March 3, 2021 —
Now finishing its second year, the Personnel Readiness Task Force (PRTF) is a special-assignment, five-person team tackling Coast Guard workforce readiness and retention challenges.
The team creates innovative solutions pulled from research, field input, and from the other services.
“Benchmarking is important,” explained Cmdr. Russ Mayer, the team’s deputy lead. “Understanding what other services and corporations are doing helps solidify the Coast Guard as an employer of choice.”
The Coast Guard’s Vice Commandant, Adm. Charles Ray chartered the team. It was initially formed to make recommendations based on feedback from the RAND Women’s Retention Study published in 2019 and future improvements will be based upon the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Minorities Study that will soon be released.
Since diversity is a key focus of the PRTF, it was equally important the task force itself have di-verse representation including a junior enlisted member of the workforce amongst its ranks, Yeoman 1st Class, Angelique Limongelli.
"It's an honor to have been selected to represent the junior enlisted workforce. I always try to ensure our voice is heard with workforce initiatives,” said Limongelli. “What's great about being part of this team is helping to create changes that truly help the workforce, like updating the branding policy. That specific change will help diversify our Coast Guard and I'm really proud to have been a part of that.”
Previously, the body branding policy barred acceptance into the Coast Guard if the applicant had more than one brand, whereas multiple body brands are culturally significant within some traditions of African American sororities and fraternities.
“The update to the policy means that there is one less unnecessary obstacle preventing a highly qualified, highly motivated candidate from a future with the Coast Guard,” added Limongelli.
Here is a list of some of the PRTF’s major accomplishments in calendar year 2020:
- MAP Expansion. The PRTF, in conjunction with Personnel Service Center (PSC), significantly expanded the Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP). MAP is a talent management program rewarding superior performance and exceptional adherence to our core values by meritoriously advancing Petty Officers to the pay grades of E-5 and E-6 outside of the Ser-vice-wide process.
- Published Temporary Separation Guides. Temporary Separation Guides for officers and enlisted members clarify program opportunities and improve the workforce’s understanding of the process. These guides helped double the number of personnel returning to active duty after temporary separation over the past year.
- PCS Float Plan. To enable a smooth transition during the challenging AY20 transfer season, the PCS Float Plan was created to ensure the safe transfer of members and dependents through the heightened risk environment of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Float Plan was a critical tool to establish a “go, no-go” decision ahead of the departure day.
- CGBI Notification Tool. The CGBI Readiness Notification Tool was modified to automatically notify uniformed members of readiness status changes in 15 categories including dental, weigh-ins, vaccinations, and mandated training. This tool enables members to stay current and ensures easier personnel management for commands.
- D&I Field Action Guide. Working in conjunction with Mission Support and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the PRTF helped to develop the D&I Field Action Guide to ensure commands are aligned with the Commandant’s strategic goal of improving diversity and inclusion throughout the Coast Guard enterprise. This command level checklist was created to increase awareness on a variety of current topics and initiate open discussions.
- Body Tattoo and Body Marking Policy Update. The Tattoo, Body Marking, Body Piercing, and Mutilation Policy was updated to more closely align with the Department of Defense (DoD) and increase the pool of diverse applicants able to serve in the Coast Guard.
- Officer Mid-Period Counseling Initiative. Updating the Officer Mid-Period Counseling requirement came as a result of the 2019 RAND study. While all officers already receive mid-period counseling on their performance and goals, CG-1 now directs additional content that is critical to Coast Guard senior leadership. This year, diversity and inclusion were required counseling topics to advance the Commandant’s vision of promoting inclusive behaviors throughout the workforce.
The team has been extended until the summer of 2022 to support ongoing initiatives including a partnership with the Office of Leadership and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to modernize the Coast Guard Mentoring Program.
“The most rewarding thing about the task force is the ability to impact the entire service and make the Coast Guard a better place to work while making our people as ready as possible,” said Mayer.