Human Capital Strategy Update: Career Intentions Survey

Why do some people decide to leave the Coast Guard and why do other people stay?

As part of the Human Capital Strategy Initiative, the Coast Guard is working to understand members’ answers to these two questions.

ALCOAST 271/16 announced the establishment of the Coast Guard Career Intentions Survey (CIS) to be implemented immediately. The CIS is the Coast Guard’s version of an exit survey. A previous survey was employed from 2002 to 2012, and this new CIS has been redeveloped to better refine the survey questions.

The CIS will be sent to people who are leaving active duty as well as a matched sample of members remaining on active duty (stayers).

The sampling of both leavers and stayers allows for greater clarity of the many and varied root causes for the decision to depart. The questions are framed to highlight differences between organizational and local drivers.

The survey findings, along with the Organizational Assessment Survey (OAS) results, will be used to analyze and identify systemic and programmatic changes that could influence retention.

Individual responses will be combined to create summary reports to ensure member confidentiality. The first report will be generated approximately three months from now.

“Restarting the Career Intentions Survey is an important step towards gaining a better understanding of why some members decide to leave active duty, and why some members decide to stay,” said Rear Adm. William Kelly, assistant commandant for Human Resources. “This information will help inform our decisions moving forward, especially as we continue to build our Human Capital Strategy.”


  • If you are leaving the Coast Guard – thank you for your service! A survey invitation with a link to the survey will be emailed to you when you start the RELAD or discharge process. We encourage you to complete the survey to with honest feedback.
  • If you are selected to take the survey as a stayer, an invitation with a link to the survey will be emailed to you after reenlistment or shortly after remaining on active duty beyond your date of obligated service. If you are one of the stayers who are selected to complete the CIS, thank you for your continued service and I ask that you complete the CIS. Your input when compared to people departing the Coast Guard will provide significant insight on what can be done to continue to make the Coast Guard an employer of choice.


The survey is approximately 25 questions and should take no more that 10 minutes to complete.

Civilians leaving the Coast Guard are asked to complete the DHS Civilian Exit Survey at


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