U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard patrol boat cruising through ocean waters.

Looking to serve as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard? Norwich has you covered!

In the United States Coast Guard, you’ll find five main missions: Maritime Security, Maritime Mobility, Maritime Safety, Protection of Natural Resources and National Defense. Within each mission, the Coast Guard offers officer commissions in a host of fields including engineering, law, intelligence and more. Depending on your skills and the Coast Guard's needs, you can train to be an officer in anything from law to avionics electronics to intelligence to computer and information technologies to command, control and communications.

From the get-go, you'll be in take-charge situations, where your decisions can make the difference between life and death. It's the kind of experience that no entry-level civilian job can match.


Norwich University’s U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary University Program (AUP) prepares both cadets and civilian students for U.S. Coast Guard careers. Membership in the Auxiliary and the AUP program offers a pathway to a U.S. Coast Guard commission as upwards of 70% of graduates of the program nationally commission into the U.S. Coast Guard.

Cadets can join the AUP unit at Norwich by first joining an Auxiliary unit (Flotilla) in their hometown, or in Burlington, Vt. which is located in close proximity to Norwich. Once enrolled in the Flotilla, students then join the university’s AUP unit.

The AUP’s course of study provides similar training and requirements of the Coast Guard active duty and reserve. Cadets are involved in online training and testing, classroom workshops, unit meetings and physical fitness training. You’ll learn from guest speakers and participate in field trips to Coast Guard stations. AUP cadets can qualify for Coast Guard internships to gain real world experience at small boat stations, safety detachments, air stations and command centers.

At home, AUP cadets engage with their Flotilla to hone their skills and qualifications across multiple mission areas. You’ll participate in hands on training exercises and engage with the recreational boating public and active-duty Coast Guard units.

At Norwich, cadets lead the AUP unit, honing their individual leadership skills, with the support of an active-duty Coast Guard officer, a local Auxiliary member, and a Norwich faculty/academic advisor. U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting Office, Boston supports Norwich cadets interested in applying to Direct Commissioning or Officer Candidate School.

AUP Program Highlights:

LEAD Labs: Weekly, 90-minute classroom sessions cover all aspects of U.S. Coast Guard, assess physical fitness aptitude and learning progress. Enlisted members assist in labs as instructors/assistant instructors to teach and mentor uniformed enlisted and auxiliary members.

Progressive learning: Students build in foundational courses in water basics and safe boating with electives in incident management, boat operations, telecommunications, marine safety, vessel examination, public affairs, and aviation. Capstone projects focus on small boat operations, leadership, homeland security and other topics.

Physical fitness: Hour-long optional training is conducted twice weekly with land and water-based exercises; Norwich University’s Semper Paratus Society and current AUP members offer lifeguard certified supervision of the training.

Alaina Sill ’21

Alaina Sill ’21, the first Norwich Semper Paratus woman president, commissions into the U.S. Coast Guard

“This ceremony is happening because of the patience of professors who helped me study for exams, my friends who gave me the strength to push through hard nights of training, and the mentors who gave me the tools I needed to be a successful leader to my peers. I am so thankful to the support system Norwich provided me.”

Semper Paratus

Always Ready

You don't sign on to mind the security along more than 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline and act as the first responder of the high seas by coasting through the next four years. You jump right in with the Semper Paratus Society, learning the ins and outs of the skills and knowledge required to be in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Why Choose Coast Guard at Norwich

Interdisciplinary approach that is guided by current global challenges

Leadership and character development in a military environment

RADM Richard W. Schneider Coast Guard Scholarships for students pursuing a Coast Guard career

Contact Us

Charles A. Poltenson   
Norwich University Auxiliary Unit Liaison   
Auxiliary University Programs   
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary   
Email: poltenson.uscga@gmail.com   
Mobile: 315-491-8033   
Home: 802-436-1524

Bradley I. Gallimore HMCS, USN (RET)   
Norwich University AUP Faculty Advisor   
Company Mentor, Office of the Commandant   
Email: bgallimo@norwich.edu   
Office: 802-485-2562