I'm humbled and honored to be selected to serve as your seventh Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve (MCPO-CGR). I want to thank Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steve Cantrell and their leadership teams for advancing our great Coast Guard during their watch. Additionally, I want to thank Master Chief Eric Johnson for his leadership and stewardship of the Coast Guard Reserve. Master Chief Johnson, in particular, has made remarkable progress in the development of strong senior enlisted Reserve leaders, and I am committed to building on his successes.
I'm thrilled to work with our 26th commandant, Adm. Karl L. Schultz, vice commandant, Adm. Charlie Ray, and MCPOCG Jason Vanderhaden. They know and appreciate the value of Coast Guard Reserve members, especially after witnessing firsthand our contribution during the brutal 2017 hurricane season. Adm. Schultz has clearly stated that he and his leadership team will remain receptive to Reserve concerns and actively seek ways to improve. We will undoubtedly face future crises, and I am confident you will again answer the call to serve our Coast Guard and our nation. .
My position is uniquely situated to serve the commandant as a Reserve workforce expert, a trusted channel for workforce feedback and an advocate for positive change. The MCPO-CGR is a central node in the network of programs, offices and senior leadership positions that together determine the use and design of the Reserve Component. I have direct access to all Reserve leaders, both at the program level and in the field, including the senior reserve officer, RPA and gold badge networks. My goal is to leverage this network to bring concerns from the field directly to senior leadership and connect your important work with the commandant’s strategic priorities. I am confident my experiences over the last decade as a Gold Badge Command Master Chief will allow the deckplate view to be part of the strategic dialogue for the direction of our Reserve Component.
Unity of effort and complete alignment between the MCPOCG and the MCPO-CGR is critical. Together, along with other Active and Reserve senior leadership team members, we will serve the needs of our Coast Guard and our people.
As I begin this position, my immediate focus areas are:
Total Force Requirements
After severe reductions in funding and billets between 2012 and 2015, the Reserve Component is poised for the greatest transformation since integration occurred in 1994. We must employ strategic planning measures to wisely invest resources to rebuild our Reserve.
Reasonable Commuting Distance
We must continue to minimize travel burden and maximize return on investment in local communities. We must structure our Reserve workforce to align individual’s skillsets to geographic regions where we can train, recruit and maintain them. By returning to a model where reservists live and serve locally, the service will save money and likely increase retention rates.
Increase Agility through Policy
The primary system to manage the Reserve Component routinely mirrors the structure of the Active Component. We must break away from cultural paradigms that limit our ability to most effectively manage the workforce.
I'm committed to building a corps of senior enlisted leaders who understand strategic goals, are knowledgeable of Reserve policy, and are able to leverage their networks to influence positive change. This includes Reserve-specific mentoring opportunities to develop the strategic thinkers and agents of change the Coast Guard Reserve Component needs.
Effecting thoughtful and worthwhile change takes time. Guided by our Core Values, we will continue to hone a Reserve Component that remains Semper Paratus FOR today’s challenges, relevant for tomorrow’s threats and responsive to the needs of our nation.
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