Coast Guard Auxiliary to Increase Presence On Waterways

COSTA MESA, Calif – Growing the number of Auxiliary patrol boats in the District’s fleet by at least 20 is a goal of the new Commodore of the 11th Southern Coast Guard Auxiliary District, Michael C. Johnson.

“Six of the most dangerous waterways in the nation are located in this District. Our aim is to assist state boating authorities urging boaters to take personal responsibility and to become educated on boating. Everyone on a boat should wear a life jacket. The additional boats are part of our plan to assist boaters with that training and to be there in the event of an emergency” said Johnson.

Johnson, a Phoenix, Arizona attorney, becomes the 37th Commodore of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s District 11(South) on January 3. He leads the District’s 1,800 members and Coast Guard Auxiliary’s volunteer activities in Southern California, Arizona, Southern Nevada, and Southern Utah.

Balancing roles relative to homeland security and boating safety is one of Johnson’s priorities. “While we need to respond to the country’s need for increased vigilance on our waterways, we cannot forget the reason the Auxiliary was established, to promote boating safety. We also need to teach our people to balance their volunteerism with their personal lives even as we increase training and develop a more professional force.”

“We look forward to working with our partners to improve boating safety along both our coastal and inland waterways. In 2008, with the National Park Service (NPS), an agreement was reached for the Auxiliary to utilize NPS boats to patrol Lakes Mead and Mohave.”

A lifelong resident of Arizona, Johnson learned boating working in his family’s resort business on Lake Powell near Page, Arizona. He earned his first Coast Guard Captain’s license at age 17.

A member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary since 1995, Commodore Johnson is a Qualification Examiner, Coxswain, Personal Watercraft Operator, Instructor and a Vessel Examiner. His Coast Guard Auxiliary awards include the Medal of Operational Merit, Auxiliary Commendation Medal, Sustained Auxiliary Service Award, Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation, Auxiliary Operations Service Award, and Auxiliary Public Education Service Award.

Commodore Johnson earned a Bachelor’s, a MBA, and a JD from Arizona State University. He has practiced law in Phoenix focused on business law and litigation. Commodore Johnson and his wife Debi reside in the Ahwatukee section of Phoenix. Daughter Kristi is a graduate student at Arizona State University and their son, Ryan, is a student at Mesa Community College.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.

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