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June 23rd is the official Coast Guard Auxiliary birthday. Most are familiar with the Coast Guard, and while the Coast Guard Reserve isn’t quite as well known, it’s the Coast Guard Auxiliary which remains one of the more obscure (but important) groups that has traditionally been associated with the United States Military.
The U.S. Armed Forces are made up of Active Duty components supplemented by Reserve forces such as the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, etc., but a non-military and unpaid civilian auxiliary exists for two branches: the Air Force and Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard is considered military service but is not part of the Defense Department, which is an important distinction from its’ Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps counterparts.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is, as mentioned above, an unpaid force of volunteers who perform duties similar to or in support of the regular Coast Guard. Legislation passed in the mid-1990’s authorized the Auxiliary to support any Coast Guard missions not involving law enforcement or real-world military operations.