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My Coast Guard
Commentary | May 23, 2024

New Officer Assignment Shopping List offers improved user experience

By Cmdr. Garrett Barker, Officer Assignments Branch Chief, Officer Personnel Management (OPM-2)

Assignment Year 2025 (AY25) is already upon us, and the AY25-28 Draft Shopping List for captains and below has been released.  

Users will notice a sleek new look with an interactive map and future forecasting capability. To increase transparency, this shopping list allows members to see potential billet availability over the next four years. This new tool will empower members – regardless of their AY25 “in play” status – to make more informed career decisions by viewing opportunities over a longer time horizon than previously available. Additionally, it improves assignment officers’ (AOs) ability to track and assess assignment data to better inform leaders of workforce trends. 
The AOs recognized that the fleet needed a better interface that would ease usability issues and allow for better informed career planning. Now AOs can manage the assignment process, empower members with information, and conduct workforce analysis. The new shopping list affords members the same historical information with an interactive dashboard that can filter categories (i.e. officer specialty codes, geography, position/rank, etc.) for the next four assignment cycles based on professional and personal desires. 
Developing this tool on top of the already time intensive assignment process was no small feat for the AOs. Lt. Cmdr. Ian Culver, who led the development of the new list system, stated, “Maintaining the status quo was not an acceptable posture and change needed to happen to help future AOs, the fleet, and senior leaders. I’m proud of the OPM-2 team for embracing this initiative and putting in the extra effort and attention-to-detail to develop the first steps towards reshaping and improving the assignment process, and ultimately the Coast Guard’s talent management system.”  
OPM-2 is working with the Offices of Enlisted and Reserve Personnel Management (EPM and RPM) to explore ways to adapt the tool for all Coast Guard members’ benefit. To implement these changes, the Talent Management Transformation Program Integration office (TMX-PIO) has proposed personnel additions to outfit the Personnel Service Center (PSC) with full data management teams. The Ready Workforce 2030 strategy called on the service to transform talent management and empower our workforce to thrive. This upgraded shopping list aims to do just that by improving PSC’s the ability to analyze and anticipate emerging trends so that it can better inform senior leadership on workforce needs.  
Officers should bear in mind that the improved tool is not a replacement for career counseling. Members who are “in play” for AY25 should still contact their respective AO to schedule career counseling. Members not “in play” for AY25 should become familiar with the tool and include long-range career planning in mentoring and mid-period counseling sessions. Career counseling is also available through the Officer Career Management Branch (OPM-4).  

Not sure if you’re “in play?” OPM-2’s updated SharePoint site provides a list of frequently asked questions and OPM-2 business rules.  
Future updates will be incorporated into the shopping list, to include command concerns, prior to the official shopping list’s launch on Aug. 1, 2024. Additional information for the upcoming assignment year can be found on the AY25 Officer Assignments Kick-Off Message.