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

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Page 28 of 47

As the rating force master chief, I am always concerned with the overall strength of the entire BM workforce. Boatswain's mates are 6,000 members-strong, service wide. Out of that number, nearly 1,200 are reservists. BMs make up nearly 24 percent of the entire enlisted Reserve workforce. The strength of our workforce has improved as a result of the excellent work being done in training across the service. In 2015, the rating strength was listing terribly to the BM3 side: BM3s: 154%, BM2s: 49%, BM1s: 72%. This was a very strange-looking pyramid. Today, we are still short BM2s, but the rating pyramid is greatly improved: BM3s: 93%, BM2s: 51%, BM1s: 91%. This improvement in the rating structure returns stability to the workforce, and it means we have many more qualified coxswains spread through the various pay grades instead of just a few E-6s and E-7s holding certifications. Two years ago, BM was the first rating to add a reserve force management coordinator. Senior Chief Petty Officer Nick Bernice currently holds the billet and has been very helpful in assisting me with both active and reserve issues specific to our rating. Feel free to reach out to me or Senior Chief Bernice if you feel there is anything that needs to be addressed with regard to being a boatswain's mate. I would like to thank those of you who choose to become boatswain's mates, demonstrating that BMs chose to do our jobs because we know it is important work. We are the largest Reserve enlisted entity. When we work together as a rating to do great things, we elevate the entire Reserve Program and our amazing Coast Guard. I take great pride in being the Boatswain's Mate RFMC and look forward to our continued work together. Semper Paratus. — Master Chief Petty Officer Shawn Hoefling BM Rating Force Master Chief Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Sarah Welvaert, a boatswain's mate at Station Emerald Isle, N. C., communicates with the station's watchstander while piloting a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium in Bogue Inlet, March 27, 2017. Welvaert performed a wide range of piloting skills and directed her crew while under scrutiny during her coxswain certification check ride. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki Issue 4 • 2018 � RESERVIST 27

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