My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 19, 2022

LEIs: Make sure you attend LEI school by Oct. 1

By Chief Warrant Officer 4 Allyson E.T. Conroy, MyCG Staff

Coast Guard law enforcement instructors (LEI) fill a pivotal role at many Coast Guard units providing training in law enforcement tactics to fellow unit members, leading to BO and BTM certifications. These certified law enforcement officers then carry out the Coast Guard’s law enforcement mission.  

In order to maintain the LEI certification and continue this training, all LEIs will be required to attend and complete the Coast Guard’s LEI course (LEI-C) no later than Oct. 1, 2022.  

“Through an organizational assessment of the law enforcement-designated units, the Coast Guard identified there were gaps in training and proficiency at the unit level,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lee Conroy, in the Office of Law Enforcement. “This resident, eight-day course located in Charleston, S.C., is a training program that prepares our unit LEIs with the skills and knowledge required to deliver law enforcement training.”  

As a unit-designated LEI, if you have not attended the LEI-C, you should submit an electronic training request (ETR) as soon as possible. In your request be sure to include all required information as outlined in the Implementation of Law Enforcement Instructor Course (LEI-C) (100164) Requirement for LEI Competency ACN 092/21 (link CAC enabled), to include multiple course dates that you are able to attend. 

As the deadline comes due within the next six-months, Conroy says that as of Jan. 18, out of about 285 LEI-C quotas the Coast Guard has allocated for fiscal year 2022, he has slated 64%. He has 340 requests from 176 units.  

“There are about 450 LE-designated units, and each of them need to have a certified LEI who has attended LEI-C,” Conroy said. “Service-wide, we currently have around 130 fully certified LEIs who will be able to maintain the LE training program at their unit, and that number grows with every class completed.”  

The Coast Guard initially announced (link is CAC enabled) this required training in 2017, specifying that beginning in fiscal year 2023 only LEIs who graduated the LEI-C will be authorized to deliver training at the unit level.  

“The Office of Law Enforcement is making every effort to ensure that these school quotas are being distributed systematically throughout the fleet,” Conroy said. “We released a reminder message in October 2021 in an attempt to really drive home the importance of LEIs attending this course.” 

Standardizing training and assessment 

According to Master Chief Petty Officer Ryan Patterson, the maritime enforcement rating force master chief, it is critically important that Coast Guard law enforcement officers receive the same training, and are assessed in the same manner. This standardized manner ensure that all LE officers receive the same building blocks of knowledge and hands-on training.  

“We were able to determine that some units conducted training differently. It was not standard from one LE-designated unit to the next,” Patterson said. “With LE instructors receiving training from the same instructor course, members can expect that base line skills will be the same no matter what LE-designated unit they are assigned to.” 

Patterson says the course seems to be having an impact. He noted that since the LEI course became available there seems to be a “marked change in training and preparation for LE operations,” which has been “noticed through the Comprehensive Law Enforcement Assessment of Readiness reviews of units.”  

Who is eligible to attend? 

According to chapter five of the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Manual (MLEM), a trainee must meet the following:  

  • Be an E-4 or above; 
  • Have at least 12 months remaining at their current unit;  
  • Have graduated from the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy’s Basic Boarding Officer Course (BBOC) or Boarding Officer Practical Course (BOPC) (or if assigned to a Coast Guard Police Department must be a graduate of a DCMS-34 approved law enforcement academy); 
  • Be an experienced, certified boarding officer or Coast Guard police officer with the OPSBO or CGPOFF competency code in Direct Access, and be certified in these positions for a minimum of 12-months;  
  • Have demonstrated the ability to evaluate and instruct members in the performance  criteria established in the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Competency Qualification Manual (LECQM), and the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy’s Law Enforcement Lesson Plans; and, 
  • Received commanding officer/officer in charge (CO/OIC), recommendation supporting that you have the requisite judgement, maturity, attitude, and aptitude to serve as a unit LEI. 

“Submit, submit, submit. Submit your ETR prior to the deadline,” Patterson stresses. “All LE-designated units to include Coast Guard Police Departments, and Deployable Specialized Forces need to have a certified law enforcement instructor who has attended LEI-C to ensure operational LE readiness”. 

Applying for the course 

If you are currently filling the role of unit-designated LEI and you have not completed the LEI-C, you should submit an ETR as soon as possible, to avoid your unit losing a member who can properly train law enforcement tactics and certify BOs and BTMs. If you are not able to complete a course by the Oct. 1 deadline, you are encouraged to discuss with your command the potential impacts to the unit’s law enforcement training program.  

If you are a certified BO and are interested in attending the LEI-C, review the course prerequisites as stated above, and, if you are eligible, submit an ETR for the Law Enforcement Instructor-Course (100164). Include all sessions you are available to attend, and list them in your preference order, as well as all of the necessary prerequisite information. The ETR will be rejected if it does not include course convening dates or the prerequisite information. If you list only one session and that session is full or has passed, your ETR will not be considered for other convening dates. It is critically important that you provide alternate dates. 

Example comments section entry:  

  • “Request session 0048, 0050, 0054, or 0056;  
  • Member has 15 months remaining at unit;  
  • Graduated BBOC 15MAR18;  
  • 25 months certified as BO;  
  • Member has command endorsement.” 

“It is very important that units have organic LEIs in order to maintain law enforcement mission readiness,” Conroy said. “As a law enforcement-designated unit, you may face a potential degradation to readiness for law enforcement operations.” 

Resources: 

  • MLE-2 Website
  • Implementation of Law Enforcement Instructor Course (LEI-C) (100164) Requirement for LEI Competency ACN 092/21 (link CAC enabled) Implementation of Law Enforcement
  • Instructor Course(100164)  ACN 127/17 (link CAC enabled)