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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 3, 2021

Enlisted members: New policy creates more time to plan advancement ceremonies

By MyCG Staff

Enlisted members deserve more time to plan their advancement ceremonies. That’s the reason for the Coast Guard’s new Ceremonious Advancement policy, which gives enlisted members and their units far greater flexibility.

The new policy gives members the option to be ceremoniously advanced on a date most conducive to their desires and the unit’s operational schedule. 

Until now, legal policy and procedures allowed only a brief planning window – about 10 days between the Enlisted Personnel Advancement Authorization (EPAA) until the first day of the following month. 

“This period is often insufficient to allow friends and relatives to accommodate short notice changes to their work and travel schedules, and all too often results in their inability to attend,” said Rear Admiral Joanna M. Nunan, assistant commandant for human resources (CG-1). She hopes the new policy will give members “more opportunity to hold meaningful and well attended ceremonies.”

Ceremoniously advanced members are authorized to assume the title and wear the insignia of the rate to which ceremoniously advanced. All other entitlements and protocols remain at the lower permanent pay grade until the effective date of actual advancement, as listed in the Coast Guard PSC advancement announcement.

“When I made chief, I would've loved to have known when I was making it,” said Master Chief Phil Payne, the CG-1 Command Master Chief. “I was TDY at Coast Guard Recruiting Command for the Recruiter Chat Pilot Program in D.C. from Recruiting Office Chesapeake. I would've loved to have my family meet me in D.C. for the ceremony, which was held in front of the Command at All Hands. It was super cool to have it there but having my family there would've been extra amazing!”

What you need to know

  • Commanding officers (CO) and officers in charge (OIC) are authorized to conduct Ceremonial Advancements at any point during, and 30 days prior to, the lifecycle of the current advancement eligibility list (SWE or MCAP). 
  • They do not need to request authorization from or notify Coast Guard PSC prior to conducting a Ceremonial Advancement but should consider a member’s relative placement on the list before scheduling a reasonable date. 
  • Ceremonial Advancements are not the same as frocking and thus are not specifically intended to establish a member’s stature nor change their primary duties or privileges. 
  • COs/OICs shall consider the full implications for the member and crew prior to conducting such advancement ceremonies.
  • At this time, members on the Active Duty or Reserve Supplemental Advancement Eligibility Lists are not eligible under this policy. That’s because their advancement cycle does not include an eligibility cutoff prior to the release of monthly EPAA or Enlisted Reserve Advancement Authorization (ERAA).


  • For questions, email the Office of Military Personnel Policy.
  • Ceremonial Advancement - ACN 024/21