Friday, December 24, 2004

The Commandant of the Coast Guard stands firm behind his people

A while back I ranted about the Coast Guard taking a swipe at tuition assistance, a benefit many of us have come to love dearly. And then I raved, hearing a rumor senior leaders had saved tuition assistance for everyone. Well, here's the bottom line, the official word:
R 231644Z DEC 04 ZUI ASN-A00358000028 ZYB
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-C//
TO ALCOAST
BT
UNCLAS //N01524//
ALCOAST 566/05
COMDTNOTE 1524
SUBJ: COMMANDANTS DIRECTION-PEOPLE-TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM UPDATE
A. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 271313Z JAN 03/ALCOAST 043/03
B. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 162226Z DEC 02/ALCOAST 570/02
C. COMDTINST 1500.24,COAST GUARD TUITION ASSISTANCE (TA) PROGRAM
1. THIS IS AN UPDATE TO THE COAST GUARD ACTIVE DUTY, CIVILIAN, AND RESERVE TUITION ASSISTANCE (TA) PROGRAM. I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT TA FUNDING FOR FY-05 PROGRAMS WILL BE THE SAME AS LAST YEAR WITH AN ANNUAL CAP OF 4,500 DOLLARS AND A SEMESTER HOUR CAP OF 250 DOLLARS IAW REFS A AND B.
2. DUE TO UNCERTAINTY WITH THE FY-05 BUDGET, IN NOVEMBER 2004 THE COAST GUARD INSTITUTE WAS DIRECTED TO STOP PROCESSING TA REQUESTS FOR ALL POST GRADUATE COURSES WITH CONVENING DATES AFTER 1 DEC. THIS ACTION WAS TAKEN TO ENSURE WE WOULD BE ABLE TO FULLY FUND ALL UNDERGRADUATE TA REQUESTS. ON 17 DEC, FUNDING WAS IDENTIFIED TO SUPPORT ALL TA PROGRAMS USING 4,500 DOLLARS ANNUAL AND 250 DOLLARS SEMESTER CAPS.
3. I REGRET THE IMPACT THAT TEMPORARY TA SUSPENSIONS MAY HAVE HAD ON OUR PEOPLE. MEMBERS WHO ENROLLED IN COURSES BUT WHOSE DECEMBER TA REQUESTS WERE NOT FULLY FUNDED MAY REQUEST TA REIMBURSEMENT CONSISTENT WITH TA CAPS VIA THE COAST GUARD INSTITUTE. PROCEDURES FOR APPLYING FOR REIMBURSEMENT ARE DETAILED IN PARA 11 OF REF C.
4. IN FY-04, THE COAST GUARD INNOVATION COUNCIL BEGAN SPONSORING A POST GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM OFFERED BY THE NATIONAL GRADUATE SCHOOL (NGS). CURRENTLY, 156 COAST GUARD STUDENTS ARE ENROLLED IN NGS AND USING TA. TO ENSURE A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF TA IS NOT ABSORBED BY NGS, I HAVE DIRECTED G-W, IN COOPERATION WITH G-CQM, TO DEVELOP A REASONABLE AND SUSTAINABLE LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION IN NGS SUPPORTED BY TA. THAT GUIDANCE WILL BE COMPLETED IN JANUARY PRIOR TO CONVENING ANY NEW NGS PROGRAM STARTS.
5. TA IS AN OUTSTANDING BENEFIT FOR ALL COAST GUARD MEMBERS THAT ENCOURAGES PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. THE POPULARITY OF THE TA PROGRAM HAS RESULTED IN HUGE INCREASES IN PARTICIPATION. IN FY04, THE COAST GUARD INSTITUTE PROCESSED MORE THAN 22,000 COURSE ENROLLMENTS AND EXPENDED OVER 12.2 MILLION DOLLARS IN TA FOR COAST GUARD MEMBERS. THIS WAS A 24 PERCENT INCREASE OVER FY03 ENROLLMENTS AND A 39 PERCENT INCREASE IN EXPENDITURES. I REMAIN COMMITTED TO FUNDING TA FOR COAST GUARD PEOPLE COMMENSURATE WITH DOD.
6. INFORMATION ON ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE COAST GUARD INSTITUTE WEBSITE.
7. INTERNET RELEASE AUTHORIZED.
8. ADM THOMAS H. COLLINS,COMMANDANT,SENDS.
BT
I don't know where he found the money or how he did it. And I don't care. I'm just thankful that he has stood firm in his resolve to support the intellectual development of his people.



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