USPS is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation, and related subjects. Our members are boating families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education. We enjoy participating with our fellow members in on-the-water activities and boating courses. USPS has some 60,000 members organized into 450 squadrons across the country and in some US territories. USPS is the world's largest non-profit boating organization and has been honored by three US presidents for its civic contributions.

USPS traces its origins back to an unofficial club within a yacht club that was formed in 1912 to improve the safety and enjoyment of the new gasoline motor boats. The United States Power Squadrons was established on February 2, 1914. By 1916, there were 15 Atlantic seaboard Squadrons with some 500 members.

During both World Wars, the USPS organized classes open to members and non-members, for the study of seamanship, signaling, navigation, and naval procedures. More than 5,000 persons who attended the classes during the first war entered the Armed Forces, many of them receiving commissions on the basis of their USPS training. During the second war, members volunteered to help the Marines and Army Engineers practice amphibious landings. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, more than 3,000 members enlisted in the armed forces, many of them serving where their natural skills could be utilized. The educational courses were then open freely to members of the Armed Forces, and Power Squadron instructors taught in the Navy and Coast Guard schools.

All members are urged to improve their boating knowledge and skills by taking carefully planned advanced courses on seamanship, piloting, position finding, dead reckoning, plotting, and celestial navigation. In addition, courses are offered on marine electronics, sail, marine engine maintenance, the weather, cruise planning, and instructor training.

The local Squadrons conduct a Public Boating Course for boaters and would-be boaters at least once a year. Members of USPS also report corrections and additions to nautical and aviation charts under a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. USPS also works closely with other boating organizations to maintain safety awareness during national Safe Boating Week and throughout the year.

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