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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A s a new district commander, I was quickly confronted with the threat posed by Hurricane Sandy to the Northeastern United States. As the district, sectors, stations and Air Station Cape Cod assumed pre-crisis posture, the professionals of the Coast Guard Reserve flowed in. With this vital Reserve capacity deployed and employed, our Coast Guard responded to Sandy's brutal treatment of the coast, gained damage assessment and effected recovery of our operational units. Like all major events in our Coast Guard's history over the last 78 years – our reserve force from around the nation proved to be critical, ready, responsive and relevant. In both D1 and D17, like all operational commanders, I found our Coast Guard Reserve an indispensable and flexible force multiplier, allowing me to effectively respond to a myriad of contingency responses and often meet steady state demands. While reservists have shown an incredible commitment to the Coast Guard through their many mobilizations since 9/11, we have not necessarily put the structure in place to consistently evaluate and assess the level of training, certification, and competencies appropriate for our Reserve force. The current structure of the Reserve, particularly at Headquarters, has not aligned well with Coast Guard planning and budgeting processes. This has created challenges, hindering our ability to define operational risk when making resource decisions that impact Reserve Training funding. In short, our legacy of operational success may be more a reflection of your flexible "can do" attitude than an organizational construct conducive to solid planning and resourcing. The great news is that we are on the cusp of the most significant change to the structure of the Coast Guard Reserve since integration. An evolution that will impact, not just how we resource the Reserve, but more importantly, how we evaluate things like force structure, mission assignments, and risk. Resolution of such issues struggled for years because organizational placement of Reserve management tasked our Human Resources enterprise to answer inherently operational questions. The stand-up of an Assistant Commandant for Reserve, reporting to the Deputy Commandant for Operations, will provide an exclusive advocate for our Reserve force to ensure key operational considerations are given dedicated focus. As your Deputy Commandant for Operations I am keenly aware the Reserve cannot simultaneously be all things to all people. It is not made up of 7,000 infinitely interchangeable parts. It is made up of groups of highly dedicated service- minded Americans with distinct capabilities and specific competencies arrayed to respond to a specific set of contingencies. In an ideal world, we would have a perfect match of talent to requirements. However, operational demands often vary from plans, and we need a better understanding to get a maximum bang for what feels like a diminishing buck. It's been said that life and business are all about the relationships. I couldn't agree more! Creation of the Assistant Commandant for Reserve will allow for a more focused approach to building the Reserve Component. It will demand strong relationships between the holders of operational policy and the builders of operational capabilities, all of which reside within the DCO portfolio. It also requires dedicated analytical capabilities to measure and understand more complex measures of readiness beyond our current "red/green" paradigm. We will maintain existing relationships and forge new ones to bring out the 21st century Coast Guard Reserve expected by our Commandant and demanded by the American people. These relationships will be forged with your next Director of Reserve, and the first Assistant Commandant for Reserve, Rear Adm. Todd Wiemers. In 2013, he played an indispensable role in the development and rollout of the Reserve Boat Forces Management Program. This sensible approach to aligning capabilities and requirements within the standard Reserve training window is exactly the type of approach I will expect all of our operational capability managers in CG-7 to take. Kudos are earned by the current Director of Reserve, Rear Adm. Matt Sibley. He has been pivotal, teamed with Rear Adm. Jim Kelly, in setting this organizational change in motion. Rear Adm. Sibley will continue serving as a key player as our new Assistant Commandant for Capabilities in CG-7. I know that talk of organizational changes in Headquarters sounds like an awful lot of Beltway Bureaucracy. Believe me, it's not. I am confident the fruits of this Vice Commandant-directed action will be proven in the years to come. We will refine required competencies assigned to the Reserve and to meet planned employment. Our training systems and delivery will then be aligned with Reserve training and quals. Our measures of readiness will more accurately account for the realities of our workforce and will reflect what we can do, empowering informed risk decisions by our operational commanders. I am confident this organization move will best serve the professional, patriotism, and preparedness we have come to know from all of our reservists. I end with our DCO slogan – "together, empowering Semper Paratus". RESERVIST MAGAZINE THE VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Vice Adm. Daniel B. Abel Deputy Commandant for Operations 6 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2019

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