ISS1 2017

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 gain I find myself compelled to thank each of you for your selfless service, dedication and commitment. Each of you contributes to making our Coast Guard strong. You who wear the cloth of our great Nation make sacrifices every day: sacrifices that are appreciated and for which our Nation owes each of you its gratitude. Please hold your heads high knowing that you have taken a step forward when it may have been easier to let someone else answer the call. I can tell you your efforts do not go unnoticed by our Operational Commanders who consider each of you as an integral part of the workforce. For me, 2016 flew by. And, while it was a hectic twelve months, it was an honor to meet with so many of you during my visits to the field. There are few things more important than shaking hands, thanking you for your service, and finding out what barriers exist that prevent you from being successful. To that end, I appreciate all of the honest and open feedback. There are two old adages, "you can't fix what you don't know is broken" and "if it's not broken, don't fix it." I tend to blend these truisms in the performance of my duties. Without your help and honest, sometimes uncomfortable, conversations it's often hard to determine where to best focus energy and effort. MCPO-CG Steve Cantrell and I recently visited reservists in Boston. A young Petty Officer in the back of the room asked a very thought provoking question. She asked, "What keeps you going when you get discouraged?" It seems like a simple straight forward question, although I've chewed on it for the past two weeks. I'm not sure exactly how I answered the petty officer, but I absolutely know why I soldier on when times get tough. It is the debt I owe to those who have come before and for those who will follow. Perhaps a loftier reason, such as a passion to serve or duty to country would sound better, but in the end what drives me are the men and women who made the choice to raise their right hand and serve: men and women like that young petty officer who felt empowered and confident enough to ask senior enlisted members questions that cause them to evaluate themselves. What a great time to serve in the Coast Guard! Congratulations to the recently announced Reserve Gold and Silver Badge Command Master Chiefs. The candidate pool continues to grow in numbers and quality. It is humbling to see the education and experience levels of those seeking to serve as Gold and Silver Badges. Thanks to all for stepping up. Over the past several months it's been an honor to reconnect with many of my DESERT STORM PSU-301 buddies. Although it has been 26 years since we've served together, it is as though we last saw each other yesterday. At an all-hands event at Sector LA/LB, I saw a name tag I recognized. I just had to ask if the member was related to George Hofstetter. He responded that George was his dad. Later in the day ME1 Hofstetter connected me with his father via phone. I'm still smiling about the conversation with George; he is a true patriot and inspired all those who served with him. On a sad note, we are witnessing the crossing of the bar of some of our shipmates who served proudly in DESERT STORM. John Marse crossed over in 2016; you would be hard pressed to find a finer American or a better friend. Please take a moment to reach out to those people who have had positive impacts on your life and career. They are special and deserve to know they left meaningful footprints behind. We are a nation in the midst of what is perhaps the most divisive presidential transition of our lifetime. Please don't fall into a "them and us" mentality; we are all Americans first. As members of one of our Nation's armed forces, we are leaders. Our families, neighbors, and co-workers will look to us for stability and guidance. Strive to be part of the solution. Our Service has a proud history of responding to those in distress and finding ways to bridge divides; these two hallmarks are especially needed in today's world. Again, I thank each of you for your service and keep up the great work! Semper Paratus. Master Chief Petty Officer Eric Johnson Reserve Force Master Chief "Our Service has a proud history of responding to those in distress and finding ways to bridge divides; these two hallmarks are especially needed in today's world." Rese R vist Magazine d eckp L ate s oundings Issue 1 • 2017 � RESERVIST 9

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