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From the Editor - Our last issue focused on the efforts of reservists who rushed to the aid of the Haitian people in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, Jan 12. Their selfless efforts, along with those of other service members who lent a helping hand, brought hope to the imperiled island nation. Many Guardians are continuing to participate in recovery and rebuilding efforts today as Haiti emerges from the ruins of this natural disaster.
The wheel has turned yet again, and the Coast Guard finds itself in the international spotlight for its actions much nearer to our shores. Active and Reserve Guardians have joined together with numerous government and civilian agencies under the leadership of former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, to intervene in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Shortly after the spill, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano named Allen as the National Incident Commander with overall responsibility for the government-wide response to the spill. Napolitano’s selection of Allen highlights the important role the Coast Guard is expected to play throughout this crisis.
Additionally, the Coast Guard has mobilized a sizable Reserve force to help in clean-up and damage mitigation efforts. While significant progress has already been made in stemming the continued flow of oil, the enormous slick swirling around the Gulf continues to threaten the livelihood and safety of all those living in the region. For the foreseeable future, containment and clean-up will remain a monumental task. Be sure to look at our feature about the ongoing efforts in the Gulf on page 14.
On a more optimistic note, Reservists in the Capitol region recently joined with hundreds of fellow service members from all branches of the military at the White House to support warriors who had been wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wounded warriors participated in a three-day bike ride from Washington D.C. to Annapolis, Md., in an effort to raise awareness and inspire other injured and battle-wounded veterans. Vice-President Biden officiated the start of the ride with other military leaders, and took time afterward to greet the assembled troops. Check out our coverage of the event on page 26.
Big changes are in the air for Reservist as we have decided to move forward with a fully interactive digital magazine in addition to our paper version.We will highlight some of the new features of our online magazine in the next issue. As we continue to improve Reservist, we are counting on your feedback to let us know what we are doing right, and what we can improve upon.
Click cover image to download a printable pdf
From the Editor - From 3,000 feet up the southwestern Louisiana bayou looks like a patchwork quilt of dense green vegetation crisscrossed by blue and brown tributaries and manmade canals. This delicate eco-system is home to an enormous range of wildlife, and its bountiful waterways fuel a thriving fishing industry that employs tens of thousands of people in the region.
I recently flew over a portion of these precious wetlands near the coastal fishing village of Cocodrie, La., with Coast Guard reservist MST1 Rob Rawson who was looking for sighs of oil leaked from Deepwater Horizon drilling site. Riding high above the massive expanse of wilderness in a helicopter, it was difficult to image how oil clean-up crews would even start to combat the invasive chemical stew if it were to make its way into these precious marshlands. unfortunately, many clean-up workers are already facing this daunting challenge in many operations areas where currents have
In the midst of this unprecedented environmental disaster there are signs of hope. Coast Guard Reserve members have stood up in record numbers to help clean up and restore the Gulf Coast. In fact, due to the largest recall since 9/11, more reservists are filling roles in areas along the southern coast than their active-duty counterparts, and their efforts are paying off. I had a chance to meet dozens of the more than 2,000 Reserve men and women who are working to reclaim the Gulf during a recent trip to operations area throughout the South, and I was moved by their stories.
Reservist were key players in every operations are I visited, from as far West as Houma, La. to the shores of Pensacola, Fla. Separated from their friends and loved ones, and working grueling six-day shifts, I expected to hear the usual moans and groans, but was instead blown away be the overwhelmingly upbeat attitudes our folks projected. I was also aided in my efforts by several reservist who deserve some extra recognition.
The Coasties like PA2 John Miller, who offered to let me sleep on a spare bunk at this team's house so I wouldn't have to drive 120 miles back to New Orleans after a 18-hour work day covering reservists in Cocodrie. There were BM1 April Rex, BM3 Gary Guido and MK2 John palmer, who when out of their way to get me aboard their boat so I could cover a skimming exercise off the coast of Bayou la Batre, Ala. Another reservist, BMC Darrin Cliffe, helped organize a trip for me from ICP Mobile to Pensacola, and then personally went underway with me to two different decontamination sites in order to make sure reservist under his charge were recognized.
And Whether fielding challenging media inquires and escorting news crews to spill sites, training commercial fishing crews to operate skimming equipment, searching for oil-affected wildlife, or decontaminating vessels that return from the Gulf, I found reservists making an enormously positive impact. This issue is dedicated to recognizing their efforts and, I hope, validating their tireless service. Be sure to check out the full list of reservists whose photos grace the cover of this issue on page 13.
From the Editor - In a year that has seen one of the most unprecedented mobilizations of reservists in the Coast Guard history, it is only fitting that we dedicated an issue to the recruiting team that has kept our ranks filled with some of America's brightest and most dedicated men and women. Reservist worked closely with Coast Guard Recruiting Command (CGRC)) representatives to develop a number of articles that highlight the hard work CGRC has put into Reserve recruiting effort this past year, and the corresponding payoffs they have seen.
This issue's feature article Operation Reserve Vigor (pg.16), a comprehensive CGRC initiative that targets specific Reserve needs with innovative recruiting teams at port security units are working to bring aboard skilled recruits for placement in fast passed, high-intensity positions. Meanwhile, the In-Service Transfer Team is helping active duty member of the Coast Guard and other services to transition into the Reserve force. Together, these teams are working toward the goal of building the Reserve force up to is Congressionally mandated end strength.
To assist CGRC in its efforts, we have included a special-edition pullout poster that features contact information for all Reserve recruiting officers, as well as tear-out business cards for the "Everyone is a Recruiter" program. Our informational guide to Reserve-specific rates is also a useful tool for explaining to potential recruits the many opportunities available to them in the Reserve.
I would like to thank all those people who contributed content or worked behind the scenes to make this issue of Reservist one of our best to date. This special recruiting edition would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of: Capt. Lori Mathieu, Cmdr. Paul Smith, Lt. Cmdr. Rick Howell, Lt. Caleb James, YNCS Barbara Hasen, YNCS Tom Illisch, PA1 Judy Silverstein, FS1 Luke D'Lims, FS3 Benjamin Timberlake, Joe Johnson and Scott Raflo. I especially want to recognize YNCN Steven Sennott and BMCS Jon Ostrowski for their feature article contributions and outstanding coordination efforts throughout the development of this issue.
In addition to our recruiting features, this issue's "Fleet Watch" section includes a detailed account of reservist Lt. Kenneth Miller's harrowing rescue of a man trapped inside a burning vehicle. In the self-sacrificing manner that defines the Reserve ethos, Miller braved raging flames to assist the imperiled motorist, sustaining burns in the process. Be sure to check out the full story about his heroic actions on page 14.
We also chose to highlight the work of Reserve boat teams from Sector Delaware Bay in a photo essay on page 24. These reservist cooperated with their active duty counterparts to provide security and enforce boating regulations during a recent event on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Their dedicated efforts during Red Bull's Flugtag Philadelphia 2010 helped ensure that a crowd of nearly 85,000 people enjoyed the event safety.
From the Editor, Isaac D. Pacheco - Happy 2011! The Coast Guard Reserve is coming off of one of its busiest years on record, and the Reservist has been along for the entire ride. Whether covering earthquakes relief operations in Haiti, or oil spill clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico, or updates to Reserve recruiting our team of dedicated contributors helped the Reservist shine in 2010. Thank you for your efforts. You have repeatedly reinforced the "Always Ready" ethos.
With a new year comes new challenges, and reservists have proven that they are prepared to tackle whatever issues may arise at home and abroad. Our magazine staff will continue working to produce the highest quality Reserve publication from dedicated Coast guard reservists and public affairs specialists. Your participation is essential to our ability to publish the most comprehensive and informative magazine for our members.
To the end, this issue focuses on practical information that reservists can use every day of the year. Our "Fleet Review" provides a detailed look a current Coast Guard assets in the air, on inland waterways, and at sea. We've worked with leaders in CG-0 (acquisitions) to endure that the most accurate information on cutters, boats and aircraft is available to readers in a quick reference format. Hopefully, this section of the magazine will serve not only as a useful desktop reference but also as a recruitment tool.
Lt.j.g. Wade Thomson gives readers an inside look at how Sector Guam-based reservist are staying at the top of their game by participating in training exercises with their active duty counterparts. Check out this story about their recent unique training experience aboard Cutter Sequoia on page 36.
The original This "Letters" section highlights some of the correspondence we received about various topics covered in recent issue of Reservist. Readers were particularly vocal about our special recruiting issue (Issue 5, 2010). I appreciate all the feedback from those who wrote and emailed praise and criticism alike. Your questions and comments keep us plugged-in to the issues that reservists care about.
We're constantly working to keep Reservist information and entertaining for, and relevant to, the dynamic group of men and women who comprise our reserve force. This is your magazine. Help us make it the best publication it can be by continuing to submit stories, photos and feedback in 2011.
From the Editor - During his remarks at the State of the Coast Guard luncheon aboard Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C., Feb. 10, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp called for a return to the service's seafaring roots, and proposed that all Coast Guard officers serve onboard at some point in their career.
The first step towards this goal would be the manning of the Coast Guard's newest assets, Fast Response Cutters, with at least two junior officers. Papp also commented on several accidents that cost the Coast Guard service members their lives in 2010, saying the service must continue to focus on safety and proper training in orders to remain at the forefront of national security and emergency preparedness.
During his remarks, Papp keyed in on recent government belt-tightening measures, stressing that the Coast Guard must continue to have a proper funding for tools and assets if it is to stay on the forefront of national maritime security and emergency response. "The days of doing more with less is over," said Papp.
The center spread of this issue of Reservist highlights the commandant's vison for the Coast Guard, and the priorities he has set for all his "shipmates" as the service enters a new era.
Speaking for new eras, the Coast Guard Reserve recently celebrated its 70th Anniversary. Since World War II, reservists have been setting the benchmark for dedication with their service at home and abroad. Be sure to look through our timeline detailing their invaluable work protecting our nation, on page 24.
Finally, Americans will be marking another, more somber, anniversary this year. A decade has passed since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 reshaped our world. Amidst the heartbreak and sorrow that surrounded that mournful occasion were stories of courage and triumph. People of every stripe untied to rescue those trapped beneath rubble, and to rebuild communities that had been devastated by the loss of loved ones.
9/11 also marked the largest mobilization of reservists since WWII, and their contributions to the security, rescue, clean-up and rebuilding effort were vital to America reemerging from this tragic event a stronger and more determined nation. Later this year, Reservist will publish a special 9/11 remembrance issue, and we want to hear from those of you who witnessed, or participated in, operations related to 9/11.
Send us your stories and photos of heroism, sacrifice, loss and hope, and help us remember 9/11 as a day where reservist stood tall. There are numerous accounts of bravery and determination shining through the darkness and despair of the dreadful day, and we want to share those stories with our readers. On that fateful day in September, an act of cowardice topped America's tallest buildings and struck at our nation's heart, but it did nothing to dampen our collective resolve. Help us remember those who served, and those who paid the ultimate price.
From the Editor - During a recent conversation with a colleague, I described reservists' response to flooding throughout the Midwest, and was met with a quizzical expression. "I thought the Coast Guard was only on the coast." he said in surprised amusement. Unfortunately, this notion is an all too common misconception among those who are unfamiliar with the total Coast Guard mission. This issue of Reservist seeks t bridge that knowledge gap by highlighting the work of a dedicated group of Guardians who service in the nation's heartland.
As sever storms battered Midwest states and caused historic flooding this past spring, Disaster Area Response Teams (DARTs) made up of reservist from District 8 rushed into action. I had a chance to work alongside DARTs from Sector Upper Mississippi River and Sector Ohio Valley as they deployed small boats to evacuate citizens in flooded communities along the swollen Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. DARTs also teamed with members of several states' National Guard units in order to provide logistical support and coordinate relief efforts. Check out the full story on pg.16.
In this issue, we are also proud to announce that Reservist was named the best magazine-format publication for 2010 in the Department of Defense's annual Thomas Jefferson Award completion. Our publication was review by an esteemed panel of military and civilian journalism professionals, and beat out submission from all other branches of the Armed Forces.
This award wound not have been possible without the dedicated effort of the talented men and women who contributed the stories and phots that filled out pages last year. I want to especially recognize Reservist's art director, Chris Rose, for his creativity and layout prowess. We look forward to continuing to bring you the highest quality publication, and are currently working to make improvements to the way our reader's receive their copies of the magazine.
Our charter is to provide the best possible publication for our Reserve Force. Moving to full or partial digital distribution would allow us to meet and exceed that requirement, and eliminate wasteful, or duplicative shipping and paper costs by making the magazine instantly available, to anyone with an Internet-connected computer, smartphone or mobile device. Send us your thoughts about the possible transition, and let us know how a shift to all digital distribution would impact you.
From the Editor - In February, 2001, I took a weekend trip with my younger brother to Manhattan to experience in person the fabled city that we Midwestern kids had only ever seen in movies and on television. I remember climbing the stairs out of the 33rd Street subway for the first time, and being amazed by the giant buildings surrounding us on all sides. My brother and I wasted no time buying tickets for the observation deck at the Empire State Building, and spent at least and hour at the top taking in the expansive New York City skyline.
As One of the most prominent, and recognized sights at the time was the World Trade Center plaza in lower Manhattan, the centerpiece of which were two, nearly identical, white towers that dwarfed surrounding buildings. My brother and I decided that our adventure in the Big Apple wound not be complete without a trip to the top of the Twin Towers as well. We did eventually make our way up to the observation deck of the South Tower, and still talk about what an amazing experience it was to stand atop the world, if only for a moment, on that cold winter day.
Seven months later, in a succession of unprecedented attacks, terrorist took down those iconic pillars with civilian jetliners, killing not only the passengers aboard the planes, but also the thousand of people who worked inside the buildings, as well as many of the rescue personnel working to save them. The terror attacks of 9/11 were not limited to New York City, with hijackers also crashing passenger jets into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and into a field in the Pennsylvania countryside.
While Americans citizens mourned these horrific attacks, our Nation's first responders leapt into action. 9/11 marked the largest mobilization in the Coast Guard Reserve history , with many men and women responding to impacted areas even before they were notified. This issue of Reservist takes a look back at the fateful day through the eyes of Guardians who were there when it happened. Our cover story (pg. 16) features several vignettes from reservists who were witness or responders to the events of 9/11. Their personal accounts details the central role Coast Guard units played in response efforts, and how that tragedy reshaped the Reserve into the first response force it has become today.
Our multimedia feature on BM2 Adrien Cheval is a great example of how today's reservists are working harder than ever to protect our nation from emerging threats. Cheval and his Station Washington counterparts are the Capitol region's frontline responders. Their vigilance and dedication ensures that ports and waterways around Washington, D.C., pose the most difficult targets for potential terrorists. Check out the full story on page 14, and click the link included in the article to watch the video feature online.
Click cover image to read issue, or download a printable pdf.
From the Editor - Life is funny. Last summer I retired from the Coast Guard Reserve ending a 38 year career that began on November 21, 1971 when I enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard. At the time I was working in the newspaper business as the Sports Editor for a local weekly newspaper. Eight years I would find myself as a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve and a fledgling entrepreneur attempting to launch a graphic arts company: a company that would evolve into a marketing communications firm serving a broad spectrum of clients for more that twenty years.
So what's so funny about that? Well, when I retired last fall, I had been here in Washington, DC on active duty for over nine years, With my marketing business days well in the rearview mirror, I was unsure of exactly what I wanted to do next. An opportunity to fill a one-year temporary civilian position within the Office of Reserve Affairs presented itself, and I was fortunate enough to be selected. In September I was extended to work on a number of special projects. less than a month later the former Reservist Editor, Isaac Pacheco, accepted a prestigious position with the State Department, and I was asked to step in as Interim Editor. As I said, life is funny.
So While it is only temporary, I am honored to be able to work with a team of dedicated professionals to produce what is arguably the finest Reserve Component - some might argue any component - publication, the Reservist. There are a number of initiatives underway to look at how the magazine might better serve our readership and help the Coast Guard and the Reserve Program, specifically, to communicate their goal and objectives. As with any change or transition there are sure to be bumps along the way, but rest assured the primary goal of the Reserve remains to ensure that you, the reader, continues to receive the pertinent information on things of importance to you, your shipmates and your families.
From the Editor - Life is good. But that doesn't mean it is always fair. May dad used to say, "Life is a series of short lived highs and lows interrupted by long periods of the mundane." He would counsel my brothers and me to enjoy the highs, work thought the lows and to not overreact to things beyond our control. For me this has manifested itself to a pretty simple personal philosophy; take care of yourself so you can take care of your family work hard to make yourself indispensable while realizing you are not.
As This philosophy was abruptly brought home recently. One of my young college-aged nephews sustained a severe head injury while skiing. While it is too early to know the long-tem effects, we are grateful he is alive and showing signs of slow but steady improvement. My nephew, his dad (my wife's brother), his mom and his younger brother define family. They have enjoyed life's successes and have dealt with its harsher realities though none I would venture as difficult as this. My wife's brother has a very successful career with a Fortune 500 company. My sister-in-law is an accomplished education professional. Both were true "parenting partners" before it became fashionable. The two brothers are outstanding student-athletes and have garnered numerous academic and athletic honors along the way. Over the years I have observed the four of them through the prism of the usual family events - weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, holiday gathering, funerals and the like. The thing that was always apparent was their individual and collective focus -- family. In this moment of pain and uncertainty, it will not be the accolades, the promoritons, the athletic awards, or scholarships that sustain them. Rather it will be their lifetime of commitment to what truly matters. And, for me, it serves to add perspective to dealing with the realities of the day-to-day life while being careful to not be consumed by the moment and lose site of the course the has ultimately been set for all of us.
Life is good; fairly or not.
From the Editor - A number of years ago I attended a retirement ceremony at which the retiree included a comment in her remarks that has stuck with me ever since. As memory serves it went something like this, “I never really planned on hanging around as long as I did, but as it turns out, the longer you stay, the longer you stay.” As it turns out I will be staying here in Washington, and with the Coast Guard, a bit longer, having been hired on permanently as this publication’s Editor.
As I mentioned in my initial From The Editor column as Interim Editor, a significant part of my professional career outside the Coast Guard Reserve was in the public relations, publishing arena as an entrepreneur and small business owner. It is my plan to utilize those private sector experiences to maintain and, if possible, build on the outstanding reputation the Reservist so rightfully holds. My guiding principle will be to “do no harm.”
Fortunately, I have an excellent partner, Chris Rose, the magazine’s art director extraordinaire. His creativity is boundless and well recognized both inside and outside the Coast Guard. Going forward it is our goal to continue to seek opportunities to improve editorial content, its presentation and means of delivery. We will strive to maintain an appropriate balance between providing, what might be termed, programmatic or policy information with their real world manifestations; the human face of your individual and collective efforts. Your thoughtful comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged.
Finally, I am grateful to the Coast Guard for the opportunity to hang around a bit longer. I am equally grateful to be in a position to help tell your stories. Stories like one in this issue written by BM3 Paul Dragin of Port Security Unit 309 about fellow Coast Guardsman, Thinh Truong.
It is the story of Thinh Truong and countless others yet untold that make the staying not seem that long.
From the Editor - Recently, I was on an oh-dark-thirty flight from Washington, DC to Oakland, CA for the wedding of our youngest son. Before I dozed off a headline on the cover of the in-flight magazine caught my attention. It read, “Life, like golf, is all about how you play out of the rough.” For a long-in-the-tooth duffer like me this analogy is certainly one with which I can relate.
As a In fact, it instantly brought to mind what I consider the best clutch shot from the rough ever. It was during a play-off for this year’s Master Golf Championship between Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson. Watson had put his tee shot well into the woods and out of sight of the green. With his ball sitting on a mixture of pine needles and straw beneath a stand of tall trees, Watson created a shot that not only cleared the surrounding hazards but hooked some forty yards and landed on the green where he drained his putt to win the championship and the coveted Green Jacket.
As we go about our daily lives much of what we do is straight down the fairway. But there are times when we find ourselves playing out of the rough. This is when the training, the attention to detail, and discipline make it possible for us to create the circumstances for success. In this issue of the Reservist you will find a number of stories about how reservists like yourself are taking advantage of a variety of training opportunities to enhance their individual readiness for surge and contingency response. Some attended formal courses like the Reserve RB-S Boat Crewman Course at Yorktown. Others participated in locally developed training focused on increasing competency and proficiency in core Coast Guard missions including pollution response and law enforcement.
When the inevitable call to duty comes, these reservists will bring with them the confidence of knowing that, like Bubba, should they find themselves in the rough they will have the tools necessary to find their way to the green.
From the Editor - In the last few issues of the Reservist you may have noticed some changes. Specifically, we have added a couple of new Departments: those being, “Around the Reserve” and “Shipmates in Focus”. The reason for these changes is straightforward: spotlight the many interesting and innovative things happening around the Service; and tell, what we hope you will find to be, compelling stories about the men and women who make up the Coast Guard Reserve.
Our cover story will continue to focus on the “big picture” like this issue’s Centralized Assignments feature with its accompanying articles. In addition, our online magazine (www.uscg.mil/reservist) will offer additional content in the form of embedded video. Speaking of video, we are extremely pleased that former Director of Reserve and current Commander of the Personnel Service Center, Rear Admiral David Callahan, agreed to author this issue’s “The View” as well as appearing in a short video on our newly created Reservist Channel embedded in our digital version of this issue.
Online viewers will also get to see America’s most famous weatherman, Al Roker, who has created a video promoting support for the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance campaign. Other embedded videos include two reservists who are here in Washington to assist with the Presidential Inauguration.
As we look to the future, we encourage units and members to continue submitting articles that highlight the value and contributions our reserve, active duty, civilian and auxiliary personnel make every day. We also encourage, that, when appropriate, consideration is given to the inclusion of a short video – 90 to 180 seconds – for possible “airing” on the Reservist Channel in future online issues. You will find more detailed submission guidelines on the Reservist website.
Finally, we continue to be inspired by the awesome contributions you make, both individually and collectively. It is a privilege for us here at the Reservist to tell your stories.
From the Editor - As we settle into our second full year as a quarterly – four times a year – publication you will find this issue of the Reservist loaded with content; some timely and some timeless. Our editorial formulation is straight forward: provide interesting and informative stories about issues and events impacting the Coast Guard Reserve program, the reservists it supports, and, more broadly, the Coast Guard writ large.
In this issue, for example, the cover story is on the impact, response and aftermath left in the wake of Super-Storm Sandy. We also have an extended feature on Reserve-focused competencies, which support the strategic guidance found in the Commandant’s Reserve Policy Statement. Rear Adm. Dean Lee writes The View in which he sets out the Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO) vision for how and where reservists fit within DCO’s world of work.
We are also please to have the Coast Guard’s Ancient Keeper, Master Chief James Clemens offer sage wisdom in Deckplate Soundings about the value and importance of effectively building proficiency through focused training.
In addition, the Office of Boat Forces addresses a number of Reserve workforce initiatives it is currently pursuing. There are numerous competency related stories including how small boat stations are training and utilizing their reservists to accomplish their missions. We refer to these stories as the “human-face” of policy: where the decisions made by senior leaders and program managers intersect with the reality of day-to-day operations.
You will find valuable information of available training opportunities at the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy as well as how to ensure you receive credit for competencies and qualifications earned.
For sure, there is much technical jargon to be found as you peruse the magazine’s content, but you will also discover a number of stories about your Coast Guard in action. You will read about a joint FBI-CG case in California, new Title 14 recall entitlements, how training played a key role in a reservist’s survival during a line-of-duty shooting, as well as a smattering of what’s happening Around the Reserve.
As always, thanks for reading.
From the Editor - Greetings. This will be the last From the Editor column written from Cube 08-1009 located here in the Jemal Building in Southwest, DC as the Coast Guard begins its move to our new digs at the St. Elizabeth site across the Anacostia River in August. While change is always a bit unsettling, we are excited about the new facility: a facility designed and built specifically for the Coast Guard.
We are also excited about the content in this issue of the Reservist in which we continue to bring you the latest news about organization initiatives as well as what we hope you find to be interesting stories about the happenings Around the Reserve.
We are particularly pleased to have yet another The View from the Bridge guest column. It is coauthored by Vice Admiral Robert C. Parker and Vice Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Commanders Atlantic Area and Pacific Area, respectively, in which they share their perspectives as to, “the contributions of the Reserve Component across the full spectrum of Coast Guard missions performed daily around the world.”
This issue’s Feature Story expands on the Area commander’s strategic overview with a joint-Area Reserve Force Readiness System (RFRS) staff update. District and sector RFRS staff personnel provide articles about best practices and the value RFRS brings to Reserve readiness and competency at the deckplate. In addition, there is an update from the Deputy of Operational Logistics RFRS staff (DOL-31) on initiatives underway to ensure reservists are ready as reliable force multipliers in support of the Service’s mission support functions.
We are also pleased with the number of excellent stories we can offer thanks to the contributions of many field Public Affairs (PA) specialists. The support we continue to receive from PAs around the Coast Guard, both active duty and Reserve, is outstanding. If you see one in your travels, be sure to thank them for telling your stories so well.
From the Editor - Hello from our digs at the Coast Guard’s new headquarters building located on the historic St. Elizabeth’s Hospital site in the District of Columbia’s Southeast section. St. Es, as it is known locally was the first large-scale, federally run psychiatric care hospital.
Arriving on Monday, August 5th, we at the Reservist, along with the rest of the Office of Reserve Affairs, were among the first “pioneers” to occupy our new home. Our work spaces are open and bright. Each day seems to bring a new discovery – like the American Bald Eagle who also calls St. Elizabeth’s home.”
Speaking of new discoveries, in this issue you will find a new section devoted to Coast Guard history. Going forward we plan to run at least one story about our service’s history in each issue. The two stories in this issue are set during the Second World War when over 92% of Coast Guardsmen in uniform were reservists.
In this issue you will also gain insights about the status of Reserve Training Appropriation as seen through the eyes of Rear Adm. Steven Day (View from the Bridge) and guest columnist Master Chief Petty Officer Eric Johnson (Deckplate Soundings).
Our Feature Story showcases Pacific Area’s MOBEX 2013 which used the real world America’s Cup 34 Race event to test and improve on Coast Guard Reserve mobilization readiness. We are extremely grateful to the 11th District Public Affairs staff, particularly PAC Sherri Eng, for coordinating and providing outstanding coverage of the reservists from around the country who supported the MOBEX. Be sure to check out our on-line edition to see the video which captured some of these members in action.
Finally, we are always on the lookout for interesting stories particularly for our Around the Reserve section where we like to recognize reservists and highlight the Reserve contribution to the Coast Guard mission. If you have something you think would be of interest to our readers, feel free to contact us and discuss the possibility of having your story published.
From the Editor - Funny how we associate times in our lives with certain things: places, events, people. People like Sterling W. J. Farrenkopf. To you, I suspect, that name means little if anything. It transports me back to the time of teletyped message traffic, 12 knots boats, and, most importantly, first impressions.
Sterling crossed the bar this past Thanksgiving. He was laid to rest in a small, peaceful cemetery on Cape Cod on December 7th. A bit of poetic symmetry there, I think, for a World War II Navy veteran. In the years following the end of the war and his discharge from the Navy, he enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve.
I think he was the first reservist I met when I reported to Reserve Unit Station Chatham in June 1976. He certainly was the one who made the biggest impression. As I remember he was a Radioman 1st Class. I have a vivid memory of him sitting behind the drab green console in the Station Chatham watch room with its never-ending view of the Atlantic Ocean. To the uninitiated – me -- it seemed like utter chaos: multiple radios belching out incoherent chatter, the constant sound of the radio directional finder sending out its repetitive Morse code signal for the ships at sea, and the clank, clunk, clank of the teletype machine. And there, amidst all this, sat Sterling, calmly responding to the radios, answering the phone and drafting telexes, all seemingly at the same time. I was simultaneously intimidated and impressed.
Petty Officer Farrenkopf would retire later that year, but for a few months I had the benefit of his tutelage as I began the process of becoming watch stander qualified. That I was eventually able to decipher the noise emanating from the radio console and draft relatively error-free telexes stands as a testament to Sterling’s professionalism and patience in dealing with someone less than half his age.
In all, I spent 15 years at Station Chatham. Over that time I served with countless active and Reserve crewmembers. More than a few made a lasting impression. But few more so than Sterling W. J. Farrenkopf, a man I wish I had gotten to know better. And, for sure, a man I am better for having known.
As always thanks for reading.
From the Editor - “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. We agree. In this issue you will find an in-depth feature on the Office of Boat Forces plan to improve the training and readiness of reservists assigned to small boat units. Aptly named the Boat Forces Reserve Management Project, the initiative is the result of countless hours of research, analysis and stakeholder collaboration. We are pleased to have Rear Adm. Mark Butt, Assistant Commandant for Capability, outline the strategic imperative for this effort in this issue’s The View From The Bridge.
Speaking of projects and plans, readers will find a special Retiree Services Guide pull-out section. Working in collaboration with the Coast Guard Retiree Services Program, this guide provides valuable information, including links to countless resources about policies and services of importance to all current retirees and those planning to join their ranks. Current retirees will find a map showing the location and contact information for all the newly created service-wide Retiree Services Desks. There is also a letter from Coast Guard National Retiree Council Co-Chairs Rear Adm. John Acton, USCGR (ret.) and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles ‘Skip’ Bowen, USCG (ret.) in which they address the upcoming awareness campaign for the Retiree Services Program rollout this spring and summer.
To compliment the special retiree insert we are pleased to offer three stories which focus on life, post-service, including a Space A adventure to Europe. You will find these stories in our new Retiree SITREP section. Our Around the Reserve section is packed with the usual flotsam and jetsam of things reservists are doing, both on and off the clock, to improve the value they bring to the Coast Guard and to the communities where they work and live.
Finally, we’d like to give a special “shout-out” to all the Public Affairs professionals who assisted us in providing readers with an up close and personal look at the impact the Boat Forces Reserve Management Project is having at the deckplate.
From the Editor - As a native Cape Codder, it was always easy to know when summer arrived. It was the day on the calendar – usually about a week before the 4th of July – that the normal five minute drive to the Post Office turned into a mission that required pre-planning, thoughtful tactical movements (as few left hand turns as possible) and the occasional use of a salty vernacular in response to a visitor’s poorly conceived maneuver.
Here at Coast Guard Headquarters, as across the Service, summer is marked by personnel transfers. Every four years, as is the case this summer, a number of those transfers have added significance, notably the Coast Guard’s new senior leadership team: Commandant, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Vice Commandant, Deputy Commandants for both Operations and Mission Support, and the Atlantic and Pacific Area Commanders.
Here in our corner of St. Elizabeth’s, Rear Adm. James Heinz has assumed the duties of Director of Reserve and Military Personnel, while Master Chief Eric Johnson is onboard as the Coast Guard Reserve Force Master Chief. Capt. Patrick ‘Kofi’ Aboagye has relieved Capt. Kent Bauer (ret) as the Chief, Office of Reserve.
So, as new leadership takes the helm, our mission here at the Reservist remains the same: keeping you up-to-date on the course that has been set and what you need to know to stay on track.
In this particular issue you will find dozens of short pieces covering Reserve activities from Guam in the west, Alaska in the north, Florida in the south and Maryland in the east.
In our A Light on Yesteryear section you will find the second and final installment of our series about Lt. Charles Eliot Winslow, a reservist who served during the Second World War.
Be sure to check out our on-line edition at http://www. uscg.mil/reservist/ which offers a number of embedded videos highlighting unique Reserve force operational and logistics capabilities.
This issue’s More You Know section has items of interest, particularly for those looking to transfer their G.I. Bill benefits. There is also an in-depth article covering the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act commonly known as USERRA.
Click cover image to download a printable pdf.
From the Editor - Vigilance. As I sit in front of my keyboard this morning, it is the thirteenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. Again I am reminded about the range of emotions I felt that day and the ones that followed; shock, sorrow, anger, pride, determination.
I was still in uniform when American Flight 77 struck the Pentagon and was sitting with then Master Chief of the Reserve Force George Ingraham in his office at Coast Guard Headquarters. Shortly thereafter we became aware of the planes hitting the World Trade Center buildings. Later we would learn we had lost two Coast Guard reservists that day, MK1 Jeffrey Palazzo and PS2 Vincent Danz, both New York City first-responders.
I have a vivid memory of driving back to my apartment later that day and being one of a handful of cars on the normally bumper-to-bumper Route 395. As I passed the scorched and battered Pentagon, smoke was still rising and rescue and recovery personnel combed the ruble.
A week later I was on the first post-9/11 flight out of Reagan Airport – a Coast Guard Falcon. We flew to Norfolk to pick up then Atlantic Area Command Vice Admiral Thad Allen before proceeding to the Coast Guard base on Staten Island, N.Y., where we were ferried over to Ground Zero. Beyond the unimaginable destruction what struck and has stayed with me the most was the stillness, the quiet, the somberness.
Three months later I accompanied Admiral Allen to Guantanamo Bay where we toured Camp X-Ray, the original detainee holding site. Later that day the admiral noted the irony of glancing down at his boots, still with dust on them from our trip to Ground Zero, and then looking up directly into the eyes of some very evil people who were in some way likely complicit in the events of 9/11.
Today we face an equally serious threat from some very evil people who wish to do us great harm. And, while the road has been long, we must never waiver, never forget and be forever vigilant.
From the Editor - Plenty of stuffing. Sandwiched in between just past Thanksgiving and soon to be Christmas I find my mind’s eye conjuring up a mixed metaphor of stuffed turkeys and stockings as I review the stories we have packed into this issue of the Reservist.
In addition to the many stories about a variety of activities and accomplishments by both individuals and teams of reservists in the Around the Reserve section, a leadership theme permeates this issue. It starts with our cover showing Rear Adm. James Heinz, Director of Reserve, underway in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with Port Security Unit 312. The visit to Guantanamo was part of a week-long visit Adm. Heinz undertook with CG Reserve Force Master Chief Eric Johnson to get a deck plate view of the training and readiness of reservists within the 7th Coast Guard District.
Inside readers will also find an article about the Chief Petty Officer Academy experience as seen through the eyes of two students, Public Affairs Chiefs Rachel Polish and John Masson. There is also an in-person account about the Senior Enlisted Leadership Course authored by Senior Chiefs Michael Mullins and Sarah Foster.
Our Retiree SITREP section captures the story of Lt. Cmdr. Susan Vance, who was a young college student during the tumultuous Vietnam era, about her decision to join the Coast Guard Reserve. Also, both active duty and Reserve retirees can learn about a new Federal Emergency Management Agency initiative specifically designed for Coast Guard retirees. The initiative was championed by former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles ‘Skip’ Bowen. Master Chief Bowen, who is Co-Chair of the CG Retiree Council, offers some thoughts on why retirees might want to give this program a look.
Finally, I had the privilege of interviewing the former United States Senator Sam Nunn who received the prestigious United States Navy Memorial 2014 Loan Sailor Award. A former Coast Guard reservist, Senator Nunn talks about his Coast Guard experience and how it shaped what would be a long and distinguished public service career.
From the Editor - Just over ten years ago thousands of Coast Guard personnel, myself included, found themselves swept into a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience as part of the response and recovery operations for Hurricane Katrina. The images of the havoc visited upon Gulf Coast imprinted on my brain remain as vivid today as they were when I first landed in Gulfport, Mississippi early in September 2005. Much like the devastation I witnessed in Lower Manhattan four years earlier, it is difficult to find words which adequately describe the destruction I observed in Gulfport and when I reached New Orleans. I continue to marvel at the resilience of those who make that part of the world home and at the selfless efforts of those who came to their aid.
We have dedicated much of this issue to the efforts of those who answered the call. In so doing, we have attempted to create a tapestry, which captures and reflects the demands of successfully operating in such an extraordinarily complex environment. From the proverbial 30,000 foot view provided by former Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen, to the deck plate reflections of those who were on scene when Katrina came ashore, to those who would follow on for days, weeks, months and, for some, years later.
Our coverage would not have been possible without the strong support of Public Affairs Specialist from around the Coast Guard. Responding to our request for editorial support, the efforts of these hard working professionals made our editorial vision for Katrina’s 10th anniversary a reality. For that we are truly grateful. We are also grateful to those who were willing to share their personal stories and remembrances.
The historic nature of the Coast Guard’s response to this storm of the century is forever woven into the fabric of what makes our Service such a unique and valuable national institution. To paraphrase a famous World War II quotation, “Never has a service so small done so much for so many.”
Finally, an editorial calendar note: beginning with Issue 1, 2016, we will be shifting our publication date forward by 30 days. The new publications dates will be the first day of February, April, July and November.
From the Editor - Summer. A time for cookouts, trips to the beach or lake, and time with family and friends. For the Coast Guard summer means heightened vigilance as recreational boaters take to the tens of thousands of inland and coastal waters across America. For Coast Guard reservists this translates to countless hours of training and local augmentation opportunities as they build and hone their skills. Skills they will need when the inevitable surge or contingency operation arises possibly from a yet to be named hurricane or environmental mishap on or in proximity to a navigable waterway.
In this issue’s Around the Reserve section readers will find a number of articles about Reserve personnel, in concert with their active duty counterparts, preparing for just such eventualities, including a pre-hurricane season exercise at Sector New Orleans and a table-top exercise of a multi-threat event held in the 1st District. Reservists assigned to U.S. Northern Command participate in a national level exercise focused on providing defense support to civil authorities, and members of the Mobile Support Unit demonstrated their capabilities during an exercise at the Surface Forces Logistics Center in Baltimore.
You will also find a story about highly successful Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) training held at Coast Guard Station Charleston. The training focused on reservists assigned within Sector Charleston. And to quote Station Charleston Officer in Charge BMCS Justin Longval, "Reservists greatly benefited from this training - their RB-M platform skills and knowledge increased significantly.
So, as summer season gets into full swing, there is little doubt that reservists will be engaged in a variety of activities from on the job training at local commands to providing mission support where and when and when it is needed. It is our hop to bring you their stories in a future issue.
Finally, we liked to give a "Shout Out!" to the Public Affairs personnel in each district for their continued support, specifically the individual articles on each of the 2014 Enlisted Persons of the Year for the Reserve Component. Without assistance of these public affairs professionals these outstanding enlisted representative would not have received the acknowledgement they justly deserve.