ISS4 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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 47

PSU 308 hosts "team" Coast Guard CCTI Story and photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Susan Blake, Eighth District Public Affairs Last summer, I visited Port Security Unit 308 during their drill weekend. Spearheaded by Master Chief Petty Officer James Wood, the unit was conducting a weekend Chiefs Call to Initiation for ten reservists and one active duty member. The CCTI is a rite-of-passage process whereby new chiefs learn how to network and participate in the chiefs mess effectively. "It's a huge lift on a Reserve member to take off during the week," said Wood, who, at the time, was PSU 308's command master chief. "Some people are not co-located with our unit, so it's difficult for them to drive to a function to participate, especially when it's during the week." According to Wood, knowing the difficulty for reservists participating in CCTI, he and his fellow chiefs wanted to develop the training to be more conducive to their participation; reservists would not be forced to impact their civilian career or sacrifice the total experience of CCTI. "The MCPOCG [master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard] has standing orders, and one of them is the CCTI process," said Wood. "CCTI across the Coast Guard tends to be about eight weeks, but we extended ours to 12 to ensure we had enough time to work through the entire process." The prospective chiefs were given specific dates well ahead of time to coordinate their schedules in order to attend each CCTI event on non-drill weekends, minimizing the impacts to their jobs across the district. "This makes it possible for people to realistically work with their employers or supervisors during the process," said Wood. "One of our PCPOs [prospective chief petty officer] is a police officer, and sometimes he works nights." While it was the goal of Wood and his fellow chiefs to get more participation from the reserve PCPOs, the active duty component was encouraged to participate in the process through the New Orleans Chiefs Mess, which was instrumental in developing and supporting PSU 308's CCTI. To initiate the development of this form of the CCTI process, the chiefs had to approach a geographic gold badge and the Eighth District chief of the mess for permission to restructure the CCTI process to achieve their goal of increased participation. The PSU chiefs mess also reached out to both the Sector Mobile and New Orleans consolidated messes to let them know what they were doing and why. "We were very forceful in saying this was a PSU 308 CCTI, and we didn't want it tagged as a Reserve CCTI," Wood said. Wood remembered the challenges of participating in CCTI. When he went through the process in Baton Rouge, La., in 2007, he recalled working all night as a firefighter and then catching a ride at seven in the morning with a good friend, Master Chief Petty Officer Matt Valenti, who's now the command master chief at Sector New Orleans. "CCTI is a bit of an enigma. We're 11 years from when I went through it, and every MCPOCG has their own iteration they want to put on it," said Wood. "I truly think there's a lot of things we are doing today in the CCTI process that I wish that we did when I went through it." Whether PSU 308 does another CCTI is yet to be determined, but Wood, who recently became the Eighth District reserve command master chief, hopes they continue the tradition. Port Security Unit 308 hosted its first CCTI training to accommodate Reserve and active duty members by scheduling activities and training during weekends. Pictured are Chief Petty Officers Andrew Surmiak, Joseph Jones, Michael Roberts and Kelly Pool, Senior Chief Petty Officer William Stoffle, Chief Petty Officer Dorothy Bradley, Lt. Dominic Traina, Lt. Cyrus Donato, Chief Petty Officer Jolene Scarlett and Lt. Waymando Brown 12 RESERVIST � Issue 4 • 2018

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Reservist - ISS4 2018