Sea Legs - Transfers

Photo of father and daughter unpacking boxesThe Coast Guard requires frequent moves. The Relocation Assistance Program in the Office of Work-Life is available to help you with your move and provide you with information on your new home. Your sponsor at the new unit can help with location specific information.

Print out the following Moving Checklist to help you get started.

e-Resume and Assignment Process
During the assignment process, a shopping list of available positions is published. Members utilize this list to construct their e-Resume. The e-Resume is a communication tool that allows members to express their assignment desires. When creating an e-Resume, members should consider professional growth opportunities, assignment priority, evaluations, past assignments, sea/shore ratio for rating and personal objectives. Members are encouraged to list as many positions as possible on their e-Resume, beginning with the positions they most desire. Ultimately, assignments are determined by considering multiple factors: the needs of the service, the needs of the unit and the needs/desires of the member. Once selected for a position, members will receive orders. Servicemembers are encouraged to seek career counseling from their assignment officer.

The Coast Guard is committed to ensuring Coast Guard members have access to adequate housing.Housing
The Coast Guard is committed to ensuring Coast Guard members have access to adequate housing. Adequate housing is available through a number of avenues, including Coast Guard-owned housing, DOD housing, housing in the community, public-private venture housing and government leased housing. Assignment to Coast Guard-owned family and unaccompanied personnel housing (UPH) is mandatory when it is available and adequate. Assignment to leased housing is not mandatory. For outside the continental United States (OCONUS) locations where Coast Guard-owned family housing or UPH is not available, housing officers must refer members to DOD, Department of State (DoS) or other sponsoring agencies housing office. To ensure efficient use of Coast Guard-owned family housing and UPH, all members in receipt of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders will be required to submit an Application for Assignment to Military Housing, Form CG-5267, to their new unit’s housing officer prior to receipt of final orders. This form is a requirement prior to making any housing arrangements at your new duty station. The housing office can advise you of your options and help you make the appropriate choices without conflicting with Coast Guard policy.


Additional housing information can be obtained at:

  • Coast Guard-Owned Housing
    Members will be assigned to Coast Guard-owned family or unaccompanied personnel housing when it is available and adequate and when they are eligible based on dependent status and rank. Contact the housing office or your sponsor to determine if Coast Guard-owned housing is available at your new duty station.
  • Department of Defense Housing
    In a limited number of overseas locations, you may be assigned to DOD family and UPH. DOD housing offers security, community service and family support benefits not available to members living outside the gate. Contact the housing office or your sponsor at the new duty station to determine if DOD housing is available at your new duty station.
  • Community-Based Housing
    Most members are provided a housing allowance and are allowed to find a suitable home in the community. Members assigned to duty stations within the United States are provided a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and members stationed outside of the United States are provided an Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA). Allowances vary based on a member’s duty station, rank and dependency status and are designed to cover an average member’s rent, utilities and renter’s insurance. The housing office can help you find safe and adequate housing in the community.

    You must receive a release from mandatory assignment to Coast Guard housing before signing a lease. We recommend you review your lease with Coast Guard Legal Assistance prior to signing and have them explain anything you do not understand. Your lease should include a military clause that will allow you to terminate the lease without penalty if you receive PCS orders or leave active duty while the lease is in effect. The lease must clearly state who is responsible for payment of utilities and repairs. Complete a walk-through of the home before moving in to identify and document damages so you will not be held responsible when you move out.
  • Public-Private Venture Housing
    Public-private venture housing is a business arrangement between the government and a private entity to operate and maintain housing for use by military personnel. Although the homes may be constructed on military bases and for the use of military personnel, public-private venture housing is community-based housing. Members living in public-private housing receive a housing allowance and rent a home directly from a private entity.
    Public-private venture housing is not government housing and the Coast Guard cannot require you to live in public-private venture housing. Nevertheless, it is an excellent option that offers many benefits to Coast Guard members and their families. The housing office can tell you if public-private venture housing is available at your new duty station.
  • Government Leased Housing
    Unaccompanied members in pay grades E-1 through E-3 assigned to cutters are not eligible to receive BAH, but may be eligible to receive leased housing if UPH facilities are not available. Other members (typically junior members with large families or special needs) may be unable to find adequate affordable housing within their BAH. In these cases, the Coast Guard may acquire a lease on behalf of the member. Please contact the housing office to explore this option if you are unable to find adequate affordable housing within a reasonable commuting distance of your spouse’s new duty station.

Personal Property Insurance
Your landlord’s insurance policy and the Coast Guard will NOT cover your personal property. Therefore, whether you own your home, rent a home or live in base housing, you need insurance to cover your personal belongings in case of fire, theft, wind, water or other damages. Your housing allowance is calculated to cover a portion of your insurance costs.

Overseas Duty
An overseas tour can be an exciting and rewarding experience when service and family members are properly prepared for it. The more you know about your overseas duty station the fewer problems you will have during the transfer. The Coast Guard has many resources available to provide you with information on your overseas destination and to ensure your tour is an enjoyable one. If stationed in a foreign country, passports are a requirement. Ensure that you work with the command to receive up-to-date information.

Overseas Screening
The overseas screening process ensures that necessary support services are available at your new duty station and that all medical and educational needs can be met. Make sure that any medical or special support needs your family requires is addressed during the screening process. Problems that are not addressed can create unnecessary hardships and result in an early return.

Overseas screening requires direct involvement in the process, between you and your Coast Guardsman, his/her current commanding officer and the transferring medical treatment facility. The screening process should be done within 30 days after receipt of your Coast Guardsman’s PCS orders.

Families are screened for:

  • Family members enrolled in the Special Needs Program;
  • Family advocacy needs;
  • Substance abuse;
  • Psychiatric disorders;
  • Medical and dental conditions requiring ongoing care; and
  • Pregnancy that could affect travel and assignment.

Additionally, servicemembers are screened for:

  • Financial stability and responsibility;
  • Compliance with weight standards;
  • Alcohol or substance abuse or dependency;
  • Performance and conduct; and
  • Medical Readiness.

Make sure that any required medical and support services are discussed during the screening process. Problems not addressed can create unnecessary hardships and may result in an early return. Details regarding overseas screening can be obtained in COMDTINST M1000.8 (series), Military Assignments and Authorized Absences.

The best time to apply for an absentee ballot is more than 45 days before the election. Voting Overseas
While many Coast Guard military members and their families will be far from home on Election Days, they will be able to cast their votes -thanks to absentee ballots and the Coast Guard's Voting Assistance Program.

The Voting Assistance Guide and your Command Voting Assistance Officer can assist you with registering and requesting a ballot using the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) Standard Form 76. Completing the FPCA and sending it to your local voting jurisdiction is all it takes.

The best time to apply for an absentee ballot is more than 45 days before the election. In most states, ballots are mailed to voters 20 days before the election. Remember, every vote counts. You are a part of this nation's way of life by exercising your right to vote!

Military Installations
Military Installations is an automated relocation assistance tool that provides high-quality information and resources to help transferring servicemembers and their families develop an accurate view about their new assignment. You will find 250 installations worldwide – Army, Marine, Navy Air Force, and Defense Logistics Agency. You will find contact information for key programs and services as well as local community information. Military Installations is available at

Moving Your Personal Property 
Service members, civilians and their families have two options to manage a PCS move.The Defense Personal Property Program provides quality moving and storage services to Department of Defense and Coast Guard personnel and their families. Defense Personal Property System, known as DPS, can be accessed at   This website is a one-stop shop where members can completely manage their move process.    

Plan My Move
Plan My Move creates a custom checklist for your move, filled with information about the tasks you need to complete and how to complete them. Your checklist is tailored to the unique needs that you or your family have. Just complete the information at