Editor's Note: Watch this video about the new challenge!
I am proud to announce the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Recruiting Challenge in support of the Commandant's direction announced in REF A through D to maximize recruiting efforts. The purpose of this challenge is to rally and unite the Coast Guard's Chief's Mess behind a common cause to recruit 250 new Coast Guard members. This challenge will run from Aug.17, 2022 until Aug. 17, 2023, and result in one Chiefs' Mess earning the first-of-its-kind MCPOCG Recruiting award.
I strongly believe that Chiefs provide an unmatched contribution to our great Service. It is not surprising to hear how individual Chief's Messes are working to combat our current recruiting deficit. However, we recognize that we are more effective when we can work collectively toward improving the future for our Coast Guard workforce. I issue this challenge as a way to help overcome the current workforce gap and to draw Chiefs together with a set of four unified goals in mind.
Goal 1: Tell our story
The Coast Guard has a proud history of harrowing rescues, combat action, and storied accomplishments celebrated around the world. Each day the women and men of the Coast Guard add to the honor and prestige of our Service. Yet, many of our heroic day-to-day efforts go unsung. One reason for this is our culture. We are humble and loyal public servants who accept being "Always Ready" as the minimum acceptable standard. We must temporarily set this humility aside to enhance our Coast Guard brand by telling our unique and powerful stories.
I challenge all Chiefs to find creative and engaging ways to tell the "why" behind their personal stories and accounts of what makes the Coast Guard the best way to serve our Nation.
Goal 2: Engage with our communities.
We have profound stories to tell. To overcome this recruiting challenge we need to get our Chiefs out in the community to talk about the unique places around the world we work and the incredible communities we live in. These narratives will also show the value we provide to the Nation that bolsters our brand and attract talented people who want to serve their country.
I challenge each Chiefs' Mess to seek out community event opportunities where Chiefs can sponsor a unit open house, put together a booth or display, and represent the Service at high visibility events that tell our story and generate potential recruits. Examples of potential recruit generating events include
boat shows, local festivals, state fairs, unit tours, sporting events, and career days. These events should be included during Chief Call to Initiation processes outlined in MCPOCG Standing Order One.
Goal 3: Generate high quality potential candidates.
Each Chief understands the caliber of performance and personal accountability we expect of those who desire to join the Coast Guard. High-quality leads are those with reasonable potential of becoming a recruit in the Coast Guard.
I challenge each Chief to generate one high quality lead, and for all Chiefs' Messes to collectively generate a minimum of 250 new Coast Guard recruits reported to boot camp by 2024.
Goal 4: Mentor potential recruits through the process.
Chiefs are outstanding mentors, and can help recruits navigate perceived hurdles related to physical fitness, a medical waiver, or other perceived barriers, to ensure that otherwise motivated recruits are not dissuaded by the process and lack of mentorship. Chiefs can also work closely with recruiters to assist with administrative or medical issues, which must be resolved before recruits can ship off to boot camp.
I challenge each Chiefs' Mess to remain involved and invested with the potential recruits as the recruit goes through the accession process, and serve as an advocate to the recruiters when necessary.
Each Chiefs' Mess is encouraged to sign up for the MCPOCG's Recruiting Challenge by using the USCG-Recruiting IMT SharePoint page.
This will enable the Coast Guard Recruiting Command to identify your Chiefs' Mess, log its participation, and measure progress toward our shared goal. This page also includes a link for recording activities. Each Chiefs' Mess should coordinate its activities with the nearest Recruiter in Charge (RIC). Your nearest recruiting office has a wealth of knowledge and recruitment materials they can share with the mess.
Chiefs' Messes should link each potential recruit with the proper RIC to continue the recruitment process and properly conduct follow-up. Chiefs' Messes should continue to provide mentorship, and ensure that leads are progressing through the recruiting process, providing guidance and advocacy where necessary.
One of the most important ways that Chiefs can have an impact on the future of our workforce is to ensure that potential or newly sworn-in members of the Coast Guard are never left behind. Chiefs can lead the way to facilitate a prosperous Coast Guard career by conducting follow-ups with each high-quality lead.
The Office of the MCPOCG and CGRC will compile the results submitted by each Chiefs' Mess at the conclusion of the event period and determine winners based on impact to their local area's recruiting mission, while acknowledging that some units are remote and may have limited access to schools and events.
Please direct questions to the Coast Guard Recruiting IMT (202-372-8043 or COMDT-Recruiting-IMT@uscg.mil); your local Gold Badge Command Master Chief, or Command Master Chief Jeremiah Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org)