ISS2 2016

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Page 13 of 64

Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Tyrrell is assigned as a reservist to the 1st District External Affairs office. In this position, he manages internal, external, and community-oriented information for the district and works directly for Capt. Edward Marohn. His responsibilities include governmental affairs, media engagement, major event coordination, social media, public information campaigns and training of various units throughout New England. During annual training in November 2015, Lt. Cmdr. Tyrrell was assigned to work at the Coast Guard Senate Liaison Office in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. This professional broadening experience allowed Lt. Cmdr. Tyrrell to gain insight and complete hands on work related to Coast Guard Governmental Affairs. On average, Congressional Affairs (CG-0921) responds to over 10,000 Congressional or constituent inquiries a year, facilitates hundreds of briefings, and coordinates weekly Congressional (CODEL) and Staff (STAFFDEL) delegation visits to Coast Guard units, both in the Washington, D.C. area and throughout the country. The office is overseen by a Captain and there are several officers, enlisted members, and civilians that support the mission, which includes ongoing communication with CG Headquarter programs, industry outreach, liaison activity in the House and Senate, and various strategically placed Fellows. The entire staff is responsible for coordinating and facilitating Coast Guard interaction with members of Congress, including seven oversight subcommittees and their staffs. The Congressional Affairs staff also advises senior leadership on Member issues and political impacts of policy decisions, prepares witnesses for hearings, and oversees preparations and logistics for Member/staff to enhance understanding and appreciation of the Coast Guard missions and value. Their work is on the front lines of ensuring Coast Guard has the means, both fiscally and legislatively, to continue moving forward to protect the nation, the seas, and the boating public. Lt. Cmdr. Tyrrell was able to gain exposure to the Coast Guard's Congressional Affairs mission, including responding to Congressional inquiries, facilitating Member and Committee briefs, handling logistics for Congressional hearings that the Coast Guard is testifying for, coordinating CODELs and STAFFDELs and assisting with other miscellaneous projects. He also learned the difference between the various roles that Congressional staffers play, whether it be the personal staff member of the Senator or Representative, or a Committee staff member that deals with a particular subject. Committee staff members have expertise on the areas within their jurisdiction. It is important to note that, typically, only bills that have survived the scrutiny of these committee staffers will be given consideration on the floor of the House and Senate. Most people don't realize that thousands of pieces of legislation are introduced in Congress every year but only a relatively small number become law. Reviewing these legislative proposals and determining which bills pass falls primarily on the Congressional Committees. Lt. Cmdr. Tyrrell also used the opportunity to work with Congressional staff members that represent communities in the 1st District area of responsibility. He reminded them of the district mission and how Capt. Marohn's shop can help facilitate meetings, unit visits and answers to questions they may have about issues the Coast Guard may be involved in. Of his experience, Lt. Cmdr. Tyrrell noted "opportunities like this are really once in a lifetime and put me a step ahead in terms of understanding the importance of the Congressional Affairs mission, especially in regards to the appropriation's process and selling the Coast Guard's strengths to those who make critical funding decisions." — Story by Public Affairs Specialist 2nd Class Jennifer Robertson, 1st District External Affairs, Photo courtesy of Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Tyrrell Lt. Cmdr. Tyrrell on the U.S. Capitol overlooking the national Mall. Tyrell was assigned to work at the Coast guard Senate Liaison offce in the Russell Senate offce Building in Washington, d.C. First District Reservist Detailed to Coast Guard Senate Liaison Offce 12 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2016

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