Reservist

ISS1 2019

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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For years, the Office of Reserve Affairs (CG-131) was said to manage the "Reserve Program", but the Reserve is not a program itself, it is the sum of all the reserve capabilities of many programs (e.g. Shore Forces, Boat Forces, and Deployable Specialized Forces). Trying to administer the Reserve as a "program", instead of a distinct Component of the United States military (as laid out in the law) has resulted in years of ineffective and inefficient efforts to address the real problems impacting readiness. Take, for example, the most common question asked of CG- 131 over the years: "How many reservists does the Coast Guard need?" As a force provider located in CG-1, the human resources organization, CG-131 was not in the right location to drive Area contingency planners and headquarters capability managers to build and validate operational requirements. Moreover, changes in the Reserve budget were often made without input from the operational side of the house, since the appropriation resided in the mission support side. As a result, operational risk decisions were being made with little to no input from the operational Coast Guard. This was a key gap with potentially significant ramifications for the Coast Guard. Ensuring the responsibility and accountability for requirements generation and resource management are collocated inside a single organization is a much better way to identify and mitigate risk. One caveat here: Making changes in the Reserve governance structure at Headquarters is not a magic elixir that will restore the health of the Reserve, remove obstacles, or guarantee future success. It doesn't mean an increase in resources, and it's not a quick fix for all the issues impacting readiness in the Reserve Component. It IS an opportunity to put the leadership of the Reserve Component at the right LEVEL of the organization to have the right CONVERSATIONS, with the right PEOPLE, to manage the Reserve Component more effectively. This runs the gamut from determining the right number, size and location of our port security units to evaluating the scope and focus of the Reserve in response to changes in the global operating environment. Form Follows Function The team looked at functional statements of organizations across Headquarters to identify what Reserve management tasks were or were not being conducted. They wanted to determine if the responsibility for those functions was better located somewhere else. Approaching the question from this perspective was extremely helpful in overcoming barriers by breaking down the issue of governance to clearly understandable roles and responsibilities. Issue 1 • 2019 � RESERVIST 27

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