Announcing the Coast Guard Human Capital Strategy: a framework to meet new challenges

Written by Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell stands during a press conference at Naval Base San Diego, April 16, 2015, after returning home from a 79-day deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Boutwell crew returned to San Diego with more than 28,000 pounds of cocaine, worth over $424 million, seized in 19 separate interdictions by U.S. and Canadian forces in drug transit zones near Central and South America. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Connie Terrell.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell stands during a press conference at Naval Base San Diego, April 16, 2015, after returning home from a 79-day deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Boutwell crew returned to San Diego with more than 28,000 pounds of cocaine, worth over $424 million, seized in 19 separate interdictions by U.S. and Canadian forces in drug transit zones near Central and South America. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Connie Terrell.

Excellence in executing Coast Guard missions relies on our greatest strength – our PEOPLE. Today Adm. Zukunft released the Human Capital Strategy, providing a 10-year framework to build a thriving and effective workforce prepared for the complexities of tomorrow.

Developing a workforce for the future that supports strategic priorities is more challenging than ever because of the increasing need for technical skills, financial constraints, changing workforce demographics, and a competitive labor market. The Strategy’s goal is to provide the right people, with the right competencies and experience, to the right place at the right time to accomplish our missions in this demanding environment. To do this, the Coast Guard will focus on meeting: MISSION needs, SERVICE needs and PEOPLE needs.

Simply put, MISSION needs focuses on the processes that set the Coast Guard’s requirements for people. SERVICE needs focuses on the development of military members and civil servants to meet missions, and PEOPLE needs focuses on supporting the individual and their career objectives.

Meeting MISSION needs centers on the workforce requirements system – the policy and processes that ensure the workforce has the capability and capacity to meet everyday responsibilities while simultaneously maintaining surge capacity for major emergencies. Although much of this effort is completed at the program level, including training requirements, performance support systems, and proficiency standards, these tools are critical to individuals at the deck plate as they shape their own Coast Guard career aspirations. The intent is to build the systems that deliver a proficient workforce with the competencies to meet mission demands.

Robert Hutchinson and Kevin T. Coyne, search and rescue coordinators at Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., create a search plan at the sector, Dec. 17, 2014. The men are part of more than 7,000 civilian federal workers that help the Coast Guard complete its missions. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley Johnson.

Robert Hutchinson and Kevin T. Coyne, search and rescue coordinators at Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., create a search plan at the sector, Dec. 17, 2014. The men are part of more than 7,000 civilian federal workers that help the Coast Guard complete its missions. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley Johnson.

To meet SERVICE needs, we must cultivate engaged leadership at all levels to create positive workplace climates and a culture that fully reflects our Core Values. The Strategy provides a framework to attract, access, develop, and retain a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce that reflects the richness of our society. It also sets objectives to support the development of those in our military and civil service workforce, including steps to retain and reward excellence through credentials, certifications, and developmental opportunities. The Strategy also emphasizes steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Human Resource system for both military members and civil servants. In addition, the Coast Guard will continue to work diligently toward implementing the goals set forth in our Diversity and Inclusion and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response strategic plans. All of you have a voice in building our Coast Guard. One of the survey tools emphasized in our Human Capital Strategy is the Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey (DEOCS). Look for an announcement very soon regarding an opportunity for those at small units (those with fewer than 25 people) to express their views and be heard.

To meet PEOPLE needs, the Human Capital Strategy provides a framework to ensure competitive compensation, benefits, and incentives, and we will continue our commitment to maintain parity with DOD. The Strategy also recognizes the need to help individuals better manage their careers by providing detailed information on career paths and resources for upward mobility. We will meet the needs of our people and their families by providing a life cycle of support services that keep them safe and healthy and enhance their personal resiliency. In addition, the Coast Guard will invest in continuous learning to motivate our people to reach to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities they need today and tomorrow to optimize their proficiency and professional growth.

Click on the image above to read the Coast Guard's Human Capital Strategy.

Click on the image above to read the Coast Guard’s Human Capital Strategy.

In conclusion, the Coast Guard must evolve to keep pace with our rapidly changing external environment and prepare our workforce for tomorrow’s missions. The human capital system is very complex and interconnected, and change must be implemented in a deliberate manner. Leaders at all levels are responsible for their workplace climate, and effectiveness of their units.

An objective of the Human Capital Strategy is to build the resiliency, leadership, and proficiency of our people – our greatest strength and our most important resource. I have directed the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources to champion Strategy implementation under the leadership of Rear Adm. Bill Kelly. Program managers, resource managers, unit leaders, supervisors, human resource professionals, FORCECOM, Rating Force Master Chiefs, the Civil Rights Directorate and others have a critical role.

Having spent two tours of duty in the Personnel Services Center, I am very excited about our new Human Capital Strategy and hope you are too! ALCOAST 007/16, released today, includes additional information and links to the Strategy. Please read the Strategy and do your part to implement it; this Strategy charts the course for our workforce and applies to each and every one of us. I’m counting on you to actively participate to bring our Human Capital Strategy to life. Semper Paratus!

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