united states coast guard

R 141643 APR 20
UNCLAS //N01754//
ALCOAST 135/20
1. During times of uncertainty throughout history, the U.S. Coast Guard has
consistently risen to the challenge of protecting the American people and our
way of life. As our global community confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, the
Coast Guard continues to perform critical missions that protect our national
interests, promote economic prosperity, and ensure public safety.
2. In order to optimize care for our families and communities, it is paramount
that each of us remain attuned to our own physical, mental, emotional,
financial, and spiritual needs. This pandemic causes unique stressors on
members isolated or restricted in movement, especially during a month when many
of us gather to celebrate our faith traditions. The interruption of routines,
imposed close quarters (whether alone or with loved ones) and the uncertainty of
any timeline for return to normalcy create a perfect storm. Admiral Ray shares
some tips and wisdom on how to weather this storm, which is available at this link:
3. Many senior CG leaders have been utilizing virtual town halls to stay in touch
with our disaggregated workforce and all supervisors should be checking in
regularly with direct reports. CG Work-Life staff, chaplains, and medical officers
are available to join directorate, division, or unit calls to facilitate
opportunities for our workforce (civilians, military, contractors, and Auxiliarists)
to address concerns and to help normalize the stress associated with some of the
measures we have taken to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.  Throughout this
message are for a number of resources available through the Work-Life and
Chaplaincy staff that you may find extremely helpful in bolstering the resiliency
of our workforce during these difficult times.
    a. For those concerned about finances, the first line of financial education is
the designated Command Financial Specialist (CFS). For those units without an
assigned CFS, email or reach out to your
assigned Personal Financial Manager (PFM) to obtain the name of a CFS that can
    b. PFMs are available to help answer your questions pertaining to more complex
financial situations and can be located via the link:
    c. Additionally, the CGSUPRT Personal Financial Wellness Program has unlimited
thirty minute telephonic money coaching sessions, online live webinars, and recorded
webinars for all Coast Guard member and families via https:
// or call 1-855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778).
5. SOBRIETY SUPPORT: Many people struggle to cope with additional stress and
anxiety and turn to alcohol. With many states closing bars and restaurants, reports
indicate that alcohol sales are on the rise, and it is important that you not turn
to alcohol during this pandemic and compromise your immune system.
    a. Substance abuse help is always available, to include internet based self-help
meetings, at this link:
    b. Your Substance Abuse Prevention Team (SAPT) is also available to assist anyway
they can. To reach a member of the SAPT go to:
    c. Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists (SAPS) are also available via the SAPS
Duty line at (757) 628-4329.
6. CHAPLAINS: Chaplains are assigned to specific Coast Guard units to sustain
operational and family readiness by supporting Coast Guard personnel’s religious
rights and needs. Although not a CG Work-Life program, your chaplain is a part of
the CG’s overall support system and is available to provide, facilitate, and care
for personnel and their families, as well as advise commanders regarding morale
and welfare matters. 
    a. Chaplains can assist in these uneasy times by coordinating religious
accommodations (e.g., dietary restriction while self-isolated or in quarantine),
connection to live stream religious observances and offer 100% confidential
communication to provide spiritual counselling to our workforce.
    b. To find a current listing of unit chaplain for names and contact information,
visit this link: or call, 202-372-4900.
7. COUNSELING: Psychological effects of a pandemic are wide-ranging and adds
additional personal and professional stress on our members and the Coast Guard.
For assistance coping with the anxiety caused by these unusual circumstances,
contact your local Employee Assistance Program Coordinator at: In addition, CGSUPRT offers employees and family members confidential, free and immediate help, which is as easy as making a phone call. Callers can ask to speak to a licensed professional clinician, who can safely and remotely conduct telephone or video sessions. Furthermore, the CGSUPRT website has webinars available that address coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety reactions.
For assistance call 1-855-CGSUPRT (855-247-8778) or visit this link: Finally, support is always available at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255 You are NOT alone.
8. HEALTH PROMOTION AND STRESS MANAGEMNT: During this time it is even more important to keep your mental and physical strength, and manage stress. This means eating nutritious meals, getting quality sleep, and getting enough exercise. 
    a. The food you fuel your body with dramatically affects how you function, both
mentally and physically. Try to cook healthy meals and eat together to reconnect
with family to make meal time a positive experience. To learn more about positive
nutrition choices, visit:
    b. The body also needs quality sleep to repair itself, at least 8 hours for
adults and even more for children. Try to get into a regular schedule to help
regulate your sleep. The following site has more information on sleep:
    c. Exercise is vitally important to assist with mental and physical performance.
Proper exercise helps reduce blood pressure and stress. This is a good time to add
a daily walk to your routine or other low impact activities to lower stress levels.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
Aerobic activity: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75
minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and
vigorous activity. Strength training: The Human Performance Resource Center provides
information regarding exercise at the following site:
physical-fitness/training-performance/. Caution: If you have not exercised recently
or have medical conditions contact your physician before starting an exercise
    d. Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely
aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or
judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and
other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. Mindfulness has
been used by several different organizations such as elite military forces and
professional athletes to help focus on the tasks at hand. In our current situation,
focusing on our immediate tasks and not getting distracted by conditions out of our
control is extremely important. 
    e. Deep breathing, or Diaphragmatic breathing, has many known benefits such as
relaxation, lowering stress hormones such as cortisol and lowering your heart rate.
One of the biggest benefits of diaphragmatic breathing is reducing stress almost
9. SUBSISTENCE PROGRAM: Commanding Officers and Food Service Officers should contact
the Subsistence Program, and the Subsistence Product Line, for Coast Guard Dining Facility (CGDF) policy and operational guidance
to include: temporary disestablishment of a CGDF, Reports of Survey, Extraordinary
Operation Condition requests, and assistance in transfer of stores. The Subsistence
Program will review unit requests on the following:
    a. Increase to Maximum Unused Allowance percentage
    b. Authorized Sale of Stores
    c. Annual Inventory Verifications and Cash Audit extensions
    d. Maximum Cash on Hand amounts
10. OMBUDSMAN: Coast Guard Ombudsmen are the official volunteers who serve as the
link between commands and families who help to ensure Coast Guard families have the
information necessary to meet the challenges of a military lifestyle. Ombudsmen can
provide resource referrals so that family issues may be resolved before requiring
command attention. If you do not know your unit Ombudsman or are not currently on
the Ombudsman distribution list, go to: This link will
bring you to the Ombudsman Registry, where you can identify your command/unit and
contact the Ombudsman. If you cannot locate your unit, please contact the closest
Sector or Base Ombudsman.
11. TRANSITION ASSISTANCE: Many Coast Guard and Department of Defense Transition
workshops have been postponed until further notice. All personnel requiring timely
accomplishment of TAP can complete online. Contact information for your regional
transition manager can be found at: Pre-separation counseling is available on LMS course 10061, or search for Pre-separation. Upon completion of course, members can take workshops on Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) ( as an alternative as needed. Once there, search for the classes by selecting TGPS in the dropdown window above the PREFIX column, then click the Search button.
12. CHALLENGING ISSUES: Coast Guard leaders remain focused on providing
uninterrupted services and support to victims of sexual assault and domestic
     a. The DoD Safe Helpline provides support to the CG community if victimized or
impacted by sexual assault. It provides live, one-on-one support to victims,
survivors, their loved ones and anyone looking for more information. Services are
confidential, anonymous, secure and available worldwide. Staff members have been
trained to connect with a CG Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC) if
requested. Call DoD Safehelpline at 877-995-5247 or online at:
and download the app for free for either iOS or Android devices.
     b. The Family Advocacy Program (FAP). Family stressors may increase during
this time as we have to avoid public spaces, work remotely and invoke physical
distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These external factors add stress and
may increase financial strain which often negatively impacts family dynamics and
creates circumstances where a family member’s safety may be compromised. If you or
your loved one is feeling stressed, first find the time to de-stress and practice
self-care before reaching out for help. These simple practices are not only
compatible with good parenting, but are also important tools for keeping your
family strong and children safe. FAP is available to support you and your family
members in a time of stress and when experiencing family conflict, 24/7. If you
are concerned about having to isolate in an unsafe home situation or have concerns
about a child’s safety, contact the Family Advocacy Program at 800-872-4957, the
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453, the National Domestic
Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and or
13. LOCAL SUPPORT: Work-Life continues to provide new and timely interventions and
supports for our community during these challenging times. We are creatively
connecting via technology to offer sessions to promote the wellness of our minds and
bodies, to include mindfulness exercises, virtual yoga and stretching, and, of
course, tele-mental health services via CGSUPRT. During the COVID 19 pandemic, man
of us may experience familial stressors or grief, and seeking counsel or support
will not adversely affect our careers. Help and connection is always available, and
we are not alone despite the realities of physical distancing.
     a. To contact the Work-Life staff nearest you, please call 1-202-475-5100 and
enter the appropriate extension listed below:
Alameda (6), Astoria (7), Boston (1), Cape Cod (1), Cape May (2; press 1),
Charleston (3), Cleveland (5), Detroit (5), Honolulu (8), Houston/Galveston (4)
Juneau/Ketchikan (9), Kodiak (9), LA/Long Beach (6), Miami Beach (3),
New Orleans (4), New York (1), Petaluma (6), Portsmouth (2; press 3), San Diego (6)
San Juan, PR (3), Seattle (7), St. Louis (4), Washington DC (2; press 2)
Yorktown (2; press 3).
     b. You can also locate more resources at:
CG-1/Health-Safety-and-Work-Life-CG-11/HSWL-SC/. Your safety and well-being is of
our utmost importance. Please share this this message with your family, friends, and
don’t hesitate to seek help.
14. FOR TIMELY UPDATES AND RESOURCES, please visit the Official USCG Coronavirus
site at: There you will find the following:
     a. Current messages from our leadership regarding continuity of readiness
activities, telework capabilities, travel and leave policy, and FAQs;
     b. Support for military families during school and daycare closures, to include
free educational resources and;
     c. Additional assistance in response to needs stemming from COVID-19 is being
offered by Coast Guard Mutual Assistance at:
15. RADM Dana L. Thomas, Director, Health, Safety, and Work-Life, sends. 
16. Internet release is authorized.