An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 18, 2023

Coast Guard revises OIC review board process

By Zach Shapiro, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard has updated the officer in charge (OIC) review board process based on feedback from the workforce. The Office of Boat Forces (CG-731), the Enlisted Personnel Management (EPM) division, and the boatswain’s mate rating force master chief (BM-RFMC) worked to revise the process for candidates who are seeking OIC certifications having passed a pre-board but not their final board. 

Under the previous policy, candidates who did not screen successfully at their final board had to go through the entire process again. Now, candidates who do not screen successfully at their final board have the ability to go directly to the final board during the next semi-annual review board season. “This change acknowledges the incredible amount of study time candidates devote to the process, and aims to inspire the candidate to continue honing their skills without starting from scratch,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Grant Heffner, the Coast Guard’s current BM-RFMC.

“We’re ensuring that we have a robust candidate pool each year while also trying to limit the number of consecutive command tours we ask people to do,” said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Garris of the Office of Boat Forces. “We have members doing numerous command tours one after another.” The revised policy will ensure that “people who have been filling [command] roles also have the opportunity to take a breath and revitalize themselves before stepping back into their next command position.” Additionally, Garris emphasized, the new policy is designed to incentivize candidates to earn their certifications and recognize their success at the initial board, even if they did not pass the final board.

The new policy reflects the service’s evolutional commitment to meet emerging challenges and needs, Heffner noted. “The Coast Guard is changing, and our policies are changing,” he said. “We’re taking a holistic approach and review of the entire process based on feedback from the fleet and service need.”

Assessments of the OIC review board process revealed opportunities to boost transparency for the workforce. “We are trying to bring a level of uniformity and reasonableness to the process,” Heffner stated. The updated policy also aims to promote an open conversation about candidates’ command abilities by focusing on their leadership, ethics, and professionalism. “We need you to be a leader first and foremost,” Heffner added. He hopes that more open dialogue with candidates will help make the OIC board process more transparent for aspiring leaders.

If you have any general policy questions, please contact the Office of Military Personnel Policy (CG-133). For more specific program or process related questions, please contact Lt. Cmdr. Robert Garris or BM-RFMC, Master Chief Petty Officer Grant Heffner.