In an effort to improve recruiting initiatives, the Coast Guard recently supplied 56 recruiting offices with 2-in-1 devices that will provide greater mobility to 380 recruiters throughout the service.
The 2-in-1 devices are handheld computers that can easily switch from a laptop to a tablet and have the same functionality as a traditional Coast Guard workstation. The devices will soon be cellular network enabled, so even without a traditional wireless network connection, they are able to access online systems and the CGOne network. Each recruiting office also received mobility printers that allow recruiters to print on site, whether they are in an office space or at a local high school.
These changes are critical to improving recruiting initiatives throughout the service. The Coast Guard missed its recruiting goals by over 550 in 2021 (FY21) and has increased FY22 goals to minimize impacts to the workforce. Providing modern tools that increase mobility for recruiters throughout the country will help reach these goals and ensure a robust future workforce.
“For years, Coast Guard Recruiting Command has looked for a mobility solution to get our recruiters closer to where their prospects live,” said Capt. Richter Tipton, CGRC’s commanding officer. “It will not be a shock to anyone that this simple concept has been difficult to implement with various security and privacy issues. We now have in every recruiter’s hands a mobile, wirelessly connected standard workstation that is both a computer and a tablet. When we combine that with the ability to use secure digital signatures (expected by May 2022), our recruiters will be completely digital and able to recruit from anywhere that has cell reception or Wi-Fi. This is an absolute game changer.”
Petty Officer Second Class Wesley Morgan is a recruiter in Chicago and sees the 2-in-1 devices as a way to remove hurdles for potential recruits.
“These devices give us a greater ability to work in the field,” Morgan said. “If we have a very motivated applicant, the devices allow us to have the member fill out forms on the spot, without having to rely on the recruit to fax or email information back to our office.”
Military recruitment spans multiple aspects of the Department of Defense (DoD) and requires Coast Guard recruiters to log on to a DoD system to assign a Coast Guard designator to a potential recruit. Once assigned this designator, other services are not able to submit paperwork on the applicant’s behalf as the recruit has been marked for the Coast Guard. Currently, the Coast Guard network does not interface with this DoD system so Coast Guard recruiters can only assign a designator to a recruit when physically present at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) location.
With the upgrade to Microsoft 365 these new 2-in-1 devices are in the process of being formatted to log on to both Coast Guard and DoD systems from the same device. This change would level the playing field for recruitment efforts between the Coast Guard and other branches of the armed services; it will bring the service one step closer to meeting recruitment goals for the upcoming year.