Reservist

ISS1 2017

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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Watson reported to her final job as a Coast Guardsman after recently conducting a change of command of Port Security Unit 305 out of Fort Eustis, Va. In fact, PSU 305 represented all Coast Guard Reserve members in the 2013 Inaugural Parade thanks to Watson's initiative as both deputy street cordon commander and executive officer of the unit itself. Knowing this was also her "twilight tour" before her March 2017 retirement, Watson took extra time to create a legacy of success for Inauguration planners. Every four years, the military planners usually start from scratch, as Watson did when she began the process in 2013. This year she had her notes in a "continuity binder" from the last Inauguration and she was able to draw up an initial plan before her team arrived. She and the Street Cordon team have created new continuity binders, documenting "the 'why' of the processes," getting 2021's joint- service inauguration team on the right path from the get-go. "My Coast Guard experience prepared me for this kind of work – we deal with consequence and contingency operations on a daily basis due to the nature of our jobs…evacuation plans, accountability, resources are never far from our minds in any evolution," said Watson. "As a former CO I brought that lens, seeing through the general's eyes thinking, 'what would he want to know?'" Watson thought ahead, considering the cold January day she had been preparing for. As a young lieutenant in 2005, she worked on the parade route with the script announcers. As a graduate student working on her masters at Drexel University in 2009, she and her friends stood near the Washington Monument watching President Obama's swearing-in projected across large screens. In 2013, as a lieutenant commander, she spent the day in her bridge coat on the frozen street with a radio coordinating the cordon as the parade ran past dusk. This year, she sees her final inauguration experience with the eyes of a seasoned commanding officer and envisions the view of the two men at the center of the day's events. "There's a little bit of self-reflection when you make that long walk down the aisle at a change-of-command ceremony and you're facing your troops," she said, thinking of Obama's final ride down Pennsylvania Avenue as the Nation's commander-in-chief. "When you take a new job you go into it with the goal of leaving it better than you found it. And when you leave you always wonder, 'What else could I have done?" She's honored to see her career and her experience culminating in the 2017 Inauguration and her final role as Street Cordon Commander. From the early months of planning to the extra ceremonial training that honed the marching and salutes of the members from all five services, Watson was proud of her contribution and what it symbolized. "This military is made up of all colors, creeds, and affiliations, but you can't see any of that. The military supports the president no matter what. He represents all of us. And we, as the cordon, represent his military." Several other Coast Guard reservists provided behind-the-scenes support for months before the inauguration; separate from the hundreds of others that would provide on-scene support to either the parade or security during the nine-day "inaugural period." Name: LT. Cmdr. Jereme Altendorf, Sector Delaware Bay, Pa. Role: Maritime Security Planning Section Chief Experience: While the Coast Guard has a ceremonial role in the Inauguration, there's also the requisite security role to be filled as well. Reports from previous inaugurations indicated to leadership that the Coast Guard needed a dedicated planner for maritime security, someone without added responsibilities of an active duty job, giving them the ability to concentrate on this event. Lt. Cmdr. Altendorf will joke that he was the Inauguration's "lead wedding planner," but after having been the lead planner for the Democratic National Convention last summer and the liaison officer for the Pope's visit to Philadelphia last year, Altendorf had the right resume for this monumental job. He coordinated the Inauguration's maritime security, which included waterside and shore side operations, commercial vessel security and escorts throughout the maritime security zone. "Putting boats on the water is easy, but doing it for 24/7 and almost creating a mini-sector requires a lot of coordination, a lot of logistics, good comms equipment and a solid base of operations," said Altendorf. "And I was just one of the people doing it. We had a whole team dedicated to these few very important days." He and the team from Sector Maryland oversaw everything from selecting the units involved to providing logistical support for the 300 Coast Guardsmen who came from outside the area, to coordinating with more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies. Name: PA1 Elizabeth Bordelon, 8th District Public Affairs Office Role: Media Operations Experience: Petty Officer Bordelon is one of the few staff members who returned after working on the 2013 Inauguration. Her work in the PA office includes writing press releases, giving training, and escorting media. As a civilian, she works for the Louisiana lieutenant governor's office. But when she saw the job open, "I jumped at the opportunity. Last time, I had a front row seat to history and made a lot of friends working with all the other services. Having a chance to represent the Coast Guard not once but twice in this 200-year-old tradition has been a real highlight of my career." PA1 e lizabeth Bordelon,USCGR Issue 1 • 2017 � RESERVIST 25

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