This is the final post in a seven-part series on the implementation of the Boat Forces Reserve management plan. This post provides specific information to assist senior enlisted reserve advisors and reserve training petty officers through the transition process. Project team members will be available to respond to comments left below or you can email them your questions at BoatForcesReserve@uscg.mil.
Written by Lt. David Ruhlig, Office of Boat Forces.
The Office of Boat Forces, in close coordination with the Office of Reserve Affairs, is implementing a new Boat Forces Reserve management project to support mobilization readiness for Boat Forces reservists. The plan lays out clearly defined readiness requirements, standardizes reserve PALs at stations and introduces new Boat Forces Reserve competencies to ensure reservists are ready and capable to effectively conduct boat operations in support of Coast Guard missions.
Senior enlisted reserve advisors currently advise unit commanders on matters of Boat Forces Reserve policy, administration, professional development and general training. The standard PAL now includes a new position, the Reserve Training Petty Officer, to better support mobilization readiness and operational qualifications. The RTPO is a chief boatswain’s mate billet. RTPOs are required to be coxswain qualified and must hold an incident command system Division/Group Supervisor competency for contingency response operations.
Why the change?
The intricacies of boat operations qualifications require a high level of detail and attention to the process. Units will now have a single person, familiar with the system, dedicated to ensuring boat crews are properly trained and certified in support of mobilization requirements. This allows the SERA to focus on administering the reserve workforce and ensuring all other facets of mobilization readiness and professional development are addressed. To better understand the relationship, you might think of the SERA as a “Reserve XPO” and the RTPO as a “Reserve Ops.” Units that have already adopted this concept in practice show a certification rate more than double the fleetwide average.
Once mobilized, the service needs experienced and capable responders to help oversee contingency boat operations. The intent is for RTPOs to act as Division/Group Supervisors in an ICS construct to ensure boat resources are properly employed and managed during response operations.
What’s the plan?
PALs will be adjusted over the next five years to reflect the new position as part of the overall force laydown and composition process.
Unit RTPOs will report to their unit SERA, unless otherwise directed by the unit commander.
How will I be affected?
We believe the Boat Forces Reserve management project will fundamentally transform the operational readiness of our reserve force by increasing your opportunities to contribute when we need you. A ready reserve force means a better prepared Coast Guard. We know you want to be ready and we’re here to support you. Please stay engaged with your unit as we roll out this new process and feel free to leave your comments or questions below.