Reservist Magazine, The Uniform Issue, Special Issue

From the Editor - I’ve always been a stickler for uniforms. One of my favorite sayings is, “The standard you walk by is the standard you accept.” My friends know me as the person who’s eternally checking gig lines, hair styles, crow spacing, ribbon order… but even after 20 years in the Coast Guard, I still have to doublecheck some things.

As a reserve officer, it’s a mark of my professionalism that I have each piece right. The importance of the uniform is even reflected in the first step of the Use of Force Continuum: Officer Presence. The atmosphere of compliance is created, in part, by the officer’s appearance, and the uniform is a big part of that. As Mark Twain said, “A policeman in plain clothes is a man; in his uniform, he is ten.”

So true.

With that in mind, we’re honored to put together this issue for you, but keep in mind, this isn’t a replacement for the Uniform Regulations; it’s a quick-reference guide.

The original Uniform Issue was a major undertaking, produced for reservists back in 2006 by the original dream team, CWO Ed Kruska and Chris Rose; it quickly became recognized as a great reference for active duty members as well. I know lots of people have been waiting for this one to replace the battered 2006 edition they have squirreled away.

The six people on the front cover have become wellknown, and the wording and images from that issue are all over the internet, even used by the Coast Guard Headquarters Uniform Program itself.

Inside this latest edition, you’ll find all the old standards, but also some changes, including the NWU Type III.

We have an updated history article that explores the more recent history of our uniform, starting with the Bender Blues and going forward to today’s untucked ODU. There’s also a story on how our Uniform Program works together with the UDC, the online exchange and the research department to keep our members looking sharp.

And should you see something that you’d like changed in the Uniform Regulations, you can request it. Send your change through your command to PSC-PSU-MU. Include the idea/issue, the suggestion (including costs and benefits to the service), alternative solutions and enclosures if necessary. Email your suggestions to

Again, the standard you walk by is the standard you accept. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make us not just the world’s premier Coast Guard, but also the sharpest looking as well.

Click cover image to download a printable pdf

Reservist Magazine, The New Path Forward, Volume 66 Issue 1

From the Editor - Well, That was quite a break we had. Sorry for the interruption in your magazines; we had a little shake-up with the government, and our normal February issue went by the wayside. In the meantime, I hope you got time to look at the new Uniform Issue.

That was a labor of love for me, and a huge undertaking for Chris, our art director, who did a ton of work from creating a fresh cover to shooting the photos to creating some of the insignia.

There’s an old quote, usually incorrectly attributed to Buddha: “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” For me, working on the Uniform Issue felt like that. While I was checking and reviewing everything in there, I got to know the uniform regulations pretty intimately. Same for writing the story of the history of the uniform.

So, onto this month, which is our big move to the new governance structure. Chris and I will move with the magazine from CG-1313 to the Component Policy and Strategic Communications Division, called CG-R55. No impact on your subscriptions, dear readers. But there IS change afoot for the rest of the Coast Guard Reserve. It’ll be nice to have a flag officer focused solely on the Reserve agenda. I have a feeling this is going to be big for us as reservists, and that it’ll address many of the broken pieces in the Reserve while holding the right people accountable to strategically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our component.

You already bring the professionalism and competence. This fix brings the synergy.

What’s next for the magazine? I’m ginning up something like the old retiree issue, but not solely for retirees. This would lay out the financial side of being a reservist— both before and after they retire. Questions like how does Direct Access work best for reservists? How can I stop my pay from getting off track when bouncing between active duty and drills? What’s the Survivor Benefit Plan and how does it work? How can I calculate my estimated monthly retirement? What’s the cost of Tricare for retired reservists?

I think an issue like that could be a good reference for our reservists.

Now, the squeakiest wheels get the oil, but, as Susan Cain, the "Quiet" author, said in her TED Talk, “There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” If there’s something you’d like to see us put into print, you lose nothing by reaching out.

Drop me a line at –

 Click image to download a printable pdf

Reservist Magazine, Repoy 2018, Volume 66 Issue 2

From the Editor - I just got back from a quick trip to the Coast Guard's Atlantic Area. I was one of the more than 100 reservists involuntarily recalled for the response to Hurricane Dorian. Being the public affairs type, I worked a few intense days handling national media calls with the LANTAREA command.

I wasn't on active duty form more than a handful of days when we realized that Dorian would only brush against the east coast, rather than have a full-on impact. My command told me, "Go home, wash your uniforms and get ready for the next one."

They were only half-joking. I think most Coast Guard reservists have spent that last few hurricane seasons with one eye on the news. (Our family, doubly so, as my husband is also a drilling reservist. Our sons are worried about us both being recalled simultaneously again, and I guess I'm a little worried about that, too.) 

Still, I wouldn't trade this job. Reservist are in their element in these contingencies. In just that last two months, Coast Guard reservists have been recalled for that Southwest border mission, the response to Hurricane Dorian, and the Golden Ray case in Georgia. There's no shortage of opportunities to get in there and support the Coast Guard's mission alongside our active duty brothers and sisters. I didn't even mention the folks taking active duty assignments to give new parents among us a little time to bond with their new babies. Good, good stuff.

The last Issue we out was sent a few days before the Reserve Component Leadership Conference in June. I met so many members of the SRO and badge communities. I loved putting the faces to the names I've read in emails and voices I've spoken to over the phone! They really went to bat to frontload leadership with the unvarnished truth, and I listed a few of the best quotes below.

I only had a few weeks to wrap up this issue, but I had to say, one of my favorite stories I covered in this issue was about podcasts. I'm a pretty big aficionado of podcasts myself, so when I heard the new BM RFMC, Master Chief Petty Offcier Mike Ellis, was communicating using this new(ish) medium, I called him to chat. (Side note: Ellis, while working full time at his last job, officer-in-charge of the Greenbriar, was also serving as a part-time polices officer for his town. Who understands the reserve life better than a guy like that?)

Ellis's podcast, Couse Made Good, does deep-dives on Coast Guard topics, and, while I'm always going to think my rating is the best one, I have to say I've learned a lot from listening to his guests (detailers, instructors, training petty officers, etc.). Same thing for another great podcast, They Had to Go Out, in which two chiefs interview retirees about their "most dangerous, daring or epic sea story or stories." I'm subscribed to both podcasts, and you can read more about them on page 42.

Another great read is from each other of the two guest columnists for this issue. First, in View from the Bridge, we have the new Assistant Commandant for Reserve, Rear Adm. Todd Wiemers, who's talking the successful strategy he used to create the Boat Forces Reserve Managements Plan and applying it to the whole of the our senior enlisted leaders from the active duty side, Master Chief Petty Officer Josh McKenzie, the new MK RFMC, shows off his plans for the reserve MKs.

That wraps this issue, and we've just begun work on another: Through I'm back at my desk in my civvies, my Coast Guard uniforms are washed, and my bag is packed, ready to go.

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