Building Proficiency...What Does it Mean to Us? -- by Master Chief Darrick DeWitt, USCG (Ret.)

This term “proficiency” has been widely discussed in the Coast Guard in recent years. The Commandant’s article lays out his definition of proficiency. In the wake of that article, I believe it’s important for us as a tactical operations community to start the conversation on what a “proficient” Tactical Law Enforcement operator really is.
Proficiency is building depth and breadth in ones tradecraft. It means knowing the finer details of the specialty while also understanding its broader applicability. In simple terms, it is earning our master's degree, and possibly PhD, in what we do. For tactical operators, this “proficiency” starts with the Maritime Law Enforcement Manual. Maritime Enforcement Specialists are looked to by our organizational leaders as the experts in Coast Guard Law Enforcement.