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Master Chief's Corner

Deckplate Soundings

            Master Chief Petty Officer Daniel Morales
 Almost 18 years ago, I was an MK2 at TACLET North. This was during the aftermath of 9/11, and the Coast Guard Reserve was being mobilized to fill the operational needs created by this paradigm changing event. One of our most pressing operational needs was creating mass quantities of qualified law enforcement personnel to protect ports and key infrastructure. We started running day and night boarding officer/boarding team member classes at TRACEN Yorktown for Reserve members. It was slow and labor intensive growing this skillset. The events of 9/11 painfully showed why the Coast Guard Reserve needed a relevant rating that was ready to respond with a current law enforcement competency.

Today, I have the honor of serving as the ME rating force master chief, and while I’m biased toward the great men and women that serve as MEs, we are unique in that our rating is the only one divided almost equally between active duty and Reserve. Naturally, I take great interest in issues that affect the Reserve, because these issues have a direct effect on half my career field. To that end, I also try to eliminate anything that would prevent my rating from being Ready, Relevant and Responsive. It is my vision that, ME reservists are leveraged in two specific ways. One, be able to surge INCONUS, as law enforcement professionals, in response to regional disasters or national crisis events. Two, be able to meet a geographical combatant commander’s (e.g. SOUTHCOM, PACOM, etc.) strategic intent for OCONUS deployments in support of Department of Defense missions.

In my first year as the RFMC, I talked extensively with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Reserve George Williamson, the Reserve Silver Badge network, various PSUs, Coast Guard Recruiting Command and Headquarters program offices about issues that affect the ME Reserve workforce. These issues included: getting members to C-schools, equity in advancement requirements for PSU members and recruiting problems.

We got a few big ticket items knocked out that will affect a lot of reservists in boat forces, shore forces and PSUs, including:

  • Reserve-only slots for the Law Enforcement Instructor (LEI) course and Fire Arms Instructor (FAI) course. Why is this important? So ME reservists attached to sectors and stations can qualify BO/BTMs. With this change, initial qualification and recertifying will get easier. Also, starting in 2020, all ME A-school graduates will graduate with all BO tasks completed and ready on arrival for unit BO boards. This will ease the strain of ME’s having to return to FLETC to attend BOPC. BOPC will still be required for members who haven’t completed the new curriculum at ME A-school.
  • PSU Fire Team Leader competency option for advancement to ME1. This initiative came about after talking with members of PSUs 301/313/309 and the PSU program manager at CG- 721. This gives reservists at hard-to-fill PSU billets an equitable chance for competing for E-6. (Once a member transfers to a sector or station billet, they will be required to get BO qualified.
  • Retention/recruiting. A stark difference between the Reserve and active duty workforces is our retention numbers. The active side is at 100 percent strength but the Reserve side is at 80 percent. We implemented initiatives with Recruiting Command to bolster our numbers with uniquely qualified people. One initiative is targeting civilian law enforcement officers for rate determination packages based on their skill sets. They attend DEPOT and come in at ME3/2. They still need to attend BOPC to get BO certified or get PSU fire team leader to make E-6. We are also targeting non-ME active duty members with BO experience to put in change-in-rating packages and bring them over to the Reserve at their current paygrade. Also, PSUs are now getting bonuses, and all reservists will be able to partake in tuition assistance.

These steps are a good start to improving our numbers with quality people, and quality will give us a healthier rating over quantity.

The Reserve ME brings a force multiplier to meet Coast Guard mission demands. The missions that require expertise in law enforcement, humanitarian relief and national defense is where reserve MEs have made a huge difference at sectors, PSUs and stations. By ensuring that every ME is qualified in their job and ready to respond, we will be able to meet all the Coast Guard Reserve missions stateside and abroad.

Semper Paratus.  

Master Chief Petty Officer Daniel Morales
Rating Force Master Chief
Maritime Enforcement Specialist (ME)


George Williamson

7th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve

Master Chief Petty Officer George Williamson


About the MCPO-CGR

Established to provide the Commandant with a personal advisor and assistant in matters affecting the enlisted members reserve of the Coast Guard, and their families. The MCPO-CGR is the most senior enlisted Reserve member of the Coast Guard. The normal tour of assignment is four years, which runs concurrently with the Commandant of the Coast Guard. The MCPO-CGR must be a living example of the Coast Guard's core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty. Individuals who are selected to serve in this prestigious position must possess the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity. 


  • Assisting in the development of policy for managing the enlisted Reserve workforce of the Coast Guard

  • Traveling to various units throughout the Coast Guard, addressing personnel on quality of life and personnel issues

  • Formal testimonials before Congress

  • Representing enlisted quality of life issues by speaking to various civilian and military committees and forums

  • Representing the Coast Guard Reserve by accepting opportunities to speak at military, civic, and social functions

  • Maintaining a strong relationship with service organizations and companies that support enlisted Reserve personnel issues

  • Working closely with the Department of Defense senior enlisted counterparts


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Words of Wisdom
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Retirement Appreciation Letter
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Reserve Command Master Chiefs (CMC)
Previous MCPOCG Reserve
  • 2014-2018: MCPO Eric L. Johnson
  • 2010-2014: MCPO Mark H. Allen
  • 2003-2010: MCPO Jeffrey D. Smith
  • 1998-2003: MCPO George P. Ingraham
  • 1994-1998: MCPO William C. Phillips
  • 1991-1994: MCPO Forrest W. Croom
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