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Why Join

The Scout Talent and Refer (STAR) program now provides $1,000 cash incentives, as well as other recognition options like personal awards or time off for Active Duty, Reservist, and Civilian members who make a referral that results in an enlistment in the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve. Use your personal network and opportunities in your daily life to connect with people who have the potential to join the Coast Guard.

Scout Talent and Refer Program Flyer (open in new tab)

STAR Program Overview (open in new tab)


Q: Who is eligible to receive program incentives?

A: Coast Guard Active Duty and Reserve members, Coast Guard Civilian employees, Coast Guard retirees (Active Duty and Reserve), and Coast Guard Auxiliary members are now eligible to receive the cash incentive. Members assigned to a recruiting billet are not eligible.

Q: Do any referrals not qualify for the incentive?

A: Members will not receive the incentive for referring a current USCG member (e.g., AD, SELRES, IRR, ISL). Also, members will not receive the incentive for referring one of their relatives (parent, child or their spouse, sibling, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, first cousin, spouse or their parent, step-parent, step-child, step-sibling, or half-sibling).

Q: How do I submit a referral?

A: Submit your referral directly to the Scout Talent and Refer Submission.

Q: How does my referral get tracked through the recruiting process?

A: Your applicant must claim you as a referrer to the recruiter and sign a form that is placed in their file.

Q: What should I do after submitting the referral?

A: Maintain your relationship with the applicant and keep them motivated. Remind them to tell the recruiter that you referred them. It can take six months or more to get through the hiring process. A large number of individuals encounter frustrating or insurmountable issues that can be out of their control. Trust that their assigned recruiter is doing everything they can.

Q: How can I know how their application is progressing?

A: The best source for this information is the applicant themselves. Recruiters are limited in what they can disclose to third parties.

Q: What happens if my applicant gets disqualified? 

A: Don’t be discouraged; fewer than 25% of youth are fully qualified for service. It may take several referrals before you find a successful recruit.

Q: When do I get my incentive?

A: Once the recruit ships to boot camp, their recruiting office will initiate the award process. Part of the submission requires the member to complete an OF-1164 to process your payment.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of incentives an individual can receive?

A: No.

Q: I referred someone before the increase in the incentives. Will I get the increase?

A: If the recruit ships to boot camp after November 25, 2022, you will be entitled to the new incentives.