Frequently Asked Questions

USCG Specific Frequently Asked Questions

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PCS Update: A Float Plan and Assist Team will support members during PCS season


The Coast Guard today shared additional details about how it will “Spread Out the Season” to protect members and their families during Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season.

The service announced last week that it does plan to transfer members to new stations this year, in order to maintain a mission-ready posture and advance members’ careers. The season will move in a very deliberate, step-by-step process, and can be paused if the national landscape necessitates, which will help ensure members’ safety.

If you are PCSing this year, you will note different things are expected of you, your supervisor, your command, and your family.


The two main changes are:

  1. You will be required to conduct mission planning much like you would before a flight, a boarding or inspection, using the newly released PCS Float Plan.

  2. A PCS Assist Team will serve as a life-ring for members who need support at any time during their PCS transfer. This team will be deeply familiar with every step including: Orders, Household Goods (HHG) moves, PCS Float Plan, and ready to address any medical, transportation, or other issues that arise along your journey. More details on the Assist Team are coming soon.


Members: What you need to know

  1. Commands are authorized to negotiate a member’s PCS report date as late as September 30.

  2. Every member moving to a new permanent duty station in Assignment Year 2020 must develop a PCS Float Plan in addition to a PCS departing worksheet. The Float Plan will help you adapt to the local conditions you encounter during travel. It must be signed by both your departing and receiving command ten days prior to your depart date and filed with your receiving command at least five days prior to your depart date.

  3. Work with your current and new commands to determine the best time for you to transfer, based on both commands’ needs and your family’s individual situation. Command cadres should understand that this flexibility may result in longer-than-usual gaps in billets.

  4. Without delay, obtain signed orders and build your move in the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). Even if your desired date is later in the summer, you are required to register your move now; a HHG pickup date can always be modified.

    • Note: As of this date, members no longer need an Exception to Policy letter. US TRANSCOM is again processing all Coast Guard moves under the normal process.

    • You may need to separate your report date from your HHG shipment.

    • You may transfer separately – either before or after – the rest of your family.

  5. During the COVID-19 pandemic, house hunting leave is only authorized after arrival at the new duty station – not prior to executing a PCS move.

    • Leave en route to your next unit is not authorized, unless in extenuating circumstances. Leave en route can be approved by the first O-6 in your chain of command.

    • Members may take regular leave at their point of departure or point of arrival.


Members conducting a Personally Procured Move are still required to go through all of these risk mitigation steps.

These risk mitigation steps are not required for retirees, those separating or on no-cost orders.


Domestic/Foreign PCS Moves: What you need to know

  1. Alaska, Hawaii, and all U.S. territories are considered domestic locations for the purposes of PCS. Members transferring to those locations must not travel to or through a foreign country en route. The only exception is members traveling to/from Alaska, who may travel through Canada. Overseas screening procedures are still in full effect per normal procedures.

  2. The CG will not PCS personnel to or from foreign countries before May 25.


Accession Graduates: What you need to know

  1. If you are PCSing from TRACEN Cape May, the Coast Guard Academy (CGA), or the Leadership Development Center, as a graduate, you will need to follow these same procedures.

  2. Leave en route will be authorized on a case-by-case basis and should be only for the purpose of transition from the accession source to the new unit. CGA graduation leave for AY20 is not authorized at this time. In extenuating circumstances, members may request a waiver, with approval authority by the CO/OINC or the first O-6 in the chain of command.

  3. If the receiving unit is not able to accommodate a member’s arrival, then the accession source and member shall develop an alternate PCS plan that meets member and receiving unit needs. This may require keeping the member at the accession source or at an alternative place of transition, as necessary.


Full details are available in ALCOAST 127/20. Also, please refer to the PCS FAQ, which we continue to update. And keep an eye on this space for additional guidance as it becomes available.

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