The Coast Guard Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939 to provide a uniformed volunteer force to support the United States Coast Guard. During World War II, Auxiliarists used their own boats to protect our ports and patrol our coasts from the German submarine threat. Following the war, the number of privately owned vessels exploded and the Auxiliary resumed its more traditional role of leading recreational boating safety. Over the years, the Auxiliary has continued to provide direct support as the Coast Guard has been assigned more missions with little increase in manpower or assets. Today, there are over 30,000 Coast Guard Auxiliarists supporting the Coast Guard in virtually all of its missions throughout the country.