About Us

The United States Power Squadrons® (USPS) was organized in 1914 by Roger Upton, a member of the power boat division of the Boston Yacht Club. Since the first days, USPS has grown to over 60,000 members, has 450 Squadrons across the United States and in some US territories, and is the world’s largest private, nonprofit boating organization. Although the USPS was started for power boaters, sailors have been a part of the USPS ever since the end of World War I. Today, more than 40% of the USPS members are sailors. While the USPS has many joint programs with the United States Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the National Ocean Services division of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the USPS is a private, nonprofit, nonmilitary, and non-governmental organization of men and women who have a common appreciation for safe pleasure boating. The primary purpose of the USPS is safe boating through education. In support of this, the USPS has three main objectives. These are represented by the sides of a triangle as shown below. Each Squadron performs civic service by providing educational opportunities for the public through teaching the Public Boating Course. Many other courses are available for the public as well through our national offices. Materials can be obtained by calling 1-888-FOR-USPS. Another important civic service performed by Squadrons is the Cooperative Charting Program. Through this program, squadron members verify locations of geodetic markers and report additions or corrections to navigational charts. Each Squadron also provides its members with the opportunity to further educate themselves through several courses. These courses, commonly referred to as Advanced Grades and Elective Courses, are only available to USPS members. These courses are offered to members for the cost of materials and exam only. Each session tends to be as much a social gathering as it is a learning experience. It is sometimes amazing how much can be learned from another person’s experiences just through class discussions. Many life long friendships are developed with fellow students from these courses. The last, but certainly not least, objective is to offer its members a variety of on and off water social activities to enjoy interaction with fellow members who share their enthusiasm for safe and fun pleasure boating. On water activities include cruises, rendezvous, predicted log races, sail races, navigation contests, and even fishing derbies. Activities ashore include dinner meetings with marine programs, parties, dinner dances, picnics, and field trips. The USPS is strictly a volunteer organization. No member, on any level, is paid for any services they perform.