Auxiliarist Patrick M. Brown of Eighth District-Eastern Region (D8-ER), Flotilla 11-5 in Nashville, Tennessee, was selected as the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2020 Auxiliarist of the Year.
Brown enrolled in the Auxiliary in April 2014 and immediately became an active participant by holding various flotilla leadership positions including Vice Flotilla Commander and eventually Flotilla Commander. Along with serving as the District Commodore’s Aide, in 2020 he was appointed as the National Branch Chief for Media/ Video. In this capacity, Brown answered the call of Auxiliary national leadership to develop a safe and secure method to conduct elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. He adeptly applied his superb skills to facilitate virtual elections at the Auxiliary’s national, district, division and flotilla levels. Brown ensured appropriate software and programs were effectively used and numerous test runs were performed to identify potential issues and ensure they were rectified.
As the Auxiliary’s Election Administrator, he managed the polling website during all electronic elections and immediately resolved concerns as they arose. He was instrumental to the development of the “Election of Unit Officers Through the Use of Electronic Means” Standard Operating Procedure, a comprehensive policy document issued by the Chief Director of Auxiliary that established ground breaking procedures for the Auxiliary’s virtual elections. His meticulous effort enabled rapid Auxiliary wide familiarization with this new technology, facilitated successful conduct of over 1,000 time-sensitive Auxiliary elections, ensured Auxiliary leadership continuity despite the pandemic’s restrictive impacts, and resoundingly proved the efficacy of virtual elections. Devoted to professional development and service, he also maintained currency as an Auxiliary instructor and vessel examiner, and logged over 745 hours of activity.
Committed to service and helping others, Brown also led community cleanup efforts following the EF4 tornado that devastated several middle-Tennessee communities in March 2020. He oversaw the removal of over 50 tons of home and storm debris from local neighborhoods, including vital storm water canals that fed directly into the Old Hickory watershed in the Cumberland River system.