Introducing the Boat Forces Reserve management project

This is the first post in a seven-part series on the implementation of the Boat Forces Reserve management plan. While this post provides an overview of the project, future posts will address: capability requirements, force laydown and composition updates, new competencies, the creation of contingency maintenance support elements, and an updated Reserve Readiness Cycle. Project team members will be available to respond to comments left below or you can email them your questions at

Boat Force Reserve logo. U.S. Coast Guard illustration.

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 plan 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.

Why the change?
Despite our best efforts to maintain mobilization readiness under the current system, a lack of clearly defined programmatic requirements leaves our readiness efforts unfocused resulting in an operationalcertification rate of 30 percent fleet wide. Reservists are often assigned to units lacking the resources to support their training, qualification, and professional development. Additionally, current competencies and currency cycles limit opportunities to contribute to unit missions. As a result, vital skills in our workforce are left untapped when they should be available to fill critical response gaps. The Boat Forces Reserve management plan was specifically designed to address these shortcomings and ensure our personnel are ready for operations.

What’s the plan?
Over the next five years, the Office of Boat Forces will execute a series of actions to ensure operational readiness across the program. First, we will establish a target goal through a capability requirement. Next, new Boat Forces Reserve competency and currency cycles will come online in January 2014. In 2015, the new Reserve Readiness Cycle will go into effect. Finally, we will gradually shift billets to move reservists into strategic locations that can fully support mobilization readiness and professional development.

How will I be affected?
This depends on who you are and where you are currently assigned. Personnel who we believe will be impacted by the plan will be directly contacted by their chain of command. Additional information will be available via message traffic, the Boat Forces website and the Coast Guard All Hands blog.

We believe the Boat Forces Reserve management plan 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.

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