Once a month, Coast Guard All Hands will feature “ Dear Coast Guard Family ,” a column for Coast Guard families by Coast Guard spouse Rachel Conley. Rachel is married to her high school sweetheart, Chief Warrant Officer James Conley, and is the mother of three children. Rachel passionately serves as a Coast Guard Ombudsman and advocate of Coast Guard families. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the United States Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year Award.
Written by Rachel Conley
Have you recently received orders or are you excitedly (perhaps anxiously) awaiting news of where your Coast Guard adventure will take you next? There are a variety of programs and resources to support you along the way!
Office of Work-Life Relocation Assistance Program: The Relocation Assistance Program is intended to assist members and their dependents in becoming familiar with their new community and the resources available. Your servicing Transition/Relocation Manager (TRM) may also provide a “Welcome Package” with local resource information. To learn more about your new community, contact your Transition/Relocation Manager.
The Coast Guard Housing Program: The Coast Guard Housing Program works to ensure that all Coast Guard members and their families have access to adequate housing reflecting community living standards within a reasonable commuting distance of their permanent duty station. Adequate housing is available through a number of avenues, including Coast Guard-owned housing, Department of Defense housing, leased housing, housing in the community, etc. Assignment to Coast Guard-owned family housing and unaccompanied personnel housing (UPH) is mandatory when it is available and adequate. A map of Coast Guard Housing sites can be found here. For additional information on Coast Guard Mandatory Assignment to Government Controlled Housing, please see the frequently asked questions. All members who receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders are required to submit an Application for Assignment to Housing, DD Form 1746, to the housing officer at their new duty station for a determination of mandatory assignment to family or unaccompanied housing, housing information and referral services. For housing related questions and housing resource/referral needs, contact your housing officer.
U.S. Coast Guard Ombudsman Program: Coast Guard Ombudsmen are appointed by unit commanding officers to serve as official liaisons between the command and unit families. Coast Guard ombudsmen are communication links, provide information and referral services, serve as the primary point of contact for families, and act as representatives and advocates for family members. If you haven’t already, contact your ombudsman through the Coast Guard Ombudsman Registry and provide your contact information. It’s important that your ombudsman knows how to reach you and that you know how to reach them!
The Coast Guard Sponsor Program: Through the Sponsor Program, transferring members are assigned a sponsor at their new unit to assist with information on their new working and living environments.
TRICARE: TRICARE relocation guidance can be found here.
Spouse Employment Assistance Resources: The Coast Guard offers programs to support spouse employment. The Office of Work-Life Spouse Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) can assist spouses with career and employment information. To receive support through this program, contact your servicing Transition/Relocation Manager. Additional details and resources can also be found on the Spouse Employment Assistance Program website. CG SUPRT offers career services that facilitate the career planning and job search process for spouses. CG SUPRT Career Counselors provide assistance with career exploration, networking, resume development, self-marketing, interviewing, salary negotiation, career management and more. To access services, call 1-855-CG SUPRT (247-8778) or visit www.CGSUPRT.com (if prompted for a password, please enter “USCG”).
Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission: Developed in 2006, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact was adopted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The Compact eases the educational challenges that military children encounter, and supports uniform treatment as they transfer between school districts in member states. Their website offers a wealth of information, including an interactive map, allowing you to research individual states and locate points of contact.
Office of Work-Life Childcare program: Childcare resources and referrals can be accessed through the Family Resource Specialist or Child Development Services Specialist (where available) on your Regional Work-Life Staff. For additional details, resources and contact information, please visit the Childcare Program website. You can also access childcare resources and referrals through CG SUPRT by calling 1-855-CG SUPRT (247-8778) or visiting www.CGSUPRT.com (if prompted for a password, please enter “USCG”).
U.S. Coast Guard Childcare subsidy program: The U.S. Coast Guard Childcare Subsidy Program provides a contribution toward the total cost of childcare for active duty members and reservists who have been called to active duty for 180 days for longer. This benefit was created to assist members whose children attend off base childcare, allowing eligible families to pay fees comparable to those charged on base. For complete details, including eligibility guidelines, please visit the program’s website.
Locating or starting a Coast Guard Spouses’ Club: Connecting with other Coast Guard spouses can provide camaraderie and a great support system. The National Council of Coast Guard Spouses’ Clubs provides a very helpful club directory. If your area doesn’t currently offer a spouses’ club, you can learn more about starting a club here.
USCG HSWL App: For those looking for information about the support programs and services available to Coast Guard military and civilian personnel, family members, and retirees – there’s an app for that! (Available for iPhones/iPads/iPod Touch and Androids.)
Sesame Street for Military Families: Sesame Street for Military Families offers information and tools to support children throughout the relocation process. They also offer a mobile app, The Big Moving Adventure.
America the Beautiful – Free National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass: For those who love to explore our beautiful country (perhaps on a PCS road trip), a FREE National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands annual pass is available to current U.S. military members and their dependents. Additional details and guidance can be found in the frequently asked questions.
The views expressed herein are those of the author and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Commandant or of the U.S. Coast Guard.