17th District Auxiliary selects new commodore
Posted by PA1 Bill Colclough, Friday, February 24, 2017
Story and photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Colclough
Mark Twain once observed that wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. Since 1939, the Coast Guard has been happy to have the Coast Guard Auxiliary as a part of its family. Auxiliarists multiply the forces of the active and reserves. Whenever shipmates wish each other to have a great Coast Guard day, the Auxiliary ensure they do. They receive no paycheck, but their service to the nation does not go unnoticed.
Members of the 17th Coast Guard District Auxiliary come together each year to honor the achievements of their fellow Auxiliarists at the District 17 Auxiliary Awards Banquet in Anchorage, Alaska. This year’s event, held Feb. 19, welcomed David L. Brubaker as the 31st Commodore of the 17th District Auxiliary. The event recognized 80 members from 10 flotillas with 28 awards and concluded three days of training, seminars and workshops for its members.
Bruce Jones, the 30th Commodore, passed the leadership of the 17th District Auxiliary to Brubaker, who took the Oath of Office during the Change of Watch ceremony. Brubaker began serving his country when he was commissioned as an Adjutant General Corps Officer in the U.S. Army June 6, 1969, and he stated he thinks the 17th District Auxiliary is on the right track with the help of the current district commander and commandant. He also sees opportunities in store that were never available before.
During his 47 years of government service, Brubaker has served 24 years with the Army and Alaska Army National Guard, 17 years of civil service as a Human Relations Specialist and Training Program Manager with the Federal Aviation Administration, including 24 years as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Soon, he will have 21 years in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
“I am really proud to be a part of the Auxiliary; it’s an amazing group of people,” said Brubaker. “You [the Coast Guard] guys need help, and we’re very happy to be a part of the team to help out.”
Three objectives top his list as the new commodore: paddleboard sports, communications and making things simpler. Brubaker said his 351 members are spread out with jobs, families and health problems, too. As the new commodore, Brubaker is responsible for Coast Guard Auxiliary missions throughout the 3.78 million square miles and 33,904 miles of coast line in Alaska. For the last 19 years he has operated an Auxiliary facility called the Kindred Spirit in the Gulf of Alaska primarily in Prince William Sound as well as numerous safety patrols off the southern coast of Texas during the winter months.
“The conference and the banquet help us get together, but we have to use technology more to work together,” Brubaker said. “What I have to do is to build the leadership and the passion to get the whole engine moving down the track.”
If there is any indication as to what lies ahead, when Brubaker was a major in 1994, he commanded the 134th Public Affairs Detachment, Alaska Army National Guard. The unit deployed to Panama for an Army Training Exercise and Evaluation. Two teams of print and video journalists from the unit further deployed to Costa Rica and to Guatemala with a third remaining in Panama. His team received the maximum score possible from the evaluation and at the time were the most deployment ready unit ever in the Alaska Army Guard.
Lt. Cmdr. Jason Boyer, Director of the 17th District Auxiliary, is happy to see Brubaker elected as the new commodore.
“Mr. Brubaker brings an immense amount of Auxiliary knowledge, experience and passion for mission execution and a genuine desire to help the D17 Auxiliary program grow,” said Boyer. “His vision has allowed us to outline Alaska-specific Auxiliary goals, and I look forward to working with him over the next two years to bring them to fruition.”
Bravo Zulu Commodore Brubaker, and good luck during your tenure!