ISS4 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 29 of 63

The Waterside Perspective As a BM at a station, I experienced challenges when it came to completing and maintaining qualifications while in a drilling status. I decided to move to a PSU without knowing fully what to expect, but being stationed at the PSU was the best possible thing to ever happen to me. The main difference between a reservist at a sector or station and a reservist at a PSU is a PSU is an entire unit based around the Reserve members. Reservists come into the unit and run it over a drill weekend and during their ADT period. There's no need to compete for underway time for currencies or qualifications. This helps BM3s succeed in getting certified as coxswains and advance in their career, as well as earning other qualifications at the same time. Members get out of it what they put into it; there's by lots of opportunities during a year to come in and run boats at the pace of the active component. If you like to travel, then you'll get the chance to see the world. I deployed to Kuwait, Cuba, and South Korea, in support of joint-service operations. In the Waterside Security Division, a BM is expected to work towards qualification as a boat crew member, engineer, tactical crew, coxswain, and tactical coxswain, as well as qualify and maintain certification on the .50 cal M2HB, M240B, M-16, M-870 shotgun and the Sig 229 9mm. Earning required qualifications usually takes twelve to eighteen months sometimes less depending on members existing qualifications. PSU reservists can also work towards earning the PSU insignia pin by completing the PSU Basic Skills Course at Camp Lejeune, N.C., which covers the many different facets of port security. PSUs are a demanding type of Unit with many chances to be recognized and rewarded with team, individual, and Joint Service awards. These greatly influence advancement with award points towards the Service Wide Exam. The camaraderie at a PSU exists not only throughout the crew and community, but also extends to a member's family while at home or deployed. I have experienced some long days and challenges at the PSU, but all are well worth the satisfaction that I have received out of knowing that as Reserve BM, I am running a Waterside mission that mirrors those of the active duty MSST, MSRT, and TACLET teams throughout the Coast Guard as well as the Maritime Expeditionary Security Forces within the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command structure. I fully believe that any BM who intends on making the Coast Guard Reserve a career should at some point in their career try a tour at a PSU. — Chief John Anderson PSU 309 Waterside Security Division Chief 28 RESERVIST � Issue 4 • 2017

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