Planning a Coast Guard Move

Changing stations in the U.S. Coast Guard

The Coast Guard, with currently more than 38,000 active-duty members, has been proudly serving the United States since 1790. Over the years, countless “Coasties” have received Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders and have served on numerous shorelines throughout the nation and world. Are you a member of the Coast Guard who recently received PCS orders? The information below includes details on entitlements and housing to help you understand the specifics.

Want to know more about how military moving works and what you’ll need to know? Check out this comprehensive guide to PCS moves.

Coast guard flag


Coast Guard benefits

Depending on whether your orders are for a CONUS (military moves within the continental U.S.) or OCONUS (overseas) move, you may be entitled to certain benefits. It’s best to talk with your Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO) or Transition and Relocation Manager (TRM) to see which entitlements you can receive.

For CONUS moves:

  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). This allowance covers housing costs when base accommodations aren’t available. The amount given is based on pay grade, dependency status and location.
  • Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE). A TLE allowance partially covers any temporary lodging and meal expenses a service member and his/her dependents incur during a PCS.
  • Dislocation Allowance (DLA). This allowance is intended to partially cover expenses associated with moving a member’s household during a PCS.
  • Monetary Allowance in lieu of Transportation (MALT). MALT is a mileage reimbursement that offsets travel costs. It’s paid on a per mile basis at $0.17 per mile for PCS moves.

For OCONUS moves:

  • Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA). OHA is a monthly payment that reimburses military members for overseas housing expenses when on-base lodging isn’t available.
  • Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA). This allowance works similarly to the TLE, but is specifically for OCONUS moves and lasts up to 60 days.
  • Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA). Coast Guard members can receive MIHA when they incur costs associated with rental fees, home security-related expenses and costs from purchasing appliances and necessities that aren’t always provided.
  • Overseas Cost of Living Allowance (OCOLA). This non-taxable allowance covers the higher overseas prices on non-housing goods and services, such as in Alaska and Hawaii where the cost of merchandise is typically higher.

Searching for housing

As soon as your PCS orders are finalized, contact your PPSO or TRM to fill out a housing request form. Then, use the Coast Guard Housing Program to help ensure you find reliable accommodations that are close to your station of duty. Lodging may be available through Coast Guard-owned housing, Department of Defense housing, leased housing and community housing. The Coast Guard will typically grant you 10 days of leave for house hunting; however, you’ll have to pay for all trip-related costs.

Other helpful programs

While planning your Coast Guard PCS, also check out these other resourceful programs:

Relocation Assistance Program

The overall goal of the Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) is to help Guard members and their families settle into their new station comfortably. It helps guide you throughout the entire PCS process: the pre-departure phase, the transition, the arrival and orientation, the reconnection of members and families, and the stabilization phase. It also provides members with information about the area’s housing, education, hospitals, spouse employment opportunities and more.

U.S. Coast Guard Ombudsman Program

A Coast Guard Ombudsman is assigned to a specific unit to serve as the official contact between commanding officers and unit families. Ombudsman responsibilities include advocating for military families, providing resources and referrals to assist unit families and responding to a crisis within the unit.

U.S. Coast Guard Childcare Subsidy Program

This program is available to Guard members who have been called to active duty for 180 days or longer. It helps cover the higher cost of off-base childcare, allowing families to pay a similar fee to that of on-base daycare. Subsidy benefits are given based on a family’s total income and a completed application.

How can we help?

If you have other questions about moving for the Coast Guard, leave a comment below. We’re honored to help our servicemen and servicewomen!