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 OutbreakQuestions@uscg.mil. 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 | March 29, 2022

Reserve FAQs

Q: Do I still need to perform Active Duty for Training (ADT) and Inactive Duty for Training (IDT)?
A: Yes. Reservists must still report for ADT and IDT as directed by cognizant authority to maintain mobilization readiness. Failure to report for duty without prior authorization will be viewed as an unexcused absence. Drills marked as “unexcused” may not be rescheduled for a later date. However, commands are encouraged to provide their reservists with maximum flexibility, while balancing operational readiness with exposure risk. Communicate with your supervisor to determine if your training can be rescheduled, completed remotely, or shifted to another location. Commands may give special consideration to reservists who travel from outside of the reasonable commuting distance to their units. However, if you are ordered to report for duty by a cognizant authority, you must do so.

 

Q: What impact will excusing or rescheduling ADT or IDT due to COVID-19 have on my ability to earn a “good year” for retirement?
A: In accordance with 10 U.S.C. §12732, Reservists must earn at least 50 points during their anniversary year to be credited for a good year for retirement. This requirement is law and cannot be waived. Commands should make every reasonable effort to reschedule duty within the member’s anniversary year for members exhibiting symptoms or diagnosed with COVID-19. Members who are unable to perform duty can earn retirement points via Electronic Based Distance Learning (EBDL). The complete EBDL Course List and information can be found here: https://www.reserve.uscg.mil/Resources/CG131/CG1311/Training/EBDL/.

Additionally, Section 516 of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amended 10 U.S.C. §12732(a)(2)(F), giving the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to provide up to 35 non-paid retirement points to Coast Guard reservists who were already on track for a good anniversary year and were negatively impacted by cancellation or postponement of ADT/IDTs on or after 1 March 2020 until 60 days after the date the travel or duty restrictions were lifted. The ADT/IDT must have been scheduled and required to be cancelled or rescheduled beyond the end of the reservist's anniversary date. Affected members may earn up to a total of 50 retirement to include their 15 membership points, but no greater than the total of 50 points in the affected anniversary year. This impacted very few reservists and the authority was not continued in the FY22.

View the NDAA here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6395/text

 

Q: As a Command how do I hold reservists accountable to the “90% rule” if I excuse IDT drills?
A: Reservists are required to complete 90% of scheduled drills, which is normally 48 drills in a fiscal year. Commands may excuse the performance of IDT drills, reducing the number of drills used in determining satisfactory participation. For example, if the command excuses four drills the satisfactory participation calculation would be 90% of 44 scheduled drills as opposed to the normal 48. Excused drills may be rescheduled at a later date. This does not eliminate the requirement for a member to attain 50 points in an anniversary year for that year to be counted towards retirement.
 

Q: What should Commands do to minimize a reservist COVID-19 risk while on ADT or IDT?
A: Commands are highly encouraged to communicate with their reservists prior to scheduled travel or reporting to determine if reservists are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. SELRES members experiencing flu or COVID-19 like symptoms (fever, chills, nausea/ vomiting, shortness of breath/trouble breathing, etc.), should work with their Command to reschedule duty rather than reporting if feeling ill.

 

Q: As a Command, what if we have a reservist who may have been exposed to or who starts exhibiting symptoms for COVID-19 while performing ADT or IDT (including while traveling to/from) duty?
A: First and foremost, direct the member to call their primary care provider who will assess symptoms and advise them. Not unlike an injury or illness incurred while in a qualifying duty status, if symptoms/exposure happened while in a qualifying duty status, the member may qualify for Reserve Incapacitation Benefits. Commands must conduct a Line of Duty investigation to determine and document member exposure. Chapter 6.F of the Reserve Policy Manual COMDTINST M1001.28 (series) and Chapter 7 of the Administrative Investigations Manual COMDTINST M5830.1 (series) provide guidance on procedures to follow for both commands and reservists.  Reservists who are experiencing flu or COVID-19 like symptoms must work with their Command to reschedule ADT/IDT and not report if ill. 

 

Q. What should I do if I become COVID-19 positive?  ‚Äč
A. Notify your command and update CG Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (CGPAAS) at https://cgpaas.uscg.mil/  immediately/ASAP. In accordance with ALCOAST 174/20, CGPAAS is the official means to most accurately report and track personnel status during this dynamic time; it has been modified to include a module and categories specific to COVID-19. Personnel can report their status through the CGPAAS website without being connected to the CG network and without their CAC card. Reserve personnel on active duty orders shall report both personal and work statuses and update the status as appropriate. Reserve personnel in a drilling status are encouraged to report personal status. All changes to personal or work status must be updated in CGPAAS by the member or unit CGPAAS Commanding Officer Representative (COR).

 

Q: Will DXRs make special provisions to procure IDT berthing for SELRES members (who are authorized IDT berthing at this permanent duty station) approved to perform IDT at an alternate location more than 50 miles from home?
A. With the end of COVID-19 travel restrictions, members are no longer authorized IDT berthing at an alternate duty location. Commands that authorize a reservist to drill at an alternate location more than 50 miles from the member’s home must provide TDY travel entitlements.

 

Q. What is the policy on reservists drilling via telework?
A: The purpose of inactive duty training (IDT) drills is to provide individual mobilization and unit readiness training; therefore, commands must carefully weigh whether mobilization training can be completed via telework. At this point in the pandemic and with the vaccination requirement, most members will be authorized to perform training at the unit so drilling via telework will not be necessary. The Coast Guard Telework Program instruction, COMDTINST 5330.4, provides guidance for reserve telework. If a command authorizes telework, paid drills must still meet the duty requirements of Chapter 2 of the Reserve Duty Status and Participation Manual (RDSP), COMDTINST M1001.2 (series) and reimbursement for meals is not authorized when teleworking.

 

Q: What are other ways to perform duty or earn retirement points outside of IDT and ADT-AT?
A: If a member is unable to drill at the unit due to COVID-19, there are several ways to earn retirement points, including Electronic Based Distributed Learning (EBDL). Members and units should consult the Reserve Component (RC) Use of Electronic-Based Distributed Learning (EBDL) Methods for Training, COMDTINST 1500.7 to learn about command-directed and elective courses that can provide retirement points upon completion. In limited cases, IDT pay for completing of EBDL may be awarded but commands must abide by strict rules prior to members being authorized pay. Review Reserve Component Use of Electronic-Based Distributed Learning (EDBL) Methods for Training, COMDTINST 1500.7 (series) for more information.

 

Q: In the event of an activation, what if my family care plan won’t work because either my caregiver is high-risk or can’t arrive?
A: Due to the fluid nature of the event, these situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Members should ensure their commands and unit ombudsman are aware of individual circumstances, and whether additional local resources are required. Commands should remain sensitive to the needs of their Coast Guard families. 

 

Q: If I’m recalled, how much notice will I get?
A: Normally, for involuntary recalls of 90 days or more under 10 USC 12302, there is a 30-day notification requirement; however, the Secretary of Homeland Security waived this requirement during the initial activations. For COVID-19 related recalls, the Areas and DOL should provide 30-day notification during this steady state period and at least seven days advanced notice prior to activation for any future COVID-19 surges. For more information see ALCOAST 128/20.

 

Q: Which members will be recalled?
A: As requirements evolve, certain skillsets will be recalled as commands request reserve support through Direct Access Mobilization Module (DA MOB). Members should check DA MOB if they are looking for opportunities. 

 

Q: Are medical/dental screenings required for this activation?
A: In-person medical screenings are only required if service members are deploying outside of the United States, or deploying to a Department of Defense Combatant Command (COCOM). 

All members being activated will be asked a series of prescreening medical questions to address unit and personal risk factors. These questions, referenced in ALCOAST 128/20, can be found at the CG-R page on CG Portal.

At the conclusion of involuntary recall orders, members will be required to complete a Separation History and Physical Examination (SHPE) and a mental health screening prior to demobilization.

 

Q: Can Electronic Based Distance Learning (EBDL) be completed on the same day as an Inactive Duty for Training (IDT) drill?
A: To receive the retirement points associated with completion of an EDBL course, members cannot be in a duty status (IDT, ADT, ADOS, or contingency orders) when they finish the course. This is especially important for members attending virtual advanced education (e.g., Naval War College, RCNSC, etc.) courses. For example, if the last day of a semester-long course falls on a drill weekend (whether or not the member completed any coursework that day), the member cannot get credit for the course. Members need to be cognizant of these dates when scheduling any form of duty.

 

Q: What are some other resources for training?
A: If a member cannot perform duty at the unit due to COVID-19, there are numerous learning opportunities through Learning Management System (LMS): https://elearning.uscg.mil that the member can complete to earn the 50 points necessary for a good year for retirement. There are also opportunities through other government agencies for distance-learning courses that directly support Maritime Homeland Security, National Defense, and Disaster Response and Recovery. This information can also be obtained online or through the Electronic Based Distance Learning (EBDL) contacts listed above. Prior to pursuing any of these opportunities, members must gain command approval of their training plan.

 

Q: If I’m performing training activities remotely, what are examples of measurable products?
A: Measurable products can include, but are not limited to, progress or completion of a PQS, progress towards a unit required competency, evaluations/marks, notes from a teleconference or training session, study guide for Servicewide Examinations (SWE) or qualification, completion or drafting of unit instructions in whole or part, and conducting single officer investigations resulting in findings, administrative tasks required by Reserve management, and large-scale training such as Civil Rights Training. For more information, reference ALCOAST 150/20.

 

Q. Can I perform my Active Duty for Training-Annual Training (ADT-AT) at home?
A. It’s not likely, but permission may be granted on a case-by-case basis by each District's DXR. Active Duty for Annual Training (ADT-AT) should be used to gain hands-on operational experience or access to longer courses/classroom activities, ensuring you are ready to mobilize for contingencies. At this point in the pandemic and with the vaccination mandate, most reservists should be able to perform ADT-AT at their home unit.

 

Q. What impact will excusing or rescheduling ADT or IDT have on my ability to earn the 70 points required to be eligible for the Reserve Good Conduct Medal?
A. ALCOAST 358/20 announces a temporary policy change to modify eligibility requirements for the Reserve Good Conduct Medal (RGCM).Effective 01 March 2020 until a date to be determined, paragraph 5.A.2.a.(2) in the Coast Guard Medals and Awards Manual, COMDTINST M1650.2E, is temporarily modified to reduce the requirements for a qualifying year from 70 to 50 points. The requirement to apply the standard in place at the beginning of the anniversary year does not apply to this temporary reduction in points.

Questions regarding the Reserve Good Conduct Medal should be directed to CG PSC-PSD-ma at: ARL.Medals@uscg.mil.

 

Q. I travel from outside RCD to drill.  Is double berthing being enforced during the pandemic?
A.  No.  For the duration of the pandemic (or until otherwise indicated) single occupancy berthing is authorized and will be funded.  Members conducting IDT at their normal drilling location who are eligible to receive berthing are granted an exception to berthing policy contained in Chapter 2 of the Reserve Duty Status and Participation Manual (RDSP), COMDTINST M1001.2 (series).

 

Q. Are “weigh-ins” still required during the pandemic?
A. Yes.  Semi-annual “weigh-ins,” now referred to as Body Composition Screenings, have resumed as of 01 October 2020 for all military members.  FAQs and specific SELRES guidance can be found here:  https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Portals/10/CG-1/cg133/pdf/Body_Comp_FAQs_Sept_2020.pdf?ver=xu1jlg13QWRUXTcl7xTDog%3d%3d.

General and policy questions regarding the Body Composition Program should be sent to HQS-SMB-BodyCompPolicy@uscg.mil.

 

Q. I have been mobilized in support of COVID-19, can my orders be extended?
A. Maybe.  In accordance with ALCOAST 363/20, Reserve mobilization policy is updated to allow orders to be issued for up to 365 days.  Existing orders may be amended to bring the total duration to 365 days.  Extension requests beyond 180 days must be approved through appropriate authority (PAC/LANT/DOL) and may take additional time to process. This change will better meet the needs of operational and mission support field commanders as well as the needs of individual reservists. Orders extensions should be pursued early to ensure uninterrupted benefits and entitlements.

 While 10 U.S.C. §12302 authorizes the involuntary recall of reservists for up to two years, the Secretary of DHS has only authorized the involuntary recall of CG reservists for COVID-19 response operations for up to 365 days. After 365 days, members may volunteer to remain on duty under ADOS-AC orders in support of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, involuntary orders under 10 U.S.C. §12302 will not be extended past 365 days. Contact your District DXR for more information.