My Coast Guard
Commentary | May 25, 2022

Lay the groundwork for a solid financial future as you report to your first duty station

By Nicole Bertrand, MyCG Writer

For each phase of your military career and personal life, you need a financial plan. That’s one reason the Coast Guard now offers mandatory Financial Readiness training tied to significant life events, or “touchpoints,” such as marriage or birth of a child. One of the most important “touchpoints” is the first duty station.

Some tips from the First Duty Station Financial Readiness training include:

  • Create and maintain a spending plan.
  • Consider saving automatically by setting up allotments directly from your pay to a savings account.
  • Reflect on your financial situation before making a major purchase.
  • Take advantage of tuition assistance to help cover costs of higher education.
  • Understand your rights under the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and Military Lending Act (MLA).
  • Learn more about basic, special, and incentive pays, and understand common allowances such as basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) and basic allowance for housing (BAH) at pay rates and benefits website.

“I believe First Duty Station is the most important touchpoint,” said Sarah Rohrer, the Coast Guard’s Fifth District Personal Financial Manager. “Recruits learn so much from so many topics during their time in Cape May,[N.J.], and may not retain what they learn in the Initial Entry Training touchpoint. The First Duty Station touchpoint reiterates and builds upon what is taught during the Initial Entry Training touchpoint, thus causing the information to stick better. The First Duty Station touchpoint cannot be skipped since it is an imperative building block for future touchpoints.”

First Duty Station Financial Readiness training should be completed within 90 days of reporting to a new unit. You can complete your training either through one-on-one counseling, in a classroom setting, and/or through the Coast Guard Learning Management System (LMS). If you do not complete the training through the LMS, you must contact your Command Financial Specialist (CFS) or Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for training opportunities.

You can find the Touchpoint curriculum on the portal on the Coast Guard e-Learning page or on the FINRED website Coast Guard Resource Page.

Resources:

  • Introduction of Financial Touchpoint Curriculum ALCOAST 104/22
  • Nearest Personal Financial Manager (PFM) located at each Health, Safety, and Work-Life Regional Practice (HSWL-RP) 
  • Your Unit Command Financial Specialist (CFS)

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