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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 29, 2021

Good to go: USCG authorizes PCS and HHG shipments for 2021

By Christie St. Clair, MyCG Staff

PCS and household good shipments are authorized until further notice, and the Coast Guard is optimistic that the 2021 PCS season will go smoothly.

Key initiatives from last year will remain in place to support members relocating due to permanent change of station (PCS) orders. Meanwhile, a New Shipmate Form will help units make the transition easier for their new members.

Here’s what you need to know about the services, tools and policy ready to support you during PCS 2021.

Services and tools 

Continued PCS Risk Assessment Team (CPRAT): Representatives from CG-1, CG-8, CG-094, DOL and FORCECOM will continuously assess the pandemic-based risks to authorizing PCS moves for both the entire Service and particular regions. 

Float Plan: You must use a PCS Float Plan again for PCS 2021. In this heightened-risk environment, the Float Plan will help ensure your and your families’ safety throughout the PCS process. Both your departing and receiving commands will approve your float plan, helping to ensure smooth communication. 

Shipmate Form: Joining a new unit is hard – and even harder during a pandemic. The Coast Guard developed a Shipmate Form to help the new unit to learn about their incoming shipmate and ease the member’s transition. Use of this form is not mandatory, but highly encouraged. You can learn more about the Shipmate Form here.
PCS Assist Team: Last year, PCS Assist Teams at every Coast Guard base, Training Center Petaluma and Training Center Yorktown worked with a centralized PCS Assist Team in Norfolk. This 360-degree service helped ensure safe and efficient moves. There may be some updates to the program, but PCS Teams will again support you for PCS 2021.


  • CONUS/OCNUS PCS and HHG shipments are authorized until further notice.
  • PCS to and from foreign countries are 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. 
  • Alaska Marine Highway System: Members PCSing to and from Alaska via the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS), a.k.a (the Alaska Ferry) have experienced delays with the ferry system in the past. If you are contemplating using the AMHS you must obtain approval with your receiving command via the Float Plan. If you choose to use the AMHS and delays are incurred, your receiving command may only authorize non-chargeable absence IAW CGS-JTR 050205 for any additional days spent en route waiting for a scheduled or delayed ferry, no additional travel days or entitlements will be authorized. 
  • Canada/Alaska Reporting Requirements: U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, has updated its reporting requirements. PCS travel to, from, and through Canada remains authorized. Ten days prior to departing your permanent duty station, all members planning travel through Canada are required to send an e-mail to, with the following information:
  1. Rate/Rank
  2. First M. Last name of service member
  3. First M. Last name of all authorized travelers on orders
  4. D17 Unit assigned/departed
  5. Type of Travel (PCS Departing from/Reporting to Alaska)
  6. Estimated date of entry into/departure from Canada
  7. Canadian Border Crossing/Port of Entry
  8. Estimated date of entry into/departure from U.S.
  9. U.S. Border Crossing/Port of Entry
  10. Vehicle make, model and license plate info
  11. Phone number while in a travel status
  • Vehicle Processing Center (VPC): Members transferring in 2021 may utilize the VPC of their choosing, as long as that facility is the closest to their old PDS, new PDS, or along the direct route between the two.
  • Personally Procured Move (PPM): The Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) has permanently authorized a member executing a PPM to receive a monetary allowance that is equal to 100% of the Government’s “Best Value” for the actual HHG weight transported up to the Service member’s maximum authorized weight allowance. The decision to use a PPM during a PCS transfer is a personal and complex choice. Members should contact their local Personnel and Administration Office (P&A)/Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO) for additional information.
  • Travel and Leave Update: All personnel shall be aware of changing conditions in locations they intend to travel to and through when making travel decisions. Commands should weigh all risk factors including state and local government posture at the destination, mode of transportation, planned activities, lodging, and precautions taken by the Coast Guard members. ALCOAST 396/20 contains the latest policy guidance and information.
  • Special Leave Accrual: Members must continue to manage their accrued leave balances to avoid loss of leave, per ALCOAST 187/20. Commands are encouraged to work with members to plan leave which balances member and family needs with mission readiness. Due to the Coast Guard response to COVID-19, Special Leave Accrual (SLA) for all active and qualified reserve military personnel was approved with the following maximum leave balance carryover for FY21-FY23:

End of date FY:                      Total Carryover Limit
30SEP21                                 80 days
30SEP22                                 70 days
30SEP23                                 60 days