Due to overwhelming success of the Advance-to-Position (A2P) Beta Test for the boatswain’s mate (BM) and electronics technician (ET) ratings, the Coast Guard has expanded the program to include all ratings.
This change allows qualified E6-E9 members an opportunity to fill vacant positions late in the assignment year (AY) or to fill offseason critical positions in return for advancement to the next higher paygrade.
Assignment officers (AOs) are using A2P after all members from the third revision of a rating’s Advancement Eligibility List have been exhausted. AOs can offer advancements to members below the advancement cutline, and in some cases, members not on an Advancement Eligibility List, in return for accepting an assignment.
The original beta test was released to gauge interest. As it turned out, there was a lot of interest.
The first A2P message went out on March 8, for 12 E7/E8 BM positions. The positions included two cutters in Alaska, three major cutters, and a fast response cutter in Key West, Florida. By the end of the day, AOs had enough candidates to fill all advertised positions, according to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joel Laufenberg, boatswain’s mate rating AO.
“I was surprised when I looked at the amount of applications in such a short time,” Laufenberg said.
These positions are traditionally hard to fill, according to Cmdr. Anthony “Tony” Migliorini, Enlisted Assignments Branch Chief (EPM-2). “In one day, we received applicants to fill all of the positions,” he added. “By the end of the solicitation period, we received a total of 53 applicants for the 12 positions.”
The A2P program benefits the Coast Guard, units, and service members in several ways.
“The major success, from my perspective, is that units that are traditionally less desirable due to location and/or unit type were assigned personnel that actually requested to be at these units,” Migliorini explained. “As a result, my hope is that these members will arrive at their new units with greater enthusiasm, motivation, dedication, and higher morale, as compared to previous years when members below the advancement cutline had less control over their assignment.”
The approach also reduces paygrade mismatches, said Master Chief Petty Officer Jeremiah Wolf, Command Master Chief for Deputy Commandant for Mission Support - Deputy for Personnel Readiness, and Command Master Chief for Coast Guard Headquarters and Base National Capital Region. “This will ultimately result in less retirement in lieu of orders (RILO) and separation in lieu of orders (SILO).”
The AO for the BM rating says an advancement incentive isn’t just a game-changer for difficult-to-fill jobs – it gives members more opportunities and control over their own careers.
“For example, an officer-in-charge job in Duluth, Minnesota, sounds cold, but we have to fill the position,” Laufenberg said. “So, we advertise these positions on the A2P list and get someone who wants to be there, instead of the last person on the list who may not want to move their family to Minnesota in the middle of a school year.”
If you are interested in taking advantage of the A2P program, you need to make sure your advancement requirements are complete and that you routinely compete in the servicewide exam. This will set you up for advancement as soon as the opportunity arises.
“Of course, the better you do on the servicewide exam, the better chance you’re going to have of earning a job more to your liking,” said Wolf.
While this is a win for the Coast Guard and its members, this type of program aligns with the Ready Workforce 2030 plan.
“I would say that the commandant’s goal is to evaluate our processes, evaluate our policies and the way we handle important life events like assignments,” said Wolf. “Our goal as senior leaders in the Coast Guard, as we continue to transform our total workforce, is to better understand the talents, desires, and experiences of an individual and align those with the needs of the organization to maximize the performance of both. A2P is one of these novel initiatives, where we are exploring new ways to reward our workforce for their hard work and offer advancement opportunities that did not previously exist.”
Members and commands may access the currently available A2P positions and FAQs on the EPM-2 SharePoint Site.
Are you looking for rating specific A2P opportunities? EPM-2 keeps track of what is currently available:
For other ratings, keep your eyes open. More information to come soon. For more information, please contact the Advancements Branch of the Enlisted Personnel Management division (EPM-1).
- Advance-to-Position (A2P) Beta Test for Calendar Year 2023 (CY23) ALCGENL 010/23
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