Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Lt. Roger Bogert
Posted by LT Katie Braynard, Friday, February 5, 2016
Written by Lt. Natalie Rothman
Training. It’s a crucial aspect for each and every organization. It ensures that members of the organization, no matter how large, are prepared for anything that may come their way.
In the Coast Guard, it’s no different. Training literally helps save lives.
The Coast Guard’s Force Readiness Command, FORCECOM, oversees all training aspects for the Coast Guard, and manages all of the training centers, including Training Center Cape May, New Jersey, where every recruit begins their journey. And where there is great training, there are great instructors.
With more than 1,000 instructors across the FORCECOM enterprise, the role these Coast Guard members play is crucial. And once in a while, the instructors take the care to go above and beyond their everyday duties and showcase their commitment to influencing the future of Coast Guard mission execution.
Such is the case with Lt. Roger Bogert.
Bogert is an instructor at the Marine Inspection & Investigation School, located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Virginia. The school is responsible for entry and advanced level training for all officers, petty officers and International students assigned to a variety of roles within the Coast Guard’s marine inspection community, including port state control and vessel examiners.
Bogert, who has served with the Coast Guard for 26 years, serves as the course administrator for the port state control course..
The course sees an average of 200 courses a year, and Bogert teaches one-third of the lessons, accumulating about 40 hours of lecture on topics including firefighting, lifesaving, documentation, engineering and international regulations.
During his time as an instructor, he’s seen the FORCECOM mission through a different lens.
“Until you’ve done a tour here at [Training Center] Yorktown, it is hard to fully understand the services we provide and how unique the opportunity is to have an impact across all levels of the Coast Guard organization,” Bogert said. “Everyone is familiar with the fact that we provide training support through our A and C schools; but we also provide doctrine support to FORCECOM and Program. This is truly unique because we help define exactly what the job or mission of a Prevention Officer is, and in turn provide training and performance support that aligns the field with program expectations.”
And his role has stretched far beyond the normal responsibilities asked of him. Bogert masterfully executed an initiative that resulted in the implementation of the electronic based “QuestionMark” program, which converted traditional paper based student work and surveys to a web-based program saving more than 100 instructor hours previously spent on grading. His initiative allowed the training program to receive and implement feedback without delay.
“I think I have succeeded at being an instructor because I have always tried to improve on our teaching processes, be it course presentations or level II assessments,” Bogert said. “Always looking for the little extra things that can be done to improve the course and strengthen the students skill set upon completion of a course.”
Bogert displays a clear mastery of marine safety subject matter. His devotion to the students and staff is apparent through his eager willingness to teach more than 25 individual lesson modules across all marine inspection school disciplines, including more than 30 percent of the port state control officer course curriculum.
He also makes himself available after hours for one-on-one training.
“I value the lasting impact I can have on the next generation of prevention officers,” he said. “By improving the curriculum and how we teach, we are making more educated/experienced marine inspectors for the future. Better inspectors will, in turn, improve the quality and safety of the maritime industry. Our goal is to obtain compliance from those we regulate, not impose individual will.”
But Bogert’s favorite part of being a teacher? The day-to-day interaction with each and every student that passes through one of his courses.
“Relaying information to them and explaining something to them and that moment when they totally get it – that ‘ah ha’ moment,” he said. “Students usually come to our course with a little basic knowledge they gain from their peers and by doing the job out in the field. During the course we try to tie everything together and give them the extra book knowledge that pushes them over the hump and gives them a clear understanding of the regulations and why we do what we do in the field.”