Case Study: The Maritime Enforcement Specialist

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1. Since 2011, the Maritime Enforcement Specialist (ME) Assignment Officer (AO) has run into repeated difficulty filling ME billets at Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) units. In assignment year 2016, a mandatory screening of all ME’s for assignment to DSF duty and advanced training instructor units was instituted to identify suitable candidates. Although many MEs screened positively, the ME AO still received unrealistic E-resumes with no DSF selections. There is currently no incentive for MEs to request DSF assignment or reward to maintain their qualifications at multiple DSF units. The Coast Guard must create DSF duty points for the service wide exam (SWE).

2. Assignment to a DSF unit represents the highest level of proficiency, operational
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With so many senior MEs lacking DSF experience, there creates a void in the leadership of well-rounded MEs to develop and mentor junior members. Roughly 60 percent of E7 and above billets are in DSF duty positions. The experience gained at a TACLET in smuggling trends and developing case file packages that stand up in court, the mission planning and inter-operability with other services and agencies at the MSRT, or the tactical medicine and advanced marksmanship at a MSST are invaluable skills to be passed on to junior members at any unit. If our senior MEs are lacking in the knowledge and experience, then they are at an extreme disadvantage in leading the rate or affecting changes in Coast Guard policy. MEs of all ranks possessing the tactical operator competency are leveraged to pass on their knowledge and experience at Special Missions Training Center and the Special Missions Training Detachment East and West to instruct courses ranging from Basic Tactical Operator Course to the Close Quarters Combat Instructor Course. Senior ME’s are selected to participate in working groups tasked with changes to Commandant Policy on Advanced Interdiction, high risk insertion, and tactical flotation that affects the operations of maritime law enforcement throughout the Coast Guard. With the DSF duty points for the SWE, the Service can ensure those members meeting the criteria have an advantage in advancing thus creating well rounded senior ME’s and the Coast Guard will experience a …show more content…
Opponents will claim that the AO could assign ME’s to a DSF billet if eligible regardless of whether they list it in their E-resume or not. The fact is, this line of reasoning is wastes thousands of dollars and man hours each year sending MEs through initial and proficiency advanced training. Approximately 50% of the rate currently assigned to a DSF unit there is still a disparity between those assigned to the billet and those that fail to qualify in their billet. At the MSRT alone there is roughly a 60% attrition rate between MEs that report for duty and those that get qualified at the minimum level of proficiency in their first year. Whether it is the inability to retain and apply skills taught, lack of physical fitness, or the lack of desire for long term deployments, there are a handful of MEs each year that are placed on performance probation or get a “no fault” transfer because they fail to qualify in their position. The DSF duty points would offer incentive and a reward for members to attain and maintain their DSF qualifications. It would also alleviate the administrative and monetary strain on the Coast Guard caused by untimely transfers, gapped billets, and administrative

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