FLAG VOICE 459
Following three years of historic low attrition levels (~8%), enlisted active duty accessions have increased due to a return to more normal average attrition levels (~12%). Additionally, as our attrition levels increased we also saw budget driven personnel growth. The cumulative impact of the increased attrition levels and billet growth during the past two budget cycles is a gap of 1,500+ bodies under billet in the Coast Guard’s active duty workforce.
To assist in closing the gap, we developed the “Everyone is a Recruiter” campaign with several initiatives aimed at increasing the scope of recruiting across the Service. This plan focuses on getting the word out that the Coast Guard is hiring, building partnerships in the local community, and ultimately identifying young men and women who could be great shipmates. The goal is to increase the number of applicants for both enlisted and officer programs, and we need your help!
The following are samples of some of the initiatives we are implementing:
Everyone is a Recruiter (EIAR) Incentive Program: The EIAR program is reinvigorated and redesigned as a PSC instruction to encourage and recognize CG leaders, commands, and personnel who support recruiting efforts. The program will utilize various levels of recognition, personal awards, and incentives based on the significance of the contribution.
Retiree/Auxiliary Public Affairs Officer and Reserves Network: Implement a program to assist, encourage, and empower CG military retirees and the CG Auxiliary to refer young people to our Recruiters. We will encourage our valued Reserve force to continue promoting the CG in the communities where they live and work.
Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) and Girl/Boy Scouts of America Partnership: The CG is strengthening sustainable relationships with these organizations that help develop America’s future leaders. This relationship will filter down to the local clubs throughout the nation, and assist recruiting offices with multiple outreach events and a broader applicant pool.
Tell your Coast Guard stories: I encourage members to record their stories and experiences on a video file and send to the CGRC Marketing Division (CGRCMarketing@uscg.mil). They will use these stories on their social media platforms. Additionally, those who submit stories may be asked to engage with potential recruits online and answer questions pertaining to their Coast Guard experiences.
In addition, we are developing initiatives that include partnerships with the DoD, expanding inter-service transfers, and enacting policy changes to enhance our recurring effort. An ALCGPSC providing additional information on these initiatives, the EIAR Instruction, and the overall campaign strategy will be released soon.
I ask that you encourage your units to read the EIAR instruction and spread the message that the Coast Guard is hiring. One way we can start to close our military personnel gap is with the assistance of all current and former members of our service, especially in those key areas which are not located near an existing recruiting office.
As we strive to increase our accessions, we must work together to retain the talented members of our service. We have recently offered both monetary and non-monetary incentives for critical ratings and are prototyping/evaluating additional incentives for certain arduous duty assignments.
In light of the Coast Guard’s body to billet gap, many of you may be wondering why we are still using involuntary actions to remove members from service (e.g. HYT). We must continue to use the full range of personnel management tools to maintain flow through the ranks, prevent stagnation, and improve retention, while providing opportunities for junior members to advance/promote. While we still utilize these tools, we are also using a robust waiver process to retain the talents of those willing to continue to serve.
For additional information and recruiting resources, please visit the www.GoCoastGuard.com website.
C. B. Thomas, RADM, USCG
Assistant Commandant for Human Resources
Issue date: 2/12/16