BM-BOATSWAIN'S MATE
Last Post 12 Sep 2019 01:04 PM by CPORJM. 213 Replies.
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chuklesUser is Offline
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chukles

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08 Jan 2010 09:49 PM
    BOATSWAIN'S MATE (BM)


    To view a video of this rate, click here.

    Boatswain's Mates (BM), the most versatile members of the Coast Guard's operational team, are masters of seamanship. BMs are capable of performing almost any task in connection with deck maintenance, small boat operations, navigation, and supervising all personnel assigned to a ship's deck force. BMs operate hoists, cranes, and winches to load cargo or set gangplanks, stand watch for security, navigation, or communications, and have a general knowledge of ropes and cables, including different uses, stresses, strains, and proper stowing.

    Types of Duty:

    BMs can be found in nearly every duty station available throughout the United States and various locations overseas. They serve on every Coast Guard cutter, from harbor tugs to sea going icebreakers. Additionally, in many assignments you will act as a federal law enforcement officer. BMs are officers-in-charge of many patrol boats, tugs, small craft, and small shore units including search and rescue stations and aids to navigation teams. BMs utilize their leadership and expertise to perform the missions of the Coast Guard, at sea and on shore.

    Training Available:

    Training for Boatswain's Mate is accomplished through 12 weeks of intensive training at Yorktown, VA or with on-the-job training through a striker program. Once this training is completed, BMs may go on to other advance training such as Coxswain, Heavy Weather Coxswain, Aids to Navigation Basic and Advanced, Buoy Deck Supervisor, Law Enforcement including fisheries, among others.

    Qualifications:

    You should have leadership ability, physical strength, good hearing, normal color vision, and a high degree of manual dexterity. School courses taken in algebra, geometry, and shop are helpful. Any experience handling small boats is extremely valuable.

    Related Civilian Jobs:

    Pier Superintendent
    Tugboat Crewman
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Marina Supervisor
    Marina Operator
    Ship Pilot


    Vr,
    Chuck

    These poor, plain men, dwellers upon the lonely sands of Hatteras, took their lives in their hands, and, at the most imminent risk crossed the most tumultuous sea…and all for what? That others might live to see home and friends. — Annual Report of the U.S. Life- Saving Service, 1885

    Recruiting Website

    Read here for answers to the most often asked questions about joining the Coast Guard!

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Coastie, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
    chuklesUser is Offline
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    chukles

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    08 Jan 2010 09:52 PM
    Posts in old BM forum;

    What exactly are the duties for a BM at a Station versus one on a Cutter?

    ____________________
    At a station you would be standing duty. Standing duty means you stay at the unit overnight to act as part of the SAR ready crew. Most stations do a port/stbd rotation which means you'll stand duty Mon & Tue, off Wed & Thurs, duty Fri/Sat/Sun, off Mon/Tues, and so forth. During your duty days as a non-rate you'll be cleaning the boats, doing boat checks ( which is making sure all the equipment is there) cleaning the station, and working on your qualifications to be a certified crew member on the boat.

    ____________________

    On a cutter you'll be doing basically the same thing as a station with the exception of the duty standing. Depending on the cutter size you can be out from 7 days to 3 months. When inport the work day is either 7-3pm or 7-1pm, the time depends on the command and how much work needs to be done. You'll also stand duty on a cutter, typically it's a 1 in 4 rotation (one day of duty every four days). Certifications you'll have to get on a cutter include helm, watchstander, lookout, and DCPQS.

    And FYI junior BM has about the same duties as a non rate at a station or cutter. Once the qualifications I listed above completed BM's are required to become a certified coxswain or underway OOD (DWO).

    My boyfriend has just started BM A school and said he's having a tough time taking in some of the information they are teaching them. He has always done well in school - on the Dean's list in college every semester, did well on the ASVAB and did great on his tests in boot camp. Apparently they told his class they have decided to go with a harder curriculum and pretty much have made everything harder. I'm wondering if this is true or if they are playing head games kind of like in boot camp? Either way, I guess it doesn't matter because he has to get through it. Most of his class has had sea time, while his boat was in dry dock for the entire time he was at his first station (he was on the Gallatin in Charleston, SC). I'm wondering if that's why he's having a hard time with Nav and whatever else he's been learning. I guess I am just trying to figure out what he can do if he is having a hard time. Besides classmates, who is he able to talk to about this or go to for help? It would absolutely kill him if he did not succeed in this, especially when he's never had a hard time before.

    ___________
    Thanks for any information you can provide me with!





    _______________
    Any subject is hard if they feed it to you fast enough and most military schools feed information to you as fast as they possibly can.

    Also, and I'm just speculating here, being "smart" can work against you if things always came easy for you and you didn't develop good study habits. I had some personal experience along those lines when I started engineering classes in college...




    _________________
    If he is having problems he needs to talk to his class advisors. They will be able to set him up for extra instruction if necessary. If he doesn't understand a concept then he needs to let the instructors know. They can't help him if he doesn't speak up.
    "When you fall on your face you are still moving forward."




    _____________________
    Trust me. I do this all the time...




    ____________________
    What subjects is he having problems with? There's a lot of info out there that may help him with his studies. I would recommend he go to this site: www.boatswainsmate.net. There is a lot of good study material there that will help him thru school (and further on in his career).

    And as Gears said, recommend to him to tell his class advisor that he's having problems. They will be more than happy to either help him themselves or pair him up with someone in the class who is
    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Coastie, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
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    02 Aug 2010 04:05 PM
    BM3's on a cutter, as defined by my BM1: it is the best job in the coast guard, you get your quals done as you stand around on the deck or flight deck, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee haha but no BM is a great posistion and school is awesome to
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    Mr.Magic

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    13 Nov 2010 02:19 PM
    Probably stupid questions but I'll ask anyways.

    Is it possible for a BM to earn a 1600 ton masters license while in the CG?

    And what type of boating license would a coxswain qualified BM earn while in the coast guard?
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    13 Nov 2010 02:26 PM
    Yes it is possible to get your license.
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    miamiguardian2011

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    24 Jan 2011 06:57 PM
    Hey there everyone, I just past my ASVAB test and I was selected for Aviation Survival Technician and Boatswain's Mate , my question about this job is : Do you choose either to work on a station or on a cutter, or it depends of the USCG's needs?
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    24 Jan 2011 07:38 PM
    You were not "selected" for either. Your ASVAB scores qualify you to pursue those ratings (and probably others). Where you are sent to do your initial training after boot camp (as a non-rate) is at the discretion of the Coast Guard. Discuss your possibilities with your recruiter. Good Luck!
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    24 Jan 2011 07:44 PM
    Oh ok, and thank you.
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    25 Feb 2011 06:27 PM
    Can BMs also be law enforcements as what the video said?
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    25 Feb 2011 06:36 PM
    Yep. Everyone in the CG has the ability to do law enforcement work. An FS can be on a boarding team and that is law enforcement. So can a non-rate or an OS or an MK.... So yes, you can be involved with LE as a BM.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    25 Feb 2011 08:11 PM
    Tnx.i really want to do LE.but since im not a US Citizen yet,i cant be an ME.i'll be a BM for the meantime.
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    01 Mar 2011 11:04 AM
    How long is BM A school and what are my chances of becoming a BM after basic?
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    01 Mar 2011 11:08 AM
    12 weeks long in Yorktown, Va. As long as your ASVAB scores allow, you can put your name on the "A" school list after approximately 4-6 months at your first unit, with command approval. You need to get all your basic qualifications done before approval will be granted.

    Here's a link to the school: http://www.uscg.mil/tcyorktown/Ops/...efault.asp
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    otnasirk

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    01 Mar 2011 11:42 AM
    Thanks!
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    01 Mar 2011 11:43 AM
    How long is the waiting period to get to BM A school?
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    01 Mar 2011 12:16 PM
    Currently (as of Feb 15th) 18-24 months.

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...Rkbw&pli=1
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    01 Mar 2011 01:07 PM
    Oh wow.just like the ME
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    01 Mar 2011 01:27 PM
    Actually, if you check the list on the link I provided, ME is "more than 24 months"...how much "more" is anyone's guess..........

    Don't worry about wait time, they will vary according to the needs of the service. Concentrate on getting accepted for enlistment, surviving boot camp, and work your tail off at your first unit. The rest will take care of itself.
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    01 Mar 2011 02:01 PM
    What do we do at the first unit
    I passed my asvab and im just waiting for my recruiter's call for my ship date and swearing in.
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    01 Mar 2011 02:22 PM
    You do anything/everything. From scraping paint, cleaning....to the everyday Coast Guard mission...search and rescue, LE work..etc etc....

    Research these forums, you will find all your answers previously posted.
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    05 Mar 2011 02:40 PM
    If I get deployed will my name be put on the top of the ""A"" school list for Boatswains Mate and if so how do I get deployed??
    Also how long is an average Coast Guard deployment and what would I be doing while over there?

    Thanks,
    Josh
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    05 Mar 2011 05:39 PM
    They put out a request for volunteers... many, many Coasties put in for it. My ex-husband tried going in the 1st Gulf War in 1991. He finally got his shot in 2010. Thank God he didn't wait that long to go to A school. There is a lot of pride and dedication to duty to serve in the sandbox... but do not do it just so you can bounce on an A school list. That is not the right reason.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    05 Mar 2011 07:15 PM
    +1 Macie. Seldom does a non-rate, fresh out of boot camp get deployed to a war zone. There are exceptions to everything, but highly unlikely. You could get assigned to a Cutter that needs non-rates that ends up in the Persian Gulf, but don't count on it.

    There are no shortcuts to "A" school. Time in the fleet is beneficial to you to get some hands on experience and mentoring before you are advanced to Petty Officer. Put your time in, learn at your first unit, and then when you are ready the CG will give you the opportunity to go off to school.
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    05 Mar 2011 07:18 PM
    http://www.uscg.mil/psc/epm/docs/A-...ol-Req.pdf

    Another question: using the link above if you look beside the ratings they have a obligated service time frame. For example the Boatswains Mate is 25 months( Upon graduation). So if I were to decide to put my name on the a school list for boatswains mate, after boot camp ( 8 weeks or 2 months) and the required (4-6 months on my first unit), instead of striking... by the time I graduate from a school i will have served some where between 27-35 months. Now doing more math that only leaves 21-13 months left on a 4 year contract and the obligated time to serve after graduation is 25 months. Now that being said my question is what would they do about that would they just tack on a few more months or up it to a 6 year contract? Either way I dont care was just wondering how that would work. And also on average does anyone know how long it would take to do the striker program instead?

    Thanks,
    Josh
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    05 Apr 2011 12:58 PM
    Is it possible to strike for BM and sign up for ME A school?Thanks!
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    Gears

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    05 Apr 2011 01:48 PM
    ow that being said my question is what would they do about that


    The extra months will be tacked on after you graduate. You'll have to sign paperwork agreeing before you can accept orders for school.

    Is it possible to strike for BM and sign up for ME A school?Thanks!


    Yes. But, if you finish striking before you go to ME school, and put your name on the BM3 advancement list your name will be taken off the "A" school list.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    05 Apr 2011 03:56 PM
    @gears-thank you sir.so basically,once you're rated,you have to serve a certain amount of years to be able to switch rates.
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    06 Apr 2011 06:45 AM
    Yeah, you have to be in rate for X number of years. I don't have the regs in front of me so I won't guess. Switching is not as easy as, "I don't like this, I want to do something else." The switch has to be approved by all levels of the chain of command. It can be a long process and may not get approved. If you are a BM3 trying to switch to ME3 it probably won't happen.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    07 Apr 2011 04:25 PM
    Thank you sir.It might be a silly question but i am asking it anyways. What does the "3" means when you say BM3 or ME3?Is it Petty Officer 3rd class BM?
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    07 Apr 2011 05:25 PM
    Ya, you're a Petty Officer 3rd Class(E-4).
    you'd have to put a change of rating package in, which goes to your current Rating Force Master Chief. It sometimes can take a while.
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    otnasirk

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    07 Apr 2011 08:17 PM
    Thanks E!
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    23 Apr 2011 03:17 PM
    Oh, I'm at least 24 months ahead of myself, but after someone is a BM3 how long would it be before they could get Surfman or rough weather qualified? Just a general question so I have a realistic time-frame. Thanks. 
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    23 Apr 2011 04:15 PM
    You have to be at a Surf or Heavy WX station to train for surf or heavy WX. So, it comes down to luck of the draw.
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    23 Apr 2011 04:35 PM
    Surfman program is a 6 year commitment too.
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    24 Apr 2011 05:50 PM
    Good info guys. Thanks.
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    28 Apr 2011 05:40 PM
    Hey guys i'm shipping to Cape May june 07. I'm more than likely going to strike BM with the future career goal of going for surfman. Question of opinion i have. Where do people with experience think i should put down on my Data Assignment Sheet? I'm going to put down practically all of the 20 Surf stations but i do you think i should put a smaller cutter for my first unit to strike BM? Or  just go right for a surf station to get early exposure to it? Thank you for you time and help!

    And yes i know its needs of service first so i could end up any where, just looking to get a feel of where i should be shooting for out of bootcamp.
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    28 Apr 2011 06:31 PM
    You don't pick stations, you request 3 districts. That's all. So you can request a district that may have a large majority of small boats but that doesn't mean you won't end up on a polar roller in Seattle. So it is completely luck of the draw.
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    20 May 2011 01:14 PM
    Sorry to pick up a slightly aged thread, but could someone explain the striker program briefly? What does it mean to "strike for" a rating?
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    20 May 2011 02:41 PM
    It's an "on the job" training.So instead of going to A school,you earn you qualifications to be a BM3 at your unit or something like that.That's all i know so far.I am sure someone has more details about the qualifications than i do
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    20 May 2011 04:44 PM

    This is how it was explained to me by a surfman. Striking is a program that has the same quals and requirements as A-School. To gain each qual you need to pass a written test, sometimes a practical and sometimes both to get the qualification. Not every day is going to be you doing thingss for your qualifications 'cause you're still at an active unit but i do believe you need to pass each qualification with in a time frame. Not every rate is strikable. I know you can strike BM, and MK. I'm sure there are moer that you can strike however those are the only two that i know of for 100% that you can strike in.      

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    20 May 2011 07:23 PM
    I was a BM Striker. Basically rather than going to the A school you complete all the "Sign offs" that you would do in A school. Some as simple as tie a knot and some can take some time to setup such as passing a dewatering pump between boats. You'll perform your normal duties, normal watches and the striker program is extra. When I actually decided to strike I had completed about half of the quals but before a BM1 will sign off on each of the tasks you have to perform and be knowledgeable in the task at hand. You also have to pass the BM3 EOC test and if it is like IT A school than there is no End of Course Test. You will also need to pass the DWO test and without some extra help it's a killer.

    Some positives for striking are you get a more in depth, personal, one on one training for each task. You can take your time with each task, get additional help and soforth. Learning these things will also help you in day to day operations. You don't have to leave your unit to go temporarily to A school, come back to just leave again to you next unit. You can also fleet up if it's available into the BM3 billet at your unit.

    Cons: Some BM1s might not care to actually check that you know the knowledge required for each task. Some information you may learn will be unit specific. I learned a ton of stuff about doing things on a 110, but if I was to go to a different unit it would all be confusing to me. You have to find a BM1 that actually wants to help you and you won't have to chase around to get a sign off . You have to be motivated since it's self paced it's up to you and oh i'll do that sign off tomorrow leads to next week leads to next month leads to you taking 12 months to strike when you could have gone to A school and almost had your name on the BM2 list. The supplemental list for BM3 is something that you have to wait out also. It's a list only seen on CG workstations and once you finish all your BM3 stuff you get added to this list where you wait and wait until you either get sent to a new unit as an SNBM or you make third at your current unit.

    Policies could have changed but that's how it was about 6 months ago.
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    25 May 2011 05:29 AM
    For those that have not heard, BM A-school is now confirmed as 14 weeks. There has been a curriculum change that tacked on 2 additional weeks to the training. There is nothing on the training website that states this yet, so be sure to contact your recruiter or education officer for details. There may be information on the CG Intranet, but I do not have access to that information.
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    25 May 2011 04:57 PM
    Anybody know how long the A-School waiting list is for BM?
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    25 May 2011 05:03 PM
    My recruiter told me 18-24 months.
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    26 May 2011 10:00 PM
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    02 Jun 2011 01:33 PM
    I was thinking about going towards a BM. What is a typical weekly schedule like as a BM? Hours? How many days? Also, how far away am I allowed to live from the station and still do this?
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    02 Jun 2011 05:20 PM
    there is no typical schedule like, each station, cutter, unit is different. There will be limits on how far you can live from your unit regardless of what you're striking or on the school list for or anything. If they need you they don't want you having to drive 2 hours to get to your unit.
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    27 Jun 2011 06:30 PM
    Anybody know where I can find the list for required items to bring to BM A school? I can't find it on the uscg home website. My YN1 said it would be on there but I guess im blind.
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    28 Jun 2011 05:12 PM
    is this what you're looking for?
    http://www.uscg.mil/HR/udc/requireduniforms.asp
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    30 Jun 2011 01:54 PM
    That will work! Thanks!
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    02 Jul 2011 11:01 PM
    Any idea what you'd be doing as law enforcement as a BM? Would you just patrol your area or what? Thanks!
    Joseph Farrell US Coast Guard Auxiliary soon it'll be just US COAST GUARD
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    04 Sep 2011 09:23 AM
    Got a question about passing the DWO exam, not the re cert, does anyone know of any good study material for it as far as cd instructional videos or websites? Also I know you can take the course 054xx to meet the requirements but does anyone know of a one online or in the Los Angeles area? Thanks for any input, trying to get on that striker list.
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    otnasirk

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    05 Sep 2011 12:00 AM
    My BM3 ordered my course material for striking last week.Wonder how long till i receive it
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    05 Sep 2011 09:37 AM
    yourfavnonrate...are you enlisted yet? If you are you would take the DWO test with your ESO
    Otnasirk...10 days~. You can look at the soft copies on the learning portal though from a workstation
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    05 Sep 2011 05:58 PM
    E,Hopefully when i get back from leave.....Any advice?Iam planning to finish in 6-12 months.
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    05 Sep 2011 07:54 PM
    Stay motivated and on track. I got stuck for a while just putting it off, 4 weeks of striking became 8 weeks and soon enough its 8 months later and i'm not too far from where I was. When you earned your sign off don't let them tell you "i'll sign it later". I had a bunch of those and then my BM1 transferred and never got the sign offs.
    Striking should be fun learning your rate..if it's not then you should pause and think about why you are going into the rate. Don't let some of the harder or more complicated sign offs stop you. I would usually knock off an easy one or two while studying for a hard one.
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    05 Sep 2011 11:50 PM
    I see.So,besides reading the materials,is there somebody that's going to teach you the application of what you're reading and getting signed off?
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    06 Sep 2011 03:13 PM
    Honestly, I read the material on my own, went and talked to my BM1 about what I learned, completed the task, got the sign off. Some stuff you just say "Hey boats can we talk about calculating time/speed/distance and they'll give you more than enough info.
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    07 Sep 2011 12:18 PM
    Thanks E!i am looking forward to it.
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    09 Sep 2011 04:43 AM
    I just got done striking, took me about 65 days to complete all my sign offs. Just need to take my DWO and EOCT. Any questions feel free to ask me. Its easy if you have BM's that are willing to help you and teach you thats the key! What I liked the most was learning various ways of doing things. Im very fortunate to work with 7 BM's (4 A-schoolers and 3 Strikers) that are very dedicated and great to work with; contrary to how people feel about BM's haha.
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    09 Sep 2011 09:37 AM
    Congrats Captnick!Hopefully i can get all my BMs at my unit to work with me.If not,i will bug them till they do.LOL!
    Can you message me your email address so i can ask some of my questions as i just got my course material yesterday Thanks!
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    13 Sep 2011 08:51 PM
    CaptNick,

    Send me your email as well.

    I'm about done with my sign-offs, just about to start studying for the DWO. I'd like to trade study tips if you've got any...

    Thanks.
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    14 Sep 2011 04:10 PM
    woah woah......what happened to AST?!!?!?!?!?! aren't you at Ecity for airman program?
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    15 Sep 2011 02:28 PM
    PM's sent...
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    17 Oct 2011 01:39 PM
    Wanted to know if anyone knew what the current wait time was for BM A School or where you could point me to to find out?

    Thanks!
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    17 Oct 2011 02:24 PM
    Meeks, All the news you'll need can be found here... http://www.uscg.mil/psc/epm/docs/A-...olList.pdf

    Currently that says 12-18 months.  You can see the dates of the next classes and see how many are on the list for each rate.    This can also be found in the FAQ section of this forum.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    20 Nov 2011 06:59 PM
    Posted By otnasirk on 25 Feb 2011 07:27 PM
    Can BMs also be law enforcements as what the video said?

    All Coast Guardmen, E-4 and above are, by law, are federal law enforcement officers have arrest authority. BM's do most of the boarding throughout the Coast Guard. If you want action and like to be in charge BM is the way to go.


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    01 Dec 2011 09:05 PM
    Hello all,

    So I am slated to be in BM "A" school Feb 13 and I wanted to ask a couple questions to all of you who have been.  What is lodging like?  Do they have any place there to store bikes?  I am an avid bike rider and would like to bring my bike for rides on the weekends when I do not have duty.  How many weekends a month do you have to stand duty?  My wife wants to know how often she will be able to see me.   Thanks for the info.
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    13 Dec 2011 12:51 PM
    Wanted to know if reservist after going to BM A School could work on a cutter, or if it is just small boat stations?
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    13 Dec 2011 02:26 PM

    As a boatswain's mate, is it possible to be apart of a MSST team? I know everyone keeps telling me more than any other rate they consist of ME's but I ran into a few people who said they knew of BM's on MSST teams. So I basically want to know, is there a rule that says BM's arent allowed on MSST teams? And what are some qualifications that you would need to be a part of an MSST team? (ex: reservist/active? Stations/cutters? Years at that specific station/cutter? Rates allowed?)

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    30 Dec 2011 04:09 PM
    Hey E,
    Im about a little close to more than half way through my sign offs. Just need to wait for the BMs to find a time to schedule the practical sign offs. I also need to study for my DWO. any tips on how to atudy? Thanks!
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    31 Dec 2011 11:38 AM
    DeJesus- you can be in a MSST team as a BM. There's no rule on BMs not being on it. You just have to put it in your dream sheet.
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    06 Jan 2012 06:34 PM
    Whats it like to be in BM A school and what are the chances of getting into the DOG after A school?
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    07 Jan 2012 02:42 PM
    Otnasirk here is a great site to help you study for DWO exam.  I am not sure where I came across it but its great.  


    On the left side of the page there is Rules of the Road Test there are 1100 questions on the rules of the road.  When you go though them keep track of the last question you did and next time around, put that number in the entry field and you will start from there.  Good luck
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    07 Jan 2012 08:13 PM
    Thank you so much ant!i really appreciate it!
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    10 Jan 2012 10:19 PM
    Memorize the navrules book. and the annexes. and all the little footnotes.

    those tests are good, it'll expose you to a lot of the questions. Good Luck that test kicked my a** 4 times. I got a 68, 80, 84, 88 then a 94 my last and final time.

    But literally sleep with the book, read it everyday, write out all the pages, be really familiar with any sentence that has the words "shall" or "may", white over red over white is a pilot vessel anchored (you'll get that question).

    good luck sailor.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    19 Jan 2012 05:58 PM
    If it makes you feel any better, the DWO Exam is probably one of the hardest tests a mariner can take...
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    29 Jan 2012 07:59 AM
    Thanks captnick! I feel so much better. LOL!
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    29 Jan 2012 04:59 PM
    I know people that failed it more that 4 times. Just study study study.
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    29 Jan 2012 05:12 PM
    Yea I will. The best time for me to start is when we're underway again. inport takes too much of my energy since we're doing alot of cutter maintenance. I also know some guy who's been re taking that test for about 3 years now.any suggestion/technique to study?
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    29 Jan 2012 06:57 PM
    boatswainsmate.net has some study guides. Read the nav rules book over and over and over. The better you know the rules, the easier it will be to apply to the questions. The questions are SITUATIONAL and HOW rules apply to each. Every question will have multiple answers but you need to find the best one for that particular situation.

    I passed my first time but thats only because I've been a licensed captain for 5 years.
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    29 Jan 2012 08:54 PM
    http://www.navrules.net/ Some questions are word for word what's on the test. I cut up a paper in half and made two small boats and drove them as they were explained in the pictures and that helped me a lot.
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    29 Jan 2012 11:03 PM
    Thank you all for the tips. I will be ready for my DWO test sometime around june
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    20 Feb 2012 07:23 AM
    I was wondering if anyonr could help me with something.  I was told if you have gone through the training and receive your OUPV (6-Pack) license, then you can strike for BM and not need to go to A School.  Is this true?  And, if so, how long does it usually take to be cleared for a reservist?  Thanks for your help!
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    20 Feb 2012 07:39 AM
    Posted By meeks1882 on 20 Feb 2012 08:23 AM
    I was wondering if anyonr could help me with something.  I was told if you have gone through the training and receive your OUPV (6-Pack) license, then you can strike for BM and not need to go to A School.  Is this true?  And, if so, how long does it usually take to be cleared for a reservist?  Thanks for your help!
    If your active duty, you have to strike or go to A-School. In the CG's eyes, having a captains license doesn't warrant being a BM. I've had my Master for 5 years and still had to strike BM. It was pretty easy because of my previous experience.

    If your going Reserves, your license MAY get you into the DEPOT program, after which you come out as a BM3. I was given that option if I went reserves. Its pretty difficult because you will have to show proficiency in all aspects of being a BM3 so just having a license will not cut it. Also, reservists typically go straight to A-School after basic.

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    20 Feb 2012 07:58 AM
    Thanks Nick! I don't have my license, but it was mentioned to me that if I did, that that would be a possible route I could try to persue. My recruiter told me that I would be going through DEPOT, just waiting to hear when at this current moment. I was also wondering after A school, how long I would have to wait to train to become a Coxswain or Heavy Weather Coxswain?  Where is the training for that and typically how long is it?
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    20 Feb 2012 02:35 PM
    First off are you going active or reserves? What rate are you going for DEPOT?

    Typical Small Boat Station BM3:

    Crew Member (2 months)
    Tactical Crew Member (1 month)
    Boarding Team Member (1 month)
    Coxswain (2 months)

    Most stations require you to have all the above qualifications within 6 months of reporting. HX Coxswains are usually BM2's for the most part and require extensive additional training. Also you have to be at a designated HX station.

    If your going reserves, it may take a year or two to get all of those qualifications because you simply wont be there enough.
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    20 Feb 2012 02:47 PM
    I'm Going Reserves, somewhere on the NC coastline.  Hopefully, Wrightsville Beach or Ft. Macon/Atlantic Beach.  I live in Raleigh, so those are the 2 closest to me.  BM is what I am going for as long as there is a spot open.
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    20 Feb 2012 04:07 PM
    Wait, so are you going DEPOT as a BM3 or are you going guaranteed BM A-School? They are totally different from one another. Im unclear of what your situation is exactly...
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    20 Feb 2012 04:26 PM
    I'm going to DEPOT this Summer and come out as an E-3.  My recruiter said that between being done at DEPOT and a year I will go to BM A School.
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    20 Feb 2012 05:17 PM
    I understand now.
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    15 May 2012 07:16 PM
    At BM A-school do you learn anything about search and rescue?
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    15 May 2012 07:19 PM
    ? You should, I struck but they learn all of the small boat stuff.

    You are going to get the LE training when you are in a LE billet.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    08 Sep 2012 03:39 PM
    I know this may sound stupid but how hard are the tests they give you? From DWO,EOCT and EPME.
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    08 Sep 2012 06:27 PM
    EOCT isn't bad, DWO takes some people 4-6 times to pass.
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    08 Sep 2012 10:22 PM
    Capt Nick- Roger that, i also heard that you can only fail the dwo in A school 3 times till they kick you out. How was your experience with the DWO (if you didnt strike BM)? Will they teach you well enough that they'll nail it to your brain so you can pass all the test? Especially DWO? Thanks again!
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    08 Sep 2012 10:44 PM
    I struck and passed the first time. From what I heard from people that went to school, they spoon feed you the information and if you fail once your out. Not sure if its true or not.
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    19 Sep 2012 03:07 PM
    Is the waiting time for BM A school the same time for the reserve component? Would I wait longer, the same time, shorter??
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    19 Sep 2012 03:57 PM
    Wont wait as long. Probably go right after boot.
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    28 Sep 2012 12:33 PM
    Do you get boat crew qualified at A School (If you aren't already)?
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    04 Oct 2012 08:20 PM
    No.
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    12 Dec 2012 05:57 PM
    does a BM get to drive the cutter or is that a differnt rant?
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    12 Dec 2012 06:13 PM
    BM's and Seaman both stand helm watch on cutters, yes.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    12 Dec 2012 08:52 PM
    Not always a BM...

    On the 270 I was on, it was strictly seaman that drove. On "optimally manned" cutters such as the buoy tender Im on now, our ET1, YN1, SK1, IT2 and HS1 all drive as much as I do. Its just another part of being a Junior Officer of the Deck.

    And it's not as "exciting" as you may think. Its nothing like driving a small boat. Your just standing there for hours on end getting rudder commands from the Conning Officer.
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    13 Dec 2012 04:14 AM
    so the little boats are more exciting to drive and be a part of your saying? and also as a BM id get to do that correct?
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    13 Dec 2012 02:53 PM
    so the little boats are more exciting to drive and be a part of your saying?


    Not necessarily. You don't get to just point the bow and go. You have to plot a course and cover hundreds of other details before you even step on board a small boat.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    13 Dec 2012 03:44 PM
    Boat briefs
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    13 Dec 2012 05:51 PM
    Posted By arizonecan on 13 Dec 2012 05:14 AM
    so the little boats are more exciting to drive and be a part of your saying? and also as a BM id get to do that correct?

    Honestly speaking, 85% of your job will not be "exciting". For the several hours a week you may spend driving a small boat, theres 30-40hrs spent doing paperwork, maintenance or training. Don't be a BM thinking you will be out driving a small boat doing search and rescue every waking hour you are at work. It doesn't work like that. I suggest you DONT watch Coast Guard Florida. Otherwise you will get a misguided view of what we do. Same goes for Coast Guard Alaska.
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    04 Jan 2013 05:56 PM
    What do you while you wait for A school after graduating boot camp? Will the CG provide with something for you to do or will you just sit and wait?
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    04 Jan 2013 08:47 PM
    Erika, ask a question once, get an answer, ask another question. Posting the same question multiple times in multiple areas is a waste of time. You would be far better served to just watch the one subject you post and wait for an answer. The answers won't really change in multiple areas, it just causes confusion if you are trying to compare answers. Thank you.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    09 Jan 2013 06:46 PM
    Heading out to Yorktown 4Feb for "A" School! Anyone else going to be there?
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    16 Jan 2013 06:42 AM
    I had a questionCSA Yank how long have you been on the BM A school list and when did you get orders for the feb class? I am just curious becasuse husband is on the list and just trying to gage how long this could take lol TIA
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    30 Jan 2013 02:32 PM
    Is there a difference in security clearance needed in BM as compared to YN or ME in Reserves?
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." C. S. Lewis
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    30 Jan 2013 05:29 PM
    That info is on the top of the a-school list. Google: a-school coast guard list, its a pdf and you should be able to find what you are looking for.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    30 Jan 2013 05:48 PM
    Yes I did that and under "Security Clearance" they both list NA. However, I have seen information outdated on the CG website so I just wanted to double check with people on the forum who may know the latest up to date info.
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." C. S. Lewis
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    30 Jan 2013 08:34 PM
    No worries, the Aschool list is updated monthly so remains pretty up-to-date. They reference the manuals they use for the information also.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    30 Jan 2013 08:40 PM
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." C. S. Lewis
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    18 Feb 2013 08:13 AM
    Hello My husband in on the BM A school list and went from 177 to 131 46 spots this month and had been doing that a lot before the christmas break too so my question is 1: do you think it will continue to move that fast 
    2: so if it did move that fast would he be leaving for school in approximatley 3 months and when would he usually get orders to go? 
    thanks for any info or experiance you have with this list! lol
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    18 Feb 2013 09:06 AM
    The reason why it moved 40 something spots is because there are two classes in this next march. I would average it out at 20 people a month it should be moving. He should get orders at least 30 days out.

    So your estimate would be more like 5-6 months.

    And looking at the class schedules, yes it should continue to move that way, but if the paygrade becomes 100% full then it would stop. We havn't had a force notes come out in a few months so I do not know how full it is but it was in the 90's before.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    07 May 2013 06:23 PM
    I've been monitoring the vacancies list for about a month now and there seems to be ZERO vacancies ever for BM reserves, especially in my area: PA, NY, NJ, MD, etc. Mid Atlantic Coast. So my question is pretty simple, how often to such billets actually open?
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    10 May 2013 09:37 AM
    Upon Completion of A School/Striking Do you get to put down a Dream Sheet of Places you want or are you assigned to where ever The CG needs BM's
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    10 May 2013 09:43 AM
    you will be given a list to choose from, you will rank them, then you will be placed where the CG wants, regardless of striking or A-school
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    19 May 2013 07:22 AM
    Was wondering if anyone was on BM A school list and receive orders recently just wondering what number you were when receiving orders and what class??! My husband is 34 and there is 17 holds I see they are taking 18 people for August class I so hope he will be int that class but I hear through the grape vine they started cutting orders for aug sept oct classes already so confused help! Lol
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    24 Jul 2013 04:05 PM
    I just signed up for the reserves, have my school date set for the fall through the winter, and had a couple of off duty type of questions about the BM A-school in Yorktown VA.

    As far as getting there, can I drive my personal car and keep it on station/base (forgive me I don't know the lingo)?

    What is the schedule like, M-F with weekends off? If so, how many times would I have to work a weekend out of the 14 weeks?

    What is the living situation? Roommates? Barracks?

    Im flexible for whatever is thrown at me, but these are a couple things I wonder about and I appreciate the help.
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    24 Jul 2013 07:59 PM
    You can drive and keep your car on base. You'll probably want it... I don't really know which base is more in the middle of nothing but the 2 main training centers, Yorktown & Petaluma can get pretty boring without a vehicle.

    You will have some weekends completely off, you will have duty some weekends. But you will not be stuck there 24/7 on every weekend.

    It is barracks but, if I remember correctly and someone will confirm or correct, it is comfortable and you have some small amenities. But it isn't uncomfortable at all.

    If you have any other questions, throw them out and we'll do our best to help.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    25 Jul 2013 10:05 AM
    Thanks Old Guard. Im from Chicago and was curious how it would work because I have my gfriend and others already asking if they could come out for the weekend to visit. Ive already explained work comes first, but Ill figure the details out when I get there. I appreciate the help. Between my awesome recruiter and this forum, most of my questions are answered. Im more informed/prepared for reserves/DEPOT/BM school then I was for the Army. I was thrown to the wolves for that whole experience, and now Im trying to do it right with the Coast Guard. Thanks again
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    25 Jul 2013 01:05 PM
    When my son was in A school his fiance flew out to California for Memorial Day weekend. They had a great time in San Fran, Sonoma wine country, just exploring that whole area. So yes, if timed right your girlfriend could visit you.
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    25 Jul 2013 02:32 PM
    That's good to hear. While I got the forum....where and what's the best things to do around Yorktown VA during off time?
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    25 Jul 2013 03:31 PM
    Leave! LOL Actually, if you like history... Yorktown has a lot. Colonial Williamsburg isn't very far, Norfolk which is a dump but not far, Virginia Beach can be fun - even in the wintertime, I prefer the beach in the winter. There are things around there. But it isn't like living in Chicago where you hop on the El and get anywhere and everything can be found in one neighborhood. You need to actually have transportation and a place to go... If that makes sense.
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    25 Jul 2013 04:56 PM
    Haha, I guess that's why it is important to bring a car. I'll be there for 14wks so Ill have time to check it out. Thanks
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    25 Jul 2013 07:14 PM
    I live just north of you in Beloit Wisconsin. I know nothing, there is a while lot of nothing around here. Lol
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    14 Apr 2014 05:35 PM
    Do you need sea time (on a cutter or otherwise) to advance to BM2 and BM1?

    For example, if someone was interested in doing a career at a small boat station (however unlikely it may be), is it possible to get to BM1, to heavy weather coxswain, etc. without having sea time?

    Thank you.
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    14 Apr 2014 05:54 PM
    You need a year of unrated/rated sea time to get to BM1 and you need a year of rated sea time to get to chief. Heavy weather coxn is a qualification really any competent and motivated person at a heavy weather station or surf station can get. It's not relevent to making rank.

    Don't count on it though (going without seatime). You need OIC afloat and ashore to stay in as a Chief or higher so without seatime that's not going to happen. The only way to alleviate the need for sea time for Advancement purposes to be a surfman which is a small select few boatswain mates in billets designated for surfman at the few surf stations that we have. But again, to not have seatime is going to hurt you. You get awarded seatime points for advancing when competing for the servicewide and without it it's hard to compete to make rank. It's also a lot of what's on end of course tests and SWE tests, knowledge from cutters. Some you'll get from studying and some would be second nature if you've done it or the collateral before.

    A lot of this is premature things to think about, but it's all reasons why you would want sea time. Along with that it's kind of expected as a boatswains mate and you won't really be able to relate in that sense with peers that have done it.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    14 Apr 2014 06:49 PM
    Thanks. Do you mean that being a surfman or beginning training toward that does not require sea time?

    Generally, can you use merchant mariner sea time as uscg sea time points?
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    14 Apr 2014 07:32 PM
    Training to be a surfman requires you to be assigned to a surf unit, they're are only a few in the CG, which Bells already covered.

    Merchant Marine sea time won't count toward USCG sea time.
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    21 Apr 2014 01:27 AM
    if someone gets assigned a small boat station, a heavy weather or surf sta. out of boot camp, what's the average time period at that assignment, and what determines the time period of the assignment?
    3yrs?

    Same question but just for anytime other time it's assigned.

    Thanks

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    21 Apr 2014 05:03 AM
    Stations are typically 4 year tours. As a non-rate you'd only be there until you got orders to A school.
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    21 Apr 2014 09:18 PM
    Thank you.

    After you finished A school could you be sent back to the same small boat station?
    (e.g., if you or the station chief requested it in case you wanted the specific training there such as heavy weather)

    If you didn't put yourself on A school list but were striking a rate (like BM), would you stay at the station for the full 3 years?

    Since active duty contracts are 4 years, would they send you somewhere else for the last year?
    Or could you stay at that same assignment if requested and OK'd by the station chief?
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    22 Apr 2014 04:49 AM
    I've only seen 1 case of an individual going back to their unit after A school. It had to be approved on several levels above the CO.

    If a person strikes they could stay at the unit as a 3rd, but that depends on needs of the service. The only way you can stay at a unit for 4 years is out you're in a 4 year billet. Stations are 4 year tours. If you get assigned to a cutter it's a 3 year tour.
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    22 Apr 2014 08:57 AM
    I'm told if I get stationed aboard a cutter (I sure hope I do) I'll live aboard for the first year or so. I'm wondering how many personal items I can bring aboard with me? I'm guessing a small laptop would be fine? I'm an avid backpacker but I'm guessing my backpack would have to stay in storage?

    I suppose I'll learn about all this when I get to my first station, but I'm just wondering.
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    22 Apr 2014 09:30 AM
    Not sure why this question is in the BM thread since it is sort of just a general question. You can bring a laptop, ipods/ipads, kindle's, whatever you might want to bring within reason. Some people bring their bikes, obviously not fitting in their rack. There are places on the ship that can stow some personal items. My son and a few others had their guitars on board. They would leave them in the paint locker or somewhere and it would be safe. I know people that bring surfboards. Now when you say backpack... are you a sherpa leading an expedition up Everest or just a backpack for hiking? I don't mean a Dora the Explorer type backpack either, something reasonable for a grown man/woman to carry while doing a fairly good hike. You would have space for that. Best to wait until you get to your ship, figure out what the extra storage spaces look like but I wouldn't worry about NOT being able to take it.

    My son actually has a flat screen tv in his rack as do a few others in Operational berthing. They play XBox with each other while underway but never have to leave their rack if they aren't working. LOL
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    22 Apr 2014 10:23 AM
    Living on board a cutter for a year is only feasible if you're on a larger cutter. Space on the 87's and 154's is very limited, living on board would get really old, really fast. There was more space on the 225' with a cargo hold and such to store stuff.
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    22 Apr 2014 08:18 PM
    If you strike BM, you will be contacted by a detailer with a list of picks. There probably won't be surf stations or heavy weather stations in the list however because the list is usually a left over list from a transfer season. If you stay at the unit and do a complete tour then at the transfer season that you are designated to rotate you will put in an e-resume early because they solicit for surf stations before the normal transfer season. You will need a command endorsement to compete.

    For a school it's the samw thing. You get a list of picks and then as a class you compete for them. Usually surf stations aren't on the list.

    Your command can work for you to get there but you have to be tour complete and show an interest to go.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    04 May 2014 11:24 PM
    Do you mean you'll be contacted by a detailer at the end of your first assignment (in which you strike BM)?

    What months (are what is) a transfer season?
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    05 May 2014 05:59 AM
    Typically people will transfer in the summer. SO kids don't have to move mid-school year. But there is no "carved in stone" transfer time.
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    05 May 2014 08:30 PM
    nah,

    use this hypothedical timeline. Say you are a nonrate at a unit. You strike BM. It took you a year. At this time it is March. A detailer will contact you because your name is now on the advancement list to make BM3. The detailer will decide if he wants you to tranfer or fleet up into a BM3 position. If there is a BM3 position open at your unit you are probably going to stay there until your original tour date was over (3-4 years total). If this happens then in the summer that your tour was supposed to be over, you are tour complete, so you get to compete with the rest of your BM3 commradres in picking places to transfer too. If you are at a station you will more or less have close to the last pick along with 2/3rds of the BM3s tranfering that year. If you are on cutter when this happens you will be in the upper 1/3 of the list and get to pick more or less first.

    Now say the detailer didnt fleet you up and is telling you, SN Bob, you have to pick from these 10 places. Put them in order and get back to me in 20 minutes. and then you say, aye aye bosn. You will then, get orders cut for that place, and you will transfer there, most likely, in the summer, but maybe not if it was a critical fill. From there you will hopefully make BM2 one day and the cycle continues as you will transfer every 2-3-4 years.

    Surf Stations are tough. They have a good ole boy thing going on. You need someone to be your sea daddy and have your back. If I ever get my own 47 coxn qual like hopefully in 30ish days I might one day go to one. But its a "sexy job", its not as fun as it sounds. Being on a 47' in wicked seas gets kind of repetitive.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    16 May 2014 10:42 AM
    Hello, my name is Matt and I'm pretty new here, but I've learned a lot from checking things out for the last couple of years. I finally made the jump and called the recruiter and now I'm just waiting to hear back and set up my ASVAB. Anyways, I have some questions that I couldn't really find the answers to in the forum. So I'm planning to enlist and apply to OCS at the same time. I am very interested in the BM rate and everything that it entails.

    What are some day to day duties as a BM when not underway? Do BMs still get to go on cutters, and what do they do when on a cutter? I'm looking for a rate that gets me on and around small boats and on the water as much as possible.

    Does a BM rate look good when applying to OCS as well because of it's leadership and seamanship knowledge?

    With my degree, I have the opportunity to enter as E-3, so I can apply for A school when I go to BC, right?

    It looks like a 6-9 month wait right now, why so short for such a good rate?

    Thanks!
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    16 May 2014 12:40 PM
    so I can apply for A school when I go to BC, right?


    No, you still have to wait 4 months after you graduate to put your name on an A school list.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    16 May 2014 12:47 PM
    Right now we are kicking a lot of people out right now that's why it's a quicker wait. People that get accepted to OCS are from all ratings you just have to show maturity and that you are a leader and then impress the board. Get involved in a lot of colatoral duties. There's a lot of pressure on BMs. Once you get in you'll be able to see the ratings.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    16 May 2014 01:10 PM
    Thinking about going BM can anyone inform me if there is a high chance of getting a small boat station out of a-school? All my BM's on my cutter seem to think so. I'm between ME and BM but a lot of petty officers have told me if I want to do LE BM is a better route to go not to mention the short wait for a-school.
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    16 May 2014 08:21 PM
    2/3rds of bm3 billets are station billets
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    16 Jul 2014 11:17 PM
    Looking into the BM rate as a possible career, question for BM's, what is your worst day like? everyone asks for the best/most exciting...  but I would like to know your opinion of the worst day.  Speaking with one of the recruiters at my station sparked this, he was saying when I am a non-rate I should ask the rates I am interested in/shadowing what their worst day was... if I cant handle them at their worst I should move on to another rate... something like that. 

    Any insight would be helpful. Speaking to some of my Navy friends, they were floored to find out that a USCG BM can be in charge of a station or ship, guess the USCG puts more trust/responsibility in her members? 

    I am looking into BM because of the eventual command of a station/small boat, that I would be responsible for the crew, the possibility to be stationed almost anywhere the CG needs me (most versatile) the law enforcement and SAR work, and... well it would be pretty badass piloting a boat in heavy surf.  BM's seem to be the ones doing and leading boarding parties and leading tactical operations, along with being responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of a ship. 

    So forum BM's, what is your worst day like? what would you tell a CG recruit who is interested in your rate? 

    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    19 Jul 2014 02:42 AM
    Worst day. Hm. Could be a combo of trying to get Coxn qualified to be able to advance, along with trying to get what you want out of your command. To, breaking ice off of a 6000' flight deck, every day, for a month, in the arctic,, toooo, man I dunno.

    When you get hard cases obviously it'll be hard. But in general I think most of us would agree that yes we are a very diverse rating, and that's cool because you'll learn a million jobs, but you are also responsible for knowing it all, and it's a lot. But you are so spread thin it's hard to be proficient at everything at the same time. That's what's frustrating in general.

    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    19 Jul 2014 10:29 PM
    What is the failure rate in school? Its not that I'm worried but I am just curious.
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    22 Jul 2014 10:40 PM
    Posted By Champman555 on 19 Jul 2014 11:29 PM
    What is the failure rate in school? Its not that I'm worried but I am just curious.


    90%!
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    22 Jul 2014 11:07 PM
    ^He's kidding... Mixing paint and playing softball isn't that hard! Back when I was in A school, most BMs that had issues were knocked back a class, kind of like boot camp. We (MKs) shared the building with them and I heard that the most common thing people had issues with was passing the pt test and the DWO test. As long as you are doing what you are supposed to do (studying) you will be fine!
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    22 Jul 2014 11:15 PM
    Good god really??? I want to see the pt test be a CG wide requirement. And DWO, take that thing a thousand times before you leave for school. You'll be able to relax during that week but building your navrules book is pretty beneficial.

    I struck so I really don't know how school is
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    23 Jul 2014 02:54 PM
    I have been trying to study my navrules as much as possible. Thats been my biggest fear is getting a 90% on the DWO test. I have never been a very good test taker. Although, I have heard that BM A School breaks it down for you so much that even the worst test takers can pass as long as you study.
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    23 Jul 2014 03:41 PM
    Try to get it done before you go. There is obviously going to be some who fail it in Yorktown and get knocked back though. I remember during DWO week, the guys that had already passed it pretty much got the week off. There was only like a handful of them out of like 35 that didn't pass though. Also, get your EPME done before you go if you can!
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    24 Jul 2014 09:50 AM
    Excellent advice JDMD!
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    25 Jul 2014 08:50 AM
    If you strike BM, are you still eligible to attend C school courses?
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    25 Jul 2014 11:17 AM
    Absolutely, yes.
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    25 Jul 2014 12:21 PM
    That's what I was thinking, but I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!
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    13 Oct 2014 02:14 PM
    Hey everyone I am able to put my name on an A school list I am really torn between BM,DC and MK I think I would enjoy BM but I've been told many times that they are just like glorified non-rates, especially a third class. Can anyone tell me a little about what a BM3's duties include and if I will indeed be just like a non-rate
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    13 Oct 2014 03:00 PM
    I think the whole "glorified non-rate" argument is very dependent on the unit you go to as a BM3 and what billet you have at that unit. I was a non-rate on a 378, the 3rd class BM's in the Nav Department did their own thing and had a specific job to do that had nothing to do with non-rates (they were like Quartermasters). For the BM's assigned to the deck department, I can see where this picture of "glorified non-rate" stems from. You do a lot of the same work alongside the non-rates (painting, sanding, needle-gunning, etc.) while also managing all the work they do. You get more responsibility and play a leadership role, but no, it is not exactly glamorous work.  A BM3 at a station is going to have an entirely different experience and opportunities than those that are assigned to a large cutter. Well, they may technically have the same opportunities, but those opportunities may take much longer to finish (such as getting coxswain qualified while aboard a large cutter). It is both the blessing and the curse of this rate. It is so diverse in terms of the billets you may fill and thus the job experiences you will have. It is up to you. I know a lot of people on my 378 were completely turned off from the BM rate because they did not like being in deck force and only saw the work the deck BM's did. All my engineering friends said the same thing to me about BM's that it seems like you're getting told. At the end of the day, though, I had to think about why I joined. I wanted to be out there, doing the search and rescue and helping others. And now my next orders are to a station dedicated to doing just that. I also had the option of going to a MSST, which isn't "glorified non-rate work" by any means. So it's up to you. End rant. If you need anything, PM me.
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    14 Oct 2014 07:32 AM
    On my cutter the thirds helped out the nonrates here and there but they all had collaterals so it was pushed to work on those. At the station I feel like a glorified nonrate. The only difference between me and a nonrate is that I can make lists of work to do but I'm right out there doing it. It's kind of a bummer really I havnt been professionally developed much since I left the cutter besides getting coxswain. The BM2s have the collaterals that us as thirds had on the cutter and it'snot something we are really learning about
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    14 Oct 2014 03:04 PM
    How is advancement as a BM compared to the aviation rates? I see the A school wait list just dropped a few months, hoping it stays that way when I'm ready to pick my rate.
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    14 Oct 2014 04:18 PM
    Rating*

    The number one thing that holds up BMs is that it's a command rating. You need a coxswain qual or underway ood qual to make second, and you need oic ashore and afloat (?) to make chief
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    14 Oct 2014 10:07 PM
    Posted By Bells on 14 Oct 2014 05:18 PM
    Rating*

    The number one thing that holds up BMs is that it's a command rating. You need a coxswain qual or underway ood qual to make second, and you need oic ashore and afloat (?) to make chief

    ratING, got it. You lost me at coxswain qual, I'm in the enlistment process right now and am still learning much about the CG.
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    26 Oct 2014 04:29 PM
    ALCON- The BM Striker Program has been suspended. See ALCOAST below

    http://www.uscg.mil/announcements/a...LCOAST.txt
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
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    31 Oct 2014 05:03 PM
    Hello, I'm curious as to what kind of mathematical obstacles I would face as a BM, I've never been the best with math and I think I would like BM but I've heard you must be very good with math. Anyone have some info for me? Thanks
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    05 Nov 2014 09:18 AM
    I was wondering if anyone has any good advice for taking the BM2 EOCT? I am a BM3 on a cutter and I finally completed all of my tasks. I just havent seen any good study guides for this test.
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    13 Nov 2014 06:27 PM
    I know the striker program for BM isn't available at this point, can someone point me in the direction of a curricula/SOP/check off list for the BM Striker program before it was closed down? I want to have an idea of things I should focus on while I am waiting to go to A school (once I put my name on the list in about three months
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    Bells

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    13 Nov 2014 10:49 PM
    I heard there's a good study guide on flashcardmachine.com

    When I took the old test I took the bm2 course material and made a study guide using all of the sentences that had a number in it. The eoct like using numbers. It's really just a matter of getting into the course material.

    For the bm3 pracs, they are in CG portal. Just search BM RPQs and they should show up. And look on the BM rating force master chief page.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    02 Dec 2014 04:34 PM
    If you plan to go to A- School Focus on passing your DWO test, EPME, and SAR Funds. If you have those three test complete, A-school will be a walk in the park for you. Also, make sure you are fit enough to pass the CG PT test.
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    02 Dec 2014 06:59 PM
    Is the BM A school wait list usually pretty short? It's 0-3 months now, but I'm not sure if it's been longer previously.
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    01 Mar 2015 09:44 AM
    Some career planning advice...

    To make BM2 I will have to get a Coxwain letter, is this something that is possible on a large cutter (looking at a 210 or 270)? I am going to be putting my name on the BM A school list soon and am thinking about what type of unit i should focus on after A school. Originally I wanted a cutter so I could knock out the sea time required for chief before I have kids, but I have been told that going on a cutter as a BM3 would hold my career back. The idea being that I wouldn't be able to get the coxwain letter even if the cutter had a small boat to deploy.. the odds are a BM3 wouldnt be able to get the qual. My BM1 was telling me that on a cutter I could be a deck watch officer and it counts the same to make second as the coxwain qual, but would a large cutter have a BM3 be a DWO when they have BM1's and BM2's that have more experience?

    Also looking to wait to put my name on the A school list until i pass the DWO test (in A school we only have three chances to pass) and my E4 EPME, during the summer my BM1 will be helping me and the other seaman break in as coxwain since we both are going BM.

    Advice on what to look at as a unit after A school? I want a cutter for the sea time but I am planning to spend my career doing SAR and LE at small boat stations, hopefully a tour at a MSST.
    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    01 Mar 2015 03:46 PM
    Can you get a coxswain letter at your current unit? Your bm1 is right. The reality is, is that it is really hard for thirds to get a coxswain letter as it is, so on a cutter it's even harder for first time qualers. I was on a polar and we got the small boat underway maybe ten times a year, besides mooring evolutions.

    To say the least, in the last I know 4 years, the HEALY has failed to qualify a BM3 as a coxswain. They qualify the 2nds since its easier, and this is just kind of the reality of large cutters. If you want a cutter, try for a 175' or smaller, and then be ready that there's a million other missions to do besides getting you qualified.

    At a station, the struggle is still real, but not as bad. Expect it to take at least a year from the time you report to be ready for coxswain. The board and everything involved for a coxswain qual at a station is quite substantially more involved than a cutter boat coxswain.

    If it were me, and I had a BM1 looking out like yours is, I would stay at your unit until you get a coxswain qual, go to BM-a school, then go where ever you want out of a-school. That road to make second is going to be a lot shorter than going to a-school asap, and then going to another unit, and if that is a cutter, don't expect to make coxswain anytime soon, and if it's a station, it'll be at least a year if not 1.5 years, and then some time for all of your second pracs. Showing up to a unit out if a-school with a coxswain letter in hand would make your life 4,099 times easier, even if that means staying at your first unit as a nonrate longer than maybe you would want.

    For underway OOD, I wouldn't even consider it as a likelyhood for anything other than a 110' and smaller as a brand new third class. Unless you are super mature, and had a captains license or something as a civilian, the under OOD qualification is quite a doosy, and it generally takes JOs about a year to finish it their first time.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    05 Mar 2015 09:21 PM
    Thanks for the advice Bells!

    I think over the next three months I am going to focus on passing the DWO and E4 EPME, Boatswainsmate.net is an AMAZING resource... still having a hard time getting the nav rules to "stick" in my head, just more practice and reading, I'm reviewing rules almost every night. 

    What you said about the likelihood of making coxswain on a cutter makes complete sense, and I have been asking my supervisors about cutter time and how likely it is for a BM3 to make coxswain on a X size cutter (i want a 210' or 270') along with what level of BM is usually trusted as a DWO. So adjusting my plans a bit and hoping for either a small boat station or MSST out of "A" school and then a 210' following the shore rotation. 

    What tests should I try and pass before A school? I should have my E4 EPME finished in a few months and my DWO finished after the EPME. From what I'm told passing DWO will give me that week in A school off.... which is a cool motivation! the other and more attractive motivation is that in A school I'll only have 3 chances to pass (90% is passing) and if I take the test before A school I'll have essentially unlimited chances to take it (once every 21 days). Not sure if I'll be able to take SAR Funds at an ANT. I have been also going over the BM Striker packet to try and focus my training in the off season. 

    A year to make coxswain at a station following A school, seems very do-able, possibly a little longer because I'll probably also need to get BTM and BO along with shooting quals and whatever other C schools I'll have to attend. Part of me really wishes the BM Striker program still existed, if I were to make coxswain at my current unit along with passing the DWO and EPME... I should have been good to go as a struck BM3. 
    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    05 Mar 2015 10:41 PM
    Posted By TriMan1991 on 05 Mar 2015 10:21 PM
    Thanks for the advice Bells!

    I think over the next three months I am going to focus on passing the DWO and E4 EPME, Boatswainsmate.net is an AMAZING resource... still having a hard time getting the nav rules to "stick" in my head, just more practice and reading, I'm reviewing rules almost every night. 

    What you said about the likelihood of making coxswain on a cutter makes complete sense, and I have been asking my supervisors about cutter time and how likely it is for a BM3 to make coxswain on a X size cutter (i want a 210' or 270') along with what level of BM is usually trusted as a DWO. So adjusting my plans a bit and hoping for either a small boat station or MSST out of "A" school and then a 210' following the shore rotation. 

    What tests should I try and pass before A school? I should have my E4 EPME finished in a few months and my DWO finished after the EPME. From what I'm told passing DWO will give me that week in A school off.... which is a cool motivation! the other and more attractive motivation is that in A school I'll only have 3 chances to pass (90% is passing) and if I take the test before A school I'll have essentially unlimited chances to take it (once every 21 days). Not sure if I'll be able to take SAR Funds at an ANT. I have been also going over the BM Striker packet to try and focus my training in the off season. 

    A year to make coxswain at a station following A school, seems very do-able, possibly a little longer because I'll probably also need to get BTM and BO along with shooting quals and whatever other C schools I'll have to attend. Part of me really wishes the BM Striker program still existed, if I were to make coxswain at my current unit along with passing the DWO and EPME... I should have been good to go as a struck BM3. 
    If you're really eying the coxswain qual at your next unit you may want to rethink the idea of a MSST straight out of school. I had the option out of A-school to go to two different MSSTs or a number of stations. Ultimately I chose the station because 1. I'm not much of an LE person, I wanted to be involved in SAR and real day-to-day operations and 2. from everything I've been told by prior and current MSST members it is somewhat difficult for a 3rd class to make coxswain at a MSST. By no means is it impossible, but it just isn't a top priority for them, because there are plenty of 2nds and 1sts around already. Whereas at my station it is mandatory we get coxswain qualified within 6 months of our boat crew qual. Of course there is leeway with the time frame, but the point is they want and need us to make coxswain, it isn't something we have to chase to get done.
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    05 Mar 2015 10:46 PM
    Not BM related, but you should be able to complete the E4 EPME in a few weeks as opposed to a few months. Find a mentor who will work with you to complete the sign-offs so you can take the test and get that out of the way. I recommend knocking out the EPME as soon as you can so you're not worrying about it while you're focusing on BM-related stuff. It's like when you're in school and you want to get your gen-ed stuff knocked out so you can focus on your major.
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    06 Mar 2015 06:04 AM
    Additionally, it is now a requirement to pass the EPME before you get orders to A school. Right now, most A school lists have relatively short waits and most individuals on the lists haven't passed the EPME yet, so whenever you are ready, if you do have the EPME finished you might get orders relatively soon after you put your name on the list.
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    07 Mar 2015 06:30 PM
    Quick question about something Bells said a few posts ago:

    I would stay at your unit until you get a coxswain qual, go to BM-a school, then go where ever you want out of a-school

    You can work on getting your coxswain qual as a nonrate? If so, wouldn't it then be beneficial to get assigned to a small boat station out of boot camp so you could get started on that sooner and more easily?
    USCG STA New York, Staten Island
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    10 Mar 2015 10:35 AM
    It depends,for the qual my station knows I am going BM and I have to get all the required quals out of the way (boat crew, aton crew, minor aids, crane operator, bds etc.) before I can start on something like coxswain, and by the time I'll start coxswain I'll most likely have orders to A school. Its something I'm wondering about for when i go for BM2 and need to have the coxswain qual, just trying to plan things out and apply to the best possible place (for my career) after A school.  I am also at a very small unit so as a non-rate I am more likely to get quals that non-rates at bigger units wouldn't have, like OOD. 

    for shore or sea after boot camp, its really luck of the draw. stations have coxswains, and cutters have coxswains too (they also have small boats).  If you plan to go BM remember its not a really long wait so if you aren't happy with where you are after boot you only have to wait a year or so  (4 months for E3, 0-3 months wait for BM A school).  After boot I would suggest to go to a cutter so you can see more rates in action and be able to better choose what you want as a career, my ANT only has BM's, MK's and an EM.  And that dream sheet at boot is more of a dream than reality so I wouldnt put too much stock in it. 
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    01 Jun 2015 12:52 PM
    Putting my name on the list soon, and I have a few questions about BM A school:

    With only 6 people ready to go to school, will they start taking non-rates who haven't passed the EPME again? They won't have enough to fill the classes.
    Am I allowed to live off base? My wife lives close by and I've heard conflicting things.
    I will be there over the holidays, is there any time off for Thanksgiving or Christmas?
    Anything you'd reccomend getting out of the way before I go? Im not on a cutter or at a station, so I can't do BTM or anythhing cool, but I hope to get my DWO done before I go.

    Thanks!
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    15 Jun 2015 11:29 PM
    What do I need to have to qualify as a diver? Are BM's divers?
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    15 Jun 2015 11:29 PM
    What do I need to have to qualify as a diver? Are BM's divers?
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    16 Jun 2015 01:38 AM
    BMs Are not divers. Divers now have their own rating. Go to the Coast Guard Messaging System to find internet releasable information on the dive program. For now, you have to be an E-5 or higher petty officer, able to pass the physical fitness test, and Then compete when there is a solicitation. The last board took people with very high marks (evals).
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    19 Jun 2015 04:00 PM
    I passed the Farnsworth Lantern test at MEPS. DoI have to take it again before going to BM A-school?
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    19 Jun 2015 07:41 PM
    I don't think so. I struck BM and didn't have to redo it
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    21 Jun 2015 11:06 AM
    Can a current BM give me an idea of what a BM3 does on a cutter? or station?

    From what I gather:

    Cutter: DWO, in charge of about 20 non-rates,
    Station: OOD, Coxswain, BTM, BO,

    Is it common for the USCG to have BM's go to school and be certified as an EMT?
    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    21 Jun 2015 02:17 PM
    As a BM3 I would say it is more likely than not to not have a BM3 as Underway OOD or Station OOD, unless the unit is really small. A BM3 will definitely be a JOOD or QMOW on a cutter, and then at a station you'll definitely be expected to become a coxswain.

    Same with BO, it depends on the unit, but most will definitely require BTM, and then if you have an interest or you are making second soon they'll send you to BO school.

    If a unit has an HS you probably won't have BMs for EMT. Going to EMT school is based on unit need. If you are at the right place at the right time it could happen, but I wouldn't focus on it being a priority.
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    23 Jun 2015 08:47 AM
    Any other BMs experience? Did you have to take the color vision test again after MEPS and right before A-school?

    Bells striked so that may be different.
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    24 Jun 2015 04:00 AM
    I've only seen BM3's be inport OODs on a 210'. The lowest BM our COs allowed as DWOs was BM2.
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    25 Jun 2015 12:15 AM
    They wouldn't really need to. Once you are cleared with meps you should be clear.

    If you are worried about having iffy color vision just... I don't know, ask yourself if you can really see the colors. I'll tell you this, I wear contacts. If I am missing a contact (which I often do rock just one contact for whatever reason), my sight when it comes to coxswain/driving the boat significantly worsens. I literally need a lookout doing their do diligence to spot things that I can't make out maybe 5 miles plus away, or when it is really small objects in the water.

    So that might come to be a problem if you plan on ever becoming a coxswain, and you are worried about having colored vision. I know a couple that have scraped by, and it might not be readily apparent to other people that they are struggling slightly, but when you mash in fatigue, long searches, night, hunger, loss of motivation, and everything else goes into SAR cases, just every little bit of cons make a case that much harder, and you are going to be the guy, the big man running it.

    My crew knows my vision isn't the best, and I carry an extra pair of glasses in my blouse pocket if I need to ditch my contacts, but still its an annoying problem that I have to deal with time to time.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    01 Jul 2015 09:30 PM
    I've never had a color vision issue, I just began to worry knowing I could not pass the PIP test. I passed the Farnsworth Lantern test without an issue, but I was nervous taking it, failing the PIP caused me to be a little nervous about my visit is 20/20 uncorrected. 

    Thanks for the answers. 
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    04 Jul 2015 08:59 AM
    To the BMs on here, How much of your job is actually going on SAR cases? I know you cant expect to get a case, but when I was an EMT with the fire department we would get at least one or two calls a shift. From what I have seen SAR cases are few and far between.

    Are boardings more or less running down a check sheet of required items boaters are supposed to have, and then writing a ticket? or is it more of the PDT stuff I see the PATFORSWA guys doing on youtube?

    Thanks!
    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    04 Jul 2015 09:10 AM
    Excuse my typos, the auto correct feature on my phone should be renamed auto incorrect.
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    04 Jul 2015 01:22 PM
    Posted By TriMan1991 on 04 Jul 2015 09:59 AM
    To the BMs on here, How much of your job is actually going on SAR cases? I know you cant expect to get a case, but when I was an EMT with the fire department we would get at least one or two calls a shift. From what I have seen SAR cases are few and far between.

    That's gonna depend on the type of unit and its location.  At my current station SAR cases are almost nonexistent, but I've talked to some people who came from stations in Florida who said they'd get calls every day during some parts of the year.
    USCG STA New York, Staten Island
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    04 Jul 2015 03:28 PM
    For us sar cases are few and far between. I think we've had 20 so far this year, but for boardings we are in the 80's, which is probably low compared to most places. We have a small station so we are training a lot and usually don't have enough people for two boats and crews which limits everything we get done.

    Typical boardings are more of the checklist style you mentioned. I've only come across two weapons, a revolver and a super old rifle. However my AOR is mostly people going out on the water to fish to make a living, not a lot of inexperienced recreational boaters out there.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    09 Sep 2015 10:53 AM
    Quick question, I'm in the process of putting all of my paperwork through to join the CG and once in am hoping to become a BM. however I've worked in food service since I began working as a teenager, and had been told by a recruiter that there's currently a guarantee to A-school directly from boot camp for FS's right now, which is a tempting offer considering all my work experience is in food.

    To be perfectly honest I'd be happy with either rating, and was wondering if anyone knew the Current wait time to go to BM A school so I can Further weigh my options. Any info Helps, Thanks in advance!
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    09 Sep 2015 11:39 AM
    Google USCG "A" school list, the answer lies within.
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    10 Sep 2015 08:46 AM
    Posted By RoldGold_365 on 09 Sep 2015 11:53 AM
    Quick question, I'm in the process of putting all of my paperwork through to join the CG and once in am hoping to become a BM. however I've worked in food service since I began working as a teenager, and had been told by a recruiter that there's currently a guarantee to A-school directly from boot camp for FS's right now, which is a tempting offer considering all my work experience is in food.

    To be perfectly honest I'd be happy with either rating, and was wondering if anyone knew the Current wait time to go to BM A school so I can Further weigh my options. Any info Helps, Thanks in advance!


    You have to wait 4 months out of boot camp to put your name on the list. You also cannot (usually) put your name on the list until fully qualified at your unit, which could take more than 4 months. Also, those who pass the EPME go ahead of those who have not yet.

    My name is on the BM list. I was fully qualled and passed my EPME before my 4 months, so I put my name on RIGHT as soon as I was allowed to, and I'm looking at a 3 month wait probably, if they keep the next couple classes. SO, the list says 0-3 months, which is true in a perfect world. So, at the absolute quickest, I'll have been a nonrate for almost 8 months before getting to school. If you get to a unit that takes longer to get qualled and you struggle to pass the EPME, it could be a lot longer.

    The saying is, "chose your rate, chose your fate". FS is critical, which means you can put your name on BEFORE 4 months and before passing the EPME. My advice is to NOT go straight to A school and go to your unit to check out both rates. If you are there for a few months and KNOW you want to go FS, you can put your name on the list and go in the next class (most likely, with how short the list is now). You just never know what you're going to like until you really see it, and as a nonrate, you'll get to see both. It'd suck if you went straight to school and didn't have the right idea of what FS is all about and didn't like it. Be patient, do a few months as a nonrate and really see what u want to do. my $.02.
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    10 Sep 2015 10:44 AM
    My elder son has his quals done, has decided on BM A school, but has decided to wait several months to put his name on. He wants the sea time and to spend the winter in sunny waters on a cutter. Being SN is fine. Well, now that quals are done. Who knows, a couple more patrols and he could change his mind. And what's wrong with winter? After A school he wants to go to Station Buffalo. Kids...
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    13 Jun 2017 09:12 PM
    Has anyone become a BM with color vision issues?
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    05 Jun 2018 12:32 PM
    Hello,
    If my primary interest is in Law Enforcement is BM a good fit for me?

    Thank you
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    05 Jun 2018 01:41 PM
    As I mentioned in my response to another of your posts, BM is not the only rating to do law enforcement, nor is law enforcement a BM's primary duty. Are you interested in the BM's primary duties, which are small boat handling, navigation, deck operations? If not, then BM is not for you. You should find a rating that really interests you, as law enforcement is only a small part of what you'll be doing.
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    17 Jul 2019 12:56 PM
    I am currently looking at joining the Coast Guard and was possibly interested in the BM rating. Being a female, I was wondering if I would qualify for the law enforcement side of the job, such as boarding teams etc. Can anyone give me any insight on females in the rating? Thanks.
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    17 Jul 2019 02:22 PM
    Females can do any Rating. Go for it! I’ve worked with several who were BOs and BTMs. One of mine went on to CGIS as a WO.
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    18 Jul 2019 06:39 AM
    To translate CCCSD response... BO = Boarding Officer. BTM = Boarding Team Member. CGIS = CG Intelligence. WO = Warrant Officer.

    Females can do each and every rating that males can do. There are still a handful of ships that are male only because of design and just no berthing for females. As those are being phased out and new cutters built, that becomes even less and less of a thing. If you want to do it, have the ASVAB score and can pass all the tests, you can do it!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    18 Jul 2019 07:48 AM
    CGIS=Coast Guard Investigative Service i.e criminal investigations. CG Intel is a different animal
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    25 Aug 2019 10:22 AM
    Does anyone know how long is the A SCHOOL NOW FOR BM 
    AND THE SCORE YOU NEED TO GET ON ASVAB TO QUALIFY FOR IT?
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    12 Sep 2019 07:30 AM
    Does anyone know some good ways to study for the ASVAB and I really can’t decide whether I’d rather be a BM Or ME, what are some of the proms and cons of the two
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    12 Sep 2019 01:04 PM
    Posted By Willfrancisny on 12 Sep 2019 08:30 AM
    Does anyone know some good ways to study for the ASVAB and I really can’t decide whether I’d rather be a BM Or ME, what are some of the proms and cons of the two


    Google "ASVAB Practice Tests." You'll get a whole bunch of results. Just so you're aware, in the CG you don't select your job specialty (called a rating in the CG and Navy)at time of enlistment. Once you arrive at your first unit after boot camp, you'll put your name on the list for the A School you want to attend. Also know, the list for ME A School is closed for the foreseeable future. That could (and likely will) change by the time you're ready to decide what rating you want. Because of the closure, the waiting list will likely be backed up for a few years
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift


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