OSMS and You: Reserve Program Administrator

This blog post is the 30th in a series of posts highlighting the various specialties and subspecialties offered by the recently launched Officer Specialty Management System. Stay tuned as we share key information about each specialty/subspecialty in the coming weeks!

Written by Cmdr. Alexander Foos, Reserve Programs Division, Chief



What is a Reserve Program Administrator?

Reserve Program Administrators, RPAs, are specialists who fill an essential role in managing the Coast Guard Reserve Program. RPAs are Reserve officers on full-time active duty for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing and training members of the Reserve Component, RC.

RPAs optimize efficiency for mobilization/augmentation planning to enhance readiness, facilitate reserve resources and serve as effective advocates and providers to meet the needs of the RC. In this role, RPAs are assigned at all levels of the organization to develop and implement policy, manage personnel and financial resources, and perform personnel management functions to ensure readiness to respond to surge operations.


How do you to obtain the NAP-14 officer specialty code?

The NAP-14 officer specialty code is restricted to officers designated as “permanent” RPAs.

Active duty or reserve officers interested in entering the RPA corps must apply for designation as a “provisional” RPA. Selection involves a rigorous application process starting with a comprehensive record review by a Board of Officers at the Coast Guard Personnel Command, CG PSC, typically in October. Primary selectees from this phase of the process are then invited back in December for a personal interview with the same Board of Officers. The final list of selected officers designated as provisional RPAs is normally released in January. This year’s solicitation message can be found here.

Provisional RPAs then receive an assignment through the regular process prior to executing a three-year Extended Active Duty, EAD, contract. After a two-year probationary period, each provisional RPA will be reviewed by another board for designation as “Permanent” RPA. In addition to designation as a permanent RPA one must also complete training on the Reserve Forces Readiness System, Contingency Staffing, and Reserve Mobilization/Demobilization.

The NAP-14 officer specialty code remains with the officer during their continued service as an RPA and is subject to deletion if relieved for cause or relieved from primary duties in subject matter billet, or if the member requests removal from the RPA Corps under article 1.B.3.i of Commandant Instructions Manual 1000.3(series).


Relationship to other Officer Specialty Codes (OSCs)

While NAP-14 status denotes expertise in reserve administration it is incumbent upon all RPAs to pursue and earn OSCs that align with their assigned responsibilities in areas such as human resource management (HRM-11), contingency planning (OAR-18), finance (FIN-10), defense operations (OAR-12), etc. In the near future it is expected that the NAP-14 OSC will include an apprentice/journeyman/master construct that accounts for wider experience.

View detailed information on the Officer Specialty Management System here. For more information about the CG-NAP-14 Officer Specialty contact Cmdr. Alexander Foos, Reserve Programs Division Chief at the Coast Guard Office of Reserve Affairs (CG-131).

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