Oct. 20, 2021 —
The Commandant recently approved several Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) policy changes aimed at addressing the challenge of recruiting and retaining a mission ready total workforce. These are the first major changes to the Coast Guard’s ASVAB policy since 2004. As we continue to modernize our fleet to meet the challenges of tomorrow, we must also evolve our personnel policies to remain Ready, Relevant, and Responsive. To ensure we have the necessary throughput to meet mission requirements, the following ASVAB policy changes are effective 01 November 2021:
- All “A” School ASVAB composite score requirements are adjusted by ten points (except DV).
- CO/OIC waiver authority increased from five to ten points, including subtest minimums.
- RFMCs will now serve as their rating’s “A” School waiver authority for all waivers beyond CO/OIC authority.
While we have opened the aperture to provide members more opportunities to serve the Coast Guard in their desired rating due to workforce shortages at E-4 and E-5, the “A” School training and graduation standards have not changed. The Coast Guard already grants more than 300 merit-based composite score waivers annually for deserving members to attend “A” schools. A recent analysis revealed no correlation between a member’s waiver status and overall performance evaluations (EERs) as a Third Class Petty Officer and attrition at our “A” schools remain at or below previous levels. As such, the fleet will continue to see all “A” School graduates reporting with the same baseline level of knowledge, skills, and abilities.
In addition to the overall recruiting and retention objectives of these policy changes, we are also building transparency and feedback into the ASVAB waiver process. While COs/OICs will have more authority to assess whether a member has the ability and desire to succeed, RFMCs will have more authority to manage the overall health of their respective rating. Furthermore, should a member be denied an ASVAB waiver, they will be provided feedback and an action plan to increase their chances of obtaining a waiver in the future. The feedback element is critical to helping our members achieve their full potential.
As we open opportunities to current and future members, we will continue to evaluate and modernize our personnel policies to train and retain demonstrated, motivated talent.
Eric C. Jones
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard
Assistant Commandant for Human Resources