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NEWS | March 8, 2022

Profiles in Professionalism: BM1 Ron Welch

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Maddocks, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Public Affairs

In 2019, Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Ron Welch had been an active-duty Sailor for 10 years and was looking for a change. He still wanted to be in the Navy, but felt he had unfinished business on the civilian side.
“I liked being in the Navy, but I also wanted to be a member of the civilian world,” said Welch. “Before my time in the Navy, it was hard to hold down a job for long because I was responsible for the physical care of my mother 24/7.”
His path forward became clear after junior Sailors told him about the Navy Reserve.
“Two of my junior Sailors gave me a lot of information on the Reserve, and they had nothing but good things to say,” said Welch.
Welch made the transition in late 2019, and his first assignment was as the leading petty officer of the readiness platoon at Detachment 206, Amphibious Squadron 2. As unit LPO, Welch is charged with training new Reserve Sailors in the administrative processes and online systems they need to master in order to maintain readiness.
“Not all new Reserve Sailors show up on day one knowing how to use BUPERS online or how to complete a physical health assessment, and it’s our job to make sure they learn,” said Welch. “Knowledge of these programs is crucial to maintaining readiness, and as the LPO of readiness that’s my wheelhouse.”

It’s not just New Accession Training (NAT) Reserve Sailors who often need instruction, but also prior active-duty Sailors, many of whom are unfamiliar with how to navigate Navy Reserve specific programs, like Navy Reserve Order Writing System (NROWS) or Enhanced Drill Management (EDM). Whether working with a prior active-duty Sailor, or a Reserve Sailor straight from “A” school, Welch takes his responsibilities seriously.

“One of my responsibilities is establishing a firm narrative with every Sailor that comes through the door,” said Welch. “There are a lot of questions Sailors new to the Reserve might not even know to ask, so it’s our job to give them the appropriate guidance. That’s why when I get a call from a number I don’t know it’s important I answer, because usually it’s a Sailor who has questions.”
A hallmark of Welch’s 13-year career has been maintaining a positive attitude and caring about his shipmates. These are qualities he has continued to bring to Det. 206 — qualities he considers very important.
“I tell my guys all the time, if you want to be successful, you can’t turn your nose up at tasks,” said Welch. “You’ve got it take it head on, get it done and get ready for the next one.”
Welch makes sure to practice what he preaches and always maintains positivity.
“As a boatswain’s mate, administrative work is not what I’m used to,” said Welch. “But instead of being upset that I’m not doing my preferred work, I embrace the challenge and put 100% of my effort into being the LPO of the readiness platoon.”