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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 6, 2022

Coast Guard updates policies and procedures for SWE points 

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard is changing how Servicewide Exam (SWE) points are categorized and entered into Direct Access (DA). 

Under the old policy, additional SWE Points that were approved as non-monetary interventions, were entered into DA as award points. This Awards Points category is capped at 10 points per member, which limits additional points earned.  

Going forward, SWE incentive points will be entered into DA as “Sea/Surf Duty” points. This category, which is capped at 30 points per member, will provide ample space for both incentive points and regular sea/surf duty points that are earned for time assigned afloat or to a surf station. 

Members who previously earned additional SWE points or incentive points will not lose those points due to this change. Such points can still be credited toward advancement in accordance with Service policy.  

The Coast Guard has updated policy to include new categories of Service Wide Exam (SWE) points as a way to attract enlisted members to challenging assignments.  

Members are now authorized to earn SWE points in the following additional areas, expanding opportunities to accumulate valuable credits towards advancement: 

  • Level 4 and 5 Career Sea Pay (CSP)-eligible cutters (completion of implementation of previously announced incentives for 2022).  For duty starting after Sep. 30: Level 4 crew members will receive 0.5 point for each full year of sea duty completed, Level 5 crew members will receive 0.5 point for each full six months completed. 
  • Pre-commissioning cutter crews (PCC) - Members assigned on or after Sep. 30, and not entitled to CSP will receive 0.5 SWE point for each three full months of duty. 
  • Cutters undergoing maintenance periods (CMP) - Members assigned on or after Sep. 30, and not entitled to CSP will receive 0.5 SWE point for each three full months of duty. 

Providing incentives for PCC and CMP will benefit crews like those on the Coast Guard Cutter Argus and the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, as well as other cutters that are going through service life extension maintenance periods. Incentive points for PCC and CMP also help address long-term concerns in the field regarding advancement equity for such assigned members, as compared to their peers. 

“These changes are a huge win for our enlisted members in their ability to get as much SWE credit as possible for all award and incentive points earned,” said Rear Adm. Brian Penoyer. “This is the first of many policy initiatives to support and retain our current workforce as we transform our talent management system.” 

Additional incentives may be announced during the year.  For more information see the Change to Policy and Procedures for Servicewide Exam (SWE) Points, ALCOAST 367/22. The Pay and Personnel Center has also published a DA User Guide to provide help in determining eligibility and entering points in the system. 


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