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My Coast Guard
Commentary | May 27, 2021

1-SWE coming soon

By MyCG Staff

The active duty enlisted workforce will soon see a change in how often junior petty officers compete for advancement. Beginning with the May 2022 servicewide exam (SWE), the Coast Guard will move to an annual examination, eliminating the November SWE, for all active duty enlisted members competing for advancement to E5 through E8, an effort known as the 1-SWE  .

The 1-SWE initiative is one piece of a larger effort to modernize our enlisted workforce talent management cycle. By having E-4s and E-5s test once a year rather than twice a year – in the same way E-6s and E-7s already compete for advancement – we will better align our advancement and assignment processes, and promote upward advancement opportunities for our junior petty officers. An annual servicewide for all active duty enlisted paygrades who test for advancement will also maximize consistency for the enlisted workforce throughout the year, while preserving and promoting advancement opportunities.
What are some of the benefits?

Right now, junior petty officers wait for one cut after another following the May and November SWE. With one annual SWE, the service expects to see a larger initial cut with a first revision before e-resumes are due in September for the following assignment year. This will provide members and commands advance notice of PCS transfers in the upcoming assignment year. 

We expect the first cut to be the largest, thus allowing members to better plan. We can still expect follow on revisions, however, the expectation is these revisions should be smaller, especially after the end of the calendar year. In turn, this will reduce the number of members who may be notified late in the assignment year that they are advancing and that their services are required elsewhere in the Coast Guard to fill billet vacancies.

Benefits of 1-SWE include:

  • Increases candidate pools for special assignment and advanced education panels
  • Increases fidelity of billets opening in the upcoming AY
  • Enables increased competition for assignments
  • Less confusion over required EPQs/RPQs and which advancement list is live
  • Number of advancements each year will not change…still based on service losses
  • Enhances fidelity and usefulness of Command Concerns 
  • Reduces proctoring cost and time
  • More effectively balances all advancement factors to determine the best candidates for advancement

Stay tuned for more information regarding the one servicewide exam expected for May 2022.