Over The Bow Volume 76 Issue 1 Winter 2018 - Page 4


There’s no doubt that an organization such as the US Coast Guard Auxiliary rises or falls on the strength of its leadership. It is our leaders and future leaders who will plot the course our members will steer.

They will determine our needs and through their vision, guide and support us in achieving our goals. Our leaders will also find a way forward as we serve the boating public as well as the Coast Guard.

Generally, great leaders aren’t born, they’re made. They’re the product of structured, formal leadership training.

Recently, our District had the honor of being chosen as a Beta test District for a Flotilla Commander’s survey. Flotilla members in two of our Divisions were surveyed. The survey results underscored the importance and value of formal leadership training. The Flotilla Commanders rated the highest all had some, if not extensive, formal leadership training.

Where does formal leadership training start? In the First District, it starts with our Leadership Development Academy, which is held every December at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.

Each year newly elected Flotilla and Division leaders are invited to attend the “LDA” and this past December, for the third year, it was a joint D1 venture being presented and attended by members from D1 North and D1 South. Plans are already in place to offer future, formal leadership training to District Staff Officers as well as aspiring elected leaders.

The curriculum for our most recent LDA included: Staffing, Communication, New Member Development, Courtesy & Protocol, Recruiting Quality Members, Conflict Resolution, Uniforms, Bottom Up Leadership, Multi-Generational Management, Succession Planning, Flotilla Management, Interpersonal Skills, Goal Setting, Time Management, Relieving a Staff Officer, Problem Solving and Investigations. A video presentation and subsequent discussion was offered featuring the Simon Senik video “Why Good Leaders Eat Last.”

The weekend kicked off at 1800 hours on Friday and wrapped up with an informal graduation ceremony at noon on Sunday. Attendees were exposed to the “Academy Experience” by dorming at Munro Hall, taking their meals at the Mess at Chase Hall and attending classes at Yeaton Hall. All were also invited to attend a cocktail reception Saturday evening at the Alumni Club, where fellowship and networking were enjoyed.

The LDA is the start of one’s journey to great leadership skills. Graduates are also encouraged to take the Auxiliary Leadership and Management School (AUXLAMS), the Auxiliary Mid-level Officers Course (AMLOC), the Auxiliary Upper-Lever Officers Course (AULOC) and the Auxiliary Senior Officers Course (ASOC) for Chiefs of Staff aspiring to be District Commodores.

As our future depends on it, we’re taking an active part in developing our next generations of great leaders.

Gus Formato

Commodore Gus Formato

District Commodore,

First District Southern Region

District Commodore's Message