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Old 08-26-2011, 04:49 AM   #1
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Coast Guard Life

I am in the process of applying for a commission as a lawyer in the Coast Guard and noticed that a number of people on this site in the Coast Guard.

I was hoping someone could give me an idea what the life and culture are like in the Coast Guard. Can you make time for family and other obligations? Does your social/recreational life revolve around the service? How much does it appear the service takes your wishes/requests/situation into to account when deciding where you will be stationed?

Anything I should know that I haven't yet asked before making and 8 year commitment to the Coast Guard?
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:52 AM   #2
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I'm USAF, but just wanted to say good for you. I have a couple friends that are Coast Guardsmen and they love it. Congrats on your decision... I can't imagine it being anything but a great life but I'm sure some "coasties" will chime in soon.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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thanks rlee, I'm hoping you're right and looking forward to finding out.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by followingariver View Post
I am in the process of applying for a commission as a lawyer in the Coast Guard and noticed that a number of people on this site in the Coast Guard.

I was hoping someone could give me an idea what the life and culture are like in the Coast Guard. Can you make time for family and other obligations? Does your social/recreational life revolve around the service? How much does it appear the service takes your wishes/requests/situation into to account when deciding where you will be stationed?

Anything I should know that I haven't yet asked before making and 8 year commitment to the Coast Guard?
I've been in 3 years, been on a 378' cutter and currently at a heavy weather small boat station. Not really sure on the specifics of how work hours etc. for a lawyer in the CG would be like, but at the station we are on a 2 day on 2 day off schedule with every other weekend off. On the cutter we would deploy for 3 months either down to the coast of Latin/South America for counter drug operations or up north to the Bering Sea as standby SAR/LE for the fishing fleet.

Between my work hours and my girlfriend's we don't see each other as often as we'd like but its not too bad.

Chances are your social life will involve the people you work with. My station is fairly small (~35 people) and its a pretty tight knit unit.

As far as where you get stationed, based on where you are currently stationed is ranked on a priority 1-5. Priority 1 would be overseas units with 5 being shore units not including Hawaii/Alaska. Priority 1 gets first pick then 2, etc. A lot of people will take a less than desireable unit with a high priority to get where they really want come transfer season. All in all its a good life choice with lots of opportunities.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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Also unsure of life as a lawyer but I would assume you would be at a Sector or some other area with a mass amount of CG personnel, tending to their legal needs.

Personally I routinely work 12+ hour days, deploy for months at a time, and when in port, train train and train. It's an awesome gig but not for everyone. It's a service not many know much about, even people who are in don't know much about the dark little corners of the CG! A variety of missions and duty stations, ranging from straight LE to SAR to ATON.

The lawyer thing is probably vastly different than any active duty position, I would imagine you'd be working alongside CGIS in some capacity, as well as just providing routine legal assistance (i.e. wills, power of attorney, etc.). You wouldn't be a boat coxswain or a boarding officer that's for sure.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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Thanks Tacpro and Jesse, I like to get as many peoples point of view as possible. My career so far has been investigating crimes and prosecuting criminals and I know I would enjoy whatever role I could play in the LE mission - I am also very interested in SAR aspect and would like to know what role I could play in that. I assume the Coast Guard gets sued frequently and if all I do is defend those suits and allow others to do their job, so be it.

Jesse, looks like we have other interests in common - I see your crossfit logo - currently working on getting my baseline workout under 5 minutes - need to shave time off my row.
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