GM-GUNNERS MATE
Last Post 21 Jul 2016 12:26 PM by Patriot75. 47 Replies.
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chuklesUser is Offline
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chukles

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08 Jan 2010 10:58 PM
    GUNNER'S MATE (GM)


    To view a video of this rate, click here.

    Gunner's Mates are one of the oldest ratings in the Coast Guard. Carrying on a rating that was first formally established in 1797, GMs work with everything from pistols, rifles and machine guns, to 76mm weapons systems. As a GM, you will be responsible for training personnel in proper handling of weapons, ammunition, and pyrotechnics. Additionally, GMs will receive intensive training in and develop skills in electronics, mechanical systems, and hydraulics, and perform maintenance on all ordnance/gunnery equipment: mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic. GMs acquire skills in such a wide range of specialties, paving a firm path to a variety of great future careers.

    Types of Duty:

    GMs are stationed throughout the Coast Guard, including Alaska and Hawaii. GMs typically work out of small armories afloat and ashore. GMs are stationed on large and small cutters. GMs work out of Area, District, Naval Engineering Support Units (NESU) and Weapons Augmentation Teams (WATs). GMs are sent to repair weapons as required from the NESUs and WATs. With the Coast Guard's broadening mission in Homeland Security, GMs are becoming involved with law enforcement and security at Marine Safety Offices (MSOs) and Marine Safety Security Teams (MSSTs).

    Training Available:

    Training for the GM rating is through formal instruction located in Yorktown, VA. A Gunner's Mate requires skills in electronics, mechanical systems, along with hydraulics. GM 'A' School is currently 10 weeks of formal training. After 'A' School, most graduates immediately attend specific equipment/system specific 'C' Schools lasting from five days to 14 weeks. During a career of 20 years, a GM can expect to receive over two years of training in electronics, management, and leadership training.

    Qualifications:

    To be a GM, you should have an interest in all aspects of small arms weaponry (marksmanship training, function, and usage), and the mechanical operation and electronic function of weapons systems. An aptitude in mechanics, basic electrical theory, mathematics, and attention to detail will help.

    Related Civilian Jobs:

    Small Arms Trainer
    Electronics Mechanic
    Armorer (Gunsmith)
    Ammunition Foreman
    Hydraulic Equipment Operator
    Mechanic


    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.
    LarkspurUser is Offline
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    Larkspur

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    10 Mar 2010 08:25 PM
    Does anyone know what the C school options are? How long each does each school last? Thanks for any info.

    Holly
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    weppropUser is Offline
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    wepprop

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    10 Mar 2010 09:30 PM
    TRACEN Yorktown Gunner's Mate page.
    LarkspurUser is Offline
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    Larkspur

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    10 Mar 2010 11:09 PM
    Thank you very much! That was very helpful!
    "Dont pay attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches." - Andy Warhol
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    27 Jul 2010 04:45 PM
    I'm about to put my name on the a school list, what are the chances I will get stationed at a land unit?
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    Old Guard2

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    27 Jul 2010 07:26 PM
    About as good as getting a 270 in New England. (Borrowing a quote.) All you can do is ask, if something is available, you might get it. Study hard and graduate near the top, then your chances will improve! Any idea of where you might like to get stationed?
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    jwmurffUser is Offline
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    jwmurff

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    28 Jul 2010 08:42 PM
    I want a small boat station either on the lower west coast, the southern states, or an msst
    Thing TwoUser is Offline
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    19 Sep 2010 02:09 PM
    What am I to expect in GM A School? Is it as intense as bootcamp? Is it more classroom and practical training or is that sweat quota still apply to A School? I'm aware that we are to march to class, but other than that i know nothing. I walked in blind to bootcamp and I refuse to make the same mistake again!
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    14 Oct 2010 11:11 AM
    Posted By Thing Two on 19 Sep 2010 02:09 PM
    What am I to expect in GM A School? Is it as intense as bootcamp? Is it more classroom and practical training or is that sweat quota still apply to A School? I'm aware that we are to march to class, but other than that i know nothing. I walked in blind to bootcamp and I refuse to make the same mistake again!


    Ahhh....good ol' GM "A" School.

    I wouldn't say "intense" but it is unique. It is more classroom, but there is a lot of hands-on later in the weeks.

    Some things to keep in mind when you get there:

    1. Attention to DETAIL!!
    2. If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late.
    3. Sound off like you got a pair.

    Have fun!
    darktimesUser is Offline
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    07 Dec 2010 03:32 PM
    Anyone have info on what a GM can expect to do on a day to day basis?
    weppropUser is Offline
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    wepprop

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    07 Dec 2010 08:35 PM
    Probably either maintain the weapons systems if stationed aboard a cutter or small arms instructor and armorer if stationed ashore, plus collateral duties.
    otnasirkUser is Offline
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    otnasirk

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    10 Apr 2011 11:58 PM
    Is it possible to strike this rate?
    California KidUser is Offline
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    California Kid

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    01 May 2011 05:03 PM
    GM only a afloat billet? or are there GM billets ashore aswell? I would like to work on the weapons sytems on patrol boats
    GearsUser is Offline
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    Gears

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    01 May 2011 05:48 PM
    GMs serve both at sea and ashore. As a GM the majority of your sea time will be on large cutters, but 110' PBs have 1 if I'm not mistaken.
    “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
    EUser is Offline
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    E

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    02 May 2011 12:07 AM
    ^Independent duty for a GM2.
    otnasirkUser is Offline
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    otnasirk

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    24 May 2011 01:33 PM
    Can some please share their experience as a Gunner's Mate?I am really thinking about go to this rate.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    Old Guard2

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    24 May 2011 02:36 PM
    We might not have any regulars on the forum that are GM's. The best bet if no one really responds, wait until you get to your unit, then find one to talk to. They'll be willing to help you make a decision and give you great insight. You'll have time to decide. No reason to rush it here when you aren't even at the point of choosing a school yet.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    otnasirkUser is Offline
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    otnasirk

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    24 May 2011 03:41 PM
    Yes Old Guard.Just thought some GMs are here to shed some light
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    Old Guard2

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    24 May 2011 04:24 PM
    I think we have a few but they aren't "regulars" unless someone is a GM and has just never revealed their rate. Just don't want you to think no one is responding. Better to have no answers than have me guess at what a GM might do or a non-rate that might have seen a GM in action. Give it time, someone will check in or you'll get to a unit... one way or another your questions will get answered. It's just a matter of the good old "hurry up and wait"!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    otnasirkUser is Offline
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    otnasirk

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    24 May 2011 04:43 PM
    Got it OldGuard
    CaptNickUser is Offline
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    CaptNick

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    27 May 2011 12:38 PM
    Im currently torn between BM and GM. I spent a day with my GM1 the other day and he pretty much explained the whole rate to me. I will be working in our armory the next few months to get a better feel as to what they do. Im still undecided.
    EUser is Offline
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    27 May 2011 02:05 PM
    make sure you talk to more than just one GM and GMs outside of your unit. Not knocking on them or anything but the more people in the rate you talk to the better.

    What would make you lean more towards GM?
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    otnasirk

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    27 May 2011 02:38 PM
    We're on the same boat Captnick.Those 2 rates are really catching my interest the most.
    @E-I am leaning on GM a little bit because of the waiting list for A school and my growing interest in firearms.But i am still undecided.I am still in the phase of one day,i want to be a GM,the next day i want to be a BM etc...But i will just wait until i get to my first unit and to actually experience both rates as i will be asking GMs and BMs about what they do.
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    CaptNick

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    30 May 2011 10:40 PM
    GM list opened up quite a bit and BM is till at least 18 months.
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    31 May 2011 05:39 PM
    Yes they are 18-24months compare to 6-8 months for GM.we'll see what happens during my first unit
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    26 Jun 2011 09:02 AM
    I'm a Gunners Mate and I'll tell you my experience...

    My first unit as a GM was a 282' cutter. There were two GMs, a GM1 and a GM3 (me). We were responsible for minor caliber weapon systems, small arms, pyrotechnics, and all the training and maintenance involved with them.

    Keeping track of AA&E (arms, ammunition, and explosives), magazine sprinkler maintenance, and gun cleaning are the "not so glorious" parts of being a GM, but every rate has it's ups and downs. Being a GM doesn't mean you'll be just shooting all day, don't get me wrong though...we shot quite a bit haha. A typical month would include about a dozen different jobs working on weapons...weekly checks, ensuring the weapons were ready when we needed them, a few days of training boarding team members and boarding team officers how to safely use the weapons that are on them when they go on a boarding, running gun crew training to ensure that the ones using our crew served weapons knew what they were doing. Most of the people on gun crews are not GMs. In fact I was the only GM with a WQSB billet of gun crew. So teaching SKs, OSs, and BMs how to use a weapon as a team to engage surface targets is part of the deal. That was by far my favorite part of the job. All looked to me as the expert on the matter. When they start the training and all they know is that a gun makes a loud noise...teaching them the ropes on how to load the weapon, fire the weapon, track targets, report sightings, work together, clear jams in the weapon became a dedicated goal for me. It is an amazing feeling when you are conducting a drill, you get "shot" during the drill and they gun crews function flawlessly without you. The rush of getting on that sound powered phone and saying "Weapons Control, mount 21 manned and ready" made my day.

    We would take people to the range and their experience with a firearm could only be the gun they shot in boot camp. Building their confidence, teaching them how to safely use that weapon, teaching them about the weapon like how it works and what it means when you say "semi-automatic, recoil operated" is another great feeling. They start out barely hitting the paper, but helping them tighten that group so they can hit what they are aiming at gave me a sense of accomplishment.

    Now I'm at an Air Station, and I do some of the same stuff. Teach air crew how to use weapons. Handle the pyrotechnics and ammunition on aboard while working with physical security of AA&E is routine. No more gun crews, but I still have that great feeling when people improve their shooting abilities. I just recently had one our guys shoot Expert on the pistol, the first time having someone earn that medal while I was the instructor makes you think "wow...I helped them work to that".

    I'll be honest, I count bullets, I take care of logs, I clean guns, but then again I don't wash boats, paint over rust, clean bilges, cook food, or spend 80% of my workday on watch listening to a radio. I absolutely love my job, and would not change it for anything.

    Hope this gives anyone on here interested in the Gunners Mate rate a look at what we do.

    Just remember, as a Gunners Mate...Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto...I bring not the rays of the sun, but the thunderbolts of Jupiter.
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    rfail1988

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    01 Sep 2011 09:26 AM
    I have looked and looked online at a bunch of the stations and cutters in my area (Seattle) and haven't found any gm's listed at any of them. Are they just at a few certain areas or am I missing something? Cause it seems like the 3 you can be sure of seeing at almost every billet are bm, mk and fs, but no gm's.
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    21 Nov 2011 03:07 AM
    I was a GM when I was in. My first billet as a GM was a 210. It was billeted for a GM1, but there was a GM2 and me, a GM3. My job was pretty much clean guns and do the magazine maintenance, whatever my boss didn't want to do, but it was cool. As time passed I got to take care of the ammo admin and PMS scheduling. I trained gun crews, served as mount captain, boarding team member, and even qualified as QMOW. Being on the 210 got me ready for independent duty and I went to a 110. On a 110 you do everything yourself. Sometimes you can get a deckie to help out if they aren't busy. It was really easy to get complacent being your own boss, so you have to motivate yourself to actually do your job daily. A school was nothing like boot camp when I went (2002), we had to march to class, but when class was over you could do whatever you wanted, as long as you were there in the morning. Overall I enjoyed being a GM, but I knew I wasn't gonna make it a career, so if I had it to do over I would have chosen a rating that translated better to the civilian world.
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    27 Dec 2011 05:25 PM
    Thanks for the posts Gunnerz and Southpaw.

    I got a billet as a GM in my PSU, and will be getting a confirmed ship date after my recruiter gets back from Christmas leave. My recruiter said they are going to be pushing me pretty hard and fast to get up to speed as their SAI, so I'm VERY excited. If I get the slot in 'A' school that she requested, I'll be graduating sometime in the middle of August 2012.
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    20 Sep 2012 01:46 AM

    I am an enlisted member and I want to put my name on the GM A School list. The wait right now is more than 3 years and they're only accepting 06 active duty members for the next class.

    Is there anyway, besides waiting, to advance my name on the list?

    What are the chances of that the wait to go will shorten in the near future?

    What could make the list move quicker?

    V/R

    Phatom369

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    20 Sep 2012 08:12 AM
    Absolutely nothing. Think of the people on the list, if you were at number 25 and there was some magical way to bounce myself ahead of you to number 3. Wouldn't you be upset? Everyone has had to wait, you will as well.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    22 Sep 2012 01:32 PM
    There's always Bahrain...it won't send you straight to A school after your tour over there, as many think, but it will shorten the wait quite a bit once you're back.
    Other than that, short of a big influx of money for the GM rate or a bunch of people bailing on the list, you're gonna be waiting a while.
    Your passion for what you do will set you free.
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    GM1USCG_RET

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    12 Nov 2012 08:07 AM
    Retired GM just joined the board. 22 years of service. Small Arms Instructor for 19 years. Duty aboard two 270' WMEC's (as a GM), a NESU/WAT, a Group, MSO and 3 District Armories, PSU during Desert Storm and others before going to GM "A" School in 1986.
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    13 Nov 2012 05:10 PM
    Oh GM1USCG_RET How did you become a small arms instructor? This is what I would like to do!
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    GM1USCG_RET

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    13 Nov 2012 07:53 PM
    What rating are you now?  You can find the requirements to go to FAI (now they are called FireArms Instructors, not SAI anymore) on the TRACEN Yorktown web site.  Look for Engineering & Weapons School, then Gunners Mate Schools... then "C" schools and you should see it there.  If I was on my computer instead of my Kindle Fire, I would find the school, and insert a hyperlink here.  If I can remember to check this page the next time I'm near a computer, I will try to remember to do that.
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    14 Nov 2012 02:27 AM
    My shipdate is next month actually so I will be a nonrate for a long while. Can other ratings be firearms instructor? Were you a firearms instructor outside of the CG too?
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    GM1USCG_RET

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    14 Nov 2012 09:40 AM
    I just checked the TRACEN Yorktown Website and found that SAI school is no longer accessible to non-AD personnel.  When I went to SAI school (in 1986), the following were requirements as I remember:

    -  Qualify sharpshooter on Basic Rifle and Basic Pistol courses.
    -  Qualify with the Shotgun
    -  If an Ordnance rating (Gunners Mate or Fire Controlman (now ET-weapons), you could be an E4 to go to SAI school.  If you were another rating, you had to be an E5.
    -  Almost any rate can be an SAI (back then...  this may have changed).
         There was a Cook, a Telephone Technician, a Mechanical Technician (MK) and several Boatswains Mates in my class.  There were more Gunners Mates than any others.
    -  Command Recommendation / Need.  Your command must have an open billet or have a demonstrated need for an SAI in your area.  Keep in mind, when you are an SAI, you are NOT the personal SAI for your UNIT.  You are now a DISTRICT Asset.  I believe Districts are now called Sectors or something else.  Maybe Groups are now Sectors...  I don't know...

    When I went, I had gone to GM "A" School then been assigned to TRACEN CAPE MAY as a range instructor.  Back then, recruits shot real pistols and rifles.  We also provided training for all local cutters and small boat stations within an hour's drive from Cape May.  Some units came farther if they needed to get a few people qualified to go to a school or deployment on short notice.  I was not an instructor for anyone else but the Coast Guard.  On my own time, I did teach friends, family and others how to shoot a few times, but not for pay.  I had several friends recommend I get NRA certification so I could teach outside the CG, but I never did.  I guess I still could, but my current health prevents that.  

    Don't worry about being a non-rate for a while.  Waiting for your school will be well-worth the wait.  You will learn a lot about the CG as a non-rate.  I would recommend you ask for a cutter after boot camp.  The bigger, the better.  White is preferable to Red or Black, but those missions are fun, too.  White ones go more places and have more chances of doing stuff you like.  If you're still waiting for school after the end of your sea tour, see if you can get a small boat station.  I had fun there, too.

    Any other questions, I'm here...

    Mike
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    20 Sep 2013 04:43 PM
    Do GM's work on small boats also? Like search and rescue calls, patrols, etc..?
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    20 Sep 2013 10:01 PM
    No.  If you're a GM at a STA, you'll be independent duty, running the armory.
    "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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    Edinson C

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    04 Feb 2014 09:10 PM
    So GMs arent part of boarding teams and dont have anything to do with law enforcment ?
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    Gears

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    04 Feb 2014 09:45 PM
    GMs can be BO/BTMs, it just depends on the unit.
    “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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    14 Mar 2015 10:59 PM
    Are there ever GM billets on Icebreakers?

    I've done pretty extensive searching throughout this forum as well as military.com but I've never actually been able to find something on that. It seems unlikely due to the nature of the missions they undertake but I was just hoping for a solid answer.
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    12 Jun 2015 12:41 AM
    Posted By Fiddler on 14 Mar 2015 10:59 PM
    Are there ever GM billets on Icebreakers?

    I've done pretty extensive searching throughout this forum as well as military.com but I've never actually been able to find something on that. It seems unlikely due to the nature of the missions they undertake but I was just hoping for a solid answer.

    That's something I would like to know too... I get the feeling that there aren't any. I saw a video on YouTube about ice breakers and there weren't any mention of gunners mate in the staff section.  I'd like to know if there are GMs on ice breakers though too. Would love to be on an ice breaker!
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    27 Aug 2015 08:27 PM
    Any GM's in the reserves? Can you tell me what your experience is in the reserves as a GM? A recruiter told me if I was reserves I would be shore side not a ship so pretty much my duties would include issuing weapons out of the armor, so pretty much not very exciting.
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    28 Aug 2015 06:37 PM
    What is your job now in the CG? I am in Portland and thinking about the CGR. I was interested in GM as well but a recruiter said GM reserve side would mainly just issue out weapons out of the armory.
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    28 Aug 2015 06:42 PM
    I thought GM's manned the shot guns on the small CG boats that go up and down the rivers, guess not I was told GM in the Reserves is not very exciting compared to ship side. Mainly a GM in the Reserve would issue weapons out of the Armory. If I did go Reserves I would drill in Portland(where I live) or Seattle (if I choose/if a billet is open).
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    07 Sep 2015 06:29 PM
    I thought GM's manned the shot guns on the small CG boats that go up and down the rivers, guess not


    Those are mostly going to be MKs, BMs, and nonrates assigned to Small Boat Stations.
    “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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    21 Jul 2016 12:26 PM
    Are there any GM's on the board that are currently in that can talk about their career? Also are the billets for lower class more afloat beacuse they are less desired or is it that most ashore is more independent duty? thanks!


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