Vice Adm. Braun Visits NOSC Boise


Story Number: NNS140618-02Release Date: 6/18/2014 8:17:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/FMF/AW) Chad V. Pritt, Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command Public Affairs

BOISE, Idaho (NNS) -- At every Navy Operational Support Command (NOSC) in the Navy, Full Time Support (FTS) and active duty Sailors work tirelessly to ensure the mobilization readiness of their Reserve Sailors.

These drilling Reserve Sailors, who can number in the thousands in certain NOSCs, aren't in the next room or down the hall.

Often, they aren't even in the same state, making the NOSC staff's job only more intensive.

These NOSCs, and the reservists they serve, are at the tip of the administrative spear, living up to the Navy Reserve's motto of "Ready now, anytime, anywhere."

So when the vice admiral in charge of all of the Navy Reserve comes for a visit, people take notice. This was the case when Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force, Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun visited NOSC Boise, Idaho April 12.

"I don't know that a Navy three-star (admiral) has ever visited NOSC Boise," said Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. John Hamiter. "We were able to hear her expectations for the Reserve Force in person, ask questions, as well as show her what Boise has available to the Navy Reserve both in great Sailors and excellent local resources that contribute to a warrior mentality and real readiness."

Her visit coincided with the NOSC's drill weekend, when most drilling reservists attached to the NOSC are required to report. This gave her the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the Sailors she leads. A mutual exchange of information, she was able to give Sailors insight in to the way the Reserve operates, while they were able to express their concerns and thoughts on their individual experiences.

"She not only addressed Reserve concerns, but also FTS concerns," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Steve Baldwin. "Like how the Navy is looking at integrating civilian occupation skills to specific Navy rating knowledge bases."

During her visit, Braun took time to visit with Major Gen. Gary Saylor, commanding general, Idaho Air National Guard, Boise, Idaho. NOSC Boise shares a building with the Marine Corps Reserve on Gowen Field Air National Guard Base, and Braun took a moment to thank Saylor for his partnership with the Navy in the area.

Boise Reserve and FTS Sailors later attended an Admiral's Call with Braun, where she highlighted the role of the Navy Reserve in global operations.

"We are continuing to answer the call even as operations [in the Central Command area of responsibilities] come to a close," said Braun. "I've seen the care packages you are sending to our mobilized Reserves, so I know you know how important our role is."

NOSC Boise began sending care packages to its mobilized Reserve personnel last July, and has sent nearly 200 boxes of every-day items such as batteries, hygiene items, snacks, and reading materials. The concept began as a suggestion by Hamiter, but grew exponentially from the motivation of the NOSC staff.

During the call, Sailors learned about Braun's career as well as what her main focus and vision for the Navy Reserve is. She ended her admiral's call by presenting awards and re-enlisting three NOSC Boise Sailors.

"I felt like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be re-enlisted by a vice admiral," said Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Justin Owens. "It definitely boosted my morale knowing such high ranking personnel were approachable and interested in my Naval career, even as an E-4. It was an honor for me to have her do my re-enlistment."

Prior to the admiral's call, Braun participated in a traditional Navy retirement ceremony for Capt. Jami Mason, who retired after 37 years of combined active duty and reserve service. Mason, whose family was present for the ceremony, most recently served in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs as the Navy Liaison Officer for the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

"Adm. Braun and I have worked together several times over the course of my career," said Mason. "Having her here is an honor, and I thank her for both myself and my family."

"When Capt. Mason decided to retire I told her I had the perfect job for her while she waited to transition," Braun said. "Her work in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program can be done just about anywhere, and what better way to award a Sailor with her impressive history than to let her begin her transition where she wants to be."

To wrap up her visit, Braun attended a traditional dining in hosted by the NOSC. The dining in ceremony is steeped in tradition, and is a time to reflect on, and honor, the contributions of those Sailors who have gone before. It is also a time to build camaraderie within a command or organization through story-telling and laughter.

"To have Vice Adm. Braun and her aide, Lt. Cmdr. [Jennifer] Bagnell, along with Capt. [Jack] Miller, deputy [commander, Reserve Component Command Northwest] - after an already long, busy day - join us for our Dining In made the visit even more personal," said Hamiter. "They had the chance to really spend time with us, see what we're all about, and join us for some great traditions! The Chiefs Mess and Sailors at all levels made this a night to remember, coming together as something much bigger than just themselves. One of the best portions of the evening was when two Sailors, currently forward deployed to Afghanistan, joined the command at the Dining In via video teleconference. It was great to see them both! They had the chance to speak directly with Vice Adm. Braun and for a few minutes before having to go back to their duties."

Braun, who had never visited NOSC Boise before that day, appreciated the opportunity to meet and thank the Reserve and FTS Sailors that make the sacrifices that make the Navy Reserve so successful.

"In my travels in my current position," said Braun, "NOSC Boise is my second favorite place to visit; Right after Afghanistan, where our mobilized reservists are fulfilling their roles in support of operations."

Braun, a Pensacola, Florida, native, was appointed by President Barrack Obama to become the Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force and took her position Aug. 13, 2013. She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and was commissioned in 1980. In 1981, she earned her gold aviator wings and went on to fly the EC-130Q in the fleet.


For more news from Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command , visit www.navy.mil/local/nrnrcc/.

 
 
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