Monday, May 23, 2005

Looking into a crystal ball to see the way ahead

Glancing into my crystal ball, attempting to discern the future, I saw the following...
THE RESERVE STRATEGIC EMPLOYMENT WORKING GROUP HAS RECENTLY COMPLETED ITS WORK AND HAS AFFIRMED THAT THE CGR’S FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE IS TO BE PREPARED FOR, AND THEN MOBILIZE IN SUPORT OF, OUR HOMELAND SECURITY AND NATIONAL DEFENSE MISSIONS. THIS AFFIRMATION IS CONSISTENT WITH OUR RELIANCE ON OUR RESERVISTS, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD, TO CARRY OUT THESE MISSIONS SINCE 9/11.

TO ENSURE THAT OUR RESERVE FORCES ARE AS READY AS POSSIBLE, THE CG IS INTITIATING A SERIES OF ACTIONS OVER THE COMING YEAR THAT WILL BOTH INSTITUTIONALIZE THIS FOCUS AND IMPROVE THE CG'S ABILITY TO CARRY OUT OUR HOMELAND SECURITY AND NATIONAL DEFENSE MISSIONS.

THE CONTINGENCY PERSONNEL REQUIREMENTS LIST (CPRL) DELINEATES WHAT THE COAST GUARD DETERMINED TO BE THE STAFFING REQUIREMENTS TO CARRY OUT OUR DOMESTIC HOMELAND SECURITY AND NATIONAL DEFENSE MISSIONS. IN MOST INSTANCES, THE RESERVE COMPONENT IS THE LOGICAL STAFFING SOURCE FOR THE CPRL. HOWEVER THE CPRL REQUIREMENTS EXCEEDS AVAILABLE RESERVE FORCES BY A FACTOR OF 2 TO 1. GIVEN THE BUDGETARY OUTLOOK, IT WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE TO GROW THE SIZE OF THE CGR IN THE NEAR TERM TO COVER THIS GAP. THEREFORE, THE CG MUST APPLY AVAILABLE RESERVE FORCES TO THE POINT OF GREATEST RETURN (AND THEN DETERMINE HOW TO ADDRESS THE REMAINING STAFFING REQUIREMENTS). TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, THE CG WILL PRIORITZE THE CPRL AND REALIGN THE RPAL TO STAFF THE HIGHEST PRIORITY CPRL REQUIREMENTS.

IN PRIORITIZING THE CPRL, THE CG WILL BE GUIDED BY THE PORT PRIORITIZATIONS PREVIOUSLY IDENTIFIED.

IN REALLOCATING THE RPAL, THE CG WILL ALIGN THE RPAL BILLETS WITH THOSE CPRL REQUIREMENTS THAT CAN ONLY BE MET BY TRAINED, READY MILITARY PERSONNEL. WHILE OUR GOAL IS TO HAVE RPAL BILLETS COLLOCATED WITH THE ASSOCIATED CPRL REQUIREMENT, THIS WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE IN ALL CASES AS THERE ARE BOTH TRAINING AND STAFFING CONSTRAINTS THAT MUST BE CONSIDERD.

DISTRICTS/MLCA WILL REVIEW THEIR CPRLS AND IDENTIFY ANY INSTANCE WHERE THEIR COMMANDS DO NOT HAVE THE TRAINING CAPACITY TO TRAIN/MAINTAIN QUALIFICATIONS FOR ANY/ALL OF PERSONNEL CALLED FOR IN THE CPRL.

AREAS WILL DEVELOP A STRAWMAN FOR REALIGNING THE RPAL.

GETTING THE OPTIMAL BILLET STRUCTURE IN PLACE IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP IN IMPROVING THE READINESS OF OUR RESERVE FORCE. THE NEXT STEPS WILL BE FULLY STAFFING THE UPDATED BILLET STRUCTURE AND THEN TRAINING/MAINTAINING THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ASSIGNED RESERVISTS. WHILE SOME ACTIONS TO ATTAIN THIS GOAL CAN NOT BE TAKEN UNTIL THE NEW STRUCTURE IS IN PLACE, THERE ARE ACTIONS THAT CAN BE TAKEN NOW THAT WILL BOTH IMPROVE OUR NEAR TERM READINESS AND BETTER POSITION US TO ACHIEVE OUR END GOAL OF HAVING A FULLY STAFFED/TRAINED RESERVE WORKFORCE.

OUR CURRENT SELRES WORKFORCE INCLUDES A SIGNIFICENT NUMBER OF PERSONNEL WHO ARE CHRONIC NON-PARTICIPANTS; THE INCLUSION OF THESE PERSONNEL IS PROBLEMATIC ON SEVERAL FRONTS. WHILE ENFORCING PARTICIPATION STANDARDS IS A CMD RESPONSIBILITY, THE PROBLEM IS LARGE ENOUGH THAT I AM TASKING MLCA TO TAKE THE LEAD IN COORDINATING THE EFFORT TO REMOVE THESE PERSONNEL FROM THE CGR.

ALL SELRES PERSONNEL WHO EARNED LESS THAN 35 PARTICIPATION POINTS IN BOTH FY03 AND 04 WILL BE REMOVED FROM RPAL BILLETS IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY THESE POSITIONS AS VACANT IN THE BUILDING OF THE FY06 RECRUITING PLAN.

ALL SELRES PERSONNEL WHO EARNED LESS THAN 35 PARTICIPATION POINTS IN BOTH FY04 AND 05 WILL BE REMOVED FROM RPAL BILLETS.

CMDS WILL ACTIVELY MONITOR/MANAGE THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR ASSIGNED RESERVISTS ON AN ON-GOING BASIS AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION WHERE NEEDED TO ENFORCE THE STANDARDS/REMOVE PERSONNEL FROM THE SELRES WHO WILL NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS. ADT/IDT PERFORMANCE WILL BE ONE OF THE FUTURE METRICS IN ASSESSING CMD READINESS/PERFORMANCE.

EARLY INDICATIONS ARE THE CPRL PRIORITIZATION/RPAL REALIGNMENT WILL RESULT IN CHANGES TO THE COMPOSITION OF OUR RESERVE WORKFORCE. THE WORKFORCE WILL BE MORE CONCENTRATED IN THE OPERATIONAL RATINGS (BM, MK, MST, OS, PS). GIVEN THE ANTICIPATED BILLET VACANCIES FROM REMOVING NON-PERFORMERS AND THE CURRENT STAFFING SHORTFALLS IN THESE RATINGS, CG RC’S FOCUS IN FY06 TO BE EXCLUSIVELY ON RECRUITING PERSONNEL FOR PSU VACANCIES (AS PSU STAFFING REMAINS #1 PRIORITY) AND VACANCIES IN THESE RATINGS. THE CG MAY CHANGE THE CURRENT GUIDANCE REGARDING ACCEPTING AD RELADS INTO THE SELRES. GIVEN THE GEOGRAPHIC CONSTRAINTS THAT GOVERN RESERVE ASSIGNEMENTS, RELADS WHO CANNOT BE ASSIGNED TO AN RPAL BILLET SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO AGREE TO A LATERAL CHANGE IN RATING AS A CONDITION FOR ASSIGNING THEM TO THE SELRES.

IN ADDITION TO AND PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN THE OVER ALL PERSONNEL SHORTFALLS IN THE OPERATIONAL RATING, THE CGR HAS SIGNIFICANT SHORTAGES AT THE E-5/6 LEVEL IN THE BM, MK, MST AND OS RATINGS. BOTH AREA COMMANDERS HAVE RAISED THE FOCUS ON THIS PROBLEM AND MADE A NUMBER OF RECOMMNEDATIONS ON WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP REMEDY THE PROBLEM. NONE OF THE SOLUTIONS OFFERED PROVIDE A QUICK FIX. CMD ATTN AND ACTION, PARTICULARLY BY OUR SENIOR ENLISTED MEMBERS, IS NEEDED TO HELP THE MOVE THE OVERAGES OF E-4’S IN THESE RATINGS ALONG IN THEIR CAREERS AND TURN THEM INTO TOMORROW’S MID-GRADE AND SENIOR PETTY OFFICERS.

CLEARLY, ONCE THE RIGHT PERSON IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE, THE CG THEN HAS TO FOCUS ON ENSURING THEY ARE TRAINED TO DO THE TASK DEFINED BY THEIR RPAL/CPRL BILLET. THE CRPL QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND THE MEMBER’S CURRENTLY HELD QUALIFICATIONS ARE CURRENTLY NOT LINKED/READILY VISISIBLE. OVER THE NEXT YEAR, THE CG WILL WORK TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS A SINGLE, READILY AVAILABLE REPORT SHOWING BOTH THE QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED AND HELD BY THE MEMBER ASSIGNED TO THE BILLET, LIKELY IN THE READINESS MANAGMENT SYSTEM.

A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO MANY OF THE ABOVE ISSUES HAS BEEN OUR FOCUS. THE METRICS THE CG HAS USED FOR THE RESERVE WORKFORCE TO DATE HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVE IN NATURE, I.E., HAS THE MEMBER COMPLETED THEIR ANNUAL SCREENING QUESTIONAIRE, DOES THE MEMBER HAVE A CURRENT MEDICAL AND DENTAL EXAM. WHILE THESE METRICS HAVE SOME VALUE AND CONSIDERABLE ADMINISTRATIVE PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE, THEY ARE NOT AS CRITICAL TO THE READINESS OF THE FORCE AS ARE THE MORE BASIC ISSUES OF DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT NUMBER/TYPES OF ACTIVELY PARTICIAPATING PERSONNEL IN THE RIGHT PLACES WHO POSSESS THE QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO THE JOB WHEN MOBILIZED. THE COAST GUARD WILL DEVELOP DASHBOARD GAUGES THAT DISPLAY THESE BASIC MEASURES BY THIS FALL. THIS DASHBOARD INFORMATION WILL THEN BE REVIEWED/ACTED ON AT LEAST ONCE A QTR AT EACH LEVEL OF THE CHAIN OF CMD.
Hmmm... Lump all this with the recent select and directs to staff the PSU and I see continued changes in the months and years to come. This is not the Coast Guard Reserve I joined 25 years ago...

1 comment:

  1. Peter,
    Methinks it's time for the IRR or RET-2. ;-)
    --Rick

    ReplyDelete