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Old 02-25-2010, 09:21 PM   #1
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Interested in joining the Coast Guard

Hi everyone,

I am a college student in Upstate, NY. My family is not a traditional military family in any way. My grandfather was in WWII as a radio operator in a B-26 bomber. I have always want to follow in his footsteps and make him proud. He is proud of me either way and that's what matters. But I want to fly .

I have always liked the Coast Guard because they are focused on helping others through SAR, etc. and not necessarily taking lives like other branches (not trying to offend anyone here).

My background:
-H.S. - 3.9 GPA
-College - 2nd sem. freshman - 3.5 GPA
-Majors: Double Major - Accounting and Business Administration w/ a concentration in Management
-Eagle Scout - Completed Philmont, Seabase and Northern Tier
-Certified SCUBA diver
-Private Pilots License

I want to serve my country but I want to have fun doing it. In other words, I really only want to join the military if I can fly. I would join any branch. I know I wouldn't be flying everyday and that I would just push papers and run enlisted guys around.

Please don't be offended that I only want to serve my country if I can fly. I respect everyone in the Armed Forces and I always will. But if I can't fly for the military I'll just go on to be a boring financial advisor or accountant.

I guess I'm asking:
What are my chances of becoming a pilot?
Can I be guaranteed a spot in flight school before signing papers?
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:50 AM   #3
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I don't have time to get into it right now- but I subbed this and I'll respond later-I'm a Coast Guard pilot right now.

Short answers tho-
It's competitive. It's getting harder and harder to get into the flight programs in the CG/Navy/Marines right. You have a pretty strong resume, so that'll help.

Blue 21 is a program that is a promise before you sign. Otherwise- Not that I know of.

More to come.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:01 AM   #4
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If you cant make it into OCS or flight school, you could always join the enlisted side and go aet, amt, or even ast...AMT and AET are your engineers in the aviation side of the coast guard, and ASTs are your aston kuchers(or however you spell his name) rescue swimmer. Im not in aviation but, if you'd like more information on it i could get you some.Its good that you have a great resume, its becoming very hard to get into even the enlisted side.Ive heard guy with BAs even getting turned away!!! Good luch with whatever you decide.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:32 AM   #5
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Brunes, seems like he'd have some good answers for you, I went the other route I went enlisted in the CG for 5 years got out after a year extension to a 4 year. Had a great time, it's a great service, I was stationed on a 378' Cutter and a 210' Cutter, I went to Alaska, Mexico, both Somoas and all the islands in the South Atlantic. From Russian fisheries to Cuban and Haitian Migrants. It definitely beats a 9 to 5er. I got out to take a Civilian Job with Homeland Security, I'm a GS-11 now at Fort Wadsworth in NY, I still get to work side by side with the CG. It's the same as everything man, some people love it, some people hate it. The only bad news I can think of is the economy, Recruiters are turning people away left and right, and our budget just got cut something like 75 million, and Brunes can probably tell you they are in the process of decommissioning some Cutters and some of the 65 Helios to shave costs. So look into it, it's a good service and good luck, don't take it personnel if the Recruiters turn you away at the door. Keep on them everyday, and let them know your interested in the Pilots Program.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:16 AM   #6
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Air Force Reserves

Find a squadron near you, or if you plan on moving. Find out what aircraft they fly, and apply to the squadron. It's like applying for a job, interviews and the whole works. But its one big happy family when you get back from all your training!
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:25 AM   #7
NumNutz [OP] NumNutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
I don't have time to get into it right now- but I subbed this and I'll respond later-I'm a Coast Guard pilot right now.

Short answers tho-
It's competitive. It's getting harder and harder to get into the flight programs in the CG/Navy/Marines right. You have a pretty strong resume, so that'll help.

Blue 21 is a program that is a promise before you sign. Otherwise- Not that I know of.

More to come.
I know it's competitive and with the economy the way it is it's even more competitive. People want to join the military but they don't want to be deployed so they join the CG.

I have heard of the Blue 21 program. I need to be going to a school with 25% minority though. If I transfer to Cornell across the lake I will meet that requirement but my GPA will then suck lol.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NumNutz View Post
I know it's competitive and with the economy the way it is it's even more competitive. People want to join the military but they don't want to be deployed so they join the CG.

I have heard of the Blue 21 program. I need to be going to a school with 25% minority though. If I transfer to Cornell across the lake I will meet that requirement but my GPA will then suck lol.
Yeah. I don't know alot about the Blue21 program.

I'm an Academy grad- Did my 4 year EE degree there and when I got done with that I went to a 210' cutter for two years before coming to Flight School.

If you are REALLY committed to flying for the Coast Guard- Try for an OCS spot and take whatever job they will give you. You'll have several chances in the first two years to get a flight slot. The ground jobs and/or cutter jobs are not all that bad....altho aviation is where it's at!!

I would not recommend going enlisted as a stepping stone- It adds a step to an already complex process and may or may not give you an advantage.

If you've got any more questions- let me know!! (I REALLY love my job- and I like talking about it too!!)
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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The Navy/Marine Corps has more planes than all the other services combined.

You have the highest chance of flying by going Navy.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by solus694 View Post
The Navy/Marine Corps has more planes than all the other services combined.

You have the highest chance of flying by going Navy.
Your mathematical assertion about more planes than the other services combined- I'd agree with. Your assertion about better chances I would NOT agree with.

The Coast Guard has just shy of 8000 officers- Nearly 1/4 of them are pilots. I don't think the numbers in the Navy are nearly that good- Ya'll have alot more SLJOs and hinges.

You also run a far greater risk if IA/sea tours-
For the non- military- IA tours are Independant/Individual Augmentation tours where you go work with another type of unit as a Forward Air Controller or some other type of officer. Sea tours are where you go to the boat and live there as part of ships company and support the pilots (but you don't fly much at all)

Much less SAR- Your 60's go out to the starboard delta pattern and might maybe make a pick every once and a while....I'll be making SAR picks within weeks or months of reporting to my unit (after a far shorter flight school/transition training period)

And lastly- The Navy is currently letting student aviators out of their contracts for free (Like if you sign the line- We'll eat your college bills and you'll go on your merry way as a civilian) and the selection criteria are becoming more stringent and the number selected smaller.

OBTW- Coast Guard promotes to O2 6 months before the Navy does (That's worth about 3 grand in just base pay- Probably another grand or so depending on location for BAH)

Each one has it's ups and downs.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
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Pilots on sea tour don't fly? Thats wrong. Thats their job on sea tour... they fly, especially for O2-O4. They generally don't do anything else...literally. Sleep, fly, briefs.... rinse repeat.

IAs are alway prevalent... every service has their version and has to put in their joint effort. CG has IAs too. I worked with some IA CG guys out in port at Umm Qasr in Iraq about a year ago.

The Navy offers more variety of aircraft to fly (plus fighter jets) than the CG. However if SAR is his thing than you are right CG is the best for that. The guys they are letting out are the ones slated to be NFO since more of our 2 seaters are going away.

I like the CG, shit they saved one of my sailors from losing a leg while we were out to sea, but if he wants a greater variety of choices than the Navy is the way to go.

plus our pilots land and carriers ... lets see the Airforce do that!
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solus694 View Post
Pilots on sea tour don't fly? Thats wrong. Thats their job on sea tour... they fly, especially for O2-O4. They generally don't do anything else...literally. Sleep, fly, briefs.... rinse repeat.

IAs are alway prevalent... every service has their version and has to put in their joint effort. CG has IA too. I worked with some IA CG guys out in port at Umm Qasr in Iraq about a year ago.

The Navy offers more variety of aircraft to fly (plus fighter jets) than the CG. However if SAR is his thing than you are right CG is the best for that. The guys they are letting out are the ones slated to be NFO since more of our 2 pilot planes are going away.

I like the CG, shit they saved one of my sailors from losing a leg while we were out to sea, but if he wants a greater variety of choices than the Navy is the way to go.

plus our pilots land and carriers ... lets see the Airforce do that!
Deployments to sea-All they do is fly. But go ask an LSO, a Mini Air Boss, or a Cat Officer what they do- They spend two or three years assigned to the SHIP not a SQUADRON...and they support the SQUADRONS that come to the ship- and they don't fly much for that time.

IA's in the Coast Guard are rarely select and direct- Those guys most likely wanted to be there. But you are correct- They do exist everywhere. Not many for pilots tho- We need every jock we have.

There is a spot out there for everyone- and a job for everyone to do- And long term goals play into it- When you are committing 10-15 years of your life to a service- Gotta think about what you want to get done long term.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:23 PM   #14
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Wow, lots of input here...I can tell you what is going on right now..realtime as I have a kid who works for me trying to get into OCS as we speak. I am not on officer nor a pilot, I drive boats and am part of the command at a small boat station in NE.

1st-recruiting is closed until next year. CG is not taking anyone into bootcamp regardless of how good your background is. They have enough ppl already signed up and waiting for orders to bootcamp to last the rest of the year..Thats straight from the Prov and Boston recruiting offices.

2nd-unless you have a desirable college background that the CG is currently looking for you will have a slim shot at getting into OCS.

3rd-I agree with most of what the CG pilot above writes, however...we are a boatforces service, yes we have lots of aircraft and missions that need air support...but at the end of the day we are still a waterside service and the majority of our missions are based on boats and cutters.

I would put our pilots up against anybody out there, but we definetely don't have the amount of aircrafts the air force/navy/marines have and personally if I wanted to fly..thats where I would be looking.

I will say this, the CG is awesome..I get to save peoples lives for a living, make good money, have outstanding benefits, and uncomparable job security. I Have 12 years in, and I could tell you stories for days on the experiences I have had.

Hope this helps and good luck to you.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
Deployments to sea-All they do is fly. But go ask an LSO, a Mini Air Boss, or a Cat Officer what they do- They spend two or three years assigned to the SHIP not a SQUADRON...and they support the SQUADRONS that come to the ship- and they don't fly much for that time.

IA's in the Coast Guard are rarely select and direct- Those guys most likely wanted to be there. But you are correct- They do exist everywhere. Not many for pilots tho- We need every jock we have.

There is a spot out there for everyone- and a job for everyone to do- And long term goals play into it- When you are committing 10-15 years of your life to a service- Gotta think about what you want to get done long term.
hmm... well thats only three out of the 100 or so on a carrier... besides the LSO is generally an rotational pilot from the squadron. the mini and airboss are O5-O6 who generally don't fly that much either way.

but oh well, theres plenty of options to fly in all branches
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RI06TACO View Post
Wow, lots of input here...I can tell you what is going on right now..realtime as I have a kid who works for me trying to get into OCS as we speak. I am not on officer nor a pilot, I drive boats and am part of the command at a small boat station in NE.

1st-recruiting is closed until next year. CG is not taking anyone into bootcamp regardless of how good your background is. They have enough ppl already signed up and waiting for orders to bootcamp to last the rest of the year..Thats straight from the Prov and Boston recruiting offices.

2nd-unless you have a desirable college background that the CG is currently looking for you will have a slim shot at getting into OCS.

3rd-I agree with most of what the CG pilot above writes, however...we are a boatforces service, yes we have lots of aircraft and missions that need air support...but at the end of the day we are still a waterside service and the majority of our missions are based on boats and cutters.

I would put our pilots up against anybody out there, but we definetely don't have the amount of aircrafts the air force/navy/marines have and personally if I wanted to fly..thats where I would be looking.

I will say this, the CG is awesome..I get to save peoples lives for a living, make good money, have outstanding benefits, and uncomparable job security. I Have 12 years in, and I could tell you stories for days on the experiences I have had.

Hope this helps and good luck to you.
I am new to this site and just wanted you to know that i appreciate your service.. My son is about to complete MK "A" school and on his way to a 110' cutter north of you. What you just said was alot of the information used in making his decision in joining the CG vs. other military services.. He loves it so far and is looking forward to getting "UNDERWAY".. But as was mentioned, they are definately not recruiting right now.. My son's best friend decided to join and scored a 90 on the asvab and they (recruiters) bascially blew him off. He is going NUKE program in the Navy..Good Luck to you and SEMPER PARATUS!!!!
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:35 PM   #17
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I would love to fly an HC-130...Right now, I'm working on my bachelors and have minimal flight hours. I have been considering all sorts of ideas including the CG. I wouldn't mind serving at all if I was guaranteed flight-time. I hear the competition is brutal, and unlike the OP, I don't have the grades....yet. So you already got one in on me. I'll be watching this thread.
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