Meet Your Coast Guard Reserve

This is the 29th and final profile in a month-long question and answer series, introducing members of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Northwest Reserve Force and recognizing their contributions to our country and community.

Chief Operations Specialist Hallie Portz
U.S. Coast Guard Reserve
Sector Puget Sound (Seattle)

Portz 2
Q. Where is your hometown?

A. Seattle, WA

Q. How long have you been in the Coast Guard? Any prior active duty?
A. I’ve spent 5 years on active duty and 6 in the reserves, however, much of my reserve time has been on long-term Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS) orders or Title 10 orders.

Q. Why did you join the Coast Guard? Why do you stay/what keeps you motivated?
A. Honestly, I needed a job. I stayed because of the great people.

Q. Have you been deployed since joining the reserves? If so, where and when?
A. Yes, to Kuwait in support of Operations New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011.

Q. What are some of your responsibilities while on duty?
A. I liaise between the command and the rest of the unit, since I’m acting as the reserve silver badge to promote readiness and professional development.

Q. What do you do on a typical duty day?
A. I’m partially kidding, but I do mandatory online training like everyone else. I also try to talk to as many people as possible, and figure out what’s going well and what we can improve.

Q. What’s your most memorable experience since joining the Coast Guard?
A. Riding out a really nasty storm on the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea on our way back from Operation Deep Freeze.

Q. What is your occupation outside of the Coast Guard? Where?
A. I manage global corporate security for Amazon, here in Seattle.

Portz 1Q. How do you balance Coast Guard and civilian life? Any challenges?
A. Honestly, I think this is one of the harder questions for any reservist to answer. We joke about being Semper Gumby (Always Flexible), but it’s especially true for the reserves.

Q. Are there any skills you’ve learned through the Coast Guard that you apply to your civilian career and vice versa?
A: The Coast Guard helps someone figure out how to do a lot with hardly anything at all. The corporate world seems to love that.

Q. How does being in the reserves impact the service as a whole?
A. Not only do the reserves augment the active duty side – in ways like staying proficient in similar roles in just a weekend or deploying overseas alongside our sister services – but also, we are the face of the service that most civilians see. Our civilian coworkers know we are in the Coast Guard. Usually, we are the only Coasties they’ve ever met.

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