Reservist

ISS2 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

Issue link: https://uscgreservist.epubxp.com/i/818415

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In my last column I told you I was unsure whether or not it would be my last. Obviously, it was not. While the machinations of the federal government hiring process have temporarily stalled the hiring of a civilian replacement, CWO Anastasia Devlin will be taking over as the RESERVIST editor. You may recognize CWO Devlin's name as she has been providing editorial content to the magazine on a regular basis, most notably the recent yearlong focus on the 75th anniversary of the Coast Guard Reserve. A reservist herself, CWO Devlin brings a blend of active duty and Reserve public affairs expertise to the role of editor. I am very confident she will continue to provide the magazine's readership with important and interesting information. Speaking of interesting, the RESERVIST was extremely fortunate to discover a significant piece of Reserve history in the person of Capt. Walter K. Handy, USCGR (ret.). Capt. Handy, who turned 99 years young in March, was one of the very first members of the Reserve, enlisting in 1942. It was such a treat for me to visit with him in his western Virginia home and listen as he matter-of-factly recounted the struggles of establishing and sustaining the fledgling service: struggles that are not that much different today. I too have struggled with what I would write as this chapter of my life's journey comes to closure. Over the past six months two things have occurred which have influenced and solidified my thoughts as I depart an organization that has been a significant part of my life for more than 45 years. The first was reading a book given to me entitled; "The Coast Guard's TRs" written in 1947, by Lt.j.g. Malcolm F. Willoughby, USCGR. The book recounts the extraordinary service provided to our country during the Second World War by members of the Temporary Reserve (TR). TRs were unpaid volunteers who performed all manner of Coast Guard missions – from operating picket boats to shore side patrols -- freeing up full time personnel for higher priority duties. Willoughby's book focuses on the First Naval District (New England) but is representative of TR contributions nation-wide. The second was listening to Walter Handy speak with such pride, caring and fondness of his Coast Guard Reserve service, which spanned the dark days following the attack on Pearl Harbor up through the mid-1970s. My take away from both is simple: while not special, reservists are unique. Why do I make that distinction between special and unique? In my view, based on nearly four decades of observation, it takes a unique individual to accept a role which is primarily, to use a sports metaphor, coming off the bench; to be productive and satisfied with the limited playing time given and gracious and accepting when it expires. And, be prepared to do it again and again – almost always with no discernible difference in performance and not infrequently at a higher level than the 'starters' -- to the point where it is accepted and expected as common place. In my humble opinion it is this intangible commitment to subjugate the individual's ego to the organization, while not expecting any quid pro quo in return, that is the common thread woven into the fabric of every reservist. To each of you I offer the following, along with my deepest admiration and respect. Anima est Bonus! Jeff Smith Rese R vist Magazine F R o M the edito R A biker's dream, blue skies and open roads. Citizen g uardians We are proud members of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. As Citizen Guardians we have sworn to protect, to defend and to serve. We come when our country and our Coast Guard need us most. From places near and far, our heartlands, our highlands, small towns up and down the coast. We stay as long as needed, then return to our daily tasks. We are Citizen Guardians, future, present and past. — J.D. Smith 2 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2017

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