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

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W hen I entered the Coast Guard in the summer of 1978, I could hardly imagine where my career would take me. From the engine room of the USCGC RELIANCE, to a LORAN station in Turkey, to two Port Security Units, to the Director of Reserve, it has been a rewarding career. As I reflect on nearly 40 years of total service, I clearly see that the quality of people serving in the Coast Guard has been the consistent force behind the success of any unit, as well as the success of individual members, myself included. It is the innate sense of selfless sacrifice that permeates our people and sets them apart. We see it in the quiet pride and professionalism of our junior enlisted personnel who go the extra mile to keep themselves, and our units, operational. We see it in our senior enlisted leaders who take aside junior and senior officers alike to offer the benefit of their vast experience. And we see it in our civilian workforce, whose historical perspective helps avoid many of the mistakes of the past. The list of Coast Guard members who have taught me by positive example is very long, and I remember all of them with gratitude. But there are two Reserve members in particular whose assistance was exactly what I needed and when I needed it. One of those is Capt. John Hurley, USCGR (ret.), whom I first met when we were both assigned to Reserve Unit St. Pete in 1989. John encouraged me when I was feeling quite dismayed as a junior officer in a non-pay billet, spending weekends away from my wife and two young children. His wisdom and perspective motivated me not to give up on the Coast Guard, but continue to persevere to see if there might be greater opportunities around the corner. One of those great opportunities ended up being getting to stand up Port Security Unit 307, which is how I met Capt. Paul Crissy, USCGR (ret.) in 1998. He was the CO and I was assigned as the Engineering Officer. Soon after, he not only gave me the chance to be the unit's XO, but he was the consummate mentor/coach to me in that role. Capt. Crissy was as concerned with my personal development as a leader as he was with the success of our PSU. My association with Paul was the pivotal point which turned my career around. No matter the state of the larger Coast Guard Reserve environment, each Coast Guard Reserve unit and each reservist is a bundle of talent ready to be maximized. I encourage you to take a moment to consider the teammates you work with. What can you do to help your teammate to reach his or her potential? Offer encouragement, offer an opportunity to lead, create a space in which new voices can be heard in order for the Coast Guard's best asset, its people, to thrive. Reservists should be full of optimism as my relief Rear Adm. Scott McKinley has a clear vision for the Reserve gained through his leadership of the Human Capital Strategy Implementation Team. Likewise, CGRF-MC Eric Johnson will be able to leverage his strong connections to the Senior Enlisted Leaders across the military to advance the interests of the Reserve. They will continue to do the hard work that will result in a more focused, requirements- driven workforce that maximizes limited resources. They will rely upon the structure and direction put into place by Capt. Gary Jones who has worked tirelessly on this issue since his assignment to the Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO) staff in 2013. And with Capt. Jennifer Grzelak-Ledoux slated to relieve Capt. Jones this summer, I am confident we will continue with consistent dedication to people across the Reserve Program. In closing, I wish to say that I was both honored and humbled when I was asked to come to Headquarters to serve as the Director of Reserve and Military Personnel. I know that Admiral Zukunft's confidence in me can be attributed to his overall confidence in the Reserve. With the assistance of our expert CG-131 staff, it is my hope that the Reserve Program is in even better shape than when I came into this office two years ago. To all my past and present fellow reservists, your unwavering and able service to our nation through the Coast Guard makes me proud to be counted among you. You are all Great Americans! Semper Paratus. "No matter the state of the larger Coast Guard Reserve environment, each Coast Guard Reserve unit and each reservist is a bundle of talent ready to be maximized." Rese R vist Magazine t he v iew FR o M the B R idge Rear Adm. Kurt B. Hinrichs Director of Reserve and Military Policy 6 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2017

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