The Coast Guard Auxiliary Operational Service Ribbon honors Coast Guard Auxiliarists who carry out service in support of Coast Guard operations. Administrative support does not qualify for the award; eligible roles include SAR desk duty and watchstanding.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was created by Congress on June 23, 1939 to provide support for Coast Guard operations in roles that do not entail military engagement or enforcement. Its 2015 numbers were estimated at 32,000 members.
Auxiliary members are permitted to engage in the proceedings listed below:
-Academy Admissions Partner Program (AAPP)
-Administrative Support for Coast Guard Units
-Auxiliary Food Service (AUXFS)
-Civil Air Patrol Support
-Coast Guard Unit Support
-Health Care Services Assistance
-Legislative Liaison Committee
-Licensing of Merchant Mariners
-Marine Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection
-Maritime Domain Awareness
-Multi-Mission Harbor Safety
-National Safe Boating Week
-Port Safety and Security
-Public Affairs Support
-Recreational Boating Safety
-Search and Rescue Operations
-State Liaison Officer Program
-Vessel Inspections/ Examinations
-Vessel Safety Check Program
The ribbon is yellow with a vertical dark blue stripe toward each edge flanked on either side by thinner red stripes.
The “S” device indicates the completion of 200 hours of support, and the “O” device indicates 30 hours of service on an aviation mission or 60 hours of service on a surface mission.