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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Nov. 29, 2023

Defense Organizational Climate Survey (DEOCS) is now an annual requirement


The Defense Organizational Climate Survey (DEOCS) is now required to be completed annually. Coast Guard units, directorates, and offices with at least 16 members must complete a DEOCS by Jan. 31, 2024. The DEOCS assesses command climate in sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other harmful behaviors. The survey will assist in identifying high-risk units and implementing plans to counter harmful behaviors.  

Completion of the DEOCS aligns with the Coast Guard's commitment and initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual assault and harassment. The survey results inform leadership and enhance capabilities to identify areas of concern and other problematic behaviors throughout the service. 

The usual annual survey administration window will be between August 1st and November 30th of each year, but the Coast Guard has asked for that window to be expanded to Jan. 31, 2024, for this first administration period of the new requirement. 

Units that have initiated a DEOCS after Aug. 1, 2023, and expect to complete the survey before Jan. 31, 2024, do not need to initiate a new survey. Larger units should consider creating subgroups of departments, divisions, or smaller subordinate units that may have difficulties meeting the 16-respondent threshold necessary to generate a report. Subgroups allow unit commanders to identify and isolate existing climate issues that may go unaddressed within departments, divisions, or smaller units, requiring more personnel to generate a report. For surveys with subgroups, units will receive a cumulative report and separate reports for any subgroup with at least five responses. 

As per U.S. Coast Guard Civil Rights Manual, COMDTINST M5350.4E, unit commanders must share their DEOCS results, including narrative comments, with their next higher-level command within 30 calendar days of survey completion. Unit commanders must also notify their next higher-level command if they cannot complete the survey by Jan. 31, 2024, due to operational commitments, connectivity, or other barriers. 

For more information on the DEOCS and initiating the survey, see the DoD office of People Analytics page at: 



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