OS-OPERATIONS SPECIALIST
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chuklesUser is Offline
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chukles

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08 Jan 2010 10:01 PM
    OPERATIONS SPECIALIST (OS)


    To view a video of this rate, click here.

    Operations Specialists perform a central role in the execution of nearly all Coast Guard operations. Operations Specialist are tactical command and control experts, coordinating responses to a wide variety of Coast Guard missions, including Search and Rescue, Maritime Law Enforcement, Marine Environmental Protection, Homeland Security, and National Defense. Operations Specialists operate state-of-the-art communications systems, tactical tracking and identification systems, shipboard navigation systems, and advanced operational planning applications.

    Types of Duty:

    Operations Specialists are stationed throughout the Coast Guard, serving primarily at Command Centers and aboard larger cutters around the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Both afloat and ashore, an OS can expect to participate in all aspects of operational planning and execution, working with decision makers and operators to accomplish Coast Guard missions 24 hours a day.

    Training Available:

    An Operations Specialist can expect to receive extensive training in communications systems and software applications used for planning Search and Rescue missions and performing tactical operations.

    Qualifications:

    You should have the ability to work in a stressful and high-paced environment, aptitudes for working with computer-based applications, and exceptional attention to detail. You must have normal color vision, normal hearing, be a U.S. citizen and become eligible to access classified information.

    Related Civilian Jobs:

    City/County/State Emergency Operations Coordination


    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 10:04 PM
    Posts from old OS thread;

    I'm an OS3 that just graduated OS a school and stationed at a very busy Sector St. Petersburg Command Center, so if anyone has any questions, ask away!


    OS3 Husband
    Sector St. Petersburg, FL

    ______________________


    highsurf1982

    Thanks for the offer! I'm hoping to join this year and was interested in this rate. I'd be hoping to work on a cutter, I'm craving some sea time! Does this rate work at sea often? Can you request this? Do you know if this rate is still critical? Thanks!

    ________________________


    FutureLCC

    I'll be going to OS "A" school in March. Im curious how labor intensive this course it. The reason I ask is, I have a few online college courses I have to take for my B.S. degree and wanted to know if it was possible to attend OS "A" school AND attend a couple online college courses. Also, could you give a brief breakdown of how the school/training goes? Any words of wisdome, tips, etc. Not only for the training but also concerning free time, the surrounding area, etc.

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.

    J

    ___________________


    husband

    Hi Guys,

    to highsurf:

    Yes, OS's get underway alot. We are on every "big boat" the Coast guard has. So we are on every ice-breaker, every 378, 270, and 210s and 179s (that's alot of boat options :) ). And yes, I believe the rate is still critical.

    ____________________

    FutureLCC:

    It really depends on how you learn if the course is labor-intensive. I know a couple of guys in my A-school class that took college courses, and personally, I had no problem with A-school, but I know people who did...so...to each his own I guess you can say. Also, remember that if you get stationed on a cutter, it will be very hard to take college courses, so just remember that before you pay tuition....

    Words of wisdom:

    When you're there, follow the rules, they aren't hard. You hear them for a week straight in Indoc, and they don't play around. They'll mast you fast for doing the wrong thing..

    Don't drink and drive. They'll kick you out (of the CG) for that.
    Free time: I worked out alot, there is a bowling alley, movie theatere, and E-club on base...Kept me pretty entertained since I didnt have a car.

    Surrounding area: If you've never been, VISIT San Francisco. It's a beautiful interesting city. Its only 30 miles south, and a bus goes there from town.
    OS3 Husband
    Sector St. Petersburg, FL


    ___________________

    ezekiel97

    I know its off topic for this thread, but how was Indoc for A school? Ill be going IT and I know its the same indoc, curious on what its like.
    Stationed in Key West, FL
    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13

    __________________


    FutureLCC

    Thansk a lot for the info Husband. Something to think about anyways. If you happen to think of anything else please don't hesitate.

    Thanks again,

    J

    _____________________


    highsurf1982

    Husband,
    What is your ratio of being underway vs working on shore? Are you either assigned one or the other, or do you get both?

    Also, could you tell me what a day is like for you (typical)?


    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 joinig 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.
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    husband

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    08 Jan 2010 11:55 PM
    highsurf1982

    Husband,
    What is your ratio of being underway vs working on shore? Are you either assigned one or the other, or do you get both?

    Also, could you tell me what a day is like for you (typical)?
     
     
    Highsurf,

    Ratio for OS3's ashore/afloat is about 50/50 I believe (chukles?).  You can get both, but you have to either make rank or finish your tour to transfer (ashore tour is 4 years usually and underway is 3 years or less depending on where you are).

    A typical day for me?

    If i have the morning watch (0545-1745), I wake up about 4:30 (or 4:20 if im going to bring my bike :) ) and get to sector about 5:15 for watch relief (always good to be early).  I take the watch at 0545 and im on watch until 1745.  Usually I'll have a couple of cases to work (sector st. pete is pretty busy).

    Night watches are pretty dead (1745-0545)..you usually just do training or sit around and listen for that one word that changes your day (and sometimes your life) "mayday". 

    Other than that, I sometimes have to come in to day work (0730-1530) if we have training or to update logs and do end of the month stuff.  It's pretty easy going.


    OS3 Husband
    Sector St. Petersburg, FL

    highsurf1982User is Offline
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    highsurf1982

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    11 Jan 2010 06:21 PM
    Can you ask to be assigned to a cutter coming out of A-School, or do you have to work ashore first?


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    husband

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    11 Jan 2010 06:37 PM
    You can get a cutter right out of A-school


    OS3 Husband
    Sector St. Petersburg, FL

    ltateUser is Offline
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    ltate

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    11 Jan 2010 09:41 PM
    One of my daughters graduated from OS A School back in February of 2008 and most of her class went to cutters. I think three of them ended up at sectors and that's it. The other 12 were assigned to boats.....mostly 378's on the west coast. I know it differs from class to class, depending on where they need you at the moment. That was just her experience.

    Laurie


     

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    husband

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    12 Jan 2010 02:05 PM
    Ours was the opposite.  My class had all land billets except for 3 cutters.

    It varies by the needs of the service


    OS3 Husband
    Sector St. Petersburg, FL

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    highsurf1982

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    12 Jan 2010 11:03 PM
    Do you need sea time to get promoted in this rate? If so, how much?


    ltateUser is Offline
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    ltate

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    12 Jan 2010 11:55 PM
    I think you do, somewhere along the line. When my daughter was on the 378, they had an OS1 onboard who was there only because he needed a year of sea time in order to make Chief.  As far as advancing from...say...3rd to 2nd and so on, I have no idea if any sea time is required for that.  OS3 Husband would know much more about that than I do. 

    Laurie


     

    <!-- Edit -->

    Last Edited : 1/13/2010 4:47:43 AM GMT

    jen899193User is Offline
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    jen899193

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    14 Jan 2010 02:26 PM
    i believe laurie got it right. promoting from 3rd to 2nd to 1st does not require sea time. however, a 1st cannot make chief without the sea time. if i am wrong, i am certin po husband will put me in my place.


    Jen

    Proud Coastguard Mom of

    OS3 Church, Brittney R.
    Camslant Chesapeake, VA




    "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~Benjamin Franklin





     

    ~Jen~
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    wepprop

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    14 Jan 2010 02:35 PM
    When I looked up the sea time reg a week ago, this is what it said for OS:

    E-7 OS:
    • 12 months in designated rating (including legacy RD, TC) in any pay grade for all members who lateraled to OS on 1 Jul 03.
    • 24 months in designated rating for non-legacy ratings and for OS “A” school graduates
    husbandUser is Offline
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    husband

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    15 Jan 2010 10:40 AM
    wep,

    You can get all the way to PO1 without sea time

    but to make cheif you have to have 3 years sea time i believe


    OS3 Husband
    Sector St. Petersburg, FL

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    wepprop

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    15 Jan 2010 03:21 PM
    Jeremy,

    My quote was a cut and paste directly from the edition of CIM 1000.6A (Personnel Manual) that is currently posted on uscg.mil Paragraph 5.C.15.d, "Minimum Sea Duty for Those Entering Designated Ratings on or after 01 February 1994". I make no other claim as to its accuracy. As to your first sentence, that is what the reg says. As to your second, the reg says 24 months.
    cleveldrUser is Offline
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    cleveldr

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    18 Jan 2010 11:20 PM
    good afternoon,

    I'm an OS in the navy, i have been in for about 7 years and thinking about transfering over to the USCG. I'm currently on shore duty for another 1yr, was stationed on a FFG and did drug ops for 5 yrs. What is the sea duty life for you guys/how often do you get underway and also what is shore duty like? thanks for the help.
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    jonnyb

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    19 Jan 2010 08:15 PM
    As far as getting underway goes, that all depends on the boat that you go to; only medium and high endurance cutters have the OS rate. On a boat you have two OS billets that you do NOT get to choose from. I hear shore duty is fairly easy, but thats only because the OS i know is on the gallatin, which, as you know, works like a solar powered flashlight.


    wu-tang-logo.jpg wu-tang logo image by jose_c_2008wu-tang-logo.jpg wu-tang-logo image by maddaarabOS3 Brand - Sector Miami, Fl

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    boatforces

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    30 Jan 2010 01:28 PM
    Lemme clear this up for you guys.

    OS didn't exist before 2003. If you were in the CG before 2003, had one year sea time as an E4 and above, and became an OS you have met the sea time requirement for advancement to E7. All others must have 2 years rated (E4 and above) sea time to be eligible for advancement to E7.


    Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

    mdh*831User is Offline
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    mdh*831

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    16 Apr 2010 03:03 PM
    i dont know alot about the types of job in the coast guard and when my recruiter asked what job i wanted i told her an os because it's what im most interested from what i read. the thing is the more i read about it the more worried how im going to do. im still real interested in it, but math and computers aren't my strong suit. Do they teach you everything in A school?
    GearsUser is Offline
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    Gears

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    16 Apr 2010 03:12 PM
    They teach you everything you need to know about being an entry level OS at "A" School. Don't choose your rate based on a description in a book or on a website. There is much more to the story than what you read.

    Britt and Husband can fill you in on the good, the bad, and the ugly.


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.

    - Mark Twain

    “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
    Alec006User is Offline
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    Alec006

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    25 Oct 2010 04:33 PM
    Can anyone list the pros and cons of OS? Im leaving for Cape May in a couple of weeks and I already have my A school for OS.
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    Old Guard2

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    25 Oct 2010 05:20 PM
    You signed a guarantee for a rate before knowing the pros & cons or if you'll even enjoy the job???
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    Alec006

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    25 Oct 2010 07:32 PM
    Yes and No. I know just as much there is to know about OS. It was the only rate open I was told for active duty. I had two choices FS or OS. I could have waited for another rate to open up for A school, but I didnt want to sit on my hands. So I choose OS. I know the pros and cons, but I want extremely specific pros and cons. Such as does the job atmosphere change while on a cutter then at a station?
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    Old Guard2

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    25 Oct 2010 07:50 PM
    My son is waiting for his school to open... trust me, he is not sitting on his hands. You don't just sit on your hands, you pay your dues.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    Alec006

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    26 Oct 2010 07:56 PM
    I understand Old Guard2. I should've rephrased my question. I wanted to go OS, because I only had 2 options. Could I have waited for something that I wanted to do like HS absolutely! However, I didnt want to wait for it. I was just so excited to serve my country in the Coast Guard that I signed up for OS (with the knowledge of what that job entitled) Also Im not making this into a career. I signed up for 6 years and thats all. I want to be on a Cutter and I pray thats where God wants me. I only enlisted into the Coast Guard for 2 reasons. To serve and to pursue my knowledge in the medical field because I dont have the money for college. (I have aspirations to be a denist). With the Coast Guard I can have best of both worlds.
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    Old Guard2

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    27 Oct 2010 07:06 AM
    I'm about to do something I absolutely never do... Bite my tongue and say nothing.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    EUser is Offline
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    E

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    27 Oct 2010 08:11 AM
    hopefully you're happy being an OS for 4 years. Id rather "sit on my hands" and wait to become an IT or BM or any other rate I really wanted to go than go to a rate where I dont know what the pros and cons to the job are.

    and don't say you only had two options, you had every opportunity to just sign up as an e2 e3 and be a nonrate, see the rates and than choose your fate.
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    wepprop

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    27 Oct 2010 08:35 PM
    If he signed up for six years and got boot->A out of it, then best hope he's happy being an OS for 5.5 years.

    Oh, and if he signed up for six years to get E-3, I hope that extra $480 (total) before taxes is worth the extra two full years commitment.
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    Alec006

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    28 Oct 2010 04:50 AM
    I apologize if I offended anyone here. I should have just kept quiet, and kept my career decisions personal. If I came off as a teenage,"punk" then I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend anybody when I said,"sit on my hands". I only said that out of ignorrance and Im sorry.
    EUser is Offline
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    28 Oct 2010 08:11 AM
    I just dont understand how you can say you only had 2 options, OS or FS.
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    texasdad

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    28 Oct 2010 08:22 AM
    Don't fret the rebuff from some of the posters here. Perhaps they should remember you are young and somewhat lacking knowledge about the Coast Guard. The " sitting on hands comment" is what set the tone. I know you meant you were taking control of your fate and making things happen with minimal time lost to school wait lists. The real concern with your plan is if you are unhappy with your selected rate it is going to be a long six years. Honestly, the rates that are available have proven to be harder to fill ; ask yourself why.
    Alec006User is Offline
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    Alec006

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    28 Oct 2010 04:50 PM
    @E I should have rephrased my statement, sorry Im not so great at wording things. I wanted to leave for Basic Training by the end of December. My recruiter said that they schedule me for A School then Basic Training. The only two rates that were open were OS and FS. I read up on OS and it sounded intresting (despite what people say), so I chose it as my rate. I signed up for 6 years because I wanted to. Im only 18, so I will get out when Im 24. I have brothers that are that age and are no where in life.
    @Texas Dad thank you thats exactly what I meant. I have a,"Its what you make of it attitude". I'm just happy to be part of the Coast Guard. I could be painting walls for all I care. I love their mission and what they stand for. Its just a stepping stone in my life, one that I will take great pride in.
    EUser is Offline
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    28 Oct 2010 08:47 PM
    I've just met a couple of boot to A school who get out with crows and try to tell me off that I am waiting for a rate and how funny it is that I have to sand, paint, stand crewman.
    Personally I think boot to A school shouldn't be allowed, and reservists should have to wait their time on the lists like active do, but thats my .2

    I considered going OS, but being in CIC in heavy waves+me dont mix.
    Did your recruiter ever say, hey you can be a nonrate in the fleet and wait on the list?
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    Gears

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    28 Oct 2010 08:51 PM
    I've just met a couple of boot to A school who get out with crows and try to tell me off that I am waiting for a rate and how funny it is that I have to sand, paint, stand crewman.


    E,

    Don't take it personal. At the end of the day your experiences are going to make you a better Petty Officer. When you finally make it to "A" school and pin on your crows, you'll know you earned them.
    “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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    Alec006

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    29 Oct 2010 06:12 AM
    @E Honestly no not once, but I'm okay with that. I'm sure it wasnt the,"smartest" thing to do, but hey you learn as you go.
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    COASTIE_OS

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    30 Oct 2010 02:37 AM
    I'm not complaining about my choice to go os. I chose os because like alec i do not feel as if i will make it a career, and the mst list was not moving. I think i fell back a few spots within this year of being on the list. Sure i'll have to obliserv 4 more years extending my active duty service by 2 years making it 6 like him(not the most appealing part of it all), but its a quick rate... I.e. Making rank quick... Alec: i think that it is great that you got boot to a, but you definately would be a better po if you spent time as a non-rate painting, sanding, being on a boat crew. There are os' around that ask us to do stuff at my station and they have no clue about what they are asking us to do. My ood will sit with his head in his hands asking himself why he has to deal with them (in harsher words) because the boot to a people have no clue what station people have to do when we are being sent out on a sar case. They do not see what we see (i.e. Torn up/rotting bodies). But anyway in my opinion having station experience will make me a stronger os and i'm hoping i will not be one of the os' that my ood and fellow shipmates here at my station talk bad about. So my suggestion is when you get out of a school see about going tdy(after you are qualified) to a station to get an understanding of what we do on a daily basis and what its like to really be operational. Good luck and hope to see you in a school. I should be leaving for the march class!
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    husband

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    01 Nov 2010 08:25 PM
    I'm one of the few OS's that actually spent time out "in the fleet" and am now at a sector.  The fact of the matter is, most OS's that go from boot-to-a end up HATING their job because they expect to be "in the sh*t" (for lack of a better phrase) and they don't realize that your behind the scenes.  OS is an important job, don't get me wrong, but don't come into it expecting to be on TV for all of your courageous actions and be awarded the Gold Livesaving Medal for saving a burning baby in the surf.

    as an OS your not Ashton Kutcher in "The Guardian", you just tell "The Guardian" where to go/what to do/when to go/and what to look for
    ssetnickyUser is Offline
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    ssetnicky

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    19 Nov 2010 03:00 PM
    I was boot to A. I really did not have a choice other than wait another year to even get in. I had already waited close to 2 years to even get in. My recruiter had told me we'd probably be waiting til October to even talk again. So I was pretty disappointed until he one day called me and told me that I had one chance to go to boot camp anytime soon and that was to go to guaranteed OS school. I don't understand why most boot to A people have to go around acting like they're the sh*t for lack of a better word and make the rest of us look terrible. Or maybe I just have a good personality? I don't know but I treat the non-rates just like I treat thirds like I treat seconds and firsts. I am friends with pretty much everyone. It's just my personality I guess, I can get along with everyone. I totally respect people who go to the fleet first cause I would've liked to have done that first probably too if I could've. Funny looking back on it I probably could've opted out of guaranteed school at picks during boot but as a scared E-1 I really didn't want to ask questions. Now I'm an OS3 onboard a 270' down here in Key West. I know everybody always has that assumption "everyone who goes boot to 'A' for OS ends up hating it cause they think they're going to be right in the action!" Well perhaps they should've done some research because I knew going into it that it is all about comms, radar navigation, message processing etc. I guess I'm breaking that mold too because I personally love it so far. All the other OS's in my shop are awesome. My Chief is really cool. I was proficient in every class at school and now I'm fitting right in at work too. all I'm trying to say is don't write off people just because they're boot to 'A', it's not like I'm a sh*tbag because my recruiter told me that was the only option. I still go to work, stand duty, stand double watches, and wear the same uniform as everyone else.
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    20 Nov 2010 08:19 AM
    as an OS your not Ashton Kutcher in "The Guardian", you just tell "The Guardian" where to go/what to do/when to go/and what to look for

    We were going to pull in at 0800, at like 0200 we get told there is a toi we need to intercept, we need to head to this position which is a 48 hour old position. No information on color/type of vessel, people on board, speed, destination, anything. Our OOD was speechless but responded "Understand we are heading to position ... a 48 hour old position, looking for a ghost boat." lol.

    Setnicky, it doesn't happen a lot aboard your cutter, go to the other big one or the sector. The biggest people that have a problem with boot to A and earning crows is the Navy MAs. They LOVE to hate on CG nonrates because it's the only people below them. We had a meeting for our housing and one of the MA guys told my friend who is an SN to stand up because he took his seat but the guy was in the wrong row, at the end of it, the MA wanted to report the SN to our command for stealing his chair.

    Overall, I don't care how you got your crows whether you went to fleet or went boot to a, I care about my career and earning my crows, so do your job, and ill keep painting and sanding lol.
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    Carissamarie08

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    20 Nov 2010 12:51 PM
    you will regret OS ...I would know...I am one.
    chuklesUser is Offline
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    chukles

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    20 Nov 2010 02:33 PM
    Carissamarie,

    How do you know that an individual will like or not like a rate? Are you telling me that all OS's in the Coast Guard hate their job? I seriously doubt it. You are unhappy with your rate AND your assignment. MY question is what are you doing personally to find enjoyment out of either? Negativity breads negativity.
    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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    ssetnicky

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    20 Nov 2010 11:32 PM
    Yeah Carissa Idk, you're an OS at a COMMSTA in Alaska and I'm on a 270' in Key West. Two different beasts. I don't know. I have found nothing that would make me hate it yet. I'm going on patrol very soon maybe I'll have a better idea post patrol but as of now I have no regrets and I love it. E... Navy people will do as they do. It's whatever. I'll do my job and you do your job and you pursue your dreams. screw what anyone else thinks.
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    21 Nov 2010 12:10 AM
    they are always trying to catch me riding dirty lol. I get randomly inspected at least 4-6 times a month. I live with most of them any they're alright. There is a few that are bad apples, but I still laugh when they salute you and call you sir. I love to fill them in that they just saluted someone below them.
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    21 Nov 2010 05:35 AM

    setnicky,

     

    Sorry, I have a bad habit about speaking in generalities and I didn't mean that ALL boot to a schoolers don't do their research, but a lot of people just pick the rate to get in, and I understand that.  Another problem with it is that most rates DON'T know what OS's do, and a lot of recruiters just go off of the general job description.  So I apologize if I offended you.  You seem like you're a great guy and you'll enjoy your job.

     

    Carissa, being an OS isn't that bad.  I don't know about you, but I personally enjoy only working 12-15 days a year here at Sector.

     

    E:  That was probably the IS's fault, not the OS.  We get the intelligence, and pass it along.  Believe me, an OS didn't make a decision to send you on a 48 hr old ghost boat chase.  I feel your pain too....I was also on a 110 that operated unter SKW TACON, and I chased my fair share of boats that didn't exist.  If you really want to know how things work upstairs, ask your OPS BM2/BM1 to take you to the command center.  SKW has a nice command center, and they'll be happy to explain why they do the things that they do. 

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    21 Nov 2010 08:27 AM
    Husband, I forgot you were down here on 110s also. My first chase was a weather balloon, so pumped up on watch lol. Ive made it to the front door of the command center, but its hard enough for ops to get inside. I bet you did the same but we take OS underway with us. They usually have a "are you kidding me" when we turn around and power to a ghost boat, so I guess it makes sense about what you are saying.
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    21 Nov 2010 11:02 AM

    No, we never had an OS u/w with us.  That must be something new they are doing down there.  I miss the Op tempo of the 110's.  I was on the Ocracoke.

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    21 Nov 2010 06:16 PM
    Im sure id like being an OS much better if I was on a cutter.
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    21 Nov 2010 08:49 PM
    Colin just got back from patrol and they chased a log. He was on the radio and when they identified it as a log other people around him said he looked like he had a gut shot! He was so pumped and so excited... a log. Bummer. Then they got another hit... the ship was out there, all electronics on board, 3 or 4 outboards, everything in tact, clean, operational... not a soul in sight! Colin said it was a ghost ship and they needed to just quietly leave the area! LOL He had a few people cracking up as he was insisting it was either ghosts or pirates. Colin has a very warped sense of humor... I don't know where he gets that from! HAHAHAHA
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    22 Nov 2010 08:04 AM
    Thanks Husband... E that's so weird that they inspect you so many times.

    Lol funny moment today I got off duty and we were leaving base, and the guy in front of me another OS was in his mustang... about to pass the gate house and the navy guy walked out and was like HEY! and put his hand out to him but he just kept driving lol, so as I passed him he turned and looked to watch him drive away and threw his arm up "REALLY!?" lmao. I don't know what he wanted to stop him for anyway lol. I don't think anyone coulda stopped him he just got off weekend duty. he was outta there.
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    25 Nov 2010 09:22 AM
    So did they ever find out why there was a vacant ship floating around the ocean?
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    25 Nov 2010 01:43 PM
    sometimes we pick up migrants and stuff off them, spray paint them and leave it. We had one boat that we thought was sinking as it was taking on water, 3 days later we rolled up on it again about 60 miles from where it originally was.
    Bunch of reasons though why there is derelict vessels.
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    26 Nov 2010 07:26 AM
    As far as I was told, no answer as to why that ship was sitting out there just empty and soulless. I don't think it was a migrant ship because it probably cost more than most migrants homes. Migrants are generally in a 46 Chevy or a 2x4 with a sheet for a sail!
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    26 Nov 2010 08:34 AM

    Old Guard,

    There are about 19,230,293 reasons why a boat could be "unmanned and adrift".  It could've lost its anchor line and drifted out, somone could've fallen overboard and we never heard about it, it could've been stolen and used to transport migrants/drugs and abandonded.  Usually if a boat is stolen, the vandals usually "strip" the boat, or take anything of value off of it.  It is a little weird that it was way offshore and unmanned, but you never know what could've happened. 

    Unfortunatley, we do not get to EVERY call, and something may have happened, but my bet is that it was used for some dirty business and abandonded because the people that used it didn't want to get caught "sailing dirty" lol

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    26 Nov 2010 10:28 AM
    hahaha. they tryna catch me sailin' dirty!
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    26 Nov 2010 01:11 PM
    "Sir, do you know why we stopped you?"
    "sailing dirty"
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    29 Nov 2010 08:11 AM
    I don't doubt for one minute there are a multitude of reasons why it was out there like it was, I was jsut stating as far as I was aware, no reason was given as to what it was doing out there. Someone may very well know the exact reason, including Colin, but I just may not be privy to the answer. I don't want to speculate what the reason so the best answer was "As far as I know, no reason for it to be there."
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    29 Nov 2010 08:05 PM
    What kinds of further qualifications can you get as an OS?  I know you can become a boarding team member, but does anyone know of other qualifications?
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    29 Nov 2010 08:21 PM
    In order for an OS to become a BTM/BO you'll need to be attached to a cutter, keep that in mind. As long as you are motivated you can qualify at any watch station at the unit with command approval.
    “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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    03 Dec 2010 09:45 AM
    I didn't know that I'd need to be attached to a cutter (makes sense though). Any other qualifications that come to mind? When I spoke to an OS Chief, he said there would be lots of opportunities for me to do things "in the field" if I chose to become certified. I really wish I would have asked what else he meant besides BTM/BO.
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    04 Dec 2010 05:37 AM
    The qualifications you are eligible for are determined by the unit your unit and rate. There is no need for BO/BTMs at Sectors, so you won't be trained as one. However, if you're motivated you might be able to train in OS positions above your pay grade with Command approval.
    “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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    04 Dec 2010 07:19 AM
    Oh ok. That makes sense. Thanks
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    11 Dec 2010 08:06 AM
    The one thing I will miss is being Operational here at my small boat station. I love getting underway on small boats and splicing lines! But I refuse to become a bm i can't drive a boat for the life of me... well i could for the life of me but i would not enjoy it.
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    24 Dec 2010 01:56 AM
    Posted By FloridaGirl on 29 Nov 2010 09:05 PM
    What kinds of further qualifications can you get as an OS?  I know you can become a boarding team member, but does anyone know of other qualifications?


    One of the guys at my unit used to be attached with the TACLET (Tactical Law Enforcement Team) out of MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) in San Diego, but that was out-of-rate. You can always look for billets like that to do some non-OS stuff.
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    25 Dec 2010 05:48 AM
    Im an OS at a Cams and i love my job there is alot of people here that tell me that going to a cams i sa career killer and i disagree i think it is all in how you take it i see it as my chance to get my college out of the way while still being an os in the guard
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    10 Feb 2011 12:45 PM
    My boyfriend is set to graduate from Cape May in two weeks. In his letters, he's told me that he's choosing OS "A" School because it is a critical rate. His 1st duty station is Charleston, SC on USCGC Dallas. I know it is in port until May. I know the 4 month wait to be put on an "A" school is waived for critical rates and that the wait for OS "A" School is 6 months or less. I guess my question is how long will he be waiting in Charleston to receive his "A" School orders? I read somewhere they receive their orders for "A" School ten weeks in advance. He really just wants to make rank, serve out his commitment (4 years), enter the Reserves and go to law school. Do you think he can receive his orders for school before Dallas goes underway? I am prepared for him being away for extended periods of time, but I really want him to go to "A" school as soon as possible.

    Thank you,
    Nicolle
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    10 Feb 2011 01:11 PM
    So, you're boyfriend is choosing OS A school so he can ditch going to sea on a 378? Wander what he'll try when he gets a cutter out of A school with a big chance of not liking his job.
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    10 Feb 2011 01:24 PM
    No offense but I really hate people who do that. We don't need more OS' that hate their jobs because they go OS just to make rank.  Also be aware that out of my OS class a little less than 50% are underway including myself.

    If he wants to do 4 years and get out that's fine, but to go OS just to 'make rank' is stupid. You can make rank by being determined and working hard. We have a First Class on our boat whose only been in a little less than 5 years. No he's not an OS either.

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    11 Feb 2011 10:51 AM
    I cant hold my tounge on this. I hope he gets there and tries to put his name on the a school list and they tell him he has to be fully qualified before doing it. There is no statement that says they have to approve an A school chit they mgiht not even believe he is mature enough or responsible enough to be a Petty Officer. He might get on the Cutter and spend over a year and i would be happy with that.
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    12 Feb 2011 09:12 PM
    I was actually looking at the "A" school list with a buddy of mine today and OS is no longer critical the only thing that is critical is FS he should go do that cuz we dont need people who only wanna make rate in the OS rating
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    12 Feb 2011 09:20 PM
    Which School list were you looking at? Currently FS, OS, and IS are critical.
    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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    12 Feb 2011 11:38 PM
    It is still critical. They are just changing the bonus info.

    Critical Skills Training Bonus: As per ALCOAST 092/10,effective 01 April 2010, the new CSTB’s are only authorized for
    OS “A” school candidates. The authorized maximum bonus amount for the OS rating is $5,000, payable in lump sum upon
    graduation from OS “A” school. Those who attend OS “A” school must also agree to obligate a minimum of four years active
    duty upon graduation from “A” school. CSTB Agreement Form can be found in Chapter 3.F.8 of the Personnel Manual.
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    21 Feb 2011 08:58 PM
    well the one i had looked at was from december 15 and it had been removed from the critical list on that one but is back for the february list
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    08 Mar 2011 12:03 PM
    i finished my physical today @ meps and got squared away. now im just waiting for my ship date. im probably going to enlist as an os and the recruiter @ meps told me today id probly go straight from boot to a school (which i was kind of bummed about as i would rather go start from the bottom, but ill take it right?). i told my recruiter that i wanted to work on a boat and get underway and he said as a female os i will probly be @ a land job bc not all boats being set up for women. any truth to being a woman os id probly stay on land and not get underway?
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    08 Mar 2011 12:18 PM
    If i were you, I wouldn't take the guaranteed A school. If you want OS, you can add your name to that list and make it pretty quickly into school. Go in and look around a bit. Get stationed on a cutter as a non-rate, see all the different possibilities at the different rates. I'm not a fan of boot to A school ascension, I've never hidden that fact... but since you seem to be a little on the fence, amybe want it, maybe don't... I would forego boot to A and see life from the eyes of a non-rate. remember it isn't easy to switch if you decide you don't really care for the rate once you are there. But you can certainly change your mind while you are still a non-rate. Just my two cents... I'll have to ask Colin if the Seneca has any female OS types.
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    09 Mar 2011 09:57 AM
    thanks old guard, i love to read your posts and i really value what you say. i would like to go to a cutter as a non rate and see what everyone does because aside from os i'm also considering bm or me. they all have their pros and cons and i'm having a hard time saying "this is the one". i guess ill just have to wait and see...thanks again for your help
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    09 Mar 2011 05:15 PM
    Most likely if you go to the fleet as a nonrate, you'll be like, wow I thought a SK did something completely different but what they actually do is cool, or man I really want to be a BM and drive boats..and than you find out what being a BM has to offer and decide, and than you'll see some ITs, a job you never considered, and really like what they have to offer and become an IT. It is best to get out, experience the fleet, see what jobs are available, spend some time working with those people, asking questions, etc. Knowledge is power. There isn't a problem staying in the fleet trying to decide. I had a struggle picking between BM and IT, and I even wanted AMT and ME for a while. Just make a decision for you and only you, ya the BMs might think you're cool and you'll get some fistbumps and they might call you miniboats but really just do what you want, when you transfer it won't really matter what rate you went. There's my soap box.
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    10 Mar 2011 08:56 AM
    thanks for your input guys...i think ive decided i want to go to a cutter as a non rate and see what everyone does. after the 4 months required if i still decide i want os then ill put my name on os a school list & im guessing because its critical i wont be waiting too long?
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    10 Mar 2011 06:54 PM
    Yea only if it remains critical... Even that list seems to be slowing down a bit.
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    11 Mar 2011 12:56 PM
    you'll have a 4-6 month wait after u put your name on.
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    05 Apr 2011 02:55 PM
    Do Operations Specialists need security clearances, and if so, what kind/how high?
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    10 Apr 2011 04:02 PM
    security clearence and level will depend on the unit.

    ~Jen~
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    13 Apr 2011 05:09 PM
    I hate to be a bother to anyone by asking any dumb, or otherwise answered questions, but I'm doing as much research as I can before I'm at Cape May and... well removed from the world lol.

    The rate I really want is AST, I love the ocean, am physically fit, and can surf hurricanes... but I wear glasses and fear for my life that may be disqualifying. That being said, I am considering OS as a secondary choice... not to make rank, or get a nice bonus, but because I like and appreciate the concepts involved. That being said, the video my recruiter showed me looks... for lack of a better work boring. I assume it is not, but I would just like some information about the OS rate and what you do day to day, how long you are aboard a cutter at any one trip at sea, and if anyone knows, do glasses disqualify AST's?

    Thank You all in advance, and thank you for your service. I ship to Cape May on July 12th, and I hope I can bring my gameboy (lol)

    -etaripamai

    PS- anyone know anyone at the Saugerties New York A2Nav billet!?
    Sean- ships July 12th, 2011
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    15 Apr 2011 06:58 AM
    I tried to go AST but injured my knee at school. Before I was in the airman program I was on a cutter out of Virginia. I was there for about 2 years. I got all my paperwork in order and put my name on the school list, but I had the same problem with my eyes. I put my name on the Navy list for eye surgery, after about 4 months of waiting I asked for a waiver to pay and do the eye surgery myself. They granted me the waiver and I got my PRK eye surgery, don't get the LASIK done you will not be able to go aviation in the coast guard.

    Don't get the surgery before Cape May, try to wait it out and let the navy pay for it or if you don't mind paying than get that waiver from medical. Make sure its the PRK surgery. So, I tried AST it was a great experiance going through the airman program and getting to school and pushing past hell week. I am very happy that I tried and I sugest the same for you if you don't mind the wait. I am going to OS school this July so I'll let you know how that goes when I get there if you have questions about that, but follow what you want to do and don't settle for secondary choices.
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    04 May 2011 12:23 PM

    Not posted by me... edited because the question is irrelevant to me.  This edit done by Macie.

    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    05 May 2011 12:59 PM
    Posted By Old Guard2 on 04 May 2011 01:23 PM
    How long does it take to get picked up for OS A school? I have been a seaman for almost 2 years & I am still waiting.

    Well OldGuard

    Since as far as I know, OS is still a critical rate, so that means you can get your name on the list as soon as your command allows it.  Most of the people here have only waited about 4 or 6 months for their orders, so it's pretty quick.  However, rumor is that OS will not be a critical rate much longer so that means the list may slow down, and you will have to wait 4 months to put your name on the list.  But so far that is only a rumor.

    That being said, don't pick a rate simply because you don't want to be a seaman anymore.  You will be stuck doing that job for a long time, and if you hate it, well...that sucks for you.  Once you go to your A school, there will be a certain number of months you must stay in that rate before you can either get out of the CG or change rates.
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    05 May 2011 02:04 PM
    Wow, I didn't post that! My son is wanting to go OS. Florida, you should know I'm that kid in the picture's mom... I'm not active duty... I'm 45. If I were active duty, at this point in my life I would have been waiting a whole lot longer than 2 years for a rate if I were still a Seaman! LOL

    This is disturbing that I know I did NOT post that question. I also know my son did not post that. He has his own account here and if he has questions, he goes to his command. I think he has 2 posts on the forum! Hmmmm.... Chukles?!?!?!?!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    05 May 2011 06:43 PM
    I know you are not active CG lol! Hence the face. I thought you were just asking questions to see if we were paying attention.
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    05 May 2011 08:56 PM
    Macie looks like a problem with the active directory. I'll look into it.
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    07 May 2011 07:38 AM
    Do OS students compete for billets upon graduation from "A" school?  For example, "number 1 graduate" gets first pick...etc...?

    Alex
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    07 May 2011 08:03 AM
    In a way... yes. Someone coming off a ship, gets priority on pick over someone from a land billet, someone from OUTConus gets priority over someone IN, then class ranking factors in. It isn't simply I graduate #1, I pick #1. Being #1 will help you towards the top of the list. Being #1, coming from a ship, stationed in Alaska... that is even better. There are a few other factors but you get the basic idea. I hope that helped. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    08 May 2011 03:38 AM

    Many factors go into picks. The better you do in class the better picks will be for you. You get "Positive SIFs" (Significant Incident Form - these can also be negative if you slip up at school.) for acing tests, or other things you may do that get you noticed. The more volunteer hours in the community the better. Prior service helps as well as time in the fleet. However just because you are from the fleet versus being boot to A doesn't mean you don't have to worry about a thing and you will get your first pick based solely on the fact that you went to the fleet prior to 'A' school. You still need to work hard and do all the right things, pass room inspections, uniform inspections, tests, classes in general... also if you are the assistant class leader or class leader it looks better for picks too.

    When picks come out, the class as a whole will try to work out where they want to go. for example: "I want to go to Sector St. Petersburg because I am originally from there and I don't want to go to a cutter right now because I have a 2 month old son." "Ok, well since that person wants to go there, I guess I've really always wanted to go underway out in California." ... just to give an idea. people will try to work with each other. However, as I'm sure you can guess, it is inevitable that you and someone else will both want the same place. In a perfect world, everyone would have a different #1 pick but that isn't how it works always.

    Personally, I was a boot-to-'A' schooler (though I love my job as an OS I don't recommend this - the bs you get over it gets annoying, although everyone is just messing with me, love my shipmates.) and I got my #3 pick. I did some community service, not that much. I aced all my tests and stuff. When it came time for picks, I put Sector NY Waterways MGMT division #1, and CAMSLANT #2, based solely on the fact that they were the closest picks to where I am originally from (NJ). My #3 pick was USCGC THETIS. In retrospect I am very thankful I got my #3, because I really enjoy getting underway, and I live in Paradise, USA. Key West. Can't beat it... By the way, the people that got Sector NY and CAMSLANT were both boot-to-A as well and those picks were their #1's, to give some insight into the picks process... basically the moral of this story is just go to school, work hard, and let the cards fall where they may, in regards to picks.

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    08 May 2011 04:47 AM
    I think it really varies from class to class....when i got my billet choices they solely based it on how much voluntering we did in the community which was ridiculous. I got 2nd to last pick. lol
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    08 May 2011 12:57 PM
    each school house uses a different matrix now. For ours they don't factor your prior unit into it anymore, but they give us a chance to choose between ourselves before they decide for us.
    Good grades, volunteer, be professional, don't look like a hot mess or come hungover to class and you'll do quite fine.
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    22 Jun 2011 10:04 AM
    Is OS still a Critical rate? I really want to be an OS and my recruiter told me he can help me with Guaranteed "A" School if it still a critical rate when they do my DEP, Tomorrow, I get my ship date and the DEP date, Im really anxious about it, he said he have good news for me, but didn't told me on the phone. Thanks for any reply.
    USCG Sector Command Center Anchorage, Alaska
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    23 Jun 2011 05:28 AM
    it's still critical, but not for long. I really don't see it being critical past this year.
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    24 Jun 2011 04:58 PM
    Husband I have a question,I've been here at my first unit for a few weeks,recently I put my name on the OS A School list because I really enjoy the job they do. My XPO told me my name is on the list and I'm on a security hold. I know they are doing double classes for OS A school right now so hopefully I will be near the top when they update the list next month depending on how many people they take for the July convening. My question is will I still get orders if I'm on a security hold and if not how long does a Secret clearance normally take to be processed?
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    26 Jun 2011 08:19 AM
    Or ssetnicky if you have any info on this I would greatly appreciate it, thanks
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    28 Jun 2011 12:18 PM
    getting a secret clearance can vary depending on the situation... i graduated in sept of last year and reported to camspac with no clearance and it took me 2 months to get it i dont know why but it just varies and im pretty sure if ur on security hold u wont get orders to os a school
    Snos Smith Camspac Pt Reyes
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    19 Jul 2011 02:41 PM
    Anyone know whats going on with OS A School? List hasn't updated yet, so I wanted to know if its still critical and how many people are they taking per class?
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    30 Jul 2011 09:04 PM
    Does anyone have any information on civilian jobs that OS relates to? I'm thinking about joining the reserves in Louisville KY as an OS, but I would like for my CG job and my civilian job to be coherent, if possible. I'm in my middle twenties and a little confused on what to do with myself career wise. I'm super interested in joining the CG, and I'm sticking with just reserves because I'm married and my husband isn't really interested in uprooting. Otherwise, I would definitely go active duty.  If OS is a job that I enjoy, I would like to pursue it/something similar to it elsewhere.

    I was a little disturbed by a comment that someone (USCG Officer) made to me, which was that  they thought the OS job was the "most unfavorable" job for reservists. They said this was b/c of the amount of time needed to qualify for watch standing, and that reservists just aren't able to get the hours in to qualify.  Any comments on this?
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    08 Dec 2011 07:47 PM
    What do OS's on cutters do when their ships are in port?
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    08 Dec 2011 07:57 PM
    If OS is a job that I enjoy, I would like to pursue it/something similar to it elsewhere.


    Think 911 dispatcher. Being a Reservist is pretty much what you make of it. If you put in the hours and the effort you'll be dually rewarded. Putting in the hours can be tough as a Reservist, so you'll have to study in between drills to keep yourself current.
    “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 Mar 2012 02:13 PM
    This thread hasn't been touched in awhile and I'm currently contemplating between choosing SK or OS as my rate. I've gotten alot of great information about SK on this site and was wondering if anyone could tell me their experiences as an OS.

    Here are some questions I have if anyone can answer them, would be great!

    1. Is OS "A" school still guaranteed?
    2. If not, how long can I expect to be on the "A" School wait list? And do I still have to wait the 4 months to put my name on the list since this is a critical rate(atleast I still think it is.)
    3.Where are entry level OS's usually stationed?
    4. What kind of work schedule can I expect? I know it depends on the unit but just to get an idea.
    5.What room(if any) is there for advancement?
    6.How important are math skills for this job?

    That's all I can think of for the moment. Any feedback is greatly appreciated 
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    07 Mar 2012 02:21 PM
    1: no
    2: Currently, 6 to 12 months.
    3: Cutters, Sectors, Districts, Commstas, VTS....all kinds of places
    4: Depends on where you are stationed. We are a 24/7 job, so expect to work nights, weekends, and holidays.
    5: There's lots of room for advancement. Just like any other rate. We advance quickly, until Chief. There things stall out a lot. You need seatime, and it can be difficult to get.
    6: Not that important, but you will need some.

    Any other questions, just ask
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    07 Mar 2012 02:26 PM
    Thanks for the quick response!

    In regards to work schedules. What does a typical day look like? I know it all depends on what rotation you get but it's always nice to have an example 

    Also, I read on other forums that OS are usually stationed at sectors and land units. I'm sure they are on every cutter out there but is it common to get stationed on one right out of "A" school. And in regards to "A" do they teach you everything you need to know? Seems like a scary job to have if you don't know what the hell your doing! 
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    07 Mar 2012 02:33 PM
    According to the current A School list, the 4 month wait at your first unit is not required at this time. Can that change? Absolutely. But for today that is the rule.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    07 Mar 2012 03:24 PM
    Posted By ngonzalez on 07 Mar 2012 03:26 PM
    Thanks for the quick response!

    In regards to work schedules. What does a typical day look like? I know it all depends on what rotation you get but it's always nice to have an example 

    Also, I read on other forums that OS are usually stationed at sectors and land units. I'm sure they are on every cutter out there but is it common to get stationed on one right out of "A" school. And in regards to "A" do they teach you everything you need to know? Seems like a scary job to have if you don't know what the hell your doing! 

    My work schedule is this: 2 days on, 2 days off, sliding weekends.  So, I work: Monday, Tuesday, off Wednesday, Thursday, work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, then reverse it.  Off Monday, Tuesday, work Wednesday, Thursday, off Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  I work 12 hours each day, 7 to 7.  Every 4 weeks I switch from days to nights.  Some units are 3 days on, 3 days off.  I know someone who is 4 days on, 4 days off, 8hour shifts.  I have another friend who is off 4 days, works a 12 hour day shift, followed by a 12 hour night shift, then off again.  It is so varied.

    80% of us are on land units.  If you get a cutter is a crap shoot.  We had 1 cutter billet out of a-school, but we had someone that just reported and said their list was 50/50 land cutters.  That was completely opposite of all the classes that were there when I was in Petaluma last year.  Each of the 8 classes that went through in that time only has a cutter or two each.  We are only on cutters 210' and up.  Often times with cutter billets they are male only/female only so that will come into play.

    They teach you a lot in a school.  But when you show up at your unit, you will realize you know nothing. Don't worry, your unit will train you (everyone has their own list of requirements, so I can't tell you what that process will be like for you) on their equipment.  And I don't care how trained you are at a-school or during your break-in period, you hear Mayday that first time, you try not to soil your pants.  It's a very exciting at times, but it can be very, very dull - and it is dull, most of the time.  You literally sit around for hours, sometimes days, doing nothing.  Most of us take a lot of college classes, so there is an upside.  But when you get a case though, all hell breaks lose.  A lot of people really hate being an OS.  They want to be out there, they can't stand sitting around.  Please know this when you get it.  I love it, but it is NOT for everyone.  I would not recommend it if you didn't know what you were getting yourself into.

    When you have a crew of a boat that abandons ship in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska, with no life raft, and no way of communicating with them once they jump ship, you get really scared.  To finally hear from them again after several hours and know that they are ok thanks to a fellow mariner, and to tell them we have sent out a helo that will be in in 30 minutes, well, nothing compares to the satisfaction.  We still have no idea how those people survived, nevermind without suffering hypothermia.
    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    10 Mar 2012 03:19 PM
    Wow! Thank you for the awesome response.

    You said you love being an OS, what do you love about it?

    What type of work do you do?

    I've definitely heard people say that OS is a boring rate and if you want action it's not for you. So, in other words are you sitting at a desk all day? What is the scenario like. I'm really trying to decide between SK and OS! 
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    10 Mar 2012 05:26 PM
    Florida Girl, also tell her the things you don't like as much about the job. I know when I was a nonrate that was exploring my options, I was always more influenced by the things people didn't like about their jobs as compared to what they did like.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    10 Mar 2012 06:40 PM
    Roger that, Chief.

    I'll start with the bad. This is probably the single most boring job in the CG. Seriously DULL. You have no freakin' idea. Some places are busier than others, my unit is pretty slow. I could explain why (because I am on watch and have nothing better to do today) but its irrelevant. SK and OS are both desk jobs. At least as an SK, if your work is done and your command is cool, you can go home a bit early. You get off for Morale events. Red letter days you get off. Us? Ha. Very funny.

    Let me take a step to the side real quick though - any rate can have watch/duty in the CG. My fiance is a YN and he stands duty once every two weeks, so that means he spends the night at his unit because someone has to be there at all times. Depends on the unit what this duty entails, but everyone takes a turn. And yes, your turn could be on Christmas. Welcome to the military. As an OS, since standing watch is all we do, we get out of this requirement. So that can be a perk. HOWEVER, if your normal watch rotation falls on a holiday, you work. For me, I have a 50/50 chance of working a major holiday, while my fiance only has 1 in 14, see the difference?

    Being an OS, especially one just out of a-school, is kinda crappy. It's not all search and rescue planning, or whatever it is most people believe when they start out. You sit in a booth and listen to static. For 12 hours. That's a long freakin' time. Yes, it does ruin your hearing. We were told in a-school that an OS (and whatever rate in the Navy is a radio operator) is the only job that the VA gives automatic disability to after you get out. Now, this could be old news, but yeah, I could by it. However, as you advance, you will get the chance to do all the cool things. But you have to work your way up.

    The plus side: Honestly, yes the job is mostly the bad. But as I have mentioned, my dad was a firefighter. He joined to fight fires and save lives. But how often was that? Oh sure, over his entire career quite a few times. But daily? It was mostly dull stuff. Waiting around, cleaning the trucks, making sure things where ready. But when that alarm sounded, oh boy! You have to kind of think of it that way. Is the satisfaction of working a case enough to outweigh everything else? For a lot of people, that's a no. Maybe it would be easier to deal with if they were actually on a boat or a helo in all the action. But that stuff isn't for me. Oh sure, it's fun and all. But I really enjoy being the cool, level one in the middle of someone else's chaos. Someone calls out Mayday, and it's a serious thing. You don't know what's going on. Most times, they are scared out of their minds. You are in control, you are the reassurance. You are the answer to their prayer that someone hears them and knows they need help. For me that is immensely satisfying. It can be a lot of stress too, because you just don't know sometimes. Did I get the right position? What was that sound I heard just now? And yes, there are ways to deal with this, but when you aren't there, it's a whole other kind of frustration.

    Another big perk for me is the variety of things you can do. Being on a cutter is totally different, so I can't really describe that side to you. Once I advance a bit, I can plan the SAR cases, which is really cool. You look at so many different factors, and say, "We need to send this asset here." That involves a lot of planning, experience, forethought, and just flat out good judgement when you have no other clue. If I really want to change, I can go to a VTS, or the Vessel Traffic Service. It's like an air traffic controller for ships. I can take a job working with Secret/Top Secret material. I can work in emergency managment. I love that I have some variety. Once you become a non-rate, ask your command to go to a Sector and see what we do. Just remember, 90% boredom, 10% chaos. Gotta live for the 10%!
    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    10 Mar 2012 06:55 PM
    Well put. Every job has its good and bad qualities. I am fairly sure that I would have had a happy career no matter which rating I chose. I decided to be an SK because the SK's at my unit always seemed to be happy. I realize that isn't the best way to decide your future career, but it was enough for me at the time. There have been days where I wished I had chosen a job with more action to it, but overall I am happy with my decision. I advanced to Chief Petty Officer in less than 13 years (I hit my 13 year mark this coming week), and there's still plenty of time to make Master Chief before I retire. If I had it to do all over again, there's a good chance I would have made the same decision. However, I think I could have also been happy being a PA, DC, or MK. One of the greatest things about the Coast Guard is having the ability to choose whatever rating you want, as long as you qualify for it on the ASVAB and medically. That being the case, it's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. You have to find the job that appeals to you the most, fits your personality and work ethic, and ultimately makes you the happiest. Things like the speed of advancement and re-enlistment bonuses are nice, but they should be somewhat of an afterthought, since advancement rates and bonuses have a way of changing from year to year.

    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    11 Mar 2012 07:29 AM
    I have a question.  I am attending OS A school in a week and I have a mustache.  I know at basic (despite the reg's) we were not allowed any facial hair whatsoever.  Is it different at A school? 

    Thank you

    P.S.  I would like to hear from people who have attended A school, not SN/FN's who have heard from friends and certainly not mom's who think they are the ultimate source of information on anything CG because they misunderstood a quickly typed email from thier son who just got off the midwatch about a story they heard from an officer about a guy they served with on the Eagle who was an ancient BMCM who...  yadayadayada.  Thanky you.
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    11 Mar 2012 08:27 AM
    Woah, the PS was really rude. Drop the attitude. Most of the Mom's on this forum have been around a bit and know what they are talking about. And I wouldn't talk poorly about other SN/FNs if you are one.  Remember, you are about to start your training as a Petty Officer.  You need to learn to lead by example and follow your superiors with due respect.  This includes online. 

    But yes, you can have a mustache, it's in regs. All of the guys in my class grew theirs out for "Mustache May".
    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    11 Mar 2012 09:46 AM
    lol you might want to see who cjbr89 is.

    Colin just make sure it's in the regs especially during that indoc week.
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    11 Mar 2012 09:52 AM
    FG, That little snot is mine. He is mocking THIS mom in particular! He isn't actually that rude, that was for my benefit because I talk about the forum to him. As you can see by his abundance of posts he isn't here very often, he hears those sorts of stories from me all the time... all while rolling his eyes. (Since I'm a mom, I can hear the eye roll over the phone even!) As for the SN/FN thing, he just doesn't want speculation from someone that hasn't been there, just someone that has been to Petaluma and know what's expected there. He knows what he has heard, he wants to know people know!

    Moustache May??
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    11 Mar 2012 09:52 AM

    I'd say my bad, but since I was clueless and missed the sarcasm, I apologize for nothing   Especially since I was defending his mom!  Since he's heard the stories, then I assume I can be forgiven since we do occasionally get REAL brats on here.

     

    EDIT: I don't know...Febu-hairy, Mustache March, Mustache May, Mo-vember.  I think the men just want an excuse for facial hair.  I don't get it.

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    11 Mar 2012 10:07 AM
    If you're jelly because the men are having all the fun...

    I submit DecemBROW hahahahaahaaaa

    http://feministing.com/2010/12/02/w...decembrow/

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    11 Mar 2012 10:13 AM
    I threatened to draw in a unibrow the last day of Movember. Had no idea about Decembrow though haha.

    Conan grew out a mustache for Movember. It came to see me the first week of December and before he got here asked me if he should keep it or not. I think my response was "You don't shave, I don't shave." He shaved. HA! He looks very dashing with some chin stubble, but mustache? Not on him. Ewww.
    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    11 Mar 2012 10:49 AM
    Trust me when I say a moustache is NOT Colin's best look. I can grow a better moustache! He has his fathers genes for that one... both of them look like a caterpillar crawled on their lip & proceeded to die there. LOL
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    11 Mar 2012 11:24 AM
    OG2 got it on the nose by what meant by my PS. I meant it seriously with a touch of sarcasm. I just hear alot of stories about inexperienced people who haven't even been to MEPS and think they are an encylopedia of knowledge.

    Anyway, thank you for the replies. Your help is keeping little Roberto alive
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    11 Mar 2012 11:52 AM
    one thing that will be a constant nag is your hair...it has to be short short the whole time. It's stupid to have regs if the tracen is making their own.
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    11 Mar 2012 10:26 PM
    Oh God, he named it. We are all doomed!

    YN1 Dawson will either love you for your 'stache if it is good, or call you out if it sucks. I'll let you figure out which side you fall on.

    E, we never had anyone get in trouble for hair too long, and we had some long haired guys!  They do get on your about the behind the neck tapper though.  That way in Kodiak too. 
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    12 Mar 2012 05:55 AM
    Oh that thing is a hot mess, too! So I'm sure even I can figure out how YN will feel about it! Jimmy used to make me cut his hair, you know how much those darn barbers cost (same sarcasm as Colin), I could never get that taper right. Then he would go to work, inspect himself and fail himself for not having a proper taper! That's my life!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    12 Mar 2012 08:23 AM
    Posted By FloridaGirl on 11 Mar 2012 11:26 PM
    Oh God, he named it. We are all doomed!

    YN1 Dawson will either love you for your 'stache if it is good, or call you out if it sucks. I'll let you figure out which side you fall on.

    E, we never had anyone get in trouble for hair too long, and we had some long haired guys!  They do get on your about the behind the neck tapper though.  That way in Kodiak too. 

    It's YNC Dawson now, and if it's out of regs, he will surely let you know.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    12 Mar 2012 08:32 AM
    The 'stache isn't out of regs... it is just 70's porn cheese type of 'stache! And I have no idea how but his facial hair seems to grow in red in color. Blonde hair but red moustache. He had the makings of a very pathetic beard while he was here on leave and that too was reddish in color. Very odd indeed!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    12 Mar 2012 09:00 PM
    Yep and Chief Dawson will make you get a Dawson cut at the barbershop
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    16 Mar 2012 09:02 AM
    Here's another question for you OS types.  Living a military life for all of my life, I know how specific he military can be with stuff, but I like to play on the safe side.  The list of wha is in a required full seabag says USCG Physical fitness shirt (4) and USCG Physical fitness shorts (4).  This is coming from this page http://uscg.mil/uniform/requireduniforms.asp 

    my question is what about CG swim shorts/suit?  Don't wanna have to show up without it, get yelled at, prove them wrong then get yelled at more.

    Thank you
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    16 Mar 2012 12:28 PM
    We had swim days and no one ever wore their CG suit. If it's not on the seabag list, you're fine. They like to check for out of season stuff, like trench coats in July...
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    09 Apr 2012 12:47 AM
    All OS's at Sectors and afloat units are requiered to have at least a secret level clearance. All underway OS's billets require a Top Secret clearance according to billet requierements, unfortunately only personnel directly involved with EKMS are been allowd to request a TS SSBI clearence on most of the units. Remember that as a OS you will be mostly working in restricted spaces and will have access to classified information.
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    09 Apr 2012 01:02 AM

    I was stationed at Sector san Juan for 6 years and had a 4 on 4 off rotation (2days/2nights) 12HR watches.
    Tough hours but provided ample free time to spend with the family and other things.(hence the 106 days off leave that I have now!
    Now I'm stationed on the Venturous out of ST Petersburg,Fl.
    During in-ports: regular workdays trop hrs(0700-1300) and duty every 6 days
    Underway: 16hr workdays including 02 watches of 04 hrs exept for sundays(usualy holiday routine)
    We have been uderway more than 220 days for the last 2 years and this year looks like 235+ 60 days in drydock.
    Boat life is fun, but it's extremly hard on relationships and family. Can't wait for this tour to end and go back to a Sector as a OUC or a EKMS mannager.

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    06 May 2012 09:57 AM
    I just put my name on the list, how does it work with extending for the 4 years to get the $5,000 bonus?
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    06 May 2012 10:51 AM
    the YN will come into your class at the beginning and say "Sign this paper - yes you want the bonus or no you don't". They will tell you also how much time you need to extend for.

    Be forwarned, if you do not take the bonus, your unit may require that you extend your contract anyway. We had several people in my class that only wanted to do their 2 years of obliserv after a-school then get out. But they had to extend for an extra year because of their billet. You won't know where you are going when you are offered the bonus, so make sure you absolutely KNOW what you want to do.
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    10 May 2012 04:20 PM
    Pretty much everyone in my class took the bonus for this reason.....state of the economy. If you are in the CG, you should definitely consider the bonus for the simple reason of the economy still being in shambles at the moment. FloridaGirl is right about the extension at your unit also, while most cutters out of A-School are 2 year billets, the sector billets can range from 3-4 years, in which you are obligated to serve out.
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    10 May 2012 04:20 PM
    Oh and you only get one shot too say yes or no, it's not like you can say no and then change it to a yes later on, this is a one time offer.
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    15 May 2012 12:50 PM
    What do OS's do on cutters? I have an idea with there sector jobs but what about u/w?
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    15 May 2012 02:25 PM
    Underway you do a lot of charting, target tracking, and handling classified material (often times the OSs on the boat are the only ones that know something). You have the secondary plot of a boats course if the bridge is unable to keep it for some reason.
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    11 Jun 2012 08:41 AM
    Can anyone give me an idea how long A school is?
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    11 Jun 2012 09:28 AM
    18 weeks.
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    13 Jun 2012 06:24 PM
    I'm 36 on the list and they are taking 12 people for September, October and December. Any idea when I might go?
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    13 Jun 2012 07:56 PM
    If all 35 in front of you have no holds, I would say December. If 12 or more have holds and they aren't cleared before orders are issued possible for October. But I would figure December.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    26 Jun 2012 02:47 PM
    I am headed off to A School within the next few days. My report date is on the 1st of July. I am kind nervous that it's going to be similar to bootcamp? I was on a 378 so things are a little different.
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    26 Jun 2012 08:44 PM
    Chief Dawson wants you to think it's bootcamp all over again for about 5 minutes. It's mostly to scare you into paying attention. But really, just be prepared, look sharp, and after the first week, it'll be a vacation for you. You will have lots of uniform inspections, so just make sure to spend some time on that Classes are from 7:30 to 3:30, you march as a class. Other than that, your time is your time to do what you will, unless you have duty.
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    29 Jun 2012 03:25 PM
    Posted By FloridaGirl on 26 Jun 2012 09:44 PM
    Chief Dawson wants you to think it's bootcamp all over again for about 5 minutes. It's mostly to scare you into paying attention. But really, just be prepared, look sharp, and after the first week, it'll be a vacation for you. You will have lots of uniform inspections, so just make sure to spend some time on that Classes are from 7:30 to 3:30, you march as a class. Other than that, your time is your time to do what you will, unless you have duty.

    Thank you, FloridaGirl! It's great to be forewarned 
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    29 Jun 2012 10:18 PM
    Sadly, Chief Dawson isn't doing indoc anymore, but I think he's still supervising while the new people learn how, so hopefully you'll still get the YNC Dawson experience
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    29 Jun 2012 10:39 PM
    WHAT?!?!?! He's the best part of A-school!
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    02 Jul 2012 06:20 PM
    Who's doing INDOC then?????
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    02 Jul 2012 08:08 PM
    Don't quote me on this, but I believe it's an SK1 and an ET1 training to do it. Not sure of their names though.
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    03 Jul 2012 10:35 AM
    ET1 Mason? Bald guy? He's pretty cool
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    03 Jul 2012 04:37 PM
    FloridaGirl, he's ETC Mason now lol
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    03 Jul 2012 04:51 PM
    Apparently I need to read the advancement lists. I am always shocked when someone advances.
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    16 Jul 2012 09:38 PM
    Any heads up on study material I can get a head start on? Also any suggestions on stuff to bring with me?
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    17 Jul 2012 12:05 AM
    Shell, they will teach you everything you need to know. I wouldn't worry about studying before - school is easy enough. Bring with you whatever you want (within reason). Nights can get chilly, even in summer so bring a jacket or hoodie.
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    21 Jul 2012 11:40 PM
    I just returned from a week in Petaluma... OMG, fabulous! The days were warm enough that it was comfortable, the nights were cold and that was even more comfortable! I am a cool to cold weather girl... I'm sure it does get warm but if that is the norm, I would move to Petaluma (or that area) in a heartbeat!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    22 Jul 2012 02:00 AM
    It was like that last summer too, so I would say it was the norm. It was wonderful. I loved it. Hubs and I want to go back there
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    17 Aug 2012 12:34 PM
    I know this varies from unit to unit but what is the watch/duty rotation as an OS3 at a sector or cutter?
    Thanks
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    17 Aug 2012 04:57 PM
    Can't speak for cutters, but sectors are usually some sort of 2 days on, 2 days off (or 3 days on, 3 days off) variation. Usually 12 hours. I know 1 person that does 8 hours, but she does not work at a Sector.

    I work 2 days, 2 days off, sliding weekends. So, I will work M, T, off W, F, work, F, Sat, Sun, off M, T, work W, T, off F, Sat, Sun. I switch from days to nights every 4 weeks.
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    19 Aug 2012 04:47 PM
    I saw on the newest A school wait lists that OS school is 9 months to a year wait time. Lots of what I've read has said that either OS school may be a possible guaranteed for someone in DEP or, more often, people are mentioning that this is proof that the OS rating is gonna be phased out.
    Since I'm currently an outsider looking in, I figure this is mostly scuttlebutt. Thoughts?
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    19 Aug 2012 05:52 PM
    No way the OS rating gets phased out. They're way too important to the CG. Not sure where that theory may have come from. As far as guaranteed school, the only guaranteed A school right now is Food Service Specialist. There's been no indication that OS will be added tithe guaranteed list any time soon.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    19 Aug 2012 06:41 PM
    that's what I figured.  My brother-in-law was an OS before he switched to IS when it came out and based on what he told me and what I've read, OS's do a lot!  I can't figure them getting phased either.  Most of what I'd read mentioned merging OS with something else.  
    Couldn't help but ask though.  Thanks for the speedy replies Cooch!
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    19 Aug 2012 07:14 PM
    OS is a combination of the old RD, TC, and even some small parts of the QM ratings. I don't forsee them merging again. If anything, I've heard some people that want them to split back into two separate ratings. At this point though, a lot of time and money has been invested into this rating, so I can't see it happening. Stranger things have happened though. Look at the LE side. They took a part-time collateral duty (maritime law enforcement) and built an entire rating around it.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    23 Aug 2012 04:25 PM
    Chief Dawson was during my Indoc, and was part of it during activities. He is awesome.
    USCG Sector Command Center Anchorage, Alaska
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    01 Sep 2012 10:33 PM
    He's a very cool guy. Former Company Commander as well.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    25 Sep 2012 04:58 PM
    Does anyone know the waiting list for OS ? and what to study to get me ready for A school...
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    25 Sep 2012 05:24 PM
    the waiting list says 9-12 months. I just put my name on the list Aug. 7th and I will be going to the Feb. or March class. so about 6 months for me.
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    26 Sep 2012 11:52 PM
    you wouldn't happen to recollect the shortest school times...
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    27 Sep 2012 04:49 AM
    Here is the school list: http://www.uscg.mil/epm/docs/a-schoollist.pdf

    Don't pick a school based solely on wait time.
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    27 Sep 2012 05:23 AM
    Legacy,

    Picking an A School based only on wait times would make you very unhappy and pretty much a really bad Petty Officer. Something worth having is worth waiting for. To just attempt to make Petty Officer by any means, any rate... poor, poor choice!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    13 Oct 2012 07:43 PM
    I second that of Old Guard2, I have had to many OS3's work for me that just went to the school because of either the wait time or the bonus they were offering, and they were misserable their entire tour....this not only effects the member, it effects everyone they work with and for....

    Please make your choice of rate based on your research of the job itself, if not for yourself but for all the shipmates you will be working with.

    OSC
    Senior Chief Operations Sepcialist, USCGC Stratton
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    13 Oct 2012 07:47 PM
    Chief, Welcome aboard. I hope you join us in many conversations.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    23 Oct 2012 08:18 PM
    you will be taught everything from the instructors at a-school.
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    24 Oct 2012 06:39 PM
    I am joining the CG and leave for boot camp in jan or feb. I am considering being an OS (debating between an OS or an IT) and i was wondering which is suggested. thanks! (i scored a 90 on the asvab and I have a 4 year degree if that makes a difference)
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    24 Oct 2012 09:51 PM
    Well they are two totally different ratings. You have to pick which one is right for you. Talking on the radio vs. working on computers. Take a look around this thread and the IT thread to get some more info on those ratings.
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    02 Dec 2012 04:10 PM
    Hey OS3's


    I just took the new OS2 ERATS test, super hard. Has anyone passed, and if so what are you studying and what manuals are you looking in for the tests?


    I have started a sweet study guide.

    Let me know


    OS3 Rachel Kammler

    Sec San Diego JHOC
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    05 Jan 2013 05:54 PM
    I am debating between becoming an OS or an IT.  Do you have any advice?  thank you!
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    06 Jan 2013 08:22 AM
    Depends on what you like, IT's work on phone lines and things like that.

    An OS works on Operations for a Sector. I see cases from medivac's to law enforcement and oil spills. We stand a different duty then anyone and most of the OS world only has that duty. I believe here in SD, ITs stand their duty and some stand OOD.  IT's stand an oncall duty and overnight duty. I dont know a lot about the IT rate. I do know that if I need my phones fixed I call the duty IT. 
     

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    06 Jan 2013 12:18 PM
    I am an IT if you have questions. IT and OS are two very different rates.
    here is a response I wrote about what i do day to day:
    Yeah it matters if you are at Land and then what type of land unit you're at. On Cutters you can be an independent duty IT by yourself or have some small support. You take care of the server on the cutter and all the users. You won't be running new cabling in the ship since the computers/phones never move. ESUs (Electronic Systems Support unit) take care of a lot of administration stuff and actually I don't know too much about them even though I was just at one a week ago. ESDs (Electronic Support Detachments) are the working ITs. A normal day as an IT is a pretty broad range some days you're just working tickets taking care of a broken power supply or installing something for a user. Some days you'll be running cable or fiber, doing a phone move, troubleshooting runs, programming switches, deploying a new server, etc. My ESD supports several units over 3 states and a couple cutters so we do some driving to get to them. Usually I am on the road 2-3 times a week going to units. The last week I was at work I troubleshot a station's pier phone and the cable run out to the pier, troubleshot a phone run at another station and replaced a handset that was bad, reprogrammed 2 Cisco switches, finished working on the COOP kit(in case of a hurricane we relocate the base to a secure building) making sure we had inventories, the server password was set right, the laptops were all ready to deploy, I went and practiced Cooping working on getting our network to work with another government agency's network. After that I troubleshot a cutters phone system because they couldn't get their alarms and whistle to work and it was just a loose cable. Sometimes doing things like 100 user transfers can get boring but each job does have it's ups and downs.


    Here is the IT A school thread: http://www.uscg.org/Forum/aft/7381.aspx
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    08 Jan 2013 11:31 AM
    In my research it seemed like IT's worked mostly on phones as opposed to computers.  is this true?  do you like your job and what are some props and cons?
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    08 Jan 2013 11:47 AM
    You posted this is the OS thread. You might want to repost in the IT thread.
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    08 Jan 2013 01:37 PM


    Qualifications:

    You should have the ability to work in a stressful and high-paced environment, aptitudes for working with computer-based applications, and exceptional attention to detail. You must have normal color vision, normal hearing, be a U.S. citizen and become eligible to access classified information.


    This is one of the ratings that I am interested in. I was wondering, what is normal hearing? Do they test your hearing again or do they go by the MEPS hearing test results?
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    23 Jan 2013 08:00 PM
    hey everyone im currently a nonrate in the cg and trying to figure out what rate to go. OS is one of my choices. I stand watch at my station and have been told that OS is very similar. is that true and what other kind of jobs do they hold? I enjoy working cases and the excitment that comes with it. I have read through some of this thread but any further information and advice is greatly appeciated. Thanks!
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    31 Jan 2013 02:17 PM
    Hey OS's! So Navy offered me IS, Coast Guard Res offered me OS... And I'm going Coast Guard! I'm older (34) and doing DEPOT in June, A School in July and I want to deploy AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I wasn't able to go active as anything other than FS (done too much FS in the civilian world already) so Res was my best option. How often do voluntary deployments come up for reservists, ballpark- once a year? 6 times a year? Once every 2 years? Thanks, OS's.

    PS- does it make a difference that my reserve base is a PSU? Good or bad?
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    01 Feb 2013 07:31 AM
    If you're at a PSU you should definitely be deploying. Your unit should be able to give you an idea of their deployment schedule.
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    01 Feb 2013 07:49 AM
    Look thru this thread and others in this section. There are lots of OS ones that are fairly recent. Reservist just do 8 hour days instead of 12.
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    20 Mar 2013 01:05 AM
    what are the best perks of being an OS? Can they be part of a boarding team? Are they likely to be assigned to a large cutter because i would love that.? I'm leaving to boot camp on june 25th of this year, if i bust my butt to get qualified to put my name on an A list how long would it take to make E-4?
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    20 Mar 2013 06:00 AM
    My son is an OS aboard the MIDGETT. When his ship returns to port he will have been underway for his longest patrol ever. He was stationed on the SENECA before A School and he did some decent trips. I think he is ready to touch down on some solid ground though. LOL

    I believe, the last time I checked anyway, the wait time for OS A school is about 6-10 months. So bust buttons, get qualified, show that you should be on the list for advancement and get your name on the A School list. Expect for it to take about 2 years-ish. But please... really WANT to be an OS and not just see the advancement light at the end of the tunnel. FloridaGirl and my son are both OS's. They will both tell you, the exciting moments, are really exciting. The rest of your 8-12 hour shift is listening to static, watching blips on a screen and dull. Of course a dull day for an OS probably means really great days for fisherman and the like.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    20 Mar 2013 07:57 AM
    Posted By Old Guard2 on 20 Mar 2013 07:00 AM
     Of course a dull day for an OS probably means really great days for fisherman and the like.

    Basically.  Its what we said at the hospital too.  "Did you have a good day at work?" "Depends what side of the counter you were on."  Good for us = probably a crappy day for someone else.

    Yes, we are on cutters 210' and longer.  You can be part of a boarding team, but how often you do them is up to the cutter.  Usually you won't do many.  The best perk of being an OS varies person to person I suppose.  Some people like the down time to take online classes.  I like knowing I was the person that was there for you, from beginning to end.  You said you needed the CG, I heard you.  I talked to you, reassured you, listened to your fear, and only let go when things were all over.   I may not ever meet you or see you, but you are alive because of me.

    There is a lot of down time. You are stuck behind a desk for 12 hours at a time. Its the most boring job in the history of ever.  Until its not.  90% boredom, 10% chaos.  I wouldn't have it any other way.
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    20 Mar 2013 11:27 AM
    See im not joining OS for advancement because my recruiter told me all about that area. I was told it can be so wonderful and stressful and then really boring, but told me its like being a quarterback for a team. I love great responsibility. I also took into account although may like other rates i also have to think about my future. i prefer not to sit in a rank for most of my career. 
    but i also like the excitement and the outdoors. If you can give me another rate with a pretty good advancement not a fast one like FS because i may never like the job for that reason but one that has things to see. 
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    20 Mar 2013 01:31 PM
    BMs and MKs see things. Most ratings see things, almost all of the ratings have cutter opportunities, some of them are at only certain paygrades, but thats usually relevant to how much seatime is needed for that particular rating. FS has the highest seatime requirement, and FS, BM, and MK usually would have idealy rotating one tour shore one tour sea. ET and DC are up there in seatime too. Then maybe EM and OSs. The lowest seatime is probably SK, YN, and PAs.

    BMs work outside a lot. Engineers mostly work inside.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    20 Mar 2013 01:58 PM
    But there are so many BMs and im pretty sure its hard to advance (correct me if im wrong), but again im not looking just to get promotions because if that was the case i would do FS. I just dont want to be E-3 forever. I want to do something thats great even its behind a radar and waiting for that mayday call but i would love to be on the deck and be for of boarding teams that seize other ships for drugs.
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    20 Mar 2013 02:13 PM
    If you are an OS, you are going to spend the majority of your time in a windowless vault, either in the middle of a ship or in a building somewhere. If you want to be outside, being an OS is probably not for you.
    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    20 Mar 2013 02:31 PM
    @Floridagirl that i do know of and that i do accept. i just figure to ask some questions about their extended objectives if they had any. But the thing i love about being part of the coast guard is that ill have the chance to see some rates before i choose
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    23 Mar 2013 10:37 AM
    You choose a rating, not a rate.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    23 Mar 2013 02:50 PM
    I wouldn't base your decision off of advancement opportunities. It is always changing.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    26 Mar 2013 05:00 PM
    Exactly, before OS's were advancing at an extremely high rate. Now with the new ERATS, OS's will not advancing as fast as they once were.
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    02 May 2014 11:21 AM
    <----- I'm an OSC and I'd be happy to try and answer any questions about the OS rating.
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    06 May 2014 02:17 PM
    i just got orders to a school and i would like to know what to expect on a cutter. i hear at a station its pretty much a 12hr watch and a 2 on 2 off type of deal. also if there was any advice you would give to new OS personnel what would you say?
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    06 May 2014 05:49 PM
    Congratulations on the receipt of orders!  Petaluma is a great place to learn your rating.  I had a much better time there at TC school than my three weeks at Yorktown for SAR school.

    My only experience as an OS on a cutter was my most recent tour before recruiting. I was on the CGC RELIANCE from 2010-13 as the OS1. The Command, Control, Communications (C3) suite on a 210' is very simplistic and minimal, so much so that the watch is manned by one petty officer (OS, ME, ET and IT), during normal operations. That's where you come in. You will be expected to learn how to operate, tune, load crypto, and monitor the radios, RADAR repeater, SIPRNet user terminals, and infrared camera system. You will also be the backup plotters to the bridge during special sea detail, rarely were we used, but we plotted fixes to keep us proficient for quarterly drills and TSTA. The C3 suites on the larger cutters that have OSs can be much greater in size and complexity and they usually require a two watch standers or more during normal operations. If you want to see the latest technology that OSs are required to be proficient in, go to a WMSL (BERTHOLF, STRATTON, etc.)

    If you have your choice of going to a 210' or a 270', try for the 210'. You will be doing the exact same operations (AMIO, counter drug, SAR, etc.) but have a smaller, closer crew, and even more opportunity to gain responsibility. On a 210' the OS1 and OS2 are the EKMS managers, whereas on a 270+ it's usually the OSC and OS1. My OS2s were able to gain all of their competencies needed for OS1 and OSC on the 210'. We even had E-4/5s as in port OODs, which you will not see on a 270'.

    My bit of advise to a new OS... get afloat for your first unit! I don't know about you, but I joined the CG to see the world and get out on the ocean. Which is why I was happy to go to a 378' out of bootcamp. Get that sea time out of the way for OSC early and knock out as many competencies as allowed at your unit type. You can never have too many qualifications these days with CRSP, HYT, and the new reenlistment guidelines.  Keep in mind you will not get all of your RPQS sign offs completed on a cutter, most will require you to go TDY or visit the nearest Sector several times.
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    28 Dec 2015 08:07 AM

    Good Morning everyone,

    There hasnt been very many recent threads about the OS rating so I was wondering if anyone out of A school recently could let me know what there billet list looked like or if anyone knows what they have been looking like. I will be shadowing an OS later this week at sector and if I enjoy the job i would like to put my name on the A school list. But I am looking at trying to be at a sector so I can finish my bachelors degree. I am also unsure on how the choosing of billets goes. I am at a small boat station currently and have served only 4 months at my current unit. Does grades or anything like that still get factored in? I am also married which I am sure doesnt account for anything but I am trying to get all the details for my wife and I before we commit to moving again already. I really appreciate any input at all.

    Respectfully

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    28 Dec 2015 10:07 AM
    It is hard to judge anything by past, even the very recent past, on billet selections. This time might be all underway billets, next time all land billets. It simply doesn't add up to any figuring as to what might or might not be available.

    Also, I know this is the internet and everyone seems to believe, for that reason, things can be lax and no one should notice. However, I do notice and it grates on my last nerve. You are striving to be an educated individual, I respect that. An attempt at proper English would be a good thing. Let your education show through and be proud of anything you write, even on the internet.

    My son is an OS and loves his work. But be aware it is typically hours of boredom, followed by minutes of pure adrenaline pumping action, the day completed with boredom. It is a good rating, if it is something you can deal with.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    28 Dec 2015 11:40 AM
    I graduated last year from A school and our picks were mostly land billets. The notes from the RFMC seem to indicate that they are trying to get more seagoing OS's out in the fleet.

    They went off time in service and sea time for picks. The less than a year people in with no sea time got the bottom of the barrel. They don't really go off of grades for A school just a go or no go scoring platform.
    A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
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    30 Dec 2015 06:59 PM
    I apolgize for my sloppy grammar. I swear that the age of texting and the ease in which to be lazy while communicating has ruined me!

    Thank you for all of the advice. I am excited to be the first responder in a case I enjoy currently standing watch at my station, while its a rush everytime you get a call knowing your the person who can make them feel like help is on the way is what is enticing about the position.

    Like I said I would like to return to school to finish my degree which is possible from a position at a sector from what I understand? If I am on a cutter I dont believe it would be possible, especially since they are mostly large cutters. I would be nervous because I have no sea time as I am at a small boat station and also I am putting my name on the list with not much time in service. If I wanted to get a top pick would you suggest waiting to put my name on the list until I have more time in service?

    Thank you
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    09 Jul 2019 08:09 PM
    I've been reading through these forums for a while now and I just want to throw myself out there. 

    I am in the process of enlisting, I took my ASVAB last week and now all my paper work is being looked at my MEPS. I qualified for every job except for Damage Control, my highest scores came from the electronics and mathematics portion of the test. That being said I am interested in OS, ET, EM, or AET.  

    The critical rates interested me the most because I can go to A school right after boot camp and knock all of that out in half a year or so. My wife will be completing her last spring semester of community college while I am completing boot camp/beginning A school. After that semester she can transfer to any state school in the country for child development and finish her degree. I was torn between choosing a critical rate or choosing a rate with a long wait time so we aren't moving around halfway through her degree. 

    I know most people say to go in first and find out what rates you like before you choose your fate. It's better to find out what you like so you can enjoy it and do it for 20 years. I do not know if this is what I want to do for 20 years but it's something I've always wanted to do since I was a Boy Scout.

    I talked to my recruiter about this and he did something very similar, he went in as an OS 14 years ago because he did not want to be a non rate and wait a long time to finish school and then make rank. With that being said, he was talking about the reward of helping people and being able to be the voice of the coast guard. He also said he was able to get his bachelor and master degrees while working when he wasn't at a busy sector.

    I am the type a person that takes what's thrown at me and make the best I can. I heard the happiest people on the ships are usually ET's. I've also read in other forums that if an OS says he likes his job then he is lying. I really just wanted to put myself out there and see what they thought of my situation.
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    09 Jul 2019 10:31 PM
    Your wife isn't required to move with you when you go to your first unit. If you want she can finish her degree then move out to wherever you are and still get all of the travel entitlements. Also you can still decide to choose a critical rating later on, you dont have to choose right away. Go to a unit as a non rate, 6 months later you can put you name on any list or for critical ratings I think the wait time is waived so you can take as little or as much time as you want at the unit.
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    10 Jul 2019 09:42 PM
    Honestly those who say the OS's who like their jobs are lying are probably not OSs. I love my job at the Sector as I get to help people, go to school full time and I work about 3 days a week. With that being said, being an OS is difficult if you like moving around, talking to people, only want to work during the day, etc. Both the OS and ET rates are critical and both rates are cool. I had a friend graduate ET school at the same time as me and now they are an ET2 and in Bahrain doing a deployment.

    If I could do it again, I would have taken the guaranteed A school. At the end of the day it's your career. If you can beat the system of being a nonrate and wasting a year and a half or more and get higher pay sooner do it.

    If you have questions about the OS rate feel free to message me. 
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    21 Aug 2019 02:08 PM
    Hi! I will be a part of the October A School class for OS. I am super excited to be going and was just looking for any words of wisdom anybody might have! Also, how does picking ones location work? I know every rate has a different system at A School. I've also heard that when it comes to standing duty it is a 1/4 rotation. Is this accurate or does it change each class?

    Also, how realistic can I look to be at ranking up to 2nd fast? I am a very ambitious individual, lol.

    Thanks so much guys!
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    21 Aug 2019 02:22 PM
    When my son went through OS A School, choosing a duty station was left to them. Here;s the list, get together, confer. If you all agree, GREAT. If you don't, well then we'll pick for you. They all agreed and everybody got what they wanted. 1 in 4 is pretty much the standard.

    Instead of worrying about being promoted, this is the military not call of duty, worry about getting through school first. Then worry about learning what you need to know at your first station/ship. You can't advance so fast that you don't know how to lead. One step at a time. No one ever went from Ensign to Commandant quickly.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    21 Aug 2019 02:24 PM
    I know a guy that made Chief before he put his first lifer stripe on his uniform. He was hated and not because he promoted quickly. Because he was a moron and couldn't answer a simple question from a subordinate. Be respected in the rank you are first and then go for the next one.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    21 Aug 2019 02:25 PM
    A School is much less strict than boot camp, but you still march in formation with your class so same rules apply as in boot camp, dont talk in formation, dont look around and be loud. You are going to school to become a petty officer so be professional in how you look and act.

    Duty at A-School is a 1 in 4 or 5 depending on how many students are there at a given time. Duty consists of being assigned to a specific post for up to a 4 hour watch. These posts consist of barracks front desk, bowling alley clean up, movie theater front counter, pool clean up, base clean ups, barracks clean ups and colors. None of them are hard jobs to do.

    I dont know much about the OS rating so someone else will have to answer those questions.
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    01 Sep 2019 03:55 AM
    Posted By mlcarroll on 21 Aug 2019 03:08 PM
    Hi! I will be a part of the October A School class for OS.
    me too! see you there 



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