracker that you have updated as an attachment.
- More Project Management Training, Job Aids, and Tools. If you need additional tools to manage your project and/or team, download the Performance Improvement Guide, developed by the Coast Guard Leadership Development Center and the Performance Excellence Program. It contains additional resources to aid and enhance team effectiveness, help with problem-solving, facilitate better meeting management, improve processes, increase stakeholder satisfaction, and raise overall performance to produce superior mission results.
Additional Staff Officer Resource Links
The following resources may be useful to you as a staff officer:
- AuxDirectory/AuxOfficer. One of the Auxiliary's most-heavily used applications, this database can help users search for specific members singly or via unit or office, generate a roster, produce email lists, and more. If you are a new staff officer, this is one of the most useful resources you can have in your toolbox. Similarly, the Skills Bank can help users locate Auxiliarists who possess specific skill sets, hold a particular office, or a current PQS. Additional information can be found here.
- AuxInfo. This database allows all staff officers to obtain individual and unit statistical information such as mission hours, awards received, etc. derived from AuxData, the limited access web-based management tool used to capture and report Auxiliary operational and administrative activity.
- AuxMan. This document establishes policies and procedures for all Coast Guard members who are involved with the administration of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, including Auxiliarists, military, and civilian personnel. This link points to the latest version of the instruction that includes the latest addenda.
- National Staff Guidebook. Though the audience of this publication is the National Staff, all staff officers can glean good information on how to find success as a staff officer as well as gain insight into the world of the National Staff from this guidebook.