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BACK2016 Coast Guard Reserve National Award Summaries


Admiral Russell R. Waesche Award

This award is named after Admiral Russell R. Waesche who, while serving as Commandant, established the Coast Guard Reserve to bolster readiness during World War II. The award is presented annually by the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) of the United States of America in recognition of Districts, the Director of Operational Logistics (DOL) and Pacific Area-13 (PACAREA-13) for Port Security Units and Navy Coastal Riverine Force units that are judged to be most supportive of a totally integrated Coast Guard military force as demonstrated by its effective use and support of the Reserve Component during the previous fiscal year.

CATEGORY 1 (Districts with fewer than 600 reservists assigned): Congratulations to the Ninth Coast Guard District (D9).
Overcoming numerous challenges in FY16, which included funding constraints and billet moves, the Ninth District continued with steady improvement in participation rates and readiness levels. Ninth District reservists maintained an Active Duty Training (ADT) participation rate of 9%, increased Inactive Duty Training (IDT) participation from 90% to 93%, and increased overall readiness by 3.3%. During the busy summer boating season, reservists participating in the Summerstock program assisted in conducted 268 search and rescue operations and 1,361 vessel boardings, culminating in 3,121 underway hours. Working all summer alongside their active duty counterparts helped these reservists master their craft and prepare for future mobilizations. Sector Buffalo provided over 30 reservists who staffed crucial ICS positions during the 2016 Republican National Convention coordinating numerous local, state and federal resources to suavely execute security missions through the eight day event. The Ninth District’s continuing focus on operational readiness and competency assignment/attainment resulted in an increase in qualified personnel from 65% to 67% and an increase in certifications for PAL assigned competencies from 48% to 54%.

CATEGORY 2 (PACAREA-13, DOL, and Districts with 600 or more SELRES): Congratulations to the Pacific Area, Deployable Specialized Forces Support Branch (PAC-13).
In FY16, PAC-13 deployed two Port Security Units (PSUs) and five Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) members in direct support of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). Notably, in FY16 ongoing PSU support of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) expanded from partial unit to full unit deployments, increasing the number of in theater reservists from 75 to 115. In a pioneering effort, Coast Guard Pacific Area overcame numerous operational and administrative hurdles to transition responsibility of the seaward-facing defensive fighting positions in GTMO from the U.S. Army to the Coast Guard with PSU 307 becoming the first Coast Guard unit to staff these positions. PSU 307 and its assigned personnel distinguished themselves during their deployment to GTMO with the unit receiving the 2016 Reserve Family Readiness Award presented by the Department of Defense, one member selected as JTF Senior Enlisted Person of the Quarter, and 20 enlisted members recognized as JTF Motivators or the Week. Other integrated activities between Coast Guard PSUs and interagency partners included significant support of the annual BOLD ALLIGATOR exercise (PSU 305), JOINT LOGISTICS OVER THE SHORE exercise (PSU 311), and exercise PATRIOT HOOK (PSUs 309 and 311). Providing exceptional support, PAC-13 staff effectively managed training resources toward competency attainment and operational readiness spending 99.98% of the $3M allocated for Reserve training. Aggressive efforts to deobligate unused funds and timely reconciliations resulted in maximizing funding to the field.

Rear Admiral Bennett "Bud" Sparks Award formerly Total Force Award

This award is named after RADM Bennett “Bud” Sparks, who championed the integration of reserve and active duty workforces to achieve overall unit readiness. The award is presented annually by the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) of the United States of America to recognize the unit that is judged to be most supportive of an operationally ready Coast Guard Reserve force, as demonstrated by its effective use and support of the Reserve force during the previous fiscal year. CATEGORY 1 (Units with fewer than 100 SELRES):

CATEGORY 1 (Units with fewer than 100 reservists assigned): Congratulations to Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach.
The Station’s seamless integration and cooperation between their active duty and reserve forces served as a strong example for other units. Reservists assigned to Station Fort Myers Beach play an integral role in the unit’s ability to consistently maintain two ready boat crews across all missions and operations. A remarkable 92% of reserve members hold Boat Crew certifications and 84% are Boarding Officer of Boarding Team Member certified. Utilizing the Boat Forces Reserve Management Plan as a template to meet mobilization requirements for support of contingency operations, the Station was simultaneously building the skills of their reservists which allowed them to be integrated into all facets of station operations including using reservists every weekend of the year to staff a 24 hour “ready watch”. They also provided needed special training to different duty sections each month. This has not only allowed the station to fulfill their operational needs, but also to maintain the highest level of mission effectiveness and fostered unit cohesion. Using this model, reservists responded to the SAR alarm 33 times (22 of those activations were confirmed cases) resulting in 6 lives saved and 26 livers assisted. In addition reservists supported 64 boardings, two agency assists for boating under the influence and 10 terminated voyages due to safety or regulator non-compliance. Unit integration went beyond operations and included strong unit cohesion through whole unit morale events including picnics, holiday parties, Coast Guard Day festivities, and dependent children’s holiday party.

CATEGORY 2 (Units with 100 or more SELRES): Congratulations to Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay.
The Sector optimized operational readiness and superbly augmented Active duty during high profile events including the 2-16 Democratic National Convention (DNC), a National Special Security Event (NSSE). Notably, a Sector reserve LCDR planned and led the Coast Guard’s involvement in the 2016 DNC, culminating with a four day operation involving 33 boats and more than 200 personnel from nine agencies. Representing 29% of the Sector’s military workforce, reservists were fully integrated into the daily operations of the Sector, including the Sector’s Watch, Quarter and Station Bill. This fully integrated approach was essential to attaining a readiness score of 95.11%. Reservists at six stations served as the primary response crews for 15 SAR cases and completed more than 20 boardings. The reserve Sector Boarding Team integrated with active duty members to conduct seven Positive Control Measure evolutions, four boardings of High Interest Vessels, and three Force Protection evolutions. Reservists in the Incident Management Division augmented the severely short staffed active duty to gain proficiency in key competencies needed to stand more than 50 days of duty, responding to 12 pollution cases. In the Sector Command Center, reservists stood 107 watches coordinating 109 response cases resulting in 15 lives saved, 63 lives assisted, and $3.3M in property saved or assisted. Through an integrated approach to training and readiness the Sector was able to attain an impressive 30 Boarding Officers (10 more than FY15), 21 Boarding Team Members, 11 RBSII Coxswains, 34 RBSII Crewmen, and exceeded requirements by producing four RB-M crewmen and one RB-M Engineer.

Reserve Outstanding Junior Officer Award (ROJO)
The Reserve Officers Association (ROA) of the United States of America annually presents the Reserve Outstanding Junior Officer (ROJO) Award to the Coast Guard Reserve junior officer judged to exemplify those characteristics expected of an outstanding junior officer during the past fiscal year.

Congratulations to Lt Benjamin Gross of Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 309. LT Gross served as the unit’s Shoreside Security Division Officer and is responsible for unit physical security as well as coordination of port vulnerability threat assessments, plus identification of necessary manpower and equipment resources to implement effective port security measures. In addition to his primary duties, LT Gross also serves as eh unit Public Affairs Officer, Command Duty Officer, and Tactical Action Officer. LT Gross skillfully led all operational planning for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH, a National Special Security Event. Through extensive partnering and engagement, LT Gross expertly executed the planning process within the National Incident Management System framework while simultaneously developing a comprehensive OPORD addressing law enforcement, force protection and critical infrastructure protection. LT Gross’s planning was highly praised as it ensured agile tasking and allocation of resources in support of the U.S. Secret Service. Additionally, LT Gross served as the Shoreside Security Division chief planner for the first-ever Coast Guard element to participate in the Naval Expeditionary Combatant Commander’s Embarked Security Team (EST) training, evaluation and certification course. His dedicated leadership was instrumental in all sailors becoming EST certified in the CENTCOM/5th Fleet AOR. In his personal time, LT Gross participates in the Honda Mentorship Program for professional development of junior associates at his civilian employer, Honda North America. He is a spirited volunteer at his local high school athletic booster program raising over $7,000 for new sports team uniforms and is a volunteer youth athletic coach on multiple baseball and soccer teams. LT Gross’s approach as a lifelong learner is also laudable. He has completed numerous Coast Guard certifications and will soon complete his Certified Information Security Manager (CISSM) certification and is planning on enrolling in courses at the Naval War College in the very near future. His achievements, drive, and professionalism exemplify the best of what it means to be a dedicated and outstanding leader.
CG Reserve Chief Warrant Officer of the Year & CW4 Michael J. Novosel Award Nominee for the ROA
The Reserve Officers Association (ROA) of the United States of America annually presents the Reserve Outstanding Chief Warrant Officer of the Year Award to the Coast Guard Reserve Chief Warrant Officer (W-3 or below) who has made notable contributions to the Coast Guard and/or ROA, demonstrated leadership in civic and profession activities, and is dedicated to lifelong learning, training, and education. The Coast Guard Reserve Outstanding Chief Warrant Officer of the Year is also the Coast Guard Reserve nominee for the ROA’s CW4 Michael J. Novosel Award.

Congratulations to F&S2 Cynthia Oliver of Coast Guard Base Miami Beach. F&S2 Oliver is an energetic and caring leader whose infectious enthusiasm inspires others to reach their full potential through achievement of their personal, professional, and academic goals. As the Base Miami Beach Reserve Logistics Division Officer; she is responsible for the training and readiness of the reserve logistics staff. Additionally, she served as the Alternate Accountable Property Officer for over $31M in property, supervising 49 property custodians. Concurrent with this assignment, F&S2 Oliver volunteered for Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS) orders to Base Portsmouth where she designed and implemented customer service communication processes to meet the challenges of the newly commissioned Financial Management and Procurement Services Business Process Reengineering proof of concept. Despite the distance between her ADOS and Reserve assignments, she coordinated a regional South Florida Reserve All Hands with attendance by more than 200 reservists from more than four commands. Attending to the personal needs of others, F&S2 Oliver supported a person diagnosed with a permanent debilitating medical condition by providing over 100 hours of home care, facilitated access to Veteran’s Affairs resources, and supported Chief’s Mess home help and safety modifications. A lifelong learner, F&S2 Oliver holds a Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) certification, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) certification, and Program Financial Management Level II (PFM-II) certification. She is actively pursuing PFM-III and Project Management Professional certifications. She is also a Registered Nurse working primarily in Emergency Department settings and is pursuing a Master of Science –Nursing and Master of Business Administration. F&S2 Oliver sets the standard for professionalism and exemplifies the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect, and Develop to Duty by truly living up the creed of “service before self”.
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