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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 5, 2021

Help promote a positive work environment; Submit your experience in the annual DEOCS 

By MyCG Staff

A positive command climate is critical to readiness and mission success. 

The Coast Guard Civil Rights Manual, M5350.4 (series), requires units, directorates, and offices with at least 16 members to administer a Defense Organizational Climate Survey (DEOCS) within 180 calendar days of a change-of-command or change in directorate or office head, and at least annually thereafter. Unit commanders must share their entire DEOCS results, including narrative comments, with their next higher-level command within 30 calendar days of survey completion.

Large units should consider creating subgroups by combining departments, divisions, and smaller subordinate units that may be unable to meet the 16-respondent threshold necessary to generate a report. Such units will receive a cumulative report and department reports for any subgroup that receives five responses. Use of subgroups allows unit commanders to better identify and isolate climate issues that exist but go unaddressed in departments, divisions, or smaller units that do not have enough personnel to generate a report.

DEOCS administration transitioned from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) to the Department of Defense, Office of People Analytics (OPA). OPA provides instructions for creating subgroups and offers a host of resources designed to assist commands with DEOCS. You can find these resources on their website. OPA plans to release a new version of DEOCS in calendar year 2021. 

Commands are urged to develop action plans to resolve problems identified in the DEOCS. Civil Rights Service Providers (CRSPs) are available to assist with administering, interpreting, and understanding DEOCS results. Additionally, commands can seek involvement from the Gold and Silver Badge network, Command Drug and Response Representatives, Human Resources staff, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, Employee Assistance Program Coordinators, ombudsmen, Chaplains and appropriate others.  

Fostering a positive command climate is an ongoing process, not an event. Harassment, assault, bystander behavior, discrimination, hazing, and bullying erode our core values and cannot be allowed to thrive. Leaders must remain vigilant and take prompt effective actions to ensure that such behaviors are eradicated in the Coast Guard and that a healthy and respectful climate prevails. Our mission success demands it and we are stronger together because of it.


  • Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute website
  • A list of Civil Rights Service Providers