Subsistence Program Update and Rating Name Change
Flag Voice #467

The Subsistence Program has recently undergone changes designed to improve the health of the program and the Food Service Specialist (FS) rating, provide superior mission support to our operational partners, and achieve alignment with DCMS's strategic objectives.

In October of 2015, the Subsistence Integrated Product Team (Subsistence IPT) was chartered to revitalize the Subsistence Program and identify opportunities to improve the health of the enlisted rating. The Subsistence IPT recommended a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) that seeks to standardize the Coast Guard's service delivery model and ensure that the needs of our customers and valued FS workforce are consistently and effectively met. The CONOPS restructured the Subsistence Program in order to provide opportunities to update policy, enhance compliance, training and mentoring, further professional development to decrease rates of Food Service Officer (FSO) relief for cause, and efforts to stabilize the sea-to-shore rotation for our FS members. Recent key accomplishments and program updates are described below -- together, these accomplishments represent a refresh of the Coast Guard's Subsistence Program and a major step towards improving the quality of life for our valued culinary workforce.

DCMS approved a rating name change from Food Service Specialist (FS) to Culinary Specialist (CS). The rating name change is being made to more accurately reflect the culinary skills and professional expertise held by members of the CS rating. The CS rating has changed from an occupation that relied upon processed, ready-to-eat style meals, into a hands-on profession specializing in culinary arts and providing healthy and delicious meal options. This name change will further align the rating within the civilian culinary profession. The FS designation will be replaced by CS, per ALCOAST 003/17.

Another key aspect of the transformation is the establishment of the first-ever Subsistence Product Line at the HSWL SC. This new construct will provide essential support to Coast Guard dining facilities and CS personnel, track and identify CS workforce critical operational needs and TDY support, develop and administer processes to ensure sound business practices are balanced against operational requirements, and administer the configuration management of dining facilities at both shore and afloat units. The Product Line adds a new capability for HSWL SC that represents a single point of accountability for customer support, and will play a critical role in the development of the CS workforce.

I have also approved the establishment of a Culinary Support Activity (CSA) to be stood up at TRACEN Yorktown in late summer 2017. The CSA concept is based on a deliberate staffing model designed to improve mentorship and training opportunities for CS personnel. Establishment of the CSA will entail standing up a full-service, Coast Guard-operated dining facility at TRACEN Yorktown and converting selected shore-based dining facilities to self-service galleys (Centralized Kitchen Areas, or CKAs). Goals of CSA Yorktown include higher quality food, improved dining facility utilization, enhanced cutter TDY support, and increased opportunities for professional development and mentorship for CS personnel assigned to the CSA.

ALCOAST 003/17 message was recently released, announcing these updates. Additional updates to the Subsistence Program will be communicated regularly. All changes will be incorporated in an upcoming revision to the Coast Guard Food Service Manual, COMDTINST M4061.5 (series).

Questions regarding the Subsistence Program may be directed to Office of Work Life, CG-111, Mr. Chad Adams or by email to Additional information about the Coast Guard's Subsistence Program and key points of contact.

RDML William G. Kelly

Assistant Commandant for Human Resources

Issue date: 1/6/17