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Thinking about USCG

Discussion in 'Military' started by jerretxx, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Dec 29, 2010 at 3:39 PM
    #1
    jerretxx

    jerretxx [OP] Some do, others talk

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    Hey guys, Im thinking very hard about joining the USCG, I am 19 years old and have thought about it for a few years. I wanted to join after HS but decided to go to a 2 year CC, I will be finishing up my 2 year degree next fall. Can anyone give me some good advice about the USCG, for instance, starting benefits, pay, boot camp, anything that is helpful! Thanks!
     
  2. Dec 29, 2010 at 3:44 PM
    #2
    SOSHeloPilot

    SOSHeloPilot Well-Known Member

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    The USCG is a good way to go and I am sure that some of the "resident puddle pirates" will give you some good info. ... :D
    .
     
  3. Dec 29, 2010 at 3:47 PM
    #3
    jerretxx

    jerretxx [OP] Some do, others talk

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    haha! I hope to hear some good feed back. I want to go so I can have the best training, experience, benefits, job placement, and most of all see the country and get paid to do it!
     
  4. Dec 29, 2010 at 6:33 PM
    #4
    Trapper6speed

    Trapper6speed Hacksaw engineer

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    Do it. Eather the CG navy or Airforce if I were to do it all over again. You will have experiences and great stories for the rest of your life and if you make a career out of it at your age. You will be set.
     
  5. Dec 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM
    #5
    jerretxx

    jerretxx [OP] Some do, others talk

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    Thank you for the advice, and I agree with you on the set part!
     
  6. Dec 29, 2010 at 10:25 PM
    #6
    jeepmor

    jeepmor Well-Known Member

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    My brother started in the Coast Guard almost 20 years ago and he is still in. He went from a HS grad and got a degree while enlisted and moving up the ranks. He is now a Lt. and then some due to him getting a degree of some sort. (sorry, don't keep that close of tabs). He is one notch under a base commander in his current role in Louisiana. He's spent the most of that time up in Alaska becoming a hunting and fishing juggernaut.

    I highly recommend the CG as my brother has done really well and had so many more career options than I've ever been exposed to. He's been a fully cert'd marine mechanic, rescued people in Alaska (whatever that's called), moved up into supervisory positions as an enlisted guy, then some law enforcement, and now he's an officer as the RH man of the base commander. He got a degree in there somewhere, on the govy dime I'm sure. Pretty broad range there, and that's just the few details I know of because we really don't talk much.

    However, one of the biggest perks I see is his time off, it piles up and it's a pretty healthy vacation hours, as in huge. I talked to him once and he said he had to trim his vacation hours down to 50 days or less of accrual or he'd lose down to that.

    I can't recommend the Coast Guard enough. It's not over in the Middle East being shot at and you get all the good training and certifications you can build a serious maritime resume with in all sorts of fields. I'm an engineer at 41 and all I have is experience. My corporate employers are too cheap to spend money on me advancing my education level with certified progames to improve my skillset or knowledge base. In the services, this stuff is automatic by design, and all of it is high caliber nuts and bolts training. I highly recommend it to a kid of your age whatever your real passion is, the Coast Guard should offer a well paved avenue to pursue. If you do half as well as my brother, you'll still be plenty happy. Hell, I would be, seriously.

    The things he's seen and done are really incredible. He's saved lives and been that guy pulling the person to safety in the worst conditions imaginable in Alaska. Me, I've saved some corporations enough money to retire 1000s of people in luxury and barely got a thank you. And still barely get one now.

    Growing up we knew several Coasties as I'm from the Oregon coast. These guys were always the nicest folks and you could really tell they liked what they were doing a lot. One was a pilot, the other was a rescue diver.

    Hope this helps.

    jeepmor
     
  7. Dec 29, 2010 at 10:45 PM
    #7
    Tacomanator

    Tacomanator Boiling denim and bangin whores

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    Good luck man! CG is real tough to get into, especially now-a-days, but if you can wing it go for it :thumbsup:.... also, dont count out the Navy or Air Force (still tough to get into)
     
  8. Dec 30, 2010 at 5:55 AM
    #8
    TacPro45

    TacPro45 Well-Known Member

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    Finally a thread that I can contribute to!

    I've been in the CG for about 7 and a half years so I can answer most of your questions. The CG is a phenomenal organization, as well as a military service. All of your benefits correlate to the other four branches of the military i.e. pay, retirement, education, etc. An E-6 in the CG and an E-6 in the USMC make the same base pay. Depending on where you are in the world that pay could be tax free, they could add in hazardous duty pay, or flight pay, or sea pay, etc. You also get a basic allowance for housing depending on your unit, which lets you go out and live on the economy.

    I have been stationed in NJ, VA, and now FL. You can move around a lot or you can stay put depending on where you are. Typically if you are in a CG haven (South Fl, Alaska, Hawaii, Alameda, VA) odds are you can bounce around in that area because of the abundance of units. The economy is also a driving factor as they would rather not pay for the cost to move you across the country if they don't have to.

    There are deployable units and there are units that don't deploy. You're rating can determine a lot of units you can expect to go to but you have to also expect the unexpected. Units are all over the United States, and in foreign countries. Bahrain is another hotbed for the CG that not many people know about. We have units permanantly in the middle east, just like we have say in New York City. DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal is the only CG member to be killed in combat operations since the Vietnam War, and that was in 2004. We are out there. The CG is the oldest military service, having participated in every conflict the United States has been a part of. I just want you to be aware so that you can expect the unexpected, you could find yourself somewhere hot and sandy!

    Personally I have deployed all over the United States, as well as Central/South America, West Africa, East Africa, and the Middle East. You never know, but because we're the small little USCG doesnt mean you won't be put in situations where things could get hairy. Think of it as more of a Law Enforcement type of role versus a typical military role though. We are the only service with LE authority, the Navy, Army, AF, USMC have no domestic LE authority therefore their hands are tied for certain things. I have been to two highly deployable units back to back, so I have gotten to do quite a bit of travelling!

    Basic training is 8 weeks long and is in Cape May, NJ. There is only one location for basic training so that can make getting in a little difficult. Honestly right now from my understanding recruiting is slower than it was say after 9/11, but also retention is a lot higher because of the economy and people staying in vice getting out. That being said study hard for the ASVAB to ensure you are competitive.

    Once you complete basic you move on to your first unit, or guaranteed "A" school to learn your rate (trade/specialty). I recommend when signing up that you ensure you have a guaranteed "A" school. You will go straight to that training instead of going to the fleet and painting, washing dishes, etc. while waiting to go to that training. Granted that is a good experience (I took that route), but given the fact that people arent advancing as fast and more and more people are staying in, you want to get your training and move up the ladder as fast as possible! The faster you advance, the more opportunities will be given to you.

    As far as benefits you get all your medical taken care of, education and GI bill obviously (however you DO pay for the GI bill, it is not just given to you for serving your time). If you are married or have children those benefits transfer to them as well, you can even use your GI bill down the road and give it to your children or spouse if you dont have any now! 2.5 days of leave accrue every month, so you can build up quite a bit of vacation time.

    All in all it is a great option if it is what you are thinking of doing. If you want to make it a career or just do your time and get out, either way you can set yourself up for a great future. Like was said before some of the training you will get will directly cross over to civilian life, so you can get some valuable and useful stuff done. Whatever service you choose you are of a small group of people willing to make that sacrifice for their country, so be proud of that. I recommend talking to a recruiter ASAP and see what they can do about the "A" school and getting you a date for boot camp. Sometimes there can be a wait.

    Any other questions post 'em here or send me a PM! Hope I helped you a little. Also Fredsplace.org is a great website, they have a discussion board on there that you can probably find a lot of information you are looking for as well.

    Good luck! :)
     
  9. Dec 30, 2010 at 6:12 AM
    #9
    MadeInMaine

    MadeInMaine MadeInMaine

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    Hey big guy....

    I don't know much about the CG personally, but one of my good buddies from growing up likes it.

    And also Eddie, on TW, Special K, is in USCG and he loves it. He is in Alaska right now, but PM him, or email him straight up. He would be great to get advice from.

    Good luck

    Cheers
     
  10. Dec 30, 2010 at 6:25 AM
    #10
    TacPro45

    TacPro45 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that, especially since they took away that "25% coverage" thing. Now you can have whatever as long as you can't see it in dress uniform basically (i.e. hands, neck, face, etc.) and it can't be offensive obviously. The day after they did that you saw 25% more sleeves walking around everywhere!
     
  11. Dec 30, 2010 at 6:34 AM
    #11
    thenomad

    thenomad Well-Known Member

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    The best advice I can give you is if you want to do it, or if something inside you keeps telling you to do it, then do it.

    You can sit there and go back and forth between options but you need to cut that out and just weigh the pros and cons. If the pros outweigh the cons then do it.

    I've served in the Army, if I could do it over I would of chose the Air Force and went into the SERE apprentice program only because I love the outdoors and teaching people how to survive outdoors is ideal. I looked into every branch but the Coast Guard and they all have their pros and cons.

    If you are considering the Coast Guard and have been for sometime its probably best if you do it or you will be wondering your whole life "what if". Its a short commitment and will only benefit you. If you don't like it, get out after your contract and move on.

    Best of luck man
     
  12. Dec 30, 2010 at 8:37 PM
    #12
    SOSHeloPilot

    SOSHeloPilot Well-Known Member

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    ... ^^^ ... IMO, this is excellent advice and you will be set (with a lot of bennies) 20 (or more) years from now ... :D

    .
     
  13. Dec 31, 2010 at 12:10 AM
    #13
    jerretxx

    jerretxx [OP] Some do, others talk

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    Thank you for all the advice! I still have about a year of school left, but I need as much info as possible so I will be ready when the time comes!
     
  14. Dec 31, 2010 at 5:40 AM
    #14
    Rich1790

    Rich1790 Well-Known Member

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    If your thinking about joining in a year you should see a recruiter now and get the ball rolling. It takes a while to process all your stuff and get in right now. Even if your not 100% sure your going to join go so you don't have to wait another year after you graduate.
     
  15. Dec 31, 2010 at 6:31 AM
    #15
    Gr8WhiteTaco

    Gr8WhiteTaco bishes love my haircut

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    I always thought the Coast Guard would be interesting to join. I thought about it during Jr. & Sr. year of high school. Still sounds like a good idea every once in awhile.
     
  16. Dec 31, 2010 at 9:50 AM
    #16
    TacPro45

    TacPro45 Well-Known Member

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    x2!
     
  17. Jan 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM
    #17
    Sje1124

    Sje1124 Well-Known Member

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    I've been in the Coast Guard almost 2 years now and love it. Right out of boot camp i got sent to a buoy tender in Alaska and have fun up here. When I joined the only guaranteed "A" schools were FS, IT, and i think IS. When i first tried to get in the whole process took me 11 months so if your thinking about it start talking to a recruiter.
     
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