New leaders at the helm of the of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

ORLANDO, FL – On Thursday U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary National Commodore Steve Budar, presided over the opening ceremony and general session of the annual Auxiliary National Conference at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida. One of the first orders of business was the selection of a new National Commodore (NACO) to lead the all volunteer organization of over 30,000 “guardians” for the next two years.

Commodore Nickolas Kerigan, who has served as the National Vice Commodore for the past two year will succeed Commodore Budar at the helm of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Commodore Kerigan graduated from Saint John’s University in New York, in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Since joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1992, he has served in all elected positions through National Area Commodore, Atlantic Area (East) as well as several staff positions at various levels of the Auxiliary.

Commodore Kerigan has received several personal awards and commendations, including the Auxiliary Meritorious Service Award, Auxiliary Award of Operational Merit, Auxiliary Commendation Award, Transportation 9-11 Medal, Auxiliary Achievement Award, Auxiliary Commandant’s Letter of Commendation (OPS), Sustained Auxiliary Service Award (10) and several group awards.

A native of New York City, New York, he currently resides in Manhasset, New York with his wife Susan and their two children Christine and James.

Commodore James Vass was selected to serve as the National Vice Commodore for the next two years. Commodore Vass began his career in the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1991. He has served in numerous staff positions and elected position at all levels of the Auxiliary. Most recently he has served as the District Commodore Eight Coastal Region where he area of responsibility covered 7 states and 3 time zones stretching from Tallahassee Florida to the Border of Arizona.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the United States Coast Guard. Created by an Act of Congress in 1939, the Auxiliary directly supports the Coast Guard in all missions, except military and direct law enforcement actions.

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