On June 14, 2018, the Coast Guard announced two workforce initiatives in support of the Coast Guard’s marine safety program. The Coast Guard reports that it already has taken steps to prioritize Civilian Marine Inspector hiring. The Coast Guard also notes that it will be developing a plan to increase the number of Direct Commission Officer accessions of Maritime Academy Graduates with an interest in the Coast Guard’s Prevention (marine safety) field. The initiatives were noted in the Coast Guard’s general “ALCOAST” message 227/18, which announced a number of workforce development plans, including better alignment of enlistment and transfer dates, reduced personnel evaluation workloads, and other measures to streamline processes and improve Coast Guard member support.
The Civilian Marine Inspector program is an outgrowth from the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Enhancement Plan initiated in 2007 to address program shortfalls and personnel proficiency gaps. The intent has been to build a cadre of experienced marine inspectors who would develop marine inspection expertise without being subject to the frequent reassignments faced by uniformed personnel. In addition, the Coast Guard has long sought to recruit maritime academy graduates, whose experience and insights into commercial maritime operations bring a valuable perspective to Coast Guard maritime regulators.