Thursday, December 16, 2004

Coast Guard's Senior Leadership dumps on "people"

The Coast Guard's themes of Stewardship, Readiness, and People might be all smoke and mirrors. Facing the largest budget in it's history, the Coast Guard is coming up short in many areas. Yes, you read that right: the Coast Guard has the largest budget ever, and still is having trouble keeping commitments. One of those commitments is to the Coast Guard military and civilian employees who count on tuition assistance to help out with educational costs. Of late, Coasties have been entitled to $4500 per fiscal year to help out with tuition. A great benefit.

The following landed in my inbox:
The FY05 Budget picture has been unclear since the start of the Fiscal Year. With a FY05 Budget Base of $6M for Tuition Assistance, and anticipated expenditures of $12M, G-W sought additional funs at OPSTAGE to make up the difference.

Of the $12M tuition assistance projected for FY05, $9M would be needed to fund undergraduate tuition assistance with subsequent $3M for postgraduate tuition assistance. G-W is committed to not making any cuts in undergraduate tuition assistance.

Due to the uncertainty in the budget, in early November the Institute was instructed to hold any requests for post graduate TA with classes commencing after Dec 1.

Any reduction in tuition assistance come in addition to other cuts across AFC-56 impacting C schools and postgraduate advanced education funding.

We expect to receive notification of the final FY05 source of funds soon and an ALCOAST will be issued.

There is a very good chance graduate level and above courses will be very limited for the remainder of FY05. CG Institute is currently holding all tuition assistance applications for graduate level and above courses that began 1 December 2004 and later. Due to the delay in funding decision and at a calculated risk, CG Institute will begin processing the applications for graduate level and above courses with start dates in December ONLY and with a limited authorization of $1000 annual cap for graduate level and above.

Recommend all ESOs take the following action:
  • Pass this information to all members within area of responsibility.

  • Review applications for graduate level and above courses with start dates in December 2004, contact individuals and request confirmation of their request with a $1000 annual TA limit and resubmit application with the applicable course/courses member is still requesting TA.

  • Counsel those members who have requested tuition assistance for graduate level and above courses beginning 1 January 2005 or later. Members need to know that the Coast Guard may not fund the tuition for these courses and that they may incur out of pocket expenses. If the member is not willing to pay out of pocket expenses for the course(s), then they should not take the course(s).
    Note: All graduate level and above courses that began prior to 1 December 2004, and were approved by the Institute, will be funded by the Coast Guard.

  • If funding for graduate level and above courses is limited, ESOs will need to review EVERY application with members to determine which course they will be requesting TA and resubmit the application(s). All applications received will be processed in order of start date of course (i.e., all start dates of 1 January will be processed first, then the 2nd and so forth).

  • If graduate level and above courses are suspended for the remainder of FY05, all applications received at the Institute will be shredded. No waiver/reimbursements will be authorized.
Note: The following website provides information on VA educational benefits the member may be eligible for tuition assistance:

<Click here.>

Some of the benefits discussed:

  • Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

  • Accelerated payment for MGIB-AD

  • Tuition Assistance Top-Up

  • Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

  • Veteran's Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

  • Licensing and Certification Tests
We respectfully ask for your patience and to refrain from calling or inquiring about this issue until a final decision has been made. Thank you.
Oh, that's so nice... to hell with helping folks learn, improve, and get better.

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