ISS3 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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Page 8 of 55

G reetings from the Fifth District! I'm honored to serve as a Gold Badge Command Master Chief, and I draw on my experience as a senior law enforcement leader in my civilian career to benefit our workforce. As we get to know each other, I believe my leadership style and passion for developing others will be apparent. In the meantime, I enjoy fly-fishing. It gives me time to think long and hard about the important stuff. I'm able to make comparisons between fly-fishing and (questionably) more important aspects of life. I've drawn some similarities to life as a successful Coast Guard reservist: First, what's the goal? It's not enough to say, "I just want to catch a fish." Sometimes this works, but more often than not, I have to tailor my fishing to the fish I want to catch. I fish for trout in Virginia differently than salmon in Alaska. Different techniques and gear are required to achieve my goal. As for your career, what do you want to achieve? Have you thought about it? I knew early on I wanted to be a master chief, so I spent time learning to be a leader, pursuing enlisted qualifications and studying for service wide exams. Have a goal, make a plan, and go for it. Next, read the current. Generally, you don't cast at a fish; you cast upstream and allow the fly to float downstream in front of awaiting fish. As reservists, we always need to be planning ahead (casting upstream). What is your financial plan if recalled? Do world events indicate the potential for deployment? Do you know the deadline for having sign-offs complete for the service wide exam? Have you been to the Chief's Academy? Are you planning for high-year tenure? Last-second preparation is failed planning. Cast upstream. Third, and similarly, be prepared for changing environmental conditions. Water, weather, and feeding conditions change the way I fish. I adapt to the environment. I carry different types of flies to mimic varying feeding patterns, and I carry gear for changing conditions. Semper Paratus is our motto: any threat, anywhere, anytime is our mission. We must be constantly prepared for the missions we do and the oath we swore to uphold. Stay "green." Be ready. Be prepared. Your nation may need you at any time. Fourth, some days the fishing stinks. No matter how hard I work, the fish don't cooperate. Early on, if I 'd quit because of a bad day or two, I'd have missed out on many more good days and incredible memories. You may not always be recognized for your efforts as a reservist. Maybe despite the time and effort preparing for advancement, you don't make the cut. Maybe you have a poor supervisor, have a "bad" assignment, or you're just tired of giving up your weekends. Nothing is forever; work harder, do more, make your efforts unmistakable. Don't quit. Attitude is key. Think ahead to what the future holds for you. Your day will come. Finally, never stop learning, and never stop teaching others. I'm not the best fly-fisherman, so I'm constantly learning and seeking out expert instruction to make me better so I can be more successful. I love watching someone I've taught catch their first fish on a fly. Master Chiefs George Ingraham and Sam Allred, and Capt. Sean Regan, have been important mentors to me throughout my career and have kept me focused. As a mentor in the Coast Guard myself, nothing makes me happier than watching someone I've mentored get advanced or recognized. Mentoring is essential to the success of our workforce. It doesn't have to come with a checklist or formal documentation. It should be built into what we do as leaders every day. It's not telling someone how to do something, rather a mentor, or "trusted advisor", is there to help others achieve goals they may not otherwise achieve on their own. It's more about listening intentionally to our members and then providing them a path to success. When one person succeeds, we all benefit. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have fish to catch. Semper Paratus. Master Chief Petty Officer Douglas G. Gilmer 5th Coast Guard District, Reserve Command Master Chief "Nothing is forever; work harder, do more, make your efforts unmistakable. Don't quit. Attitude is key. " Rese R vist Magazine d eckplate s oundings Issue 3 • 2017 � RESERVIST 7

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