Frequently Asked Questions

USCG Specific Frequently Asked Questions

For additional coronavirus questions not covered in these FAQ or that your chain of command cannot answer, please e-mail To ensure the most timely response, please identify yourself (i.e. military member, civilian, Auxiliarist, contractor, family member) in your e-mail inquiry. 

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COVID-19 | June 19, 2020

Telework FAQs

Q: Can I telework?
A: In order to telework, you must be in a telework-eligible position, obtain supervisor’s approval, take telework training, and complete a telework agreement. ALCOAST 166/20 provides additional guidance.

DHS is encouraging agencies to maximize their telework capacity. ALCOAST 166/20 helps commands and supervisors to balance risk to the workforce and risk to mission. Managers should ensure that there are effective processes in place for communicating with members who are teleworking.

You can find additional details in the Coast Guard’s telework IT guidance and telework policy guidance.


Q: How do I equip myself for telework?
A: You have a few options. Start with number one, which has the most minimal network bandwidth, and then move down the list to access greater capability as needed:

  1. Offline or “off-network” telework: No bandwidth demand. *do not use your personal email for FOUO, PII or OPSEC.
  2. BlackBerry (if assigned): Low bandwidth demand. Talk to your supervisor.
  3. Outlook Web Access (OWA): Low to medium bandwidth demand. Available via CAC reader. Try to avoid sending large file attachments.
  4. CG Portal: Low to medium bandwidth demand. Available via CAC reader.
  5. Virtual Private Network (VPN): Medium to high bandwidth demand. VPN accesses software loaded to your normal workstation (e.g. MS Visio, MS Project, etc.), and receives Windows OS patches. If your government laptop was connected to the network prior to March 15, it probably already has the new AnyConnect VPN software. Find it in the “Cisco” folder in your start menu, and click “Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.”
  6. Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI): Highest bandwidth demand.

ALCOAST 166/20 provides additional guidance regarding telework priorities and options, as well as expectations of supervisors and employees. For more information, visit the Telework website.


Q: Are contractors allowed to telework?
A: Yes, contractors are allowed to telework if needed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They should communicate with their Contracting Officer and Contracting Officer Representatives.


Q: I need to get my CAC or USID card issued or reissued. What do I need to know?
A: To minimize in-person visits to DEERS/RAPIDS offices, temporary policy changes allow certain people to either complete CAC and USID card transactions without going to DEERS/RAPIDS sites, or to hold off on renewing their card. Review the DoD’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at to find the most recent guidance.


Q:  My CAC is about to expire.  How do I get it renewed?
A:  If your CAC expired on or after April 16, 2020, you may have the certificates updated within 30 days of the card’s expiration date by visiting the DoD ID Card Office Online ( This policy change is in effect through Sept. 30, 2020.  For details, see ALCOAST 190/20.


Q: Where can I find the closest DEERS/RAPIDS office?
A: Your closest DEERS/RAPIDS site and its hours of operation can be found at Do not show up without an appointment! Walk-ins are not allowed.  ALCOAST 139/20 provides information about qualifying for an in-person appointment. To schedule one, go to