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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Sept. 28, 2022

The PCS Assist Team will conclude Sep. 30

By Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jerry Bloom, Office of Personnel & Reserve Force Readiness (DOL-1)

After six months of operations throughout the peak of transfer season, the Coast Guard’s Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Assist Team will be concluding operations Sept. 30. 

The program has provided a one-of-a kind advocacy support center to members who have PCS’d since April. This temporary effort of the PCS Assist Team was the third iteration of the program, originally established in 2020 as a support mechanism for those transferring during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the nation continues to confront the economic challenges stemming from the pandemic, the Coast Guard implemented a modified PCS execution process that helps to balance the impact on members and their families while still supporting our mission. The Director of Operational Logistics (DOL) mobilized eight reserve members to support two stations: a centralized PCS Assist Team in Norfolk, Virginia, along with a satellite team in Ketchikan, Alaska, to prepare for and respond to the rapidly changing service member transfer environment. This effort was particularly warranted within the commercial labor force tasked with carrying through household goods (HHG) moves.

The centralized team of reserve members in Norfolk ran the Transfer Assistance Help-line (Monday-Friday 7 am -7 p.m. ET) relentlessly communicating evolving HHG policies, entitlement updates, and policy determinations. They also advocated on behalf of members and families by engaging with the United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices (JPPSO), Coast Guard Transportation and Policy Office (CG-1332), Coast Guard Legal Services Command (LSC), Transportation Offices (TO), and Transportation Service Providers (TSP). 

Additionally, the Ketchikan satellite team, as the subject-matter-experts on locally, provided frontline advanced technical expertise, compliance determination requests, and facilitated travel adjustments in response to the fluid nature of the complex area of responsibility (AOR) of southeast Alaska. The PCS Assist Team was instrumental in supporting members and their family traveling both within the continental United States but also from Activities Europe, Guam, Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska, whom were directly impacted by changing transit requirements and contracted mover related challenges. 

The team tailored innovative responses to more than 750 requests for assistance. Often as the single remaining source of recourse for the member, the PCS Assist Team coordinated solutions to the most complex special inquiries, most often relating to the enforcement of contractual requirements with movers in scenarios where the member (rather than the Government) shoulders the brunt of responsibility, such as personally procured moves (PPM).  

Service members orchestrating PCS moves after Sep. 30, should work with their local commands for assistance and they should fully use the resources that continue to be available to them, including personnel and administration shops and regional ttransportation offices.