ISS4 2012

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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on Deck "W hy can't I stay at the unit where I know the area of responsibility (AOR) and have served with my shipmates for many years?" "How far am I going to have to travel when I get transferred to a new unit?" I regularly receive such questions from Coast Guard Reservists, so allow me to explain. FeW transFers - minimal groWth Coast Guard Reservists have traditionally served at a single unit for many years during their careers. In many cases, they have transferred only when they moved to new personal residences. Over time this has hindered technical and leadership development for our reservists. For example, I stayed for 13 years at one boat station and was mandatorily transferred only after I had been a Chief for 3 years. I was not growing much as a technician because I already knew the boats and AOR. My growth as a leader was limited by the fact I rarely encountered new crew members with new leadership challenges. In 2009 our Coast Guard centralized Selected Reserve (SELRES) assignments at the Coast Guard Personnel Service Center (PSC). We started the first year with pay grades E7-E9, and now include all enlisted pay grades. We follow a standard tour length for reservists of five years. assignment year 2012 progress As I engage Coast Guard Reservists about what's on their minds, I often hear concerns about this new approach to Reserve assignments. In almost every case, I learn that the questioning member is mostly concerned about what might happen to them or their shipmate, not what has actually happened. In fact, during Assignment Year 2012 only 4 (1.3%) of the 298 petty officers (E1-E6) transferred were assigned outside of reasonable commuting distance (RCD). During that same year, 36% of E7-O4 and 73% of O5-O6 went outside of RCD. Of the 615 offseason assignments, none involved transfer outside of RCD. While the alternative to accepting assignments outside of RCD can be transfer to the IRR or separation, PSC has in many cases multi-encumbered billets and extended assignments to accommodate Reservist needs. Also, the Reserve Workforce Structure Board has re-programmed billets to locations where reservists can drill within RCD. Master chief Mark h. Allen coast guard reserve force Master chief situational aWareness As leaders our job is to take care of our crew so the crew can take care of the mission. I expect you as leaders (especially you members of the Chiefs Mess) to monitor the potentially positive and negative impacts of assignments on our members. Look for risks to safety behind the wheel, to members via out-of-pocket travel costs, and to sufficient time at one unit to train to proficiency. Where concerns arise, be sure to submit command concerns along with e-resumes in Direct Access. reserve regionalization In response to concerns about RCD, the Director of Reserve and the Assistant Commandant for Capability has been briefed to the DCO Deputy for Operations Policy and Capabilities a proposal to incrementally move reserve billets to regional hubs. This billet re-programming would conceptually occur over multiple years to minimize impact to our members. The Deputy Commandant for Mission Support and the Deputy Commandant for Operations will also be briefed as the concept evolves. The proposed geographic concentrations of billets should allow reservists to transfer among units, across their careers, with minimal travel outside RCD. The hubs are planned to be co-located with major ports and Port Security Units (PSUs), to accommodate Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security missions and concentrations of where reservists reside. Better groWth opportunities Two Third Class Petty Officers recently approached me at a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration event and shared with me how happy they were with their Reserve assignments. They had transferred from a boat station to a PSU and were grateful for the opportunity to deploy overseas in defense of America. They were pleased that PSUs are organized to train to proficiency; are well supported; and have important missions. I also recently visited a boat station whose Senior Enlisted Reserve Advisor (SERA) is a Chief Information System Technician (ITC). He was grateful for the opportunity to take on the scope of leadership responsibility of a SERA: an opportunity that is not always available to a chief in his rating. Similarly, I visited a chief yeoman who serves as a SERA at a boat station and has proven to be one of our top-performing SERAs. On a personal note, I believe that I would not have achieved my current assignment had I not been mandatorily transferred three times over my career at a time when reservists were not commonly transferred. In consideration of the benefits of Reserve assignments, I highly encourage all reservists to monitor the impacts while embracing the opportunities and growth available through Reserve assignments. Issue 4 ��� 2012 ��� RESERVIST 9

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