MOA for the Sea Scouts and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

united states coast guard

11 SEP 2018



ALAUX 022/18


1.  A highlight of the recent 2018 Auxiliary National Conference held in Orlando, FL was the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will help establish a new relationship between the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Sea Scouts.  It was signed by three parties: the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary Association, Inc. as represented by Auxiliary National Commodore Rick Washburn, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Assistant Chief Scout Executive Mr. Patrick Sterrett, Sea Scout National Commodore Mr. Charles Wurster, Coast Guard Auxiliary Association Inc. President Mr. Vin Pica, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Rear Admiral John Nadeau, and Chief Director of Auxiliary Captain Scott Johnson.  The MOA is posted on the CG Auxiliary Recreational Boating Safety Outreach web site (B-Directorate Website) under Youth Programs, Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scouts – CG Auxiliary MOA (2018)(PDF).  Click HERE to view the MOA.

2.   The most revolutionary aspects pursuant to terms of the MOA are the allowances for Sea Scouts as young as 14 years of age to join the Auxiliary and for Auxiliary flotillas to charter Sea Scout Ships.  These allowances, along with others identified in the MOA, shall be implemented pursuant to Auxiliary and Coast Guard policies which are still under development.  In order to properly validate the propriety and effectiveness of such policies, a pilot program exercising the MOA’s purposes will be conducted among Auxiliary and Sea Scouts in the Fifth Coast Guard District (Auxiliary Southern Region) and in the Ninth Coast Guard District (Auxiliary Eastern Region).  Until completion of this pilot program, Auxiliary units in other districts may continue to engage with Sea Scout Ships in accordance with existing policies, but shall not implement any aspects of the MOA.  Auxiliary district leaders will be kept apprised of pilot program progress.

3.  The MOA’s primary purpose is to establish a cooperative relationship between the three parties in order to enhance their common goals of promoting recreational boating safety throughout our Nation.  It will achieve this in conjunction with strengthening ties between the Auxiliary and the BSA, affording Sea Scouts and other BSA members a wide variety of training opportunities provided through the Auxiliary, integrating Sea Scout Ships (i.e. Sea Scout units) into Auxiliary programs, and creating a pathway for Sea Scouts and other BSA members who embrace recreational boating safety and assisting the U. S. Coast Guard to become members of the Auxiliary.

Who are the Sea Scouts and why did they update their policy with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary? The Sea Scouts were formed in 1912 based upon that Lord Baden-Powell’s older brother, Warrington, wrote called Sea Scouting and Seamanship. for Boys. The only requirements for membership were that they had to subscribe to the Scout Oath and law and pass the Tenderfoot requirements. Boys had to be 15 years old and at least 112 pounds. Their units are called ships. Their organization of skippers, mates, boatswains, coxswains and crews began to be used. Membership grew to 27,000 during WWII. Many changes were made to tailor the program to the needs of our national youth.

Sea Scout can earn the rank of Apprentice, Ordinary, Able and Quartermaster. The first rank of Apprentice demonstrates basic marlinspike seamanship skills, safety and basic ideals. To earn Ordinary, the Sea Scout must know the Ideals of Sea Scouting, be an active member for six months, learn specials skills relating to boats, marlinspike seamanship, piloting, communicating, swimming, safety, and cooking. In addition three of seven electives need to be completed such as close order drill, signaling in semaphore, boxing a compass, yacht racing, sailing, ornamental ropework, and engine maintenance. To earn the Able rank, the Sea Scout must be able to explain and demonstrate a complete knowledge seamanship skills, earn the Lifesaving merit badge, complete a long cruise, and must be an officer in his or her ship.

Quartermaster is the highest rank attainable by a Sea Scout and is equivalent to Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America). The Sea Scout must attend at least three quarters of all Ship meetings and special activities over eighteen months, demonstrate marlinspike seamanship and leadership skills, demonstrate the ability to teach Sea Scouting skills, complete a Quartermaster Leadership Service Project (community service project) and pass a council level board of review. The Quartermaster emblem is a medal consisting of the Sea Scoutemblem on a ship’s wheel that is suspended from a solid dark blue ribbon that is in turn suspended from a bar bearing the design of a double carrick bend knot. In 2011, 40 Sea Scoutsattained the rank of Quartermaster, compared with over 51000 Eagle Scouts.

Sea Scouts who earn this rank are entitled to wear a uniform similar to that of a United States Navy Chief Petty Officer (CPO), and can earn advanced rates to E-3 upon enlistment into the U.S. Navy or United States Coast Guard. There are approximately 15,000 Sea Scouts in America.

There is a synergy between the Sea Scouts and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. They are a maritime, hard-working, fun-loving group of citizens that want to share their love of the seaand respect for it’s power with others.

Sea Promise

As a Sea Scout, I promise to do my best
To guard against water accidents;
To know the location and proper use of the lifesaving devices on every boat I board;
To be prepared to render aid to those in need and;
To seek to preserve the motto of the sea, “Women and children first”.

What are the recent changes to the Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary?

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (CGAux) and the Boy Scouts of America recently completed the update of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).  The MOA was formally signed at a ceremony on August 25, 2018 at a national annual CGAux meeting in Orlando, FL.  Members of the national Sea Scout leadership represented Sea Scouts at the signing ceremony.

CGAux and Sea Scouts have long enjoyed a partnership promoting boating safety and other areas of mutual interest.  The new MOA provides for even closer cooperation between the organizations.  Here are some highlights:

  • CGAux will provide seamanship and other types of training, shore-side and underway, to Sea Scouts and other BSA members.
  • CGAux will use Sea Scouts, BSA as their official youth development program.
  • CGAux Flotillas/organizations are authorized and encouraged to become charter partners and provide adult leaders for Sea ScoutShips (units).
  • Sea Scout youth and adults may become members of CGAux by following the normal requirements for membership. The CGAux entry age is lowered from 17 to 14 for registered Sea Scouts.
  • Regular BSA youth protection policies will be followed as described in the agreement.

excerpts from the Sea Scout Wikipedia site and the sites.



Leave a Comment

We welcome your comments on postings at all Coast Guard sites/journals. These are sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a forum to talk about our work providing maritime safety, security and stewardship for the American people to secure the homeland, save lives and property, protect the environment, and promote economic prosperity.

The information provided is for public information only and is not a distress communication channel. People in an emergency and in need of Coast Guard assistance should use VHF-FM Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), dial 911, or call their nearest Coast Guard unit.

All comments submitted are moderated. The Coast Guard retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. We expect all contributors to be respectful. We will not post comments that contain personal attacks of any kind; refer to Coast Guard or other employees by name; contain offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups, or contain vulgar language. We will also not post comments that are spam, are clearly off topic, or that promote services or products.

The U.S. Coast Guard disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from any comments posted on this page. This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

If you have specific questions regarding a U.S. Coast Guard program that involves details you do not wish to share publicly please contact the program point of contact listed at

The U.S. Coast Guard will not collect or retain Personally Identifiable Information unless you voluntarily provide it to us. To view the U.S. Coast Guards Privacy Policy, please visit:

Please note: Anonymous comments have been disabled for this journal. It is preferred that you use your real name when posting a comment. WE WILL POST THE NAME YOU ENTER WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT. Also, you are welcome to use Open ID or other user technologies that may be available.