William Bowen, District Commodore

District Commodore
William Bowen

The First District, Southern Region of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary welcomes you! We are the Southern portion of two Auxiliary Districts that make up the First Coast Guard District. With 2900 members, First Southern serves the Coast Guard and boating public in eastern New York and New York City, north to the Canadian border via the Hudson River Valley and Lake Champlain, and east to Montauk Point, including Connecticut, western Vermont and northern New Jersey. Together with the First District Northern Region we comprise eight states with approximately 6,000 members and 6,000 miles of coastline. We are but one district of sixteen Auxiliary districts in the country with approximately 25,000 members. The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is unique in that we are the only civilian, uniformed volunteer force that performs many of the missions of our parent service.

Auxiliary members integrate with the active duty Coast Guard in almost all areas of operation with the exceptions of Law Enforcement and Direct Combat/Military operations. We assist with seven of eleven regulatory missions of the Coast Guard. Heavily involved in our main mission, Recreational Boating Safety, the Auxiliary works hard to keep the boating public educated, informed and safe. Along with this we also perform duties such as Auxiliary Food Service at Coast Guard stations and cutters, Search and Rescue, both surface and air, vessel inspections, pollution response, container and lifeboat inspections and more. Fellowship, a cornerstone of the Auxiliary brings new friends and new opportunities. While we are volunteers and the time we devote to the Coast Guard is our own, the urge to serve is very much a part of who we are. Serving our country and communities, loving what we do and knowing that it makes a difference goes a long way.

Since 9/11 the U. S. Coast Guard has taken on many new missions, evolved and changed to meet the demands of our country and to approach, identify and neutralize threats, and keep our coast and others safe. As that evolution has moved forward over the years, the Auxiliary has changed and evolved along with the Coast Guard. In order to provide the assistance needed, we have had to adapt faster, more intelligently and technologically sound. As those missions expand and evolve, the challenges to the Auxiliary become greater and more critical. The need for new members to join has become a determined focus. Targeted recruiting has become paramount. The need to find the right people to fit the specific skill sets is more important today than ever before. If you want to be a part of something growing, that’s special, that has or is being copied in other countries, give us a look. The Auxiliary needs you! Your country and Coast Guard need you!

“Be there First!” is One Southern’s motto. We have done, we do now, and we will continue to be innovative, constructive, proactive, and adaptable. We work hard to maintain that we have been first in many areas. Many things that are being done in the Auxiliary throughout the country are because we did it first and did it right.

If you have the desire to serve. If you have the want to be a part of the best team. If you believe that you can and will make a difference, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has a place for you. Together we can. Remember, “Love what you do and know that it makes a difference!”

William Bowen
District Commodore - 1SR