U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Division Seven recognized three of its longest-serving members on April 7 during its Annual Awards Luncheon at Division Seven headquarters at the Gandy Boat Ramp.
Joe and Betty Hagan, of Magdalene Shores and Cliff Martin, of South Tampa, were recognized for their combined 59 years and 15,708 hours of service to the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the civilian volunteer arm of the active-duty U.S. Coast Guard.
The Hagans, both in their 80s, joined the Auxiliary together in 1991 and over 21 years, have amassed more than 10,300 hours of volunteer service, including 4,000 hours on the water during safety and security patrols. Throughout their Auxiliary careers, Joe and Betty both served in elected command positions and jointly, have earned 56 awards for meritorious service and efforts in a range of Auxiliary specialty areas, including underway operations, public affairs and public education.
A retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Major, Cliff Martin, 81, has donated 5,320 hours to the Auxiliary during 17 years of service, including 1,700 hours in performing a range of administrative support and port operations management efforts to the Coast Guard. During his Auxiliary career, Martin has served in elected command positions and earned 26 awards for meritorious service and worked in several Auxiliary specialty areas, including underway operations, member training, public education and security.
Over their combined 59 years of service to the nation, the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security, the contributions of Joe and Betty Hagan and Cliff Martin would equate to more than $549,000, applying the pay scale for a lieutenant (O-3) with 12 years of military service.
By any standard of measure, the government’s financial support of the Coast Guard Auxiliary is a sound investment. Annually, Auxiliary members nationwide volunteer upwards of 4.5 million hours to support a variety of active-duty Coast Guard mission areas, including boating safety education, vessel safety checks and underway safety/security patrols. For example, over a recent three-year period and including a range of factors, the return on the Coast Guard’s investment in the Auxiliary ranged between 920 and 1,270 percent (%).
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the nation’s most active boating safety educator — more than 100,000 boaters participate in Auxiliary safe boating programs annually. Founded in 1939, the Coast Guard Auxiliary is the civilian, all-volunteer arm of the U.S. Coast Guard, providing boating education and Coast Guard mission support.