ISS1 2015

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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Seventh District SERAs meet to manage impending reductions Senior Enlisted Reserve Advisors (SERA) together with Reserve Program Administrators gathered on Florida's east coast in August, 2014. The goal was to identify needs, map out requirements for reservists and hammer out innovative and efficient ways to manage crews. Sharing ideas and best practices for two and a half days, they collectively offered and hammered out ways to meet training and qualification requirements and administrative deadlines especially in a budget-constrained environment. The meeting was the brainchild of Lt. Cmdr. Richard Lavigne, 7th District Reserve Force Readiness Division Chief. He continually emphasized the importance of readiness compliance as the Coast Guard "shrinks smartly" or right sizes the force. "When you bring someone into the Coast Guard, "he said, "You essentially sign a social contract. You agree to consistently meet requirements, perform good and honorable service, advancing and promoting on schedule, and in return, we give you a retirement," Lavigne said. In a forthright discussion of shrinking Reserve budgets and personnel numbers, Lavigne highlighted the importance of communicating with one another to meet annual requirements in a number of areas and ensure crews met obligations. He encouraged SERAs to closely examine staffing structures and to balance them against training requirements, while crafting innovative ways to partner with active duty counterparts to meet obligations. "This feels like a sea change," said Lavigne. "However, it is right in line with Reserve policy, skills development for our members and attainment of qualifications, "he said. An array of ideas and solutions were recorded including examination of the structure at PSUs and MSSTs, who remain in a ready status. That's largely been attributed to the availability of yeomen and health services personnel. The discussion also included Individual Training Plans, "C" School availability, coxswain and boat crew recertification challenges and ways to speed up the PHA/dental reporting process. One idea floated was to add an area where SERAs can input comments to elaborate on a member's status. Examples include, "awaiting specialist appointment" or "dental completed last week of month due to appointment availability." The take-home message was to empower members to stay competitive while managing their careers. Ongoing dialogue, collaboration and shared approaches offer a practical way ahead for 7th District reservists. — Story by PAC Judy L. Silverstein, 7th District Public Affairs Clockwise above, three members share their perspectives following the 7th District SeRA meeting on Reserve management issues. Above, SK2 Brian McMurry, Sector Charleston RFRS Staff; Above right, MCPO Janine Tshantz-Hahn, 7th District Reserve Command Master Chief; Right, BMC eugenio Arencibia, SeRA Station Miami Beach. 10 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2015

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