Why the change in policy to create a
mandate for VAs at units?
The overall goal of the new policy is to increase the accessibility of VAs
to our members. After reviewing the current dispersion of our VAs, we have
learned that most of our VAs are clustered at certain units and many other
units, both small and large, have no VAs even remotely nearby.
How do I know if my unit requires VAs per
The table below goes through the numbers but units can check with their
Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for questions. See
SARC contact list for a
listing of SARCs and locations.
Number of Active Duty Coast Guard members assigned
Number of VAs required per mandate
0 - 49
0 (Unit must work with SARC to create a plan)
50 - 249
250 - 449
450 - 649
650 - 849
850 - 1049
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My unit is required to have VAs per the ALCOAST and we have the required
number or more, is there any action required then per the ALCOAST?
To fully ensure your unit is compliant, you should check with your SARC to
confirm VA numbers. If these VA numbers are correct, then no further action
My unit is 49 active duty personnel or less, what do I need to do to create
You should contact your SARC to see if you can:
- Have 2 members of your command trained in an upcoming VA training class
- Have 2 VAs from a nearby unit designated in writing to also cover your
If the unit is not within a reasonable driving distance (situation depends
on what this distance may be, could be 50 miles, could be more), the unit
will need to work with the SARC to develop a plan to assist members in case
a sexual assault occurs. Possible solutions could be providing members
contact information to the closest Coast Guard unit with VAs, and informing
members that these VAs can be contacted via phone/email/videoteleconference/text,
if a member desires services. If there is a nearby military medical
facility, a servicemember could obtain an in-person restricted report to a
healthcare provider there. Victims reporting a sexual assault (restricted or
unrestricted) are still offered a Special Victim Counsel (SVC) to provide
legal services which may guide the victim to an unrestricted report in some
cases. The unrestricted reporting option does provide members with more
services such as expedited transfer, which may be useful in moving the
victim to a new location that has more availability of VA, medical, and
After creating the plan with the SARC, the unit will need to get approval of
the plan from the first major command (O-6 or above).
Do Restricted Reports of sexual assault always provide in-person VA
No. Providing a VA in-person is preferred but this cannot always happen.
Members choosing restricted reporting should understand that this choice has
limitations which may include not having a VA physically present. Likewise,
restricted reporting does not allow victims to be absent from work since the
command does not have any information about the assault to use in
consideration of granting an absence.
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Whether I am a small or large unit, are there other things I could do to
help victims of sexual assault to come forward for help at my unit?
Yes! VAs are a great resource for our members but they are not the only
resource we should be emphasizing to our members. Here are a few ideas but
this list is not exhaustive.
Our SARCs are also professionally trained to deal with sexual assault and
can come to your unit to introduce themselves and talk about Sexual Assault
Prevention and Response (SAPR) related topics.
SARCs can also help a unit identify if there is a trusted and quality local
rape crisis center near the unit that could be used as an additional
resource to the unit’s members. (NOTE: Not all local rape crisis centers are
of the same caliber; hence, units must work with the SARC if considering
You can also promote telephone and online sources for your members who wish
to stay anonymous. Online resources include the Department of Defense (DoD)
Safe Helpline (www.SafeHelpline.org and
1-877-995-5247) and CGSUPRT
1-855-CGSUPRT (247-8778)). See
SAPR resources page for additional resources.
Commands can also focus on building a climate and culture where their
members feel supported in coming forward on sexual assault and other issues.
This can be done with regular communications, teambuilding activities,
training, and, most importantly, actions.
My unit requires VAs per the ALCOAST and I do not have the required number
of VAs. What do I do?
Contact your SARC and he or she will provide you with the VA Application to
request a quota in an upcoming VA training.
Can I select anyone from my command to fill a VA training quota?
No. Section 2.B. of the ALCOAST covers the revised requirements for becoming
a VA. In order for an applicant to receive the required VA screening by the
Security Center, the candidate must be approved by the command in writing;
sign a Victim Advocate Statement of Understanding,
Form CG-6095A; have his
or her supervisor sign a Victim Advocate Supervisor Statement of
Form CG-6095B; and then successfully complete the SARC
interview before being submitted for the VA screening. While the VA
Application lists the disqualifying criteria on the back, the SARC interview
will also cover asking the applicant if he or she is aware of the
disqualifying criteria so that individuals who may potentially fail the VA
screening are given an opportunity to self-select out.
In addition to those requirements, commands should only consider selecting
individuals who are capable of fulfilling the duties listed in Enclosure (6)
COMDTINST M1754.10 (series).
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When and where are the VA trainings held?
For 2017, VA trainings are TBD
Contact your SARC for dates and locations.
What if my unit requires a VA(s) per the ALCOAST but my unit will not be
able to send a member(s) to VA training during the dates of the training in
Contact your SARC and he/she will help you obtain a quota in another
Who pays for VA training quotas?
If your unit requires a VA(s) per the numbers laid out in the ALCOAST, Coast
Guard Headquarters will provide funding for these members.
If your unit does not meet the requirements for needing VAs as laid out in
the ALCOAST, but your unit wants a VA and space is available in a training,
your unit may be responsible for the cost of sending that member to the
What if my unit wants more VAs than are allotted per the ALCOAST?
You will need to work with your SARC to identify if seats are available and
if your unit can have one as demand for VAs is currently high. Any seats
given to units to obtain VAs in excess of the ALCOAST requirements will
likely be paid for by that unit.
Can my unit request a waiver if a nearby unit can provide VAs to cover my
unit’s VA requirements per the ALCOAST?
Yes, a waiver can be requested for units that can share VA resources within
reason. The SARC must be consulted for this request and the waiver must be
approved by the first major command (O-6 and above).
Can a unit recruit or use previously trained civilians or Auxiliarists to
At this time, civilians and Auxiliarists are not authorized to be VAs. The
SAPR Program will continue to explore ways to utilize these individuals for
prevention and response, as well as possibly in the future allowing them to
Where can commands find a list of VAs?
If a command needs to utilize a VA, the command must contact their SARC,
since VAs work for the SARC in any VA related duties per
(series). Although Direct Access lists individuals with the VA competency
code, this resource does not reflect which VAs are currently active as some
may be temporarily unavailable for VA duties. The SARC will have a better
handle on who is available to take on a case, if one should come up.
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