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Involuntary transfer to a PSU
Last Post 19 Jan 2021 08:55 AM by BuckyCop. 16 Replies.
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Ryan3013User is Offline
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Ryan3013

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08 Dec 2020 10:32 PM

    Hello all,

    This is my first post on this platform, so I wanted to start by saying that I am happy and humbled to be sharing space with men and women who have taken the oath to serve our great country in the USCG. I hope to be serving among you soon.

    I'll give some background into my current status with my enlistment process- I live in Northeast Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. I am looking to join the Reserves. I already passed the ASVAB and got through MEPS medical. I am almost at the point where I will submit a worksheet for job location. I qualify for the ME rate. There are 2 stations nearby that may have openings for a reserve ME: 1)Station Toledo, which is a small boat station. And 2) Port Clinton/Sandusky, which is home to a PSU. I am about an hour's drive from Port Clinton, and about an hour and 40 minute drive from Toledo(for RCD purposes)

    I was told that they need people much more in Port Clinton than they do in Toledo. I have done some research( through this site and others) and have decided that I am not interested in being at a PSU, both now and almost certainly down the road as well).

    I was also told recently that, because they have more urgent spots to fill at the local PSU, and because I live so close to one, that they *may* not give me the Toledo billet. Our plan(myself and my recruiter) is to still push for the Toledo billet, and to see what happens.

    My concern however, and reason for posting, is this: even if I am able to get assigned to the Toledo job, is it possible, that I could get involuntarily reassigned at some point to the nearby PSU? I was doing some research and came across some information from the Reserve Handbook(


    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U8kMFY4S0jafaBu9gNyD-L0P_3S-aU-8/view?usp=drivesdk )

    that I was hoping to get some insight/context on:

    From section 5:

    " Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) Assignments. DSF units (PSUs and Naval Expeditionary


    Combat Commands) are a part of the Service’s Maritime Trident of Forces, which have specialized


    training and deployment requirements. DSF units shall be assigned with the highest priority and


    shall be kept at full complement to maintain required levels of operational readiness.


    1. AOs may assign reservists, who live within RCD to these units, without the member’s consent


    if not enough qualified volunteers are identified.


    2. Some positions may require a prerequisite screening process.


    3. A reservist within RCD of a DSF unit may be assigned to that unit at least once during the


    member’s career.


    4. Junior enlisted reservists who have been assigned to a DSF unit for more than five years may


    request reassignment through the normal assignment process."

    And:

    " Junior enlisted assigned to SELRES positions may remain in those positions indefinitely,


    except in the following situations:


    a. The member requests to transfer to another unit;


    b. Mandatory reassignment is necessary to meet the needs of the Service;


    c. The member’s position is deleted or reprogrammed;


    d. The member’s rank or rating no longer matches the position to which assigned (e.g.,


    advancement, lateral change-in-rate); or


    e. The member’s position is multi-encumbered at one unit and a position becomes available at


    another unit within RCD.


    I was also looking at the Reserve Junior Enlisted assignment guide ( https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U6AScdtFflSeRXF00D5VKbUSS_5Wuwf-/view?usp=drivesdk) which offered some additional insight:


    " In accordance with the Reserve Policy Manual,


    Forces (DSF) Units COMDTINST M1001.28 (series), Reservists may be


    involuntarily assigned to DSF units if an insufficient


    number of volunteers are identified to meet Service needs.


    Members will be screened and may be assigned to DSF


    units based on the following criteria (in priority order):


    1) members who live within RCD of a DSF unit and have


    been assigned to a non-DSF unit for more than five (5)


    years,


    2) members who live within RCD with fewer than five (5)


    years at their current unit and have never been assigned


    to a DSF unit,


    3) members who live within RCD of a DSF unit and it has


    been more than five (5) years since assigned to a DSF


    unit.

    Standard DSF unit tour lengths are five (5) years for junior


    enlisted members. Members assigned to DSF units may


    compete for reassignment in the assignment year they will


    complete five (5) years of service. Deployment of DSF


    units may result in members remaining beyond their


    rotation date to carry them through the scheduled


    deployments."

    Now here, it looks like command will prioritize a transfer if, hypothetically, I was at a non-PSU unit for more than 5 years. An initial enlistment contract is for 6 years, and it is very possible that I may only want to do one enlistment. So another hypothetical- if I got the Toledo billet, and served for a few years or more there, do you believe it would be likely that I would *have* to transfer to a PSU? Would it be a requirement in order to re-enlist past that 6 year point potentially? And vice versa- would I only be forced to go to a PSU IF I opted to re-enlist? It seems that standard DSF tours are 5 years... Sounds like perhaps that wouldn't make sense to transfer part way through an 6 year enlistment. But I could be wrong. Based on some replies to comments on this site, I gather that rank, time in service, and desire for re-enlistment may be factors. But considering that I am not and have never been in the military, I don't want to assume too much without talking with those who know better.

    I have heard the terms "separate in lieu of orders" and "retire in lieu of orders" and have looked up what they generally mean, but am unsure of how, Or if they would have relevance in my situation.

    Overall, it seems that there are a number of variables at play here, and I am posting in order to gain clarity on whether my concerns about reassignment/transfer are legitimate. I realize that I brought up a lot of information and a variety of questions. Quite honestly, this is something that could very likely determine whether I enlist or not, and so any experience, insight, and support is appreciated a great deal.

    Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions if I missed anything that needs to be covered to accurately answer. I look forward to speaking more soon.

    -Ryan





    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    09 Dec 2020 03:31 PM
    Greetings... You've certainly done your research! The short answer is "yes," you could be involuntarily transferred to a PSU. At the end of the day, "needs of the Service" take priority over everything. That being said, let's drill down a little farther. First off, your initial enlistment contract is eight years, not six. It's broken down as six years in a drilling status, and the option of doing the last two in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR). This is basically a manpower pool. You have no drilling obligations, but you're not getting paid nor are you accumulating enough retirement points to qualify that year towards retirement. So, hypothetically, you could do five years at STA Toledo and then be tapped for transfer to PSU 309. However, it can take a significant amount of time to get qualified at a PSU, which by then, you would be close to your sixth year and could request a transfer to the IRR.

    Since you mentioned it, I'll address "Separation in Lieu of Orders" (SILO) and "Retirement in Lieu of Orders." (RILO). SILO means that you're close enough to the end of your contract that you can separate from the Service instead of accepting orders to a new unit. RILO means you're qualified for retirement (20 years of qualifying service) and you're going to submit a retirement request instead of accepting orders to a new unit.

    I see you've said you've qualified for the ME rating. Are you in law enforcement in your civilian career? If so, there is another rating you may want to consider that would keep you at the same unit/same type of unit for the entirety of your CG career. That is the Investigator (IV) rating. I spent the majority of my CG career in that rating. Let me know if you want more info on this or any other aspect of the CG Reserves. I spent 29 years in the Reserves, both Army and CG, with 18 of them (2001-2019) in the CGR.

    Good luck!

    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
    Ryan3013User is Offline
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    09 Dec 2020 08:05 PM

    Thank you for the reply, sir. Great insight.

    First- no, I do not have LE experience/education. So the Investigator rating is out for now. I may or may not want to pursue LE outside of the CG. Leaning towards not at this point. But this is something to keep in mind if so. 

    Needs of the service makes sense.  And that is an interesting point about the IRR. I didn't realize that it was an option to serve those last 2 years of my contract still drilling and in the normal Selected Reserve. I thought that I would be automatically transferred to the IRR. But you're saying that either way is an option... Correct?

    You said that " So, hypothetically, you could do five years at STA Toledo and then be tapped for transfer to PSU 309. However, it can take a significant amount of time to get qualified at a PSU, which by then, you would be close to your sixth year and could request a transfer to the IRR." Does this statement imply, at least in this hypothetical scenario, that if I was tapped after 5 years, that I would only have to go to the PSU if I opted to NOT be switched to the IRR for my last couple of years? In other words, I would not be required to transfer if I opted for the IRR?

    Tying into that, our scenario used the example of being tapped for a PSU after 5 years. I would think though that it's certainly possible to be tapped sooner than that, again based off of the needs of the service. So if it was, say, 3 years into my enlistment rather than 5, it doesn't sound like I would have the IRR option. Is there any way to know or predict how long one would stay an one station? Would it be unlikely (but possible) to be involuntarily transferred after just 2-4 years?


    Similarly, it doesn't sound like the SILO would apply, since I'd only be 3 years in. But please correct me if I'm off on either of these points. Do they check out correct? Is there a standard/usual amount of time in service that allows one to take the SILO route? (using initial contract timeframe for reference)

    Thank you again!

    CCCSDUser is Offline
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    09 Dec 2020 08:18 PM
    Why are you enlisting if you are already trying to get out and not serve? You WILL go to a PSU during your enlistment. Several times if you are in for 20. PSUs are a priority.
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    10 Dec 2020 07:44 AM
    We have quite a few reserve members and those that go to PSUs had asked for it.

    Reserves don't transfer every 3-4 years like active does. They themselves have to trigger it by putting in an eresume.

    Once they make Chief, though, they can go anywhere.

    CPO knows the ins and outs of the reserve program much better than I do, but at our unit, they've pretty much stayed put (also a D9 unit).

    Now you might be involuntarily mobilized. That happened alot with the hurricanes this year. So I certainly wouldn't join if you have the expectation of never being mobilized. Thats the point of the reserves, is to supplement when needed.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    10 Dec 2020 04:32 PM
    Needs of the service makes sense.  And that is an interesting point about the IRR. I didn't realize that it was an option to serve those last 2 years of my contract still drilling and in the normal Selected Reserve. I thought that I would be automatically transferred to the IRR. But you're saying that either way is an option... Correct?   Yes.  At year 6, you can continue to drill until your contract is up in year 8.   At this point you would have two options: separate from the Service or re-enlist.  On the other hand, if you hit year 6 and you know you're not going to re-enlist come the end of your contract,  you submit your transfer to the IRR. 

    You said that "   So, hypothetically, you could do five years at STA Toledo and then be tapped for transfer to PSU 309. However, it can take a significant amount of time to get qualified at a PSU, which by then, you would be close to your sixth year and could request a transfer to the IRR." Does this statement imply, at least in this hypothetical scenario, that if I was tapped after 5 years, that I would only have to go to the PSU if I opted to NOT be switched to the IRR for my last couple of years? In other words, I would not be required to transfer if I opted for the IRR?  Correct

    Tying into that, our scenario used the example of being tapped for a PSU after 5 years. I would think though that it's certainly possible to be tapped sooner than that, again based off of the needs of the service. So if it was, say, 3 years into my enlistment rather than 5, it doesn't sound like I would have the IRR option. Is there any way to know or predict how long one would stay an one station? Would it be unlikely (but possible) to be involuntarily transferred after just 2-4 years?  There's no way of knowing.  Because PSU's are high priority units and have a requirement to deploy on short order, there's always a need for people.

    Similarly, it doesn't sound like the SILO would apply, since I'd only be 3 years in. But please correct me if I'm off on either of these points. Do they check out correct? Is there a standard/usual amount of time in service that allows one to take the SILO route? (using initial contract timeframe for reference) Correct.  You'd have to be very close to the end of your contract to SILO.  

    One other thing I'll bring up, since other posters have mentioned it, is that you need to be comfortable with the idea of being activated/deployed.  Activation is when you're brought on active duty. In other words,  the CG is now your full time job.  Deployment is when you're activated and send somewhere other than your usual duty station.  Even if you're not in a PSU, it's very likely this will happen to you at some point during your career.  For me it was five times over 18 years in the CG Reserve.  You need to understand that the purpose of the CGR is to augment the active duty side of the house as international or domestic events may dictate.  If you're not comfortable with this, then perhaps the Reserves (of any branch) are not for you

    Regards



    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
    Ryan3013User is Offline
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    10 Dec 2020 07:29 PM

    CCCSD: I would love to serve even one enlistment, and perhaps longer, at a small boat station, not a PSU. For a few reasons, including but not exclusively the PSU possibility, I may not be looking to serve past my initial contract. It sounds like *eventually* if I was in long enough I would end up at a PSU, given their priority. The question then would be: how likely would it be that I would be able to get through an initial enlistment without involuntary transfer? Perhaps there is no way to give a guaranteed answer here?

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    10 Dec 2020 07:31 PM

    Bells: Ok, interesting. Do you think that me being so geographically close to a PSU changes things regarding what you said about folks only going to one who requested it?

    The "Reserves don't transfer every 3-4 years like Active does" statement sounds promising. Is this in writing/policy anywhere, or more so based on what you have seen/heard etc?

    I would be Ok with mobilization if that came up. For me, a scheduled and virtually guaranteed 6-9 months with a PSU is quite different. I know that the amount of time mobilized will vary, but from what I gather it is the case rarely, if ever, that someone is gone 6+ months if they are mobilized. And in the instances that

    I've heard of this happening, the person elected to stay longer than they necessarily had to (oil spill in 2010 for example). But if anyone has different experiences here, and has been involuntarily mobilized for about 6 or more months, please let me know. 

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    10 Dec 2020 08:14 PM
    CPOR JM: Helpful points, thanks for confirming.

    I hear you on the idea of being prepared to potentially have to activate/deploy. My line of thinking is that a more "responsive" and shorter duration type (generally) of experience while at a small boat station is a different reality for me than a "scheduled" 6-9 month  type of experience with a PSU. I actually think the idea of responding to disaster relief or other national events would be cool, and I am not opposed to that. I also would prefer the type work at a small boat station VS at a PSU. So there are factors too.

    Ultimately, I do understand that there isn't a guarantee of things going just the way I'd like. And I have a decision to make around that. My questions and concerns here have been centered around attempting to get the best idea I could about what is possible/likely, given my circumstances. And I do have some more clarity on that now 
    CCCSDUser is Offline
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    10 Dec 2020 10:08 PM
    Posted By Ryan3013 on 10 Dec 2020 07:31 PM

    Bells: Ok, interesting. Do you think that me being so geographically close to a PSU changes things regarding what you said about folks only going to one who requested it?

    The "Reserves don't transfer every 3-4 years like Active does" statement sounds promising. Is this in writing/policy anywhere, or more so based on what you have seen/heard etc?

    I would be Ok with mobilization if that came up. For me, a scheduled and virtually guaranteed 6-9 months with a PSU is quite different. I know that the amount of time mobilized will vary, but from what I gather it is the case rarely, if ever, that someone is gone 6+ months if they are mobilized. And in the instances that

    I've heard of this happening, the person elected to stay longer than they necessarily had to (oil spill in 2010 for example). But if anyone has different experiences here, and has been involuntarily mobilized for about 6 or more months, please let me know. 


    I was one month into my Reserve enlistment and was put on AD for 10 months. You are failing to understand this is a MILITARY Service. Your desire to be at a Small Boat Station for six years won’t give you very much experience, especially as a (possible)ME3 with no skills. Your fear of doing actual work is showing me you may not be a good fit.

    What are you going to do if it’s PSU or nothing? You do realize that you can get that STA billet, and the very next month, orders for the PSU, right..?
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    10 Dec 2020 10:53 PM

    Yes sir, I understand that we are talking about the Military, and that the CG does not cater to me. I did not mean to communicate that I would not be willing/able to bend and work where needed. If it was felt that way, my apologies.

    I had limited information on how things truly worked on the Reserve side. Your info here is valuable because no, I did not think one would/could be moved that quickly, and for that long.  Can you say where you were and what you were doing for those 10 months? I'd like to get an idea of the kind of work I could do in this context.


    Thanks for the time 


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    CCCSD

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    10 Dec 2020 11:32 PM
    I was a PS (before they made the ME Rating) during the opening of OEF/OIF.
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    10 Dec 2020 11:41 PM
    Nice. What type of unit were you at at the time?
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    CCCSD

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    11 Dec 2020 10:20 AM
    As I said, STA, then AD at a MSST.
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    Bells

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    11 Dec 2020 02:06 PM
    Here is your resource: Reserve Policy Manual, COMDTINST
    M1001.28 (series), for guidance on Selected Reserve (SELRES) assignment
    considerations.

    Can I ask why you want to join for one enlistment period? Most reserves do it for the retirement (they get something in their 60s).

    They also tend to do it for access to Tricare (Health Insurance).

    As far as military experience, the reserve weekend at the Station consists of getting hours on the 29'. They also have to do online mandated training and other readiness requirements. We only have a couple certified to do LE, and they were prior active duty. I dont even think its possible to get a reserve member to Boarding Officer school because we are using those spots for active duty and it is very competitive to get into the school. I just got off a conference call yesterday and some stations have 5 or more active duty members on the list to go and the list is over 150 long. There is priority system in place that only units that are below their allotted quota are getting people to go. So if Law Enforcement is what you are shooting for, the most you'll get to do is acting as a Boarding Team Member on mom and pop boardings under the Authority of a Boarding Officer.

    I just saw that you want to go ME though so now the A-School incorporates BO School into the curriculum. So after A-school you'd have to do a board and demonstrate that you are ready to do boardings.

    At a station though in D9, I want to reiterate you will not be doing the fast paced crazy law enforcement missions. If you are using this as a stepping stone into a Law Enforcement career I just want you to have awareness of the type of experience you would have. The PSU would give you a better LE exposure, getting deployed with them. Getting to a big cutter (you would volunteer and the command would help facilitate this) would get you doing big drug busts in the Pacific or Cboarding.

    This is more what other agencies are looking for, and would be more attractive than doing mom and pop boardings once in a while.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    Bells

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    11 Dec 2020 02:08 PM
    In the Pacific or Caribbean*
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    19 Jan 2021 08:55 AM
    Why are you being so difficult with this person? They have done their research and are asking appropriate questions. You saying 6 years at a small boat station won't get them good experience is not only misleading it is absolutely false and a dangerous comment from a recruiting stand point.

    Before I commissioned I spent several years at a Small Boat Station. In that time I qualified as a RBS II Crw member, BTM, BO and was BOCA certified all by the time I was a ME2. Sure I had some experience coming in, but we got a lot of action. I was directly a part of human trafficking interdiction, narcotics, BUI, accident investigations, stolen boats, and more vessel terminations than I can remember. This was all in D9 like this person is trying to get to.

    I respect them for not wanting to go to a PSU but understanding it is a possibility and that is okay. I wanted no part of a PSU and I still don't, however I understand that as a Reserve Officer it is most likely a part of my career path, it is still okay to say that one doesn't want to go there. Personally I'd rather do and manage real law enforcement, not train to deploy constantly. For some people that is what they want and that is great. Everyone should join knowing big blue can dictate what they want to do with you and you don't have to love the idea, just know that is something pops off you most likely will be called on to go.

    Ryan 3013, push for STA Toledo and if you get it, bust your butt to get quals. If your command is decent they will let your unit get very involved in missions, the Reserves are more about augmentation of AD units these days as we have seen with the parental leave and COVID fill in programs.  Yes, you should always know that 309 could pull you in if needed, but we are currently looking to fill a lot of billets and it would be bad on the CG to push off a member willing to fill a billet at SBS when we are pushing hard to up our numbers.
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