U.S. Coast Guard
CWO Don Slowik Assignment Officer
Updated 5 Nov 2015
Hello, I am CWO3 Don Slowik. I have spent a significant amount of time discussing realistic e-resumes and providing career guidance in the past 2 years. I encourage all of you to increase your rating knowledge starting with reading your DC force notes.
For those members assigned to rating mismatched positions, residing in a double up position, or placing above the SWE cut, should consider requesting one of the following pay grade matched openings. If no applicants are received I will be looking at pay grade mismatched members and any double up members, utilizing actual report date.
This web page helps to provide additional and/or clarifying information. These comments are not intended to establish or supersede any current policies and procedures.
Members who are approaching their rotation date or are above the cut for promotion should be reviewing COMDTINST M1000.8. Members must keep up to date with current PSC-EPM-2 SITREPS and are reminded to use their chain of command.
I strongly encourage all of you to increase your rating knowledge starting with reading your DC force notes and passing down the knowledge to another DC. This is due to receiving many phone calls requesting if SWE waivers would be considered due to not completing mandated requirements that were announced over a year ago.
DC position numbers are still being adjusted. I expect more changes be prepared by listing as many choices as possible on your e-resumes. Too many DC’s listened to rumor control without checking with their commands or myself. This misconception resulted with some members that failed to receive any of their few e-resume choices which resulted with them receiving the open position list to prioritize. Don’t let this happen to you by listing many realistic “active duty” positions on your e-resume.
Effective last assignment year Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders for all members assigned to duty stations outside of the continental United States are required to reside in government-controlled quarters when available and suitable. Government-controlled quarters include Coast Guard-owned, Department of Defense, and Department of State housing available through inter-service support agreements. This policy renewal is focused both on our responsibility for the welfare of our Coast Guard families and our responsibility to be good financial stewards. In many overseas locations, government housing provides security and community benefits not available “outside the fence.” From a resource stewardship perspective, the Coast Guard cannot afford to continue to pay overseas housing allowances, while allowing suitable government housing to remain vacant. Effectively employing government-controlled quarters is the right thing to do for our people and for our service.
One of the most common asked questions is “What is a realistic e-resume?” Most members generally fall into one of two categories with their intent on transfer. They choose by either geographic location or billet type. In both cases, the billet choices should start out with a specific job or area and continue to grow outward from that point. For example, a member wanting the Oakland area should start with the specific units in that area followed by as many billets that are listed for that area and all outlying areas. If you limit the number of billets you have chosen for that geographic location, it is unrealistic to think you will win that location.
The same can be said for a specific type of billet. For
example, a DC2 seeking a WLIC should start with the specific cutter they
would hope to win and expand the list to as many WLIC’s regardless of
location. To only select billets based on location and type can greatly
reduce the number of picks you will list and creates a limited selection for
me to work with. If your intent is to acquire sea-time for advancement, do
not limit yourself to one type of cutter.
If location and job are not the focusing goal, members should clearly explain their intent in the comments section. Members are highly recommended to analyze their assignment priority in respect to number of billets listed. It is my recommendation for all priority three and greater members to list at least 25 picks and increase that number as your priority decreases. Do not put yourself into a position where you will potentially lose your assignment priority by simply ensuring that your E-resume is submitted by the required deadline. It is extremely difficult if not impossible for me to contact you directly during the assignment season if your billets are limited or your intentions are unclear. To ensure that I am able to reach out to you directly please ensure that your contact information is updated within Direct Access and that global lists your current supervisor.
Here are some tips to follow to better assist you with ensuring your e-resume will guarantee you a set of orders.
• Search for open jobs within your pay grade that you want the most then commence looking at all open jobs within that area.
• Determine what is more important to you geographic preference or professional development. Keep in mind that if you pick geography over career development, sooner or later you will have to pay the price (i.e. can’t make Chief, because you don’t have sea time and you can’t get sea time because you’re a priority five). We can view all of your past e-resumes and we’re not big on sob stories about needing something to advance when you won one of your top picks on your last several e-resumes.
• Expand your search away from your desired area based on the above decision. For example if your preferred assignment is the CGC Vise in St. Pete, FL (professionally you want sea time, geographically you want St. Pete) so you decide that professional development is more important than location so your next picks are all of the other open positions on the WLIC’s in the CG, followed by the 175’s, followed by the 225’s, etc based on your preferences. If you decided location is more important than development, your next choices might be all open positions within that geographical location.
• List all position numbers open at any unit you want to go to. If there are 2 different position numbers at a unit (department number) list both of them because we pull by position number not unit.
• Do not list several position numbers on one type of unit and then make a statement in your comments along the lines of “If none of these 210’s are open, I’ll take any 210 in the CG”. Pulling by position means we’ll never see you comment, unless you are competing for one of the 210’s you listed.
I’ve had a bunch of people ask how many jobs they should list. My first answer is “All of them”. I then expand on that by saying the only jobs that you shouldn’t list on your e-resume are the ones that you would rather get out of the Coast Guard than go to. Here’s why – let’s say that you are a priority 3 and submit an e-resume with 10 picks. We’ll call the place you would have listed as #11 Cutter Never Sail. As the process rolls along, you don’t win one of your e-resume picks, however shortly after slating your #10 pick, we get to Cutter Never Sail – the system spits out a list of priority 5 candidates, we then slate position. So once we’ve completed all of the pay grades we see that you haven’t received orders. The next step is that you receive the “Open Position List”. Obviously Cutter Never Sail isn’t on it because it went to a priority 5 who had it on their e-resume. Some of you will hesitate or not list something from this list on your e-resume based on the myth that the Detailer receives a reward by getting you a pick on your e-resume, or that we are trying to trick you into putting in for hard to fill jobs. This is not a smart assumption to make. The other thing you need to know about the system is you get what you win. Let’s say that your 25th pick Station Frozen Tundra. No, one else in the Coast Guard has asked for Station Frozen Tundra. However, you are the highest ranked person to ask for NESU New Orleans. You go to New Orleans and Station Frozen Tundra goes to the “Open Position List”. I assure you there will be enough DC’s who don’t read this, so I will have candidates prioritizing ALL open position on the list.
If you are unsure whether you will be advanced simply
list the open positions within the higher pay grade as well as the open
positions in your current pay grade. Read farther down to gain a better
aspect if you should expect to be transferred if you are advanced.
A final note – I want to call your attention to the Assignment Continuum within COMDTINST M1000.8. You will see the 1st concern in an assignment decision is Service Need. Your e-resume helps us match your desires, concerns, etc. to fill these service needs. Keep in mind your going to transfer somewhere (or get out), so you want some say in the process. Using the above guidance gives you the best chance for success in the process.
Most frustrations with enlisted assignments are deeply rooted with members thinking that they know how the “hidden” process works. That being said, be extremely careful on who you are receiving your advice from. Your individual Detailer remains your most up-to-date source, and is willing to provide this advice free-of-charge or obligation.
The Special Needs program ensures that members that have dependents with a verified special need are assigned to a geographic area in where the need can be addressed. The specifics of the Special Needs Program are outlined in COMDINST M1754.7A. I will communicate with the Work-Life Staff to ensure that all members enrolled in the Special Needs Program are assigned to an area that their special needs can be addressed. I must reemphasize, the program does not guarantee a specific unit, assignment, or geographical area close to family members. This program simply ensures that your next assignment location has the infrastructure to accommodate the special needs family member. Furthermore, I do not discuss specific assignments with the Work-Life. If you are enrolled in the special needs program do your home work by contacting your work life coordinator ahead of time and then only listing open positions/units that are located in areas that can address the your special need. Your active collaboration with the local Work-Life staff is encouraged to ensure that only acceptable areas are listed on the E-Resume. Do not send me specifics regarding your individual special need. You simply need a remark within your current e-resume that you are enrolled in Work Life. The special needs program is not a reason for avoiding sea time or a specific type of assignment. Once again this year we had members that should have been enrolled that weren’t, this resulted with the some affected members receiving a very limited choice or having to wait until something opened up that could accommodate their situation.
Fiscal responsibility is only one of 16 different factors that we consider during the assignment process for determining your next assignment. If everyone in the Coast Guard wanted to stay exactly where they are right now this would be easy. However, it is likely that the DC1 on the CGC NEVERHOME doesn’t want to stay there. Therefore all of the assignment factors have to be considered. While we fully intend to maximize our fleet ups, when it comes to extensions I must consider the long-term service wide impact. That is why I will continue to tell you that you must compete for an extension. If you place an extension as the only pick on your e-resume, there is a significant chance that you will be disappointed (see e-resume tips above). As for no-cost orders, if you ask me transfer you from CA to FL it doesn’t matter if you say you’ll take no cost orders. In accordance with Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) if you receive orders outside your current geographical location, you are entitled to travel entitlements which I can’t force you to move without authorizing them.
Remember you need 12 months rated sea time to advance to DC1 and 18 months rated sea time for advancement to DCC. Keep this in mind with applying for your next position. If your currently ashore and haven’t met this requirement, you should be applying for all cutters. Also if you’re currently afloat you should be looking at some land billets. You will need the Civil Engineering experience as you advance in the DC rating. During AY15 every effort will be made to ensure that anyone that lacks enough rated sea time has the opportunity. Keep in mind that it most likely WILL NOT be an independent duty position, so don’t waste time listing river and construction tender positions. If you decide not to list cutters within your e-resume you could be receiving a open position list of only cutters, or if all cutters have been filled you will be competing for another ashore position which will not allow you to advance during the entire tour length. No sea time waiver will be considered as you will be afforded every effort to receive a cutter position during AY15. Keep in mind that with the decommissioning of older large platforms also reduces the amount of underway positions. This will eventually adversely affect members that don’t have enough rated sea time to advance.
HYT & CRSP
Remember to keep reviewing CGMS (ALCOAST 039/14) as it contains the current year profession growth points and projected adjusted professional growth points for AY15. Keep in mind that if you failed to request rated sea time for the past two transfers and still have not been assigned to a float unit you could be close to meeting one of these maximum pay graded levels. Be advised that short tours will most likely not be approved as everyone has had an opportunity to acquire their needed rated sea time towards advancement.
in the SWE
If you are planning to compete in the next SWE expect to be relocated if you place above the cut. You are now unable to update your e-resume with open positions within your projected pay grade within 30 days of the announcement of advancement cuts. We have no control over actual advancements or cuts. It is extremely important to be aware that advancements are created by departing members which create a pay grade opening that will be filled with the next member upon the advancement list. Thus the Coast Guard advances to vacancies and if there are no opportunities for fleeting up members into a higher pay grade position the only other option is to relocate you to an open pay grade matched position.
• Newly advanced DC3’s are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. I consider your current permanent duty assignment, and service need. To assist you with gaining rated sea time if you are currently assigned afloat and still have time left you will most likely be fleeted-up into a DC position until your rotation date. If you are on the striker list and are at your rotation date you will be competing for an E-4 position. Please ensure that your e-resume has been completed properly by asking for guidance from your supervisor or someone else that is familiar with the assignment process.
• Newly advanced DC2’s are reviewed on a case-by-case
basis. I consider time in current assignment, current tour length, last
permanent duty assignment, service need, and member’s rated sea time. Given
that we are currently short of DC2’s there is a good likely hood that you
will be placed into a projected pay grade vacancy.
• Newly advanced DC1’s should expect to be assigned to a critical vacancy in the field. In some situations you may be able to complete another year in your current assignment, provided that you have not reached your rotation date.
• Newly advanced personnel above E-7 should expect to be transferred.
• Fleet-ups do not change rotation dates! They simply place a member into a pay grade matched position within the same location. This option is normally the first step however; service need may dictate that members be relocated.
• Some E-8 and E-9 positions are interviewed and records reviewed by the RFMC.
(RILO) or Separation in Lieu of Orders (SILO)
If you are placing a retirement letter dated for anything outside of the normal retirement window of May through August, ensure you have the Commands endorsement acknowledging they may be accepting a potential gap. If this is not done, the process will be delayed considerably.
Retirement eligible members (> 20 years active duty) in receipt of orders may request retirement in lieu of orders. The member must request the RILO within 5 days of receiving PCS orders. If the retirement request is approved, the member will be retired by 01Aug of the current year. Approval will be based on service need.
Members on indefinite reenlistments (> 10 years of active service) and in receipt of orders may request separation in lieu of orders. A separation request must be submitted to EPM within 5 days of receiving PCS orders. If the separation request is approved, the member will be separated from the service by 01Aug of the current year. Approval is based on service need.
Obligate Service (OBLISERVE)
Members on first enlistments (< 10 years of active service) and in receipt of orders may request to not obligate service. This request must be submitted to EPM-2 via message traffic within 5 working days of receiving PCS orders. Members can expect to either have their obligated service waived and report as ordered until they reach their end of enlistment, or may have their orders canceled and be processed for separation from active duty, possibly within 30 days. If the obligated service has been waived you will not be allowed to extend/reenlist without EPM-1 approval. Either way you should fully expect to be separated from active duty.
Contact from your AO
During the assignment season it is often difficult to
reach each of you during normal business hours. I encourage you to update
your personal information in Direct Access with your current home & cell
phone numbers and e-mail address. Please ensure that your primary DC e-mail
ends with .mil, .gov, or .edu. any other ending will not allow me to
finalize cutting your PCS orders until it has been changed. I will sometimes
make phone calls or send e-mails after hours or on weekends to reach you.
CWO3 Don Slowik
DC Assignment Officer
Desk Phone Number: (703) 872-6592