June 19, 2020 —
G1 Q: I am due to rotate this season, but I heard PCS moves are delayed.
A: We are continuing PCS moves. However, this year will require a more flexible approach. We will be taking things step-by-step, and providing additional guidance as we move through the process. The latest PCS guidance is routinely announced via ALCOAST. We ask for your continued patience as we work through this complicated logistics challenge.
G2 Q: What kind of help is available for members and families delayed during PCS?
A: The answer depends on the member’s situation. See the Joint Travel Regulations for details, but in summary:
For service members: If a service member is ordered to temporarily return to the old PDS or to an alternate location, then the service member could be issued TDY orders and may be authorized standard travel and transportation allowances in accordance with Joint Travel Regulation (JTR), Chapter 2. If the service member is ordered to remain in place or to an alternate location to await transportation, then per diem may be authorized in accordance with JTR Chapter 5, Part A. If lodging in kind or meals in kind are provided, then per diem is not payable.
For dependents: If the service member’s dependents remain in place awaiting transportation, then per diem may be authorized in accordance with JTR Chapter 5, Part A. If dependents do not remain in place awaiting transportation, then per diem is not authorized. If the dependents are authorized to temporarily return to the old PDS or to an alternate location to await transportation, then the dependents may be authorized standard PCS allowances from the location where notified of the delay to the location named in the amended PCS order, in accordance with JTR, Chapter 5, Part A. If lodging in-kind or meals in-kind are provided, then per diem is not payable.
G3 Q: I received PCS orders, can I take leave for house hunting at my new station? *Updated 6/19/2020*
A: During the COVID-19 pandemic, house hunting leave may only be authorized after the member safely arrives at their new permanent duty station. Limited leave en route to a new duty station may only be approved by the unit CO/OIC or the first O6/GS-15 in the chain of command. When considering requests to approve leave en route, commands should weigh all risk factors – including state and local government guidance, and the member’s plan for transportation, activities, lodging, and precautions. Members are reminded to follow CDC guidelines for safe interactions in public whenever on leave. All leave en route, if approved, must be included in the member’s Float Plan. For more information, please refer to the most recent travel and leave ALCOAST SITREP.
G5 Q: For students who are on a DOD facility attending training in which a PCS was executed to be there, are they required to follow DOD guidance to remain in place until DOD authorizes PCS again?
A: Coast Guard members are authorized to build and execute moves per ALCOAST 127/20. Students who cannot move due to household goods shipment issues should contact their assignment officer and FORCECOM to develop an alternate plan. This plan might require the member to remain at the DOD facility.
G6: I am on a DOD facility attending training. When training is complete, will I be allowed to go back to my unit?
A: Yes, students who are TDY on a DOD facility will travel back to their unit unless otherwise directed by their Coast Guard chain of command.
G12 Q: I’m retiring or separating from the service. What should I do?
A: Continue to coordinate and execute your household goods move as normal. You are no longer required to have a Coast Guard Headquarters Exception to Policy (ETP) for your household goods or vehicles. It is a good idea to talk to your local transportation office and the assigned moving company to ensure that local restrictions will not affect your scheduled packing or pickup dates. Note: You are exempt from the requirements of the stop movement for CONUS and OCONUS travel.
G14 Q: PCS transfers aren’t yet authorized for my planned date. What should I do?
A: While the situation is fluid, one thing is for sure – you should continue with the normal PCS process. The CG needs you to build your move in DPS so that we will be able to assess how moves are spread across the assignment season, identify areas of potential risk, and better help members execute their moves. Continue to work with your SPO or Personnel and Administration (P&A) shop to get your orders done as soon possible to facilitate your DPS requests. Logon to move.mil to ensure that your logon and password are up to date; and then “load up” your move at the appropriate time. Even if for some reason your move date has to change at some point in the future, you are far better off having started the process. We will send future SITREPs with additional guidance as things change. Monitor the USCG’s COVID website and the ALCOAST message boards.
G15 Q: What if I have to move to or from Puerto Rico? I hear moves are not happening there.
A: Due to local restrictions, moving companies are not able to support HHG moves at this time. As soon as the local restrictions are lifted, HHG pickup and deliveries will recommence. This FAQ will be updated once local conditions allow moves to proceed.
G16 Q: I am a GS employee pending PCS orders for a move OCONUS. I have to sell my house. What are my next steps?
A: Civilian PCS moves may continue; however, delays may occur. Selectees may request delays due to health risks, challenges with the real estate market, and travel concerns. Contact your hiring official to coordinate with the selecting official to determine if the duties of the position can be performed at a CG unit in your current duty location or if telework arrangements are possible. Hiring officials will be contacted by HR specialists prior to establishing firm start dates to discuss potential local challenges.
G18 Q: I am transferring to/from a foreign country or foreign territory. What is different for my PCS? *Updated 6/19/2020*
A: All foreign PCS is authorized as long as DoD or Chief of Mission (as applicable) restrictions are met. Members should carry out PCS after receiving guidance from their receiving commands.
G19 Q: I am reporting in/out of D17, Alaska and want to drive my car in my PCS travel. Can I go through Canada during my PCS travel? *Updated 6/19/2020*
A: Yes. Members PCSing to/from Alaska are permitted to transit through Canada on their way to their next permanent duty station. Members PCSing through other domestic/OCONUS locations will need to ship their motor vehicles. Members should visit https://www.pcsmypov.com to coordinate shipments of their personally owned vehicle (POV) and can watch the helpful “Turning in Your POV” YouTube video for guidance on the process.
Members traveling to or through Canada must also e-mail D-17-DG-M-K-BaseKodiak-Admin@uscg.mil as soon as possible, but no less than 10 days prior to the start of their travel, with the following information:
- First M. Last name of Service Member
- First M. Last name of all authorized travelers on orders
- D17 Unit of assigned/departed
- Type of Travel (PCS departing or PCS reporting)
- Estimated date of entry into Canada
- Port/border crossing locations into Canada
- Estimated date of entry into U.S.
- Port Port/border crossing locations into U.S.
- Vehicle make, model and license plate info
- Phone number while in a travel status
Base Kodiak will then transmit this information to the U.S. Defense Attache Office at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
G24 Q: ALCOAST 127/20 prohibits leave en route during PCS. Why was this done? *Updated 5/6/2020*
A: : Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AY20 PCS season will not be business as usual. Managing this assignment season will require unprecedented measures including flexibility and compromise both by unit commands and members to balance mission needs and member needs. Leave en route is authorized in limited circumstances and should be closely monitored. Leave en route may only be approved by the unit CO/OIC or the first O-6 in the chain of command. The intent of leave en route this transfer season is to facilitate a member’s PCS travel, arrival, or functionality at their new duty station. Leave en route should not be used to accomplish vacation plans or leisure travel. This leave may only be granted if the risk to unit, member, and family is found to be outweighed by the potential gain. All leave en route, if approved, must be included in the Float Plan.
G28 Q: Does the Float Plan need to be completed prior to receiving PCS Orders? *Updated 4/23/2020*
A: No. PCS Orders should be completed and issued as soon as possible. Moves should then be promptly uploaded in the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). The Float Plan should be finalized approximately 10 days prior to the anticipated day of departure and reviewed for a “go-no go” decision on the departure day. This process will ensure the plan incorporates all relevant policies, notices, or travel restrictions and responds to real-time conditions.
G29 Q: If PCS orders are completed weeks or months in advance of the Float Plan, won’t that create more work for the SPOs and Admin shops? *Updated 4/23/2020*
A: As the national picture continues to change, our response must remain flexible and responsive. Unfortunately, we anticipate this creating a greater number of amendments during this year’s assignment season than in years past, which could lead to an increase in work for the SPOs and Admin shops. This increase will take everyone’s best effort and is unavoidable due to the pandemic. Please keep this in mind as you’re managing expectations for yourself and your crews.
G30 Q: Am I allowed to take leave during my PCS transfer this year? *Updated 6/19/2020*
A: Limited leave en route to a new duty station may be approved by the unit CO/OIC or the first O6/GS-15 in the chain of command. When considering requests to approve leave en route, commands should weigh all risk factors – including state and local government guidance, and the member’s plan for transportation, activities, lodging, and precautions. Members are reminded to follow CDC guidelines for safe interactions in public whenever on leave. All leave en route, if approved, must be included in the member’s Float Plan. For more information, please refer to the most recent travel and leave ALCOAST SITREP.
G31 Q: Who is authorized to sign for command approval of the Float Plan? *Updated 4/23/2020*
A: Commanding Officers and Officers in Charge have the authority to set the approval level for the Float Plan. The Float Plan was specifically created to drive risk assessments and ongoing discussion between the PCS’ing member and their chain of command. Leaders at all levels should be engaged with their transferring members to ensure they identify the best solutions for each member’s specific scenario and individual needs.
G32 Q: Will the Coast Guard begin requiring Float Plans every year from now on? *Updated 4/23/2020*
A: The Float Plan was designed to meet the specific and unique challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no current intention to continue its usage beyond the current PCS season.
G33 Q: I’m not moving this year; do I need to complete a Float Plan? *Updated 4/23/2020*
A: No. Members not in receipt of PCS orders do not need to complete a Float Plan. Members executing fleet-ups and local “no-cost” moves are encouraged to communicate with their respective commands and utilize the normal process of negotiating departing/reporting dates.
G34 Q: Are units authorized to create and use their own Float Plan forms?*Updated 4/23/2020*
A: No. The only authorized Float Plan can always be found on the CG’s Coronavirus Website, though previously submitted/approved Float Plans may be used. We will continue to update the Float Plan based on lessons learned.
G35 Q: What actions should be taken if a member or dependents exhibit flu-like symptoms while en route? *Updated 4/23/2020*
A: Members and dependents can contact the Tricare (MHS) Nurse Advice Line: 1-800-874-2273, option 1, or contact their healthcare provider to check symptoms. For general information, you can follow the CDC guidelines listed here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html. Members should then immediately contact their unit POCs to update them on their status and to coordinate next steps. The PCS Assist Team is always available to offer Coast Guard-specific guidance and the latest resources concerning PCS policies and entitlements.
G36 Q: Why is there a requirement to ensure a specific communication plan during travel? Is this necessary? *Updated 4/23/2020*
A: Just as ops and position checks are critical to identifying the location and welfare of a search and rescue crew, regular check-ins will ensure positive contact between units and members. Missed communication can serve as early warning signs that something may be wrong. Additionally, regular check-ins will ensure the PCS’ing member is alerted if conditions change along the way or at the new unit.
G37 Q: Can I book both hotels and short-term rentals (e.g., AirBnB or VRBO) during my PCS travel this year? *Added 06/05/2020*
A: Yes. If you are traveling in a personally owned vehicle on an official PCS order, you will get the standard CONUS per diem rate for each authorized travel day. Receipts for lodging are not required for PCS travel.
You can also use a short-term rental for authorized Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)/Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) or Quarantine/Isolation periods. However, unlike PCS, you must be able to obtain a daily itemized receipt to meet receipt requirements outlined in JTR Paragraph 020303 for reimbursement.