Reservist

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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Reserve Leadership visits the 7th District Story and photos By Pa3 Jourdin Bego, 7Th District Public Affairs Team For nearly a week in October, Rear Adm. James Heinz and Coast Guard Reserve Force Master Chief Eric Johnson took the time to visit with reservists throughout the Coast Guard's 7th District. From Miami to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Sector St. Petersburg, they listened and spoke with reservists on a range of topics, which included the current budget environment and the future of the Reserve force. "There are a lot of good practices going on in the 7th District that I think could be great examples to emulate in other places," said Heinz, Director of Military and Reserve Personnel. Throughout their visit a few repeat themes emerged. These included reasonable commuting distance (RCD), the Western Hemisphere Strategy and the future of certain rates. All these topics appeared to resonate with reservists at each unit visited by Heinz and Johnson. For example, reservists who commute extraordinarily long distances to their drill sites asked several questions about RCD policy at the Sector Miami All Hands meeting. That's an issue currently on the radar of Coast Guard Reserve leadership and one they are working to address. "Fifty-five percent of reservists are outside a reasonable commuting distance," said Heinz. "So a look at the location of billets is critical to improving efficiency and quality of life." As the most senior leaders of Coast Guard Reserve, Heinz and Johnson were particularly forthright about the current budget, but emphasized and discussed opportunities to streamline and optimize training opportunities. "When times get tough you look at how you spend every dollar… and the best way we can invest those dollars is training," said Johnson, who has first-hand experience in the budget process. A number of references were made to the Commandant's Western Hemisphere Strategy, which addresses threats and challenges to our nation's maritime and economic security. "The Western Hemisphere Strategy talks about being able to respond to one national contingency… and then maintaining the high tempo and operations that are currently in place," said Heinz. The response component is something to which Heinz and Johnson pay close attention. They also review the Reserve Personnel Allowance List as well as funding and training. Yet in spite of a challenging budget climate and the constantly changing landscape of threats, Heinz and Johnson reiterated that reservists are essential to the Coast Guard's successful performance. "We have some challenges ahead, but it's an opportunity to align things and make it all work," said Johnson at the Reserve All-Hands at Sector Miami. He also had a message for all Coast Guard reservists. "You guys are a big deal and I want to take good care of you," Johnson said. As such, those in attendance at the All Hands were grateful to Heinz and Johnson for taking the time to meet with them and to listen to the challenges they face. "It was great being able to voice your opinion right to the top, so you know your voice is being heard," said Senior Chief Michael Mullins. "I think the future of the Coast Guard Reserve is very bright and there are a lot of opportunities," said Johnson. "This is the time when we are looking to maximize the efficiency of our force and it's an opportunity to succeed, an opportunity to hone our skills, and be more valuable." Crewmembers from Base Miami Beach and Sector Miami ask questions of Rear Adm. Heinz, Director of Reserve and Military Personnel at an all-hands at Base Miami Beach, Florida, Oct. 18. Rear Adm. Heinz congratulates eMC Jason Bolling on his advancement to Chief Petty Offcer at Base Miami Beach, Oct. 18. 20 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2015

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