Greetings from the nation’s capital… Another year is in the books; bring on 2012!! I offer a hearty welcome back to work for those who enjoyed some well-deserved rest during the holidays. As many of you know, the DCMS enterprise remained in full swing throughout the festive season. Since the fall issue of Service Lines, we have stood up Base Portsmouth, Base Elizabeth City, Base Cleveland, Base Honolulu and Base New Orleans. We will continue to expand our sphere of Coast Guard mission support through the projected stand up of bases Alameda, Los Angeles-Long Beach, National Capital Region, Boston, Ketchikan and Kodiak between now and May. As you can see, this year already promises to be extremely busy and productive.
First, everyone’s favorite topic…uniforms! ALCOAST 035/12 describes the wear of the new operational dress uniform (ODU) utility jacket. Since the release of that message I have received many questions regarding the literal meaning and intent of the guidance provided. I’ll attempt to clarify. The ODU utility jacket is now the issued liner for the Foul Weather Parka II and may be worn as a standalone jacket with ODUs. Additionally, the FWPII remains authorized as outer wear as prescribed by the commandant and local instruction. As a reminder, the Coast Guard paid every enlisted member about $94 to purchase this REQUIRED sea bag item; therefore you MUST own the ODU utility jacket. The previously purchased fleece liners remain optional uniform items that may ONLY be worn inside of the FWPII. Look at it like this, leather shoes are the issued (e.g., required) sea bag item, corfam shoes are an optional uniform item authorized to be worn at your commanding officer’s discretion.
Close behind the demonstrated interest in the ODU utility jacket is interest in unit ball caps. The hue and cry from the field has been, “Where are they, and when will they be delivered?” Cutting straight to the chase here, there was a sizing certification issue that delayed the delivery of unit ball caps. All of the Coast Guard ball cap manufacturers had to be re-certified to ensure proper sizing. You may recall in the initial orders, a large Coast Guard ball cap was really a LARGE ball cap. Some even jokingly said, “The larges were big enough to fit on tree stumps.” The Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) system has begun reaching out to units that ordered unit ball caps to revalidate their orders and adjust the numbers and sizes for each accordingly. Rest assured; there is NO conspiracy lurking in the background. As always the CGX wants to ensure that they are delivering a quality product to the field.
Shifting from uniforms to ongoing project initiatives, ALCOAST 025/12 announced that Career Retention Screening Panel 2012 will be conducted on or about June 18, 2012. More detailed information was released in ALCGENL 007/12. In the vast majority of cases, every question that anyone could possibly ask about CRSP 2012 can be answered in the Frequently Asked Questions section. If you cannot find the answer to your question there, do not hesitate to send an e-mail.
The active duty and reserve gold badge command master chiefs (CMCs) met January 23-28 in Training Center Petaluma. In addition to receiving updates from Coast Guard headquarters program managers regarding initiatives that may impact the enlisted workforce, the CMCs briefed the various projects that they are working on. Using that information, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt defined objectives for the upcoming year and clearly stated the way ahead including measures and milestone requirements. The following CMC projects were briefed: CMC Leilani Cale-Jones discussed the Enlisted Evaluations Project, CMC Steven Cantrell talked about the combined People Plan Project, and I provided information on the Assignment Priority Project. Each project is heading toward a final recommendation from the MCPOCG, where he will endorse projects and submit them to Coast Guard senior leadership for consideration and possible promulgation. Unfortunately, I am not able to provide specifics on any of the recommendations submitted due to the possibility that they may be changed or rejected. Always keep in mind, what initially goes into the system does not always reflect what comes out of the system. Nothing is official until it is finally signed!
If you have suggestions for topics or themes for this Service Lines magazine column send them my way. I want it to write about what you want to read about.
Command Master Chief
“Shipmates rarely fail alone…unless left alone.”