ISS1 2016

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 76

In 1941, the Coast Guard Reserve and Auxiliary Act was enacted to bolster the war efforts during the Second World War. At the conclusion of WWII, most Temporary and Regular Reserve members were either transferred to an inactive duty status or discharged from service entirely. Almost a decade later, in 1950, Congress allocated funds for the establishment of a paid drilling Reserve to support the Coast Guard's growing port security operations. In October of that year, a Coast Guard Reserve unit was formed in Boston becoming the foundation for what is today's Coast Guard Reserve. In the Coast Guard, Reserve and active duty members are expected to advance at the same rate. For some enlisted specialties, such as Boatswain Mate (BM), advancements for reservists can prove more difficult than their active duty counterparts due, in part, to lack of underway time. In order for a BM to progress from 3rd class petty officer to 2nd class they are required to be fully coxswain qualified. This means having the skill and knowledge to operate a boat, watch out for the safety of their crewmembers, conduct all assigned missions, and handle onboard emergencies. In a typical year, reservists are only required to drill one weekend each month and perform two weeks of active duty. This gives them a total of 36 days out of 365 days. When reservists are not drilling, they have fulltime jobs or attend school. This year, for the first time on the west coast, Coast Guard Station Portland, Oregon, in concert with the Office of Boat Forces and Office of Reserve Affairs, established a Reserve Coxswain College to help with the advancement of junior Reserve BMs. "Having a school in Portland was an opportunity that I could not pass up," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Lum, a reservist stationed at Coast Guard Station Vallejo, California. "It is very hard to make our next rank without a proper school. We come in one weekend a month to get our qualifications and end up having to relearn next month what we have forgotten over the course of a month." Lum explained that by the time he was done with the course in Portland, he was confident that he would be able to return to his home- station and get his coxswain qualification without any problem. "Another great thing about this course is that I will also be able to take the skills I have learned here and pass them on to my shipmates in Vallejo," said Lum. While there has been a Coxswain C-School program in Yorktown, Va., many reservists on the west coast find it hard to get over to that course due to budget constraints with the cost of travel or scheduling conflicts due to the long distance. During the two-week course, organized by members of Station Portland using the Boat Forces BM3 Lowell Belany, a reservist assigned to Coast guard Station Vallejo, Calif., takes the helm while navigating waypoints along the Columbia River during the Reserve Coxswain College in Portland, ore., aug 28. Coast guard reservists practice plotting charts during the Reserve Coxswain College in Portland, ore., aug 28. Students attending the college were required to plot out and navigate to waypoints using different on land reference points along the Columbia River. Reserve Boat College: Advancement and Readiness through Hands-On Training 12 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2016

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Reservist - ISS1 2016