Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Reserve Guidance

What you need to know

  • Reservists must still report for Active Duty for Training (ADT) and Inactive Duty for Training (IDT). Failure to report without prior authorization will be viewed as an unexcused absence.
  • Commands are encouraged to cancel, reschedule, or identify alternative training methods in lieu of in-person training.
  • Reservists not on active duty are strongly encouraged against foreign travel.
  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your primary care manager via phone and then notify your command, who will notify the DCMS watch at D05-SMB-DCMS-Watch@uscg.mil.


Reserve FAQs



F1 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.


F5 Q: What impact will excusing or rescheduling ADT or IDT have on my ability to get a “good year” for retirement?

A: Reserve retirement points are only provided when duty is performed. ADT or IDT that is excused or delayed could impact an individual’s ability to accumulate the 50 retirement points needed for a qualifying year toward Reserve retirement. If you do not perform drills, they do not count toward meeting a member’s fiscal year IDT drill requirement as outlined in Chapter 4.B of the Reserve Policy Manual. However, they may be rescheduled at a later date. Reservists should be aware of their current point status and take appropriate action to ensure they meet their requirements. Inactive duty points may be accrued through the completion of certain correspondence courses.


F7 Q: Am I allowed to travel in my civilian capacity?

A: Yes. The travel restrictions in ALCOAST 071/20 do not apply to reservists who are not in an active status. However, reservists not on orders are highly discouraged from traveling to areas within the U.S., including territories, experiencing sustained community transmission. The return to-duty requirements of ALCOAST 071/20 apply to all personnel prior to returning to a Coast Guard facility. If you chose to travel in your civilian capacity to an area experiencing sustained community transmission, you may be ineligible to report for duty at a Coast Guard facility until you are able to meet the requirements.


F11 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.

F14 Q: As a command, I have reservists scheduled to perform IDT/ADT.  What should I do to minimize potential exposure? 

A: Commands are highly encouraged to communicate with their reservists prior to their scheduled travel to determine if reservists believe they have been potentially exposed or live in an ongoing community transmission area and assist them as able.  Commands have the authority to excuse or reschedule reserve training, are encouraged to give maximum flexibility, and should balance operational readiness with exposure risk.


F15 Q: As a command, what if we have a reservist who may have been exposed or is exhibiting symptoms for COVID-19 while performing ADT or IDT, including while traveling to/from duty? 

A: Direct the member to call their primary care provider who will assess symptoms and advise them. If symptoms/exposure happened while in a qualifying duty status, the member may qualify for Reserve Incapacitation Benefits. Conduct a Line of Duty investigation to determine how the member was exposed.
The Reserve Policy Manual COMDTINST M1001.28 (series), Chapter 6 para. F, and the Administrative Investigations Manual COMDTINST M5830.1 (series), Chapter 7, provide guidance on procedures to follow for both commands and reservists.


F18 Q. Should I change my Annual Screening Questionnaire (ASQ) status if I become COVID-19 positive or am directed to self-isolate or self-quarantine?

A. No. After discussing with your primary care manager via phone, notify your command, who will notify the DCMS watch at D05-SMB-DCMS-Watch@uscg.mil. This is the reporting mechanism that the Coast Guard is using regarding COVID-19.


F19 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. DXRs may extend the current policy regarding IDT berthing to members, currently authorized IDT berthing at their home unit, to allow the use of IDT berthing at alternate drill locations. However, the same policy guidance contained in COMDTINST M1001.28C, Chapter 2 remains in effect, and will be applied from the member’s permanent residence to the alternate IDT location. Reservists should work with their commands to submit an alternate worksite memo, and contact the temporary unit’s DXR to work out berthing needs.


F20 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. Commands are authorized to consider alternative means for reservists to perform duties until the crisis has passed, including use of alternate training methods to accomplish common training requirements in lieu of drill at the primary place of duty.

This could include non-traditional delivery of training (e.g. reserve service wide exam preparation via videoconference) or other readiness training that can be executed remotely. As always, Electronic Based Distance Learning (EBDL) classes are available for non-pay credit. Under these unprecedented circumstances and only during the COVID-19 pandemic, commands are authorized to allow Reservists to use non-traditional training techniques to ensure readiness and preserve the health of our Reserve workforce. Paid drills must still meet the duty requirements of Chapter 2 of the Reserve Policy Manual, COMDTINST M1001.28C.


F21 Q: What are other ways to perform duty or earn retirement points outside of IDT and ADT-AT?

A: There are several ways to earn retirement points, including Electronic Based Distance Learning (EBDL). Members and units should consult COMDTINST M1001.28C, 8L to learn about command-directed and elective courses that can provide retirement points upon completion. In limited cases, IDT pay may be awarded but commands must abide by strict rules prior to members being authorized pay. Review the Reserve Policy Manual and https://www.reserve.uscg.mil/Resources/CG131/CG1311/Training/EBDL/ for more information.


F24 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. 


F25 Q: I’m a first responder (police, ambulance, fire), and I’m worried about being mobilized. 

A: We’re proud of our first responders, and we realize how essential they are to their communities at a time like this. The Coast Guard intends to use the employment data in the Annual Screening Questionnaire (ASQ) to minimize the impact on local communities in the event of an involuntary recall. As per ALCOAST 128/20, commands are requested to make every effort possible to avoid activating any first responders. Members should ensure your ASQ appropriately indicates that you are a first responder, and ensure your command is aware as well.


F26 Q: If I’m recalled, how much notice will I get?

A: Normally, for recalls of 180 days or more under 10 USC 12302, there is a 30-day notification requirement; however, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has waived this requirement. The Areas and DOL are trying to provide at least seven days advanced notice prior to activation provided operational needs support this. For more information see ALCOAST 128/20.


F27 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). Commands are requested to source personnel locally, if possible, to minimize exposure to COVID-19 due to travel. 


F28 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. A “red” PHA is not indicative of a member’s ability to deploy; as per ALCOAST 104/20, the period of validity for PHAs are extended for 120 days.


F29 Q: Our Reserve unit has been working hard to establish training programs to provide alternate drill site training for our members, how do I know if it will be approved? *Updated 4/28/2020*

A: All training must be command endorsed, in the spirit of ALCOAST 150/20, and in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Reserve Policy Manual. If these conditions are met, drills will be approved and processed for payment. See ALCOAST 086/20 and ALCOAST 150/20 for more details.


F30 Q: What is the approval process for Inactive Duty Training (IDT) and Active Duty for Training-Annual Training (ADT-AT) drills performed under this guidance? *Updated 4/28/2020*

A: The Inactive Duty Training (IDT) and Active Duty for Training-Annual Training (ADT-AT) drills performed under these guidelines should be approved in the same method as done previously. Commands shall work with their members to ensure that the drills were performed in accordance with the guidance provided in ALCOAST 150/20. As per this same ALCOAST, the decision to authorize remote drilling must be documented in the notes section when submitting an IDT drill in Direct Access to include the location authorized.


F31 Q: Can Electronic Based Distance Learning (EBDL) be completed on the same day as an Inactive Duty for Training (IDT) drill? *Updated 4/28/2020*

A: Yes. Electronic Based Distance Learning (EBDL) courses may be completed during Inactive Duty Training (IDT) drill; however, if EBDL is completed on the same day as IDT or Active Duty for Training (ADT), only points associated with that duty can be credited. The designated course points cannot be applied in addition to points earned for duty in the same period. Therefore, members cannot be in a duty status when they finish the course online to receive the designated course values. For more information, reference ALCOAST 150/20.


F32 Q: What are some other resources for training? *Updated 4/28/2020*

A: In addition to General Mandated Training (GMT), there are numerous learning opportunities through Learning Management System (LMS): https://elearning.uscg.mil. 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.


F33 Q: I am a Senior Reserve Officer (SRO)/Senior Enlisted Reserve Advisor (SERA)/Department Head and need to obtain access to a teleconference platform to lead training, how do I do that? *Updated 4/28/2020*

A: There is no official guidance on teleconference platforms, though there are many services out there to use. The Coast Guard just rolled out the Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) Environment, a DOD platform; visit https://www.cloud.mil/CVR for more details. Consider OPSEC in all your conversations in any video conferences, and reach out to your command to learn about any command-endorsed methods for conducting web-based training for your unit and members.


F34 Q: If I’m performing training activities remotely, what are examples of measurable products? *Updated 4/28/2020*

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.


F35 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 shop. Active Duty for Annual Training (ADT-AT) is the longest dedicated training period each year, and it should be used to gain hands-on operational experience or access to longer courses/classroom activities, ensuring you are ready to mobilize for contingencies.

Whenever possible, you should perform ADT-AT at the home unit. In order to achieve this safely, units may space out training to adhere to social distancing requirements. Units may also postpone ADT until later in the fiscal year when restrictions are eased.

Most ADT-AT cannot be performed remotely, but there are a limited number of exceptions where required readiness training may be conducted through alternative means, and at locations other than the normal unit location - including the member’s residence or at another unit, provided both commands agree and receive DXR approval. Tasks assigned by the command MUST be directly related to the member’s position, rating, or competency, and the training MUST result in a measurable product.

Contact your District DXR for more information.