“Coast Guard launches new Lateral Entry initiative” –MyCG

Masked members of the cutter James crew and Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz (front, center), along with interagency partners, stand among interdicted narcotics at Port Everglades, Florida, on June 9. U.S. COAST GUARD / Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray

Just passing this along from MyCG. Note that one of the three ratings included in the program is culinary specialists (CS), reflecting the apparent cronic shortage in the rating. Presumably we are short electrician’s mates (EM), and health service technicians (HS) as well.


Coast Guard launches new Lateral Entry initiative

By Zach Shapiro, MyCG Writer, Nov. 17, 2022

The Coast Guard is launching a new Lateral Entry Beta Test initiative to fill key gaps in the workforce. As part of the Commandant’s intent to transform the total workforce, the Lateral Entry Working Group (LEWG) has developed a new, smooth, and streamlined process to recruit, train, and place candidates with matching skillsets and suitable military experience into critical roles in the service in fiscal year 2023 (FY23). The LEWG used the Maritime Operational Threat Response (MOTR) Protocols to develop the Lateral Entry Determination Calls (LEDC) Protocols to govern the process.

“The intent is to bring quality applicants into the Coast Guard at a grade commiserate with their existing skillsets,” said Command Master Chief Petty Officer Edward Lewis of Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM). This new process will create accountability, foster collaboration, and build a tailored training program that will help the Coast Guard meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond.

For Lewis and the Working Group, balancing the need for new recruits with preserving the age-old values of the Coast Guard is paramount. “Our fundamental goal is to protect the culture of the Coast Guard,” Lewis emphasized.  “However, we must seek new methods of accession, training, and managing, talent that preserve our competitive edge as an employer of choice.

The LEWG is focusing on filling key roles to strengthen the service. “We are trying to ensure that our workforce can meet missions. We’re looking hard at places where we are shorthanded,” Lewis added. “The recruiting effort is really going to be driven by critical ratings,” including culinary specialist (CS), electrician’s mate (EM), and health service technician (HS). Depending on the outcome of this pilot program, other ratings may be added to this priority list in the future.

The new lateral entry determination protocols will be evaluated regularly throughout FY23.

If you have any questions, please contact Russell Kirkham at Russell.A.Kirkham@uscg.mil or 202-795-6848.

Resources: 

“The Coast Guard Must Take Action to Send Women Afloat” –USNI

The US Naval Institute blog has a post entitled “The Coast Guard Must Take Action to Send Women Afloat, writen by Cadet Second Class Kyra Holmstrup, U.S. Coast Guard, who said that she was fortunate to spend a long summer cruise on a National Security Cutter but noted her experience was the exception.

Third-class summer is vital to future career selection in the Coast Guard. Without having gone afloat on an NSC, I would not be at CGA today. Seeing the world from the bridge helped me identify the reason why I joined and solidified the leadership lessons I learned as they guide me through my 200-week leadership journey. If this is not addressed now, our service risks losing the diversity and relevance the Coast Guard has so desperately worked to attain. To the senior leaders at CGA and in the Coast Guard: Make it a priority to send female cadets afloat for summer assignments and provide cadets with opportunities to experience different underway platforms. The focus should be on providing prospective female officers with earlier exposure to the afloat community starting at CGA with cadets like me. Not enough female cadets experience adequate time on board cutters early on in their careers; if female cadets did, the Coast Guard would see an increase in the number that go and—more importantly—stay afloat.

Earlier USNI had another post,“Fixing the Coast Guard Academy’s Priorities” that we discussed here. It appears all cadets, not just female cadets, are not getting enough experience afloat with operational units.

Our credibility in all mission areas is predicated on our experience as a seagoing organization. All Coasties, particularly officers, need at least some experience afloat.

Updated: “Navy Used 16-Year-Old Law Made to Boost Army Recruiting to Raise Enlistment Age for Sailors” –USNI

The US Naval Institute’s News Service reports,

The Navy will now allow men and women up to age 41 to enlist in the service, a new change in policy for which it has the Army to thank.

Under the change, made by Navy Recruiting Command this month, the new maximum age for Navy recruits is 41, as long as the person enlisting can report to training before their 42nd birthday, according to the new policy.

Don’t think it would hurt the Coast Guard to follow this policy change.

Update: The Coast Guard has raised the age limit. See the Comments.

“Making Space for Women Aboard Coast Guard Cutters Helps with Retention, Careers” –Seapower

BM3 Hailey LaRue of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Wire in Saugerties, New York, in 2021. LaRue was able to serve on the Wire after Senior Chief Petty Officer Ramona Mason worked with service officials to create extra rack space. U.S. COAST GUARD / Daniel Henry

The Navy League’s on-line Magazine, Seapower, reports on Coast Guard efforts to open additional afloat billets to enlisted women.

“Today more women are remaining in our service lon­ger,” Schultz said in his annual State of the Coast Guard speech in 2022. “Today we have 375 more women in the service at the critically important E6/E7 and O-4 mid-grade leadership ranks than we had five years ago in 2017… that’s a 28% increase of women at these mid-ca­reer pay grades, and a trend that outpaces their male counterparts.”

“A Community at Sea: Building Up the Cuttermen” –USNI

Masked members of the cutter James crew and Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz (front, center), along with interagency partners, stand among interdicted narcotics at Port Everglades, Florida, on June 9. U.S. COAST GUARD / Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray

The US Naval Institute Proceedings June 2022 issue includes an article that looks at how the retention and training of afloat personnel might be improved. There are a number of suggestions here including ending the up or out convention, lessons from the CG aviation community, and maritime credentialing.

“Coast Guard Academy graduates record number of officers” –CGA news release

Coast Guard Academy 141st Commencement Exercises May 18, 2022. The Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Mr. David Lau)

This is about twice as large as my graduating class, 53 years ago. Interesting class composition including international students and first cyber systems graduates. 

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Coast Guard Academy graduates record number of officers

Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy during the 141st Commencement Exercises May 18, 2022. The Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Thieme) Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy during the 141st Commencement Exercises May 18, 2022. The Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Thieme) Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy during the 141st Commencement Exercises May 18, 2022. The Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Mr. David Lau)
Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy during the 141st Commencement Exercises May 18, 2022. The Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Mr. David Lau) Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy during the 141st Commencement Exercises May 18, 2022. The Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Thieme) Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy during the 141st Commencement Exercises May 18, 2022. The Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Mr. David Lau)

Editors’ Note: Click on images to download high resolution version.

NEW LONDON, Conn. — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students with keynote speaker Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance during the 141st Commencement Exercises Wednesday, May 18.

The Class of 2022 consisted of 87 cadets from underrepresented minority groups including the largest number of Asian American and Pacific Islanders to graduate in Academy history.

This year also marked the second highest number of cadets to commission into the Coast Guard in addition to 21 Cyber Systems graduates, the first to graduate from the newly instituted major to meet the needs of the service’s cybersecurity strategy of defending cyber space, enabling operations, and protecting infrastructure.

The new officers will begin to serve as leaders in a variety of operational roles throughout the Coast Guard, mostly on cutters.

Nine graduating international cadets from the countries of Cambodia, Iceland, Jordan, Mexico, Madagascar, Palau, Panama, Rwanda and the Ukraine will serve in their respective countries of origin.

“We view our cadets as our eyes and ears and hands and hearts, wherever you serve,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “You are doing the critical work — you will be doing the critical work to protect our country, to advance our interests, and to shape the trajectory of world affairs.”

Founded in 1876, the Coast Guard Academy is one of the five U.S. service academies and is ranked among the nation’s most prestigious and selective institutions of higher learning.

“Ready Work Force 2030” –MyCG

180710-N-CW570-1068
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (July 10, 2018) U.S. Coast Guardsmen assigned to Regional Dive Locker Pacific conduct diving operations during a decontaminated water diving symposium at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, July 10, 2018. Twenty-five nations, 46 ships, five submarines, about 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 27 to Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security of the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez/Released)

The following was lifted from MyCG. The document is linked in the announcement but I am adding my own link here if you want to go directly.

I always get a bit nervous when the word “transformation” is used, but I am sure everyone would agree that the personnel management system could be improved. One thing that always bothered me, was that the evaluation system for officers always seemed to require that every officer be “well rounded.” Sure that is nice, but you really only have to be really good at one thing to be useful, and a lot of talented people were lost because they were not well rounded. The word “evaluation” is used only once in the document and fitness reports not at all. But even so, the document suggests we should see much greater flexibility–Check out page eleven. 


May 16, 2022

Coast Guard announces RW30 – our workforce transformation plan

By Kara Noto, MyCG Staff

The Coast Guard has released a strategy for revolutionizing how we build, develop and manage our tremendously talented force in the coming decades. Ready Workforce 2030 (RW30) challenges the service to be inspiring, agile, adaptive and efficient as we strive to maintain our competitive edge in an increasingly dynamic labor market.

“Change must be revolutionary, pervasive and transformative,” Adm. Karl L. Schultz writes in the new strategy.

The strategy calls for more career flexibility, training and learning options. The primary lines of effort are:

  • Transform how we recruit, hire, and retain our workforce
  • Modernize training systems and delivery
  • Provide world-class member support

“Conditions of service that I accepted 41 years ago when I entered the Coast Guard Academy are no longer acceptable to our workforce,” said Vice Commandant Linda Fagan. “We must take decisive action to think differently and redefine our assumptions to transform our talent management system so there is more flexibility built in to make it easier for those who want to serve.”

Adm. Fagan, Vice Adm. Paul Thomas and Command Master Chief Jahmal Pereira joined Adm. Schultz this week to share the plan with leaders from the enlisted, officer, and civilian workforce programs.

They made clear that the Coast Guard can change as quickly as service culture will permit. “This is going to take cultural change,” Fagan said. “It’s going to create some discomfort. But RW30 will help us create the workforce we need.”

Fagan emphasized that our core values will remain our greatest strength. “The sense of belonging, the team, the camaraderie – that’s what we offer as an employer.”

Potential RW30 initiatives include:

  • Assignment or billet-banding management processes to increase career growth and flexibility.
  • Programs to promote and reward talent development
  • A “no-penalty opt-out” for consideration by a promotion board for members in the process of changing specialties or addressing acute work-life issues
  • Non-monetary, incentives-based reenlistment alternatives similar to those available in the private sector.

“We’re building and revising policies for OUR Coast Guard,” Fagan said. “We’re all invested.”

As RW30 planning gets underway, MyCG will share regular updates along with opportunities for you to help shape the transformation.

“A Sea Service Gone Ashore” –USNI

The crew of USCGC Kimball (WMSL 756) arrive in Honolulu for the first time Dec. 22, 2018. Known as the Legend-class, NSCs are designed to be the flagships of the Coast Guard’s fleet, capable of executing the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir/Released)

The US Naval Institute Proceedings’ December issue includes an article by LCdr. Karen Love Kutkiewicz, USCG, discussing the problems of motivating people toward sea duty, both now and in the future, when sea duty billets are expected to constitute a higher percentage of Coast Guard personnel.

The article has a couple charts that are particularly interesting. The first shows the growth in cutter billets and associated direct support.

The fleet has had some ups and downs and while we may be seeing a percentage rise currently, I suspect that there were periods in the past, when the Coast Guard was even smaller, when seagoing billets were at a higher percentage than currently projected for 2037 (really more like 2039 now). When I reported to the Academy in 1965, we had 36 WHECs and several icebreakers.

Still looking at the recent past, since we are adding both afloat billets and direct support billets, which will be in large part billets that require seagoing experience, while the rest of the service remains essentially stable, this does look like a substantial change in the overall percentage of coasties going to sea.

The second showing the assignment year 2021 command slots to be filled and number of applicants.

I would not think it surprising that there is more competition for Command Ashore positions because, while only officers with an afloat background compete for Command Afloat, those same officers, as well as essentially the rest of the officer corps, compete for command ashore billets, and at the O3/O4 level there are very few command ashore billets. Looking at the O3/O4 Afloat Command line, are 91 applicants for 53 positions adequately competitive? Could be.

The post seems to be most concerned about O3/O4 command billets, but really, I see more of a problem in motivating personnel to fill department head and XO billets in the O3-O5 level. Will they ever get a shot at command afloat when up against those who were given early command?

This is not the first article bemoaning the loss of sea going experience.

Apparently one thing we have done, is open O3 command billets to Warrant Officers. Maybe, if we are not doing so already, we should consider opening O3 department head billets to Warrants as well.

Something else we might do, is reorganize at least some support functions into squadron commands, staffed by experienced seagoing personnel, including post-command squadron commanders. These commands (Area commands for the largest ships and District commands for WPC and WPBs) could mentor the ships’ COs and crews. In addition, they would be in an excellent position, to make fair evaluations of their performance. Additionally, they could be the source to fill short term shortages in essential billets.

To keep things in perspective. I would note that, while the Coast Guard has only about an eighth of the number of active-duty military personnel as the Navy, the Coast Guard has almost as many military command afloat billets (excluding Military Sealift vessels commanded by civilians), and far more at a junior level.

“Swimming in Inequality” –USNI

MOBILE, Ala. Ð Rescue swimmers from Coast Guard Aviation Center Mobile show Luke Wiedeman how to properly inflate his life jacket, Nov. 7, 2011. Crewmembers from ATC Mobile worked with the Mobile chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help Luke realize his dream of becoming a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Luke was able to take part in training with the swimmers, navigate high-tech flight simulators and participate in a search and rescue demonstration. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

The US Naval Institute blog has a short entry that discusses what was, to me. an unrecognized barrier to more equal racial representation in the Coast Guard–the swim standard for OCS.

“… 70 percent of Black children are unable to swim and 60 percent of Latino children are unable to swim. Of the Black and Latino children that say they are able to swim, there also is a large portion that are self-taught swimmers. In comparison, it is estimated that only 40 percent of Caucasian children are unable to swim.”

Was also surprised to see the large disparity in representation between the Navy and Coast Guard.

“As it stands right now, 5.5 percent of commissioned Coast Guard officers are Black, and only 13.5 percent are minorities in total. It is possible that qualified minority candidates see the swimming standards as impossible obstacles to overcome.”

“As of 2017, the Navy reached 34 percent of minority officer representation.”

Sounds like we have a self imposed barrier to recruiting some good people. Certainly swimming is a desirable ability, but do we apply the same standard to all Coastguardsmen? Does the Navy apply it to their incoming personnel? Can we do something to provide this skill to those who do not come to us with the ability?

ALCOAST 098/19 COMDTNOTE 1321 SUBJ: WOMEN’S RETENTION STUDY AND HOLISTIC ANALYSIS

Below you will find an ALCOAST regarding the Women’ Retention Study.

united states coast guard

R 291500 MAR 19
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//DCMS//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLAS//N01321//
ALCOAST 098/19
COMDTNOTE 1321

SUBJ: WOMEN’S RETENTION STUDY AND HOLISTIC ANALYSIS UPDATE TWO
A. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 180851 DEC 18/ALCOAST 419/18
B. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 011425 JUN 18/ALCOAST 214/18
C. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 161410 FEB 18/ALCOAST 068/18
D. Coast Guard Strategic Plan 2018-2022

1. Background. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (CG-127), in partnership with the RAND Corporation’s Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), have completed the Women’s Retention Study and Holistic Analysis (WRSHA). As part of the study, RAND convened regional focus groups across the Coast Guard, and thanks to the outstanding support from participants and unit leadership, a total of 1,010 women and 127 men participated in 191 focus groups. The level of participation and response from the field yielded comprehensive feedback that provided vital insight into the study.

2. Final Report. The findings and recommendations have been released and the full study can be found at: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2770.html. Breaking down barriers to retention and creating an inclusive workplace is an all-hands on deck effort. The report does indicate that sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other cultural concerns continue to exist within our Service. These behaviors are inconsistent with our core values, and have no place in the Coast Guard. I strongly encourage all members to read the report and discuss the findings at your upcoming Leadership and Diversity Advisory Council (LDAC) meetings and in other similar venues.

3. RAND Research Methods. The research team used quantitative statistical analysis, reviewed studies and trends across the civilian sector and the Department of Defense (DoD), and gathered qualitative insight through focus groups with our active-duty workforce. The focus groups provided enhanced understanding of the data and potential barriers to female retention. They also included a sample of active-duty men to understand male perspectives on retention and to assess whether certain factors are unique to women or are broad-based workforce retention barriers.

4. RAND Findings. The research team identified three factors that most prominently influenced female retention:

a. Work Environment: Leadership, Gender Bias and Discrimination, Weight Standards, Sexual Harassment and Assault, and Workload and Resource Issues.
b. Career Concerns: Advancement, Assignments, and Civilian Opportunities.
c. Personal Life Concerns: Spouses, Children, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, and Other Personal Life Factors.

5. RAND Recommendations. Based on the findings, the study proposed recommendations for initiatives aimed at improving female retention in the Coast Guard and addressing barriers contributing to the retention gender gap. These recommended initiatives are intended to address concerns from all female members, regardless of marital and parental status. In many cases, they will have broad-reaching effects that impact our entire workforce. RAND recommendations fall under three overarching categories: 

a. Update Coast Guard Personnel Management Systems to Better Meet the Needs of the Coast Guard’s Current and Future Workforce.
b. Develop and Implement a Communication Plan to Ensure All Members Are Aware of Relevant Policies and Priorities and Strengthen Leadership Education to Foster Inclusive Work Environments.
c. Promote Accountability and Monitor Effectiveness by Establishing and Tracking Relevant Metrics.

6. PRTF. In January 2019, the Personnel Readiness Task Force (PRTF) began their work at Coast Guard Headquarters. Consistent with the Commandant’s Strategic Intent to “Maximize Readiness Today and Tomorrow,” this study and the PRTF are part of the ongoing effort to recruit, train, support, and retain a Mission Ready Total Workforce that reflects the diversity and best talent of our Nation. Chartered by the Vice Commandant, this nine-member team will remain in place until August 2020 and will serve as workforce advocates for the organization. As announced by the Commandant in his State of the Coast Guard Address, the PRTF and the Coast Guard’s Senior Leadership team will explore forward-leaning policy changes to address the recommendations of the Women’s Retention Study, including using surge staffing to backfill members on parental leave, easing the existing tattoo policy, removing the single parent disqualifiers, and revising outdated weight standards that disproportionally affect women. The PRTF will provide the workforce regular communication on their progress to action this study and their efforts to improve organizational readiness.

7. Other Implementation Actions. In addition to addressing the above recommendations, the PRTF will also address the key study findings of leadership, gender bias and discrimination, and sexual harassment and assault as they develop implementation actions. Additionally, in June 2018, senior leadership launched a collection of initiatives, Early Action Items (EAIs), to address issues of greatest importance to our people. As just a few examples, we have aligned co-location tour completion dates for O4/E6 and below, instituted deferment options of TDY/TAD for one year post-partum, and removed gender specific pronouns and member names from OERs and EERs. The EAIs were our decisive first step in ensuring our service is Ready, Relevant, and Responsive to meet the needs of the nation.

8. POC. Direct questions about the WRSHA to COMDT (CG-127) at: 2018randstudy@uscg.mil.

9. VADM M. McAllister, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, sends.

10. Internet release is authorized. Additional information on the study can be found at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2770.html