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Our Staff

Directorate Leadership The staff of the Vessel Examinations & Partner Visitation (V) Directorate is made up of experienced leaders in the Coast Guard Auxiliary's recreational boating safety (RBS) and outreach programs. Sharing decades of experience, the V-Directorate staff helps bring the Auxiliary's RBS programs to life in immediate services and strategic planning.
Director James Cortes serves as an Academy Admissions Partner and Advisory Board Member. He has completed Level 1-5 Leadership training, including the Auxiliary Senior Officer Course. James is a former Division Commander, Western Carolinas and has held numerous other leadership positions.
James wears both the Operational Auxiliarist (AUXOP) and RBS Devices. Other achievements include Sustained Auxiliary Service and certified Vessel Examiner and Instructor. He has also completed all educational requirements to qualify him for the Marine Safety Training Ribbon and Presidential Volunteer Service Award Gold Level.

Deputy Director Thomas Niles is a 27-year veteran of the Auxiliary. He has served in a variety of elected and appointed leadership roles including Division Commander, Potomac Guardians. He has served on National Staff for four years within the V-Directorate as Division Chief in both the Vessel Examinations and Incentives Divisions.
Thomas is qualified as a Vessel Examiner, Program Visitor, Instructor, and holds the RBS Device. He is a retired civilian employee in the Department of Defense and Colonel in the Army Reserve, with 34 years of service to our country.

Division Chief — Communications Zacary E. Wilson-Fetrow joined the Auxiliary in 2014. As communications chief, Zacary is a certified Public Affairs Specialist 3 (AUXPA3), Musician 2 (AUXMU2) and AUXOP. He also earned the RBS Device. Zacary has served as webmaster at Flotilla, Division and National levels, with six years in the RBS Outreach (B) Directorate.
Zacary graduated from the Coast Guard Auxiliary University Programs (AUP). He also holds a JD in environmental law from the University of New Mexico. Zacary is now in private practice as a medical malpractice and appellate litigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Division Chief — Vessel Examinations Craig Brown

Division Chief — Incentives Mark Crary

Division Chief — Visitation Programs Aaron Todd

Division Chief — Special Projects William Jefferson joined the Auxiliary in 2016 and was appointed the Branch Chief for RBS Outreach Special Programs in 2019. He is a qualified Coxswain, Aids to Navigation Verifier and Assistant Liferaft Inspector. Bill serves as the District Directorate Chief for Prevention in District 1 Southern Region, and was formerly a Flotilla Commander and Assistant District Staff Officer for Marine Safety.
Bill is a retired commercial construction executive and geologist.

Division Chief — Safety Programs Kirk Gutmann