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Reporting Aboard

Frequently asked questions:



Q: What are Alder's missions?

A: ALDER has a wide array of missions.  Our primary mission is Aids to Navigation on the Great Lakes (mostly Lake Superior and Lake Michigan) and includes but not limited to: ice breaking, search and rescue, law enforcement, and public affairs. 


Q: What are the typical jobs of a SA/SN?

A:  The typical SA/SN job integrates you as a member of the Deck Force.  As a member of the deck force you work on the buoy deck tending to ATON and participate in the general upkeep of the ship.  You may also serve as a member of the small boat crew during small boat evolutions, law enforcement boarding teams and as a mess cook for a short period of time. 


Q: What are the typical jobs of a FA/FN?

A: The typical FA/FN will serve in the Engineering Department.  You will learn about the Power plant aboard ALDER while being integrated into the department through the ownership of the engineering spaces. You should also expect to serve in the capacity of a mess cook for a short period of time 


Q: What is the duty rotation for SA/SN or FA/FN in port/underway?

A:  As a SA/SN/FA/FN your primary watch standing responsibility in port is as a Quarterdeck Watch stander, along with ensuring that the material condition of the engineering spaces are maintained and that the machinery is working properly. You will also fill a fire billet in an emergency situation.  Expect your watch rotation to be 1 out of every 3 days until you become qualified to stand duty by yourself.  Qualified watch stander duty rotations is 1 out of every 4 days. 

SA/SN Underway you’ll be standing watch as a Lookout and Helmsman.  The watch rotation as a break-in underway is 1 out of every three, four-hour watch rotations.  Qualified watch rotation depends on the number of qualified underway Lookouts and Helmsmen. 

FA/FN Underway your primary watch station will be as a Journeyman Engineer (JE, also known as an oiler), making rounds of all spaces to ensure that there are no developing problems on the ship.  The watch rotation as a break-in underway is 1 out of every three, four-hour watch rotations.  Qualified watch rotation depends on the number of qualified underway Journeyman Engineers. 


Q: What do I do if reporting after hours?

A:  Report to the Quarterdeck Watch stander, who will then inform the Officer of the Day of your arrival.  The OOD will provide you your rack assignment and basic check in.


Q: Where do I report if ALDER is underway?

A: If ALDER is underway you should report to the Executive Petty Officer, Coast Guard Station Duluth.  The Station is located on the same grounds as the pier ALDER moors at.  The phone number for the XPO is (218) 529-3101.


Q How much personal storage space will I have onboard?

A: Space is limited in the berthing areas.  You will have a standard five foot locker and space under your rack for stowage. 


Q: What uniform should I report in?

A: Service Dress Blue during winter months and Tropical Blue Long during summer months.


Q: What uniform will I wear during the workday?

A: The uniform for the typical workday is the operational dress uniform (ODU). 


Q: What's the temperature like in Duluth? 

Average Temperature:      SUMMER: High 76 Low 56               WINTER: High 25 Low 01


Q: What type of continuing education is available in the area?

A:  There are a multitude of Colleges and Universities in the area in a 10 mile radius of the unit.  ALDER is also a DANTES test center, allowing members to take numerous tests and correspondences courses on a variety of subjects for free.  ALDER is also allowed to administer certain CLEP exams to members.  A majority of these courses can be applied towards a college degree.  ALDER also offers SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT tests for those interested.


Q: What enlisted ratings are there on ALDER?

A: Ratings present: BM, DC, EM, ET, FS, HS, MK, SK, and YN


Q: Where is the closest City?

A: The ALDER is located less than a mile away from Downtown Duluth. 


Q: Where is the nearest Military facility?

A: Duluth Air National Guard Base is approximately 13 Miles away and has a small Exchange, the nearest CG Exchange is in Sault Ste Marie, approximately 8 hours away.


Q: What Religious denominations are in the area?

A: Apostolic, Baptist, Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, and Muslim. 


Q: If my sponsor is not available who should I ask for?

A: The Officer of the Day.


Q: ANY OTHER INFORMATION A NEWLY ARRIVING MEMBER SHOULD KNOW:  Be sure to bring cold weather civilian clothes.  The climate is cold in the winter but this is a college town and there is plenty to do within a mile or two of the ship.  In the summer the weather brings in a large number of tourists and the locals are big fans of the Coast Guard.



Q: Is messing available?

A: Yes.


Q: Are Quarters and or Barracks available?

A: Yes, initially you will live onboard but living accommodations are dependent upon housing availability. 


Q: Is unaccompanied personnel leased housing available?

A: Yes, but it is dependent upon availability. 


Q: Where do most people bank?

A There are many banks in the surrounding area, Wells Fargo, North Shore Bank of Commerce, Bank of America and others.


Q: Is there a Mall in the Area?

A: Yes, Miller Hill Mall in Duluth with over thirty stores and the Mall of America is located two hours south in the Twin Cities.



Q: What does an average two bedroom apartment cost?

A: About 600-700 dollars not including utilities.  Heating bills will tend to be high due to the cold climate.  You may want to look for apartments in the spring if possible because the college students fill up the housing in the area by early September. 


Q: What are the basic allowance for housing (BAH) rates for Duluth?

A: You can check the most recent rates at the below link


Q: Is leased housing available? 

A: Yes, but only if you qualify for a three bedroom home.


Q: Is government owned housing available?

A: No, government owned housing is not available in the Duluth area..


Q: What is the average wait for housing?

A: Time frames vary upon housing availability.


Q: Where do most dependents live?

A: Most dependants live with the members.  There is a split between people living in Duluth, MN or Superior, WI which is a few miles away across the bridge.


Q: Where do most dependents receive medical care?

A: St. Luke's or St. Mary's Duluth Clinic.


Q Where do most dependents go to school?

A: Most dependents attend public school either in Duluth or Superior.


Q: What level of Tricare is available?

A: For all active duty members Tricare Prime Remote is offered. For Dependants it depends on where they reside. Prime remote in Minnesota, Prime in Superior. These are two different regions. 


Q: Is Delta Dental available?

A: No, United Concordia is.


Last Modified 9/19/2013