NICEVILLE — United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 14 and Division 1 of the 8th Coastal Region were presented recently with the Coast Guard Auxiliary National Commodore’s Achievement Award. The award recognizes the units' outstanding contributions since they were established nearly 60 years ago on Aug. 1, 1958.

The awards were presented to Flotilla 14 Commander Randy Black and Division 1 Commander Dan Berry by District Capt. Rick Quinn at the Division 1 summer meeting in Niceville on June 23.

Flotilla 14 supports the boating community in the Destin and Fort Walton Beach area. Division 1 covers the entire Florida Panhandle and portions of Georgia and Alabama.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is an organization of uniformed volunteers authorized to perform all functions of the active-duty Coast Guard except direct law enforcement and military operations. Flotillas are active in all 50 states and several U.S. territories.

The primary mission of the auxiliary is to promote recreational boating safety. Locally, the auxiliary meets that mission by conducting vessel safety checks, teaching classes, distributing boating safety literature and conducting marine safety patrols.

Auxiliary members serve as watch-standers at Coast Guard stations, taking distress calls and providing information to the public. They are also called on to augment the active-duty Coast Guard during major environmental emergencies. In response to last year’s hurricane season, more than 30 Coast Guard Auxiliary members from Division 1 volunteered to support the Coast Guard and local emergency operations centers.

Anyone interested in joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary can contact the local flotilla commander by email at flotilla14FC@gmail.com or go online to www.cgaux.org.