Reservist Magazine, The Best People, Volume 65 Issue 1

From the Editor - I’m so glad to be back on track. You may have noticed that our fall issue arrived closer to February. Due to some contract negotiations with our publisher, we had a three-month delay in getting the magazine out to you. We’ll be on schedule again here shortly.

THOSE HURRICANES THOUGH! I told you it would take two issues to cover it, and here we are. Last issue, we covered the operations. This time… we cover the reservists themselves. You know we sent 1,300 people down to help? Some hardchargers are still there. I met so many good people during my deployment, and I wish I could cover more of their stories.

Some of my fellow PAs joined me in bringing you stories of those reservists who left their civilian jobs to respond. We tried to get one person from each area, Houston, Key West, San Juan, etc., but getting these people to talk about themselves was like pulling teeth. To a person, they all passed credit to their Coast Guard shipmates, and each was awed by the resiliency of the people they were serving.

I tell you what – just the most interesting people…. I never get tired of writing about the caliber of people the Reserve brings to the table. They hold down demanding jobs in the civilian world while staying on retainer to plus up the Reserve in times of need.

For example, in this issue, you’ll meet a doctor who became an HS3; an MST2 who called upon his experience as a water safety specialist; reservists who, as company commanders, train active duty; a BM3 who, as a medical tech, recognized trauma symptoms and saved a woman’s life on the streets of San Juan.

In the Taps section at the back, we’ll honor two shipmates who are too young to be lost this early. If you didn’t know Chief Johnson or ME1 Copeland, you’ll wish you had.

Finally, after thirteen years, it’s time to update our infamous UNIFORM ISSUE! (We’re not wearing the tucked ODUs anymore, it’s about time for a new copy…) Any questions, recommendations or requests, please send them in –

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Reservist Magazine, Changing of the Guard, Volume 65 Issue 2

From the Editor - Another transfer season is upon us! Without a doubt, one of our biggest losses is Master Chief Johnson, the outgoing Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve, and a fellow motorcycle rider! You might not know his face well, even though you’re likely affected by his efforts to shape policy. It was rare to see a picture of him in the magazine during his tenure, and that's the way he liked it. Master Chief found a way to make sure others were always recognized before himself—a true chief’s chief. I’ll miss having such a great sounding board nearby, but looking forward to good things from the new MCPO-CGR, Master Chief Williamson.

As I tell the Reserve story, I keep meeting the best people. Thanks first to Senior Chief James Krise of Station St. Inigoes and his crew for showing me around last month. Those are some talented professionals with great stories, both in uniform and in their civilian lives.

I’m especially indebted to CWO2 Michael Cash who spent hours explaining the new firearms training program (page 18) to me in detail. I love seeing someone who’s passionate about their craft nail a project down so well.

Next, Chief Donald Wiggins of the Naval Engineering Support Team in Fort Macon stood out as another person passionate about his work. His command views him as a whiz at Coast Guard mechanical systems, and he loves his job as the primary mechanic for one Army unit’s worth of boats and firetrucks. He happened to send me a very proud photo of his engineers at a rare Honda engine class, which couldn’t have happened without his initiative and some help from his RFRS staff. Great story, see page 34.

And last, on page 35, it was wonderful to witness Adm. Zukunft introduce Capt. Walter Handy at the event in March where the captain received a lifetime achievement award from the Reserve Officers Association. He met the officers in the positions he helped create and defend. I’ve never seen him smile so often, and as I watched him shake hands with one person after another, it was one of those satisfying life moments when everything just clicks.

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Reservist Magazine, An Office in the Clouds, Volume 65 Issue 3

From the Editor - I can count on some great mentors in my life, the first and strongest being my mother. After her, Master Chief Buck Ward (leadership), Master Chief Jeff Smith (editing), CWO Luke Pinneo (writing), Maj. Antony Andreas (self-discipline). I soak up these brass-tacks discussions with my friends and mentors, people who challenge me to be better.

When I was little, I spent a lot of time working with my dad in his woodshop in the basement. When we’d get into discussions, I remember him telling me that what mattered was that I gave everything to the effort. He'd ask, “Were you the best Stacey Burns you could be?”

Such a simple strategy for helping a child be the best version of herself. As Coast Guardsmen, we need to keep that mentor in our lives, constantly challenging us to be the best versions of ourselves.

Blaine Meserve-Nibley works in Coast Guard recruiting, training recruiters in how to recruit reservists. He helps them understand where the applicants are coming from, and how to connect an applicant to the “why.” As in, “Why do you want to serve?” He showed me a part of his presentation, which involves a video of a talk given by Simon Sinek entitled, “The Millennial Question."

Now, don’t let the title throw you off. I appreciated Sinek’s points about millennials, but one of the more salient points he made toward the end of the talk was about technology.

I used to think technology was making me into the most efficient version of myself, and thereby, the best version. My calendar appointments were set to chime, keeping me on track. My gps app got me from A to B in the fastest time possible. My phone conversations were reduced to a single line text message.

But efficient isn’t always best. My sons have never seen me page slowly through a newspaper, stop to ask for directions or randomly pop by a friend’s house for cup of coffee—interactions that make life slower and more meaningful.

On top of that, Sinek points to the dopamine effect of social media and technology (the happiness of getting a message or a “like”) as an addiction.

“If you’re at dinner with your friends, and you’re texting someone who’s not there, that’s a problem. That’s an addiction. If you’re sitting in a meeting with people you’re supposed to be listening and speaking to, and you put your phone on the table, that sends a subconscious message to the room: ‘you’re just not that important.’ The fact that you can’t put the phone away, that’s because you’re addicted. If you wake up and check your phone before saying good morning… you have an addiction.”

I’m guilty of checking my phone as I wait for a meeting to start, rather than looking around the table and starting conversations. “THAT’s where trust starts,” said Sinek, citing the need for the opportunity to form relationships slowly. When he goes to dinner, he leaves his phone at home, because he said, “Ideas happen when your mind wanders. That’s called innovation, but we’re taking away all those little moments.”

&Trust. Relationships. Innovation. Things we all need to be a better version of ourselves. Thanks, Blaine, for being a great mentor, to me and to countless recruiters I know you’ve inspired. Thank you to those of you who reach down to mentor others. It’s our duty to make ourselves better as Coast Guardsmen, and to pass that knowledge on to others.

Wrap a rubber band around your phone and put it down. Enjoy your summer, friends.

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Reservist Magazine, Hurricane Hunter, Volume 65 Issue 4

From the Editor - Sometimes my job is like a wedding photographer; taking pictures when everything is polished and beautiful is easy. Same with writing about the Reserve; the people are so good and so talented, the stories write themselves.

This issue has lots of great people: the gold medal winners of the Micro Games, Todd Genereux and Mary Gillan, have such passion for their sports. They train in their spare time for these Olympic-style sporting events while working full-time... and also finding time to serve their country.

And there's hurricane hunter Steve Jayne—not your average MKC. Who knew we had an MIT scientist working quietly behind the scenes developing technology to predict hurricane intensity AND placing it in the path of a hurricane? The data from Chief Jayne's instruments feeds the National Weather Service, which, in turn, feeds the news reports you listen to. He's like a double lifesaver.

Three more young Reserve professionals were highlighted in a Buzzfeed article about female leadership. Brittny Thompson, Chrissie Edwards and Melissa Sprout, it was an honor to write about each of you. You blend in so seamlessly that it took insider knowledge to realize you were reservists. Each of you is an asset to your command.

Finally, great stuff from our Deckplate columnist this issue, Master Chief Ed Lewis. Back in 2013, CMC Lewis wrote an article about how the Coast Guard was missing the boat on the potential found among its members, because if you only look at someone's rank and military qualifications, you miss all the talent and experience they possess as civilians. Lewis is working to change that through a credentialing program that lets you bring your civilian credentials to the military, and when you leave the service, the same program will translate your Coast Guard credentials for use on the civilian side. Good stuff.

One last thing… Our magazine has been something people look forward to for the last two decades because of one man. While the editor has changed a few times, our art director, Chris Rose, has been the mainstay of the magazine. A former Coast Guardsman himself, Chris is a treasure trove of history and service knowledge. In addition to laying out all the photos and text for every copy of the magazine in the last 20 years, he’s also created many of the logos Coast Guard organizations and units recognize and use today.

Congratulations on 20 years at the magazine, Chris. On behalf of Ed, Isaac, Jeff and myself, this magazine wouldn’t be what it is without you.

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