ISS3 2018

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 8 of 51

I 'm humbled and excited to serve as the Thirteenth District reserve senior enlisted leader. It's an honor to be trusted to advocate for you as we continue to strengthen our organization, our shipmates and our families to be Ready, Relevant and Responsive. I look forward to working with senior leadership to champion your issues from the deck plate and implement positive policy changes. I have no doubt my selection is due in large part to the challenges I faced during an extended tour with Port Security Unit 313. Exposure to uncomfortable and demanding situations pushes us to take a hard, honest look at both our technical competence and leadership abilities. In my humble opinion, there's no experience in the Coast Guard that shapes a person more than a PSU tour. Leading teams in Korea, providing real-world security for navy LCUs offloading M1 Abrams tanks to a sandy beach and protecting a submerged fuel delivery pipeline is an intimate exposure to our Reserve mission capabilities on the global stage. The opportunity to live and work side-by- side with Seabee beachmasters, mechanized Army equipment operators, and host nation special forces in the mud, cold and rain of a foreign port is something Coast Guard reservists have been doing for more than 75 years. The joint service environment in Guantanamo Bay is a perfect expeditionary experience to build tactical skill and confidence. The bonds of camaraderie developed while huddled with your crew in an M240 battle position, cruising the deep blue waters of the Caribbean, inserting Marines in full kit into remote swamps at 0200 hours, or flying port security boats across the planet in the back of C-17s…those bonds are invaluable to operational success wherever we deploy. Many of my colleagues talk fondly of their days as a BM2 coxswain or MK3 overwatch gunner, weathering heavy storms on oil platforms in the Arabian Gulf. From the way they tell it, it sounds like the worst experience they ever had in life! No running water, homemade toilet seats, MREs for breakfast, lunch and dinner, bugs, extreme heat and missiles flying overhead. But it's those uncomfortable experiences in life that we often look back on with a smile. The hardest times provide unforgettable memories, develop bonds that last a lifetime, and build incredible resilience. With standing orders to be a surge response force that is both agile and adaptive, we must seek every opportunity to develop resilience. Resilience, another important "R," is characterized by "toughness." or the Our ability to bounce back from challenges and hardships. This accumulates over time as we step outside our comfort zones and grow from challenges. Over the years, I discovered a few things can help sustain our resilience when the seas get rough: 1) Develop tight bonds with a few close friends to call on, day or night, who will not judge you for your faults or vulnerabilities. Developing bonds with our peers is like adding additional bands when our emotional rubber bands get stretched. There is strength in asking for and receiving help. 2) Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If we stay hungry for opportunities, open ourselves to feedback, and routinely step outside our comfort zones, we develop patterns of habit that develop resilience. Over time, the ability to jump into new or challenging situations gets better— not necessarily easier, but we build toughness to keep leaning forward. 3) Keep the end in sight—many troubles are temporary and can be dealt with a little at a time. Maintain a routine of relaxation, exercise, sleep, healthy eating and useful work to stay balanced. Using the services offered through CGSUPRT can help keep perspective. The demands for service in the Reserve expect us to have a bias for action so we're always ready to defend our homeland and accomplish missions in complex marine environments. Guided by our core values and a powerful history, we will continue to take care of each other as well as our missions. If you haven't been to a PSU, don't hesitate to put it on the top of your assignment list— you won't regret it. Thank you for your service and drive toward resilience. Semper Paratus. RESERVIST MAGAZINE DECKPLATE SOUNDINGS Master Chief Petty Officer Ryan Hooper Command Master Chief, Thirteenth District "The hardest times can provide unforgettable memories, develop bonds that last a lifetime and build incredible resilience." Issue 3 • 2018 � RESERVIST 7

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