By Wyatt Sebourn | AUP Unit California Maritime
College is a unique time in one’s life. It is a time in life that one can come across many opportunities to join groups, participate in interesting activities, and learn about the world outside of the students major. Campus ROTC and other military related programs often offer ways for students to get out and see a world not possible without it. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary University Programs (AUP) is offered at colleges around the United States.
The California State University Maritime Academy and Massachusetts Maritime Academy are the largest and most successful units in the USCG Auxiliary University Programs, both offering AUP to all attending cadets. The program is similar to ROTC in the sense that the program teaches students about the Coast Guard, builds professionalism and leadership qualities, and presents opportunities to interact with both enlisted and officer Coast Guardsmen while gaining hands on experience. The most significant of all details is that students can join AUP with no obligation to join the military. Students who have no desire to enlist can still gain hands on experience and learn proficient leadership qualities through a structured program. AUP is very beneficial to both academies not only because of the academies' strategic locations near many Coast Guard Stations but also because many of the cadets who continue directly into the maritime industry will interact with the Coast Guard at points in their life. Participating in AUP provides cadets the means to learn effective communication, safe boating, marine safety, incident management, and much more.
While cadets to have an academic obligation in AUP, they are often provided hands on experiences through direct Coast Guard Interaction. Here are just a few ways that cadets both academies have interacted with the Coast Guard.
Cal Maritime - USCG Cutter Waesche:
Cal Maritime - Station San Francisco Tour
Cal Maritime - Airbase Sacramento & C-130 Training Flight
Mass Maritime - Cadet Internship - East Providence Rhode Island
Mass Maritime - Sector Key West Tour - Key West, Florida
Mass Maritime - Museum Work - Barnstable, Massachusetts
These are just a few examples of things that the USCG Auxiliary University Programs has to offer students. AUP is a one of a kind opportunity and an indispensable resource for students to gain leadership skills and hands-on experience through interaction with members of the USCG.