The Coast Guard is launching a new Lateral Entry Beta Test initiative to fill key gaps in the workforce. As part of the Commandant’s intent to transform the total workforce, the Lateral Entry Working Group (LEWG) has developed a new, smooth, and streamlined process to recruit, train, and place candidates with matching skillsets and suitable military experience into critical roles in the service in fiscal year 2023 (FY23). The LEWG used the Maritime Operational Threat Response (MOTR) Protocols to develop the Lateral Entry Determination Calls (LEDC) Protocols to govern the process.
“The intent is to bring quality applicants into the Coast Guard at a grade commiserate with their existing skillsets,” said Command Master Chief Petty Officer Edward Lewis of Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM). This new process will create accountability, foster collaboration, and build a tailored training program that will help the Coast Guard meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond.
For Lewis and the Working Group, balancing the need for new recruits with preserving the age-old values of the Coast Guard is paramount. “Our fundamental goal is to protect the culture of the Coast Guard,” Lewis emphasized. “However, we must seek new methods of accession, training, and managing, talent that preserve our competitive edge as an employer of choice.
The LEWG is focusing on filling key roles to strengthen the service. “We are trying to ensure that our workforce can meet missions. We’re looking hard at places where we are shorthanded,” Lewis added. “The recruiting effort is really going to be driven by critical ratings,” including culinary specialist (CS), electrician’s mate (EM), and health service technician (HS). Depending on the outcome of this pilot program, other ratings may be added to this priority list in the future.
The new lateral entry determination protocols will be evaluated regularly throughout FY23.
If you have any questions, please contact Russell Kirkham at Russell.A.Kirkham@uscg.mil or 202-795-6848.