AST-AVIATION SURVIVAL TECHNICIAN
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10 Jan 2010 12:14 AM
    AVIATION SURVIVAL TECHNICIAN (AST)


    To view a video of this rate, click here.

    ASTs function operationally as helicopter rescue swimmers and emergency medical technicians basic. ASTs may find themselves being deployed into a myriad of challenging rescues ranging from hurricanes and cliff rescues, to emergency medical evacuations from ships at sea. ASTs also provide all survival training to aviators such as swim tests, survival lectures and shallow-water egress training. Other aircrew positions include HC-130H dropmaster, loadmaster, sensor systems operator, HU-25A dropmaster, and basic aircrewman.

    In addition, ASTs perform ground handling and servicing of aircraft, and conduct routine aircraft inspections, and aviation administrative duties. ASTs inspect, service, maintain, troubleshoot and repair cargo aerial delivery systems; and drag parachute systems, aircraft oxygen systems, helicopter flotation systems, dewatering pumps, survival equipment for air-sea rescue kits, and special-purpose protective clothing. ASTs also store aviation ordnance and pyrotechnic devices.

    Types of Duty:

    ASTs are stationed at Coast Guard air stations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. ASTs also are assigned to the Polar Operations Division in Mobile, Ala., in support of ice-breaking operations. ASTs may serve at large or small air stations servicing HC-130H (Hercules), HH-60J (Jayhawk), and HH-65A (Dolphin) aircraft.

    Training Available:

    The 16-week AST 'A' School is followed by three weeks of emergency medical technician training at a training center in Petaluma, Calif.

    Qualifications:

    An AST must be in superior physical shape with no chronic orthopedic problems, and must possess a high level of mental acuity and outstanding military bearing. Training is extremely stressful and is designed to identify those candidates who possess the physical and mental skills to handle the rigors of being a rescue swimmer. The member must pass an aircrew-candidate physical and qualify for a "secret" security clearance.

    Related Civilian Jobs:

    Emergency Medical Technician
    Aircraft Ground Handler
    Land & Water Survival Instructor
    Parachute Rigging and Repair
    Life Support Equipment Technician
    Commercial Aircraft Life Support Technician
    Paramedic


    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.
    uscg_nickgUser is Offline
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    uscg_nickg

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    12 Jan 2010 07:11 AM
    I was just wondering what I should be able to do physically on land and water before leaving for A school. I heard that prior to A school you get a workout of what your physical abilities should be the day before leaving. I'm still awaiting a ship date but would like to know what i should be getting ready for. Thank You


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    14 Jan 2010 12:27 AM
    I have to first say I am not an AST, only the proud father of one recently graduated from Elizabeth City, NC. The airman program does prepare you and your command won't let you proceed if they think you are not prepared or won't succeed.

    Dry land:

    He didn't join a gym and lift weights. He focused on the PT basics, push-ups, sit-ups, tons of flutter kicks (works and stretches your hip flexors), pull-ups, chin-ups, dips. He basically lifted his own weight. That helped build his upper body strength. At his graduation the instructors told us of a student who wasn't able to do the required push-ups at his midterm and he was dropped from the program.

    Wet:

    He was initially stationed on a cutter, USCG Bertolf, out of Alameda CA. They have a good sized pool on Coast Guard Island where he spent a lot of his off time. He started easy doing laps and improving his stroke. He grew up in the southwest no water insight. At one point he hired a swim coach at the local YMCA to help him refine his stroke to become comfortable in the water. Every chance he got he was in the water building up his "confidence". Initially his ability to hold his breath under water wasn't the best, but he kept trying and eventually he could get the required 25 yards under water without surfacing. I think right now he can on one breath swim 50 yards (down and back).

    The airman program really does prepare you for what you will be tested on in the AST A school program. You will be working out with the swimmers at the airstation and they will keep you busy. He told me that there were better swimmers in his A school class, but they didn't have the "confidence" in the water he had. They DOR'd and he didn't.

    Good luck with your goals and remember if you really want to succeed as an AST failure is not an option. If you allow that thought to enter your head you've already lost.

    Richard
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    14 Jan 2010 03:13 PM
    Richard

    Well Said.

    Joe


    Coastie Dad & Mom and Sunny

    Sunny
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    15 Jan 2010 02:48 AM
    Richard/Joe,

    Do either of you remember what your son's duty rotation was like during the Airman program? Do the Airman stand duty, or do they relieve them of duty during the Airman program due to their 5+day/wk workout schedule?

    Richard,

    It is good to hear your son didn't grow up as a swimmer. I am definitely not a 'swimmer', although I've spent my fair share of time in water. Most of it was kayaking shark batis out into the surf in TX and getting dumped by a big wave...haha! I've been tangled in shark leaders and 130# mono fishing line out in the 5-6' sloppy surf of TX in 10-15' of water, and didn't panic...so I like to think I'm confident. With that said, I have zero instruction under my belt, and therefore lack technique. My current cutter is in port frequently and we have a YMCA here which I've been using to become acquainted to the water. I plan to hire a swim instructor to work on my stroke just a bit. Unfortunately, I rolled my ankle pretty good and am just now getting to where I can jog again.

    How old is your son, if you don't mind me asking? I know Joe son is a little older than most AST 'A' schoolers...much like myself at 26yrs old.

    uscg_nickg,

    If you'd like, shoot me a private message and I will tell you what I'm doing in order to prepare myself. Most of it is based off of the AST Airman Syllabus workouts. Keep in mind, several current ASTs and AST Airman mentors will tell you NOT to try to do exactly what they teach you in the Airman Program due to the fact that you are not currently being instructed. Without proper instruction, you will likely do exercises incorrectly and form bad habits which take longer to break.

    You said you were waiting on a ship date - I assume this is for boot camp. If so, during week 4 you will likely have an AST1 come and speak with your company. They will show you a brief video of the training and then ask who is interested. If people are interested, they will come back later in training (week 8) and allow you to try a shortened version of the PT In-Test to see if you have what it takes just to get to school. Unfortunately, they didn't get to come back during my 8th week due to scheduling/something came up. However, I know they were there for the 3 companies prior to mine, and several after...so I'm pretty sure it is routine. Also, don't fret if you don't pass the in-test at basic training. It isn't anything they hold against you , just a scale to show you where you stand and to show the AST instructors the state of their future students.

    Good luck!
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    15 Jan 2010 02:38 PM
    USCGforMe,

    Yes, my son did stand duty and spend the night at the airstation (Los Angeles) during his stint there. Since he wasn't a rescue swimmer his duties were to help in anyway necessary if a SAR case came in. One time he told me he helped the flight mechs push out the aircraft. I don't know his rotation, but we spoke often on the phone and it was something line every 4 or 5 days (don't quote me). I believe part of the training along with the workout schedule is to still become familiar with the goings on at the airstation and its aircraft.

    We actually got the idea to hire a swim coach from a friend of mine who is a triathlete. The coach would watch you swim and make suggestions on technique, he only did it for a couple of sessions (<$100), but for him it made a world of difference. Like with any coaching he had to religiously get in the pool and apply what he learned.

    My son also rolled his ankle when he first got to his cutter during a pick-up game of basketball. His ankle was purple/black/blue, he was lucky he didn't break it. It eventually healed, but he thought twice every time someone put together a basketball game. He loves the sport, he played it all throughout high school. With any injury make sure you allow it to heal and do whatever the Doc says about physical therapy. During his stay at the airstation he had an issue with his hip flexors which caused him to say a little longer.

    My son was the youngest of the graduating class he is 21, from enlistment to AST3 was 2 years 8 months. I don't remember what the age of the other students was, but if I had to guess the average was either 24 or 25.

    Good luck to the both of you.

    Richard
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    15 Jan 2010 09:27 PM
    Richard,

    Thank you kindly for the info. ASTs have a 2 part syllabus to complete...but all airman have the Airman Syllabus. The AST Part II adds the physical portion. You are correct that we still have to know how to work at an Air Station.

    In regards to my career path - the AMT list just got closed, so I WONT be going AMT. I'll be putting my name on the AST list here soon!

    Time to get in the pool!
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    31 Jan 2010 11:56 PM
    Hi! Do any of you guys know a AST I could get in touch with to ask about training? Especially a female AST? I'm 27 and am enlisting in the Coast Guard. I'll be happy doing whatever's needed, but I have dreamed of being a rescue swimmer ever since I learned that job existed.

    I am starting to train for bootcamp. I know I have a lot to pass thru before I can even think about applying to AST school. But, does anyone know someone who could realistically tell me what kind of shape/training I'd have to be in before going to AST school? So I can have it as a goal in my mind while I train ;)

    Especially how much running/push ups/arm strength work I'd need. I am strong swimmer (I can swim 1.5 miles right now), love the water, used to be a lifeguard, have some wilderness medical training/experience, graduated college and love working hard. I am also a woman and am 5'4".
    The swimming stuff doesn't worry as much. But the running, and especially the upper body strength stuff intimidates me ;-)

    Thanks so much for any advice you can throw my way!
    Becca
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    02 Feb 2010 03:18 AM
    dolphinwings said...
    Hi! Do any of you guys know a AST I could get in touch with to ask about training? Especially a female AST? I'm 27 and am enlisting in the Coast Guard.
    Getting in touch with a female AST can be tough as there are only a few. I do know that as of early January there were two in San Diego. One is a recruiter, and the other is at the Air Station. If you call the recruiting office, I am sure you can get on line with one of them. Regarding your age...there are several ASTs who went through at that age, or even older. So, don't let people tell you otherwise. I'm not even to 'A' school yet and people always tell me I'm too old...I'm your age.
    dolphinwings said...
    I'll be happy doing whatever's needed, but I have dreamed of being a rescue swimmer ever since I learned that job existed.
    I feel pretty much the same as you. However, once I started swimming and trying to meet the standards I took a step back and re-evaluated...not because I didn't want to be an AST, but because I needed to make sure I wanted it bad enough. I decided I did in fact want it bad enough, and then rolled my ankle really bad and slowed my prep. Doh!
    The one thing I hear from ASTs more than anything regarding training is "You have to want it. You have to refuse to fail." In other words, the tools are given to you but the task is difficult - but if you refuse to fail, you have no other option than to succeed. That's been told to me by more than one AST.
    dolphinwings said...
    I am starting to train for bootcamp. I know I have a lot to pass thru before I can even think about applying to AST school. But, does anyone know someone who could realistically tell me what kind of shape/training I'd have to be in before going to AST school? So I can have it as a goal in my mind while I train ;)

    Especially how much running/push ups/arm strength work I'd need. I am strong swimmer (I can swim 1.5 miles right now), love the water, used to be a lifeguard, have some wilderness medical training/experience, graduated college and love working hard. I am also a woman and am 5'4".
    The swimming stuff doesn't worry as much. But the running, and especially the upper body strength stuff intimidates me ;-)
    There is an Airman Syllabus for those who are going to attend AST air school. Basically, before you go to 'A' school you will be transferred from your first unit to an Air Station. At this Air Station, you will be prepped for 'A' school. There is an 'In Test', and an 'Out Test'.

    The 'In Test' consists of the following:
    Push-ups - 32
    Sit-ups - 40
    Pull-ups - 3
    Chin-Ups - 3
    1.5 mile run - under 13:00
    500yd swim (crawl) - under 12:00
    Underwater Laps - 4x25yd w/90sec rest between
    Brick Swim w/tread (sprint on surface for 15yds using crawl/freestyle to a submerged brick in deep end of pool. Retrieve the brick, bring it above the water and lock your elbows, drop the brick and tread water for 2 minutes.)
    You have 1hr to complete the above, no more than 2-min rest between each exercise, pushups and situps must be completed in under 2min each.
     
    The following test is given during the first week. If you cannot pass the above by then, you will be trained and re-tested in week 5. If you still can't pass, you will be removed from the Airman Program. 
    There are multiple assessments during the Airman Program to make sure you are on par with the requirements. They are there to help you pass, and don't want to see you fail. Keep this in mind...everyone wants you to succeed, not fail. It takes a lot of time and effort for them to train you, so the last thing they want to do is see you go to 'A' School only to drop out.
    dolphinwings said...
    Thanks so much for any advice you can throw my way!
    Becca
    Hopefully this gives you a good idea. I am not there yet, but I've been preparing. I intend on getting on the A school list soon. There is a few members here with sons who have made it through the 'A' school. One of them is Sunny717 and the other is ProudUSCGPop. Both of them have been very helpful to me during my decision making. You may want to send them a private message, I'm sure they'd be glad to help if they don't chime in on this post.

    Good luck to you! Let me know if I can help any more.
    <!-- Edit -->

    Last Edited : 2/2/2010 4:39:47 AM GMT

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    02 Feb 2010 02:59 PM
    I am assuming that there are vision requirements for this rating. Any one know what they are?
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    02 Feb 2010 04:11 PM
    Hey USCGforme,

    That was so helpful. Thank you!! Really nice to be able to see the numbers on a page ... have a reality to what dreaming up. Gonna start focusing on bootcamp now ;-)

    I hope your ankle heals up ... there's this homeopathic cream called "Arnica" that always helped me a little with injuries. And, once it heals, spell the alphabet with your feet. Sounds really corny, but helped me stop twisting my ankles.

    And I definitely know what you mean about pausing to make sure you want it. I just did that with deciding to join the coast guards to begin with. Took me a while, but meant I believed my decision once I made it. There's Irish saying about, "a good beginning is half the work".

    Good luck!! Keep me posted if you get a chance!
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    02 Feb 2010 10:49 PM
    dolphinwings,

    No problem. I sure wish I could find the info prior to enlisting...it would've been helpful to start training a long time ago!

    Regarding my ankle, it's 95% now. I'm back to swimming, racquetball, basketball, etc. I can still feel it if I really stretch it to the side, but not bad.

    Check your private message box.

    Take care, and good luck.
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    02 Feb 2010 10:53 PM
    jchristine23 said...
    I am assuming that there are vision requirements for this rating. Any one know what they are?
    I believe they are 20/200, correctable to 20/20, and normal color. You also have to pass a depth perception test. This is all given to you during your flight physical. You can probably get more definite requirements from your recruiter or chain of command if you are already in.

    Here is a basic requirements sheet for each rate's 'A' school.


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    03 Feb 2010 01:33 PM
    jchristine23 said...
    I am assuming that there are vision requirements for this rating. Any one know what they are?
    I believe its 20/20. No Lasik proceedure in the past. PRK proceedure must be done by military Mds in Bethesda.
    My son had contacts 700 and 600. PRK = 20/20.
    Now he's a happy AST in Kodiak.


    AST3 Coastie. Dad & Mom and Sunny

    Sunny
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    12 Feb 2010 01:37 AM
    Is anyone else currently on the Ast a school list thats a part of this forum? I am near the end of the list, should be updated soon. hit me up if you are


    "The only easy day was yesterday"

    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    15 Feb 2010 01:22 AM
    disciple,
    I was finishing my paperwork for my XPO on the same day I crushed my hand at work. :-(

    Needless to say I'm waiting to see if I will recover before I get on the list. Lots of nerve damage and 5 pins in my thumb may prevent me from being an AST...but I doubt it! I just want time to heal and re-gain strength before I get on that list.
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    15 Feb 2010 02:31 AM
    totally thats a bummer!


    "The only easy day was yesterday"

    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    23 Feb 2010 02:41 AM
    Can anyone tell us how long it takes before you know when you will be going to an Airman program? Our son is #22 on the A list stationed on the Morgenthau in Alameda. He is prepared and we couldn't be prouder.
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    27 Feb 2010 03:44 AM
    does anyone know where i can find the ast airman syllabus...I have been searching all over for it and can not..i am told you need a coast guard email..which i have...any information on the syllabus would be appreciated...
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    27 Feb 2010 06:39 AM
    so i have a question. im not sold on any certain rate yet but AST does have my attention. my question is..... is there a MINIMUM weight or height limit. I am a guy. im 5'5, 135 pounds. now far from a tiny shrimpy kid. i bench press over 190 and can do over 25 pull ups and all the physical test stuff. so me myself feel capable to be an ast and i hardly ever work out so with a little lifting and fitness i can excel more. but is there a requirement. i mean i feel like there would be. but all i can find are maximums and not minimums. any help would be great.


    -JOHN-
    -Shipping April 13th, 2010-

    -JOHN-
    -Shipping April 13th, 2010-
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    04 Mar 2010 03:20 PM
    I've met an AST who was smaller than you. He was also a remedial swimmer in basic training...

    There are physical strength and stamina requirements, but size isnt a factor if you are capable. Dont let that deter you.
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    12 Mar 2010 11:50 AM
    Is there an age limit to this job in the USCG? Say you sign the dotted line at age 24. You enter & pass boot camp at age 25. You reach your station apply to A-School, and get through at the age of 27. Is that going to be old?
    <!-- Edit -->

    Last Edited : 3/12/2010 1:06:47 PM GMT

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    12 Mar 2010 12:46 PM
    WCSU1987 said...
    Is there an age limit to this job in the USCG? Say you sign the dotted line at age 24. You enter & pass boot camp at age 25. You reach your station apply to A-School, and get through at the age of 27. Is that going to be old?
    Nope, that's not too old, that's primetime! (just kidding cause that will be my age).

    There have been people in there 30's and 40's who have passed AST school.

    Take a look at "Brotherhood of the Fin" and "So Others May Live". Both of those are great books about ASTs, their histories, and some of their great rescues.
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    13 Mar 2010 01:36 AM
    "There have been people in there 30's and 40's who have passed AST school."

    I'm not so sure anyone in their 40's have ever gone through AST school and late 30s is pushing it.


    Life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.

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    15 Mar 2010 12:27 PM
    I'm going off of a book based on the initial AST training that was in Florida with the Navy. Everyone said the school was also much harder then, but who knows.

    I recall a few prior ASM's who were forced to lateral over that were well into their 30s and one was even in his 40's if I recall correctly.

    I will read into it again and try to get names.
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    15 Mar 2010 12:36 PM
    That book may be referencing Shipboard Rescue Swimmer school. That's just my guess.


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    15 Mar 2010 12:58 PM
    Cooch said...
    That book may be referencing Shipboard Rescue Swimmer school. That's just my guess.
    I'll verify it, but it was written by a retired ASM/AST Jerry Hoover. It's a great read whether you're into the AST rate or not. A lot of good rescue stories, and overall history of the rating.
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    12 Apr 2010 11:25 PM
    Can anyone tell us how long it takes before you know when you will be going to an Airman program? Our son is #22 on the A list stationed on the Morgenthau in Alameda. He is prepared and we couldn't be prouder

    He doesnt have his flight physical done so he wont get orders until that gets cleared up, thats what i was told.


    "The only easy day was yesterday"

    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    16 Apr 2010 01:47 AM
    disciplecore said...
    Can anyone tell us how long it takes before you know when you will be going to an Airman program? Our son is #22 on the A list stationed on the Morgenthau in Alameda. He is prepared and we couldn't be prouder

    He doesnt have his flight physical done so he wont get orders until that gets cleared up, thats what i was told.


    Well the new list came out today and still #22! He does have his flight physical completed, it just hasn't been recorded.
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    18 Apr 2010 11:35 AM
    I would think he would have orders any day he will be in the June 29th airman program class more than likely http://www.uscg.mil/epm/ao/AirmanProgram.asp


    "The only easy day was yesterday"

    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    24 Apr 2010 04:03 PM
    Is the wait time for AST A-School so short (as compared to the others) because of the fact that most cant "qualify" to get on the list?

    I read the wait time is 8-12 months.


    Future Coastie Coming in 2011

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    24 Apr 2010 05:57 PM
    My son graduated in AST class 77-09 back in December. He enlisted in April of 07 and graduated December of 09, so almost two years. He didn't have too many delays, his flight physical was done after basic that took a little while to get the NPY off his name. Instead of 4 months in the airman program he was 7 due to a training injury and class scheduling. Once he got his name on the list ~Oct 07 he went to A-School in August 09. I believe getting on the list is the easy part, getting through the airman program and then eventually A-School is the tough part.

    Richard
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    24 Apr 2010 08:31 PM
    Wait so once the airman program is complete, you go directly into A-School?


    Future Coastie Coming in 2011

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    24 Apr 2010 09:40 PM
    Correct, you spend 4 months at an active air station working with the ASTs completing your airman syllabus (PT, swimming, other air related duties). They get you ready for and make the recommendation if you are are ready to go to A-school. All together it is an 8 month process, 4 months in the airman's program and then 4 months at A-School.

    Disclaimer --- I'm not in the Coast Guard just the father of an active duty AST. If I've said something wrong please correct me.

    Richard
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    24 Apr 2010 10:05 PM
    So that waiting list is really the waiting list to get into the Airman program. I get it.

    Does it matter if your already at an air station? Curious if they prefer to take people that are already there than someone that's on a cutter.


    Future Coastie Coming in 2011

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    25 Apr 2010 09:04 PM
    prouduscgpop is right, but the waiting list is for ast a school you just get orders around four months prior to you A-school class date and go to the airman program which is 4 months before your class date, ive known people to get orders being in the 70's and then people that are in the single digits and still waiting most due to no spots in a program, usually its around number 30 and if you got all your required paperwork finished, They don't care where you are stationed you get sent to the air station closest to where you are stationed if they have an open spot.

    http://www.uscg.mil/epm/docs/A-SchoolList.pdf

    http://www.uscg.mil/epm/AO/AirmanProgram.asp

    if you look at the projected class dates above you will understand how it works.

    Hope it helped


    "The only easy day was yesterday"

    <!-- Edit -->

    Last Edited : 4/28/2010 10:13:02 AM GMT

    "The only easy day was yesterday"
    USCGforMeUser is Offline
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    16 Jun 2010 03:20 PM
    Question regarding orders and my Dependent -

    When I get orders to the Airman Program, will my BAH be based on my current duty station or where my Airman Program is?

    Thanks,
    Shawn

    (formerly USCGforMe)
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    16 Jun 2010 04:23 PM
    IIRC, you get PCS orders to the Airman Program.
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    26 Jun 2010 06:49 PM
    Couple of questions:

    4x25 Underwaters during the week 1 'In-Test' - do you have to tread water between each underwater length? In other words, do you swim the first 25, tread water for the prescribed 90sec rest period, then swim the next 25? I thought I read this somewhere, something about not being aloud to touch the pool edge/wall between lengths, and wanted to verify. I've gotten to the point where I can do a 25 underwater no prob, but I haven't added the water tread between each length. I would imagine it will make it that much more difficult to gain your breath back.

    That leads me to another question - is there a certain type of water tread method they teach/prefer at the airman program/A-School? I would assume it would be an egg-beater type leg kick with hand sculling? Anyone know?

    Just wanted to make sure I'm training the right way, or at least as close to right as I can be without a mentor.

    For those who knew about my hand injury - I recently took a trip to visit a USCG Flight Surgeon and got the green-light on my flight status, so my career finally gets to move on! I submitted my 'A' school request this past Tuesday, after almost 6 months of being injured. Ugh!

    This is good news, as if I would've been denied flight status due to my injury I probably would've ended my enlistment. Aviation is the only route I'm interested in, and I can't wait to continue down the path.

    Thanks in advance.
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    12 Jul 2010 06:44 AM
    Totally AWESOME about your recovery USCGforMe...that is great to hear.

    I wish you the very best and all the succss in the world!
    I want to finally set it free, So show me how to see what Your mercy sees, Help me now to give what You gave to me...Forgiveness, Forgiveness
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    19 Jul 2010 03:03 PM
    Im 17 and planning to join the coast guard when I'm 19
    is there an age requirement for AST?
    and two more things, I will most likely be EMT certified before I join the coast guard, will this help my chances for getting into AST
    and I read somewhere that having dual citizenship disqualifies you from joining a bunch of ratings (I have dual citizenship born and raised American but have a Dutch citizenship through my mom) should this be a concern?
    thanks
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    19 Jul 2010 04:22 PM
    Daou, If you are enlisted, then you meet the age requirement. Your EMT certificate is an awesome achievement, but has no bearing on you getting into the AST program. Your ASVAB scores are the initial cut.

    I answered your dual citizen question on your other post.

    I wish you the best!
    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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    28 Jul 2010 07:44 PM
    USCGforMe, your BAH during the airman program will depend on which operational Air Station you are at, not your current duty station. If you have a dependent, upon successful completion of the airman program you will TDY to A School and will maintain the same BAH during that time. Hope that helps.

    ProudUSCGpop, I knew I recognized your avatar photo! My husband graduated with your son; The two of them were real buddies down in E City. Small world, huh?

    To all the people wondering what they need to do to be prepared for the Airman program and A School, I think the best thing you can do is stay focused, work out in the pool and in the gym as much as possible and do not listen to the negative things people say. Try not to worry about the airman syllabus, you will learn all about it and what is required of you specifically when you get to the air station. Yes, there will be people who run faster than you or swim better, but if you want it badly enough and are willing to do the work necessary to be an AST then failure will never be an option. Good luck to you all!
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    28 Jul 2010 07:51 PM
    Ohm,

    It is a small world, my son is standing his first duty as an AST tonight!! He called earlier with the news, his mother and I prayed for his safety and that of the entire crew. Were you the angel who cooked the Thanksgiving dinner for the class 77-10? I have those pictures on my computer and when the screen saver kicks in I laugh at those pictures of the guys in the hotel room watching football and hanging out.

    Hope all is well with your husband. I know my son enjoyed catching up with a few of the guys at his EMT training, he said there were guys from his class, and the ones in front and back of his.

    Richard
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    22 Aug 2010 07:44 AM

    hey i know that everyone on here has atleast some insight into the AST training, I am just trying to make up my mind, between AST or another rating. So this is the deal, i can run a 1.5 in 10 mins, i can swim 500meters without a problem. water confidence, its there, i mean i surf and swim. push ups and sit ups, i can do about 45 pushups in a min and about 50 sit ups in a min. i dont know if any of this information is relevent but there it is. i can hold my breath for about half a lenght of a 25m pool.

    so what should i consider on making this decision?

    and does anyone know where i can get a copy of the  AST Airman Syllabus Part II, and some training tips.

    thanks

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    07 Sep 2010 10:18 PM
    Well David started his Airman program in SF today! He didn't have far to go from being on the Morgenthau in Alameda. Another chapter begins in the journey of wanting to be a rescue swimmer for the Coast Guard.
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    09 Sep 2010 06:30 PM
    Good luck to your son, my son-in-law entered the airman program on Sept 6th in North Bend Oregon. If all goes well they most likely enter A-School in E City at the same time.
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    12 Sep 2010 12:16 PM
    Congrats Paso...I hope the best for your son.

    I'm still waiting on my orders!
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    12 Sep 2010 07:41 PM
    It would be interesting to know if all Air Stations train the same. David thought he was well prepared and could do the required exercises. He wasn't prepared for the speed in running, the slowness of push ups and chin ups and the lack rest  in between each exercise.  He has a good attitude and the ambition to work it through though. I'm confident that now he knows what they expect of him and working out everyday he should be able to pass the test. Good luck to your son in law,
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    13 Sep 2010 07:56 PM
    Paso,

    That's a good question. I heard from one airman that the airman syllabus was administered to him at a 'self motivate' training level, basically meaning he worked out at his pace and had to push himself. That is the complete opposite of what you're describing. I'd rather have someone push me to where I need to be as it's hard to set that limit for yourself if you have no idea what is expected of you.

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    14 Sep 2010 06:34 PM
    I heard from my son-in-law that in the very near future the airman program (at least for AST) will all be held at E City. This will ensure that all of the airman participate in the same syllabus and the transition to A-School would be much easier. If all goes well he is slated for the January class and I think he said that the new process begins two classes after him.

    Classify this as scuttlebutt, anybody else heard this?

    Richard
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    15 Sep 2010 09:34 PM
    ProudPop,

    I've heard the same scuttlebutt, from two sources. But I also posted about it on the military.com website and was told not to expect it anytime soon from a member who is definitely a good source:
    http://forums.military.com/eve/foru...0091352001

    So, we'll see. I'd actually prefer to go to E-City for the Airman program as I feel I could benefit from being right next to the actual A-school students.

    I'm a self-motivated person, but it is always helpful to know how high the bar needs to be.

    Keep us posted on your son's progress!

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    05 Oct 2010 10:13 PM
    Ok, I know I've got a long ways to go before I can even put my name on ths AST list (If I decide to) as I don't ship till january. HOwever, I have some questions that I figured could be cleared up earlier than later.

    1. It was mentioned above about diving for bricks. How deep are the pools? I can swim fine, the issue is my ears. I can equalize them alright, but my left ear just takes a bit of time and the deeper it is the harder it is. A couple months ago I punctured my eardrum because I went too low (14 ft.) and couldn't equalize. I'm guessing the pool is that deep, but if I can go slow enough it should be all right...the questions, how deep, and how fast must you do it?

    Is rescue swimming, the non rate version, easier to get -- easier meaning you don't have to wait as long for the list, etc..

    3. How much EMT does an emt do on a rescue? This is just so I can get a sense of if I want to do it or not. Is it just using a dfibrillator, cpr, iv, etc? Or do they expect you to pretty much be a fullout MD until you land (not sure what else they could do though)?

    Lastly, since it is a physically challanging rating, how hard is it to switch ratings once one gets into one? I suppose one can be an OS (but I might be wrong) at a much older age than an AST, as the physical level is so much higher. Am I expected to retire or just train others when I get too "old", or can I go to OCS or switch rates at that point?
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    06 Oct 2010 11:20 PM
    My dtr. Will be leaving for bootcamp soon. Her dream is to become a CG rescue swimmer. My question is: why are there not more female rescue swimmers? Is it lack of upper-body strength or are there just not many females that go for it? Also, does body type matter? Thanks for the help. We are excited to be beginning our CG journey.
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    08 Oct 2010 02:35 PM
    Wisper,
    From what I've gathered, EMT is just an EMT basic, not paramedic. I believe they have some flight docs and surgeons in the uscg but that's not an ast duty. With that said you will likely be the only chance of living for several people so if stressful situations are not something you are comfortable with you may consider something else.
    As for brick swims I think it is ten or twelve feet but im not sure.
    Surface swimmer is a qualification you can get not a rating. It requires swimming but won't be nearly as in depth as ast. If you go to a cutter or station, you should be able to get the qual once your other quals are done.

    Pmriley,
    Women tend to lack the upper body strength but that's not to say they can't build it. Several women have made it.
    There are definitely a lot less women who try, so the number who pass is mathematically lower. If you look at the school list there could be 120 ppl and only three or four appear to have female names.

    Ive met five ast's and they have all varied in size and shape. An athletic person will have an advantage but I know short skinny guys who are swimmers. Determination and refusing to quit seems to be a big part of it.

    All of this is from an ast applicant, not a student or ast yet, soon enough! But take it for what its worth, and let me know if I can try to answer anything else.
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    08 Oct 2010 03:52 PM
    Thanks USCGforme. I think I can handle stressful situations, but I guess I"ll find out at bootcamp I was more asking because I am not the greatest person at remembering the names of all bones, arteries, symptoms, etc.. I am fine with EMT basics, just don't really want to be a fullout doctor.

    I'll have to look into the surface swimmer qual if I get on a cutter, that sounds fun.
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    09 Oct 2010 07:02 PM
    Thanks USCGforme. I was just curious. What do most people do if they don't make it as a rescue swimmer? I know my dtr wants on the water 24/7.
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    11 Oct 2010 12:54 PM
    Posted By pmriley on 09 Oct 2010 08:02 PM
    Thanks USCGforme. I was just curious. What do most people do if they don't make it as a rescue swimmer? I know my dtr wants on the water 24/7.


    From what I have gathered, if the person WANTS to be an AST, and they fail out of the school - they try again

    I know a few people who have washed out. Most are due to injuries in school that set them back a few weeks, thus causing them to miss important training. They are sent back to the fleet and have to go through the 'A' school list again, so it can take some time. Another one I know was an MK2, wanted to go AST so he went to the school. He blacked out underwater and got released, and now he's back as an MK.

    A few others have made it almost all the way through only to have a 'bad day', and get sent home. The people I know who had this happened also tried again (or are waiting to try again). One bad day can ruin it all. I've heard rumors that they are trying to change the school so that you can be 'reverted' or 'held back' a week to strengthen your weak areas, similar to basic training, but there's nothing in writing yet. It would be cost effective to do this as it would prevent several government travel/move claims, prevent students from having to get re-qualified at a brand new unit after they fail and are transferred, etc. If a person wants it bad enough though, they will reapply, wait a while, and try again.

    BMs do a lot of on the water rescues...as do any other rates who are boat crew qualified. It's tough to say what to recommend for your daughter if she doesn't make it as a swimmer. To be honest, they best advice I can give you is to support her as a rescue swimmer hopeful. The positive encouragement and thinking will help her get the mindset needed to pass. From what I've gathered, half of the battle is simply refusing to fail.

    Good luck to her!
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    21 Oct 2010 09:10 PM
    Just wondering if any one here knows any women who are AST's?

    I've been considering doing AST more and more as that is the original reason I wanted to be apart of the Coast Guard because the USCG allows women to go out for any job. I know it's a lot harder for a woman to become a AST based just alone on our bodies. But I'm 5'10" and already have extremely good upper body strength and can do pullups/chinups with ease so I'm thinking I might stand a decent change at making it as an AST if I work hard and train hard and just mentally want it more than anything.

    But yeah I was just wondering if anyone knows any women AST's I could talk to about it? Or if there is one on this forum?

    -Elizabeth
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    23 Oct 2010 01:52 PM
    Posted By EWARD on 21 Oct 2010 10:10 PM
    Just wondering if any one here knows any women who are AST's?

    I've been considering doing AST more and more as that is the original reason I wanted to be apart of the Coast Guard because the USCG allows women to go out for any job. I know it's a lot harder for a woman to become a AST based just alone on our bodies. But I'm 5'10" and already have extremely good upper body strength and can do pullups/chinups with ease so I'm thinking I might stand a decent change at making it as an AST if I work hard and train hard and just mentally want it more than anything.

    But yeah I was just wondering if anyone knows any women AST's I could talk to about it? Or if there is one on this forum?

    -Elizabeth

    I don't personally know any, but I do know that last year there was one acting out-of-rate as a recruiter in San Diego or San Francisco. You may want to contact your recruiter and see if you can find a way to contact her. If she is still a recruiter, I'm sure she'd be glad to speak with you.


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    24 Oct 2010 06:22 PM
    I do know for a fact there is one starting training very soon or already there. i will have to check with a few people but last time i heard she was doing the airman program at E city. the only thing to realize is there is no different standard when it comes to the physical or mental side. you will have to be able to swim, push up, situps and everything else the same as a guy. if you dont you wont make it
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    24 Oct 2010 06:35 PM
    Posted By southern118 on 24 Oct 2010 07:22 PM
    I do know for a fact there is one starting training very soon or already there. i will have to check with a few people but last time i heard she was doing the airman program at E city. the only thing to realize is there is no different standard when it comes to the physical or mental side. you will have to be able to swim, push up, situps and everything else the same as a guy. if you dont you wont make it


    Thanks for the info y'all. I know that I have to pass the same fitness standards as the men which I expect. But also is why I was trying to see if anyone here knew any AST women or women in the airman program because I was really going to ask just in general what they did to build their muscle up to be comparable to men. I'm 5'10" so I've built up my muscle pretty good and I think my height advantage and broad shoulders most defiantly will help compared to someone who has a smaller frame plus just the time I have to train before I even get to go into the Airman Program but I was just trying to find out some work out ideas. I'm doing daily swim training, under water/hold breath type training at the bottom of the pool, running, and then general work outs like pullups/chinups/situps/pushups/flutter kicks to build myself up but am trying to find any other work outs I should be doing. Any certain workouts any of you use that you suggest?
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    25 Oct 2010 09:46 AM
    she was a beast but she still had a nice body not real muscaler unless she was working out
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    26 Oct 2010 09:40 PM
    Posted By EWARD on 24 Oct 2010 07:35 PM
    Posted By southern118 on 24 Oct 2010 07:22 PM
    I do know for a fact there is one starting training very soon or already there. i will have to check with a few people but last time i heard she was doing the airman program at E city. the only thing to realize is there is no different standard when it comes to the physical or mental side. you will have to be able to swim, push up, situps and everything else the same as a guy. if you dont you wont make it


    Thanks for the info y'all. I know that I have to pass the same fitness standards as the men which I expect. But also is why I was trying to see if anyone here knew any AST women or women in the airman program because I was really going to ask just in general what they did to build their muscle up to be comparable to men. I'm 5'10" so I've built up my muscle pretty good and I think my height advantage and broad shoulders most defiantly will help compared to someone who has a smaller frame plus just the time I have to train before I even get to go into the Airman Program but I was just trying to find out some work out ideas. I'm doing daily swim training, under water/hold breath type training at the bottom of the pool, running, and then general work outs like pullups/chinups/situps/pushups/flutter kicks to build myself up but am trying to find any other work outs I should be doing. Any certain workouts any of you use that you suggest?
    Are you already in the USCG?

    If so, look at the 'A' School List, click on the Airman website link, and then find the Airman Syllabus and Airman Syllabus II. In the part II, you will find the Airman Program workout routine. If you can do those exercises in the time prescribed, then you meet the standard for an AST 'A' school applicant. That's not to say that you WILL make it through the school, but you meet the minimum requirement that they expect of their new students.

    If you are in the USCG, send me a PM on here with your email address and I'll send you the link to the airman syllabus on the USCG Intranet.

    Good luck!

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    07 Nov 2010 01:56 PM
    Does all of AST school take place in Elizabeth City or do you go off site for any training in places like Washington or Oregon? Also, about the underwater 25yd swims, do you do these without touching walls and treading water in between each 25?
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    13 Nov 2010 11:19 AM
    After successfully passing the airman training the future AST attends a 16 week A school entirely at Elizabeth City. Upon graduation you go to your duty station at which time you get our qualifications done so you can stand duty as an AST. My son recently graduated and now stands duty as a swimmer. So far he has been to EMT school and the advanced rescue swimmer training in Astoria Oregon. I believe both of those schools are classified as C School (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

    Not sure about the underwater swims, but I do remember watching the baby class swim at my son's graduation and the pool did have a shallow end where the students stood between laps.
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    21 Nov 2010 05:05 PM
    Just have a quick question A school. My wife will not leave me alone about being able to visit me. So my question is. Will there be a time and chance for her to visit or stay with me while im in training? Thanks for your help and answers
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    21 Nov 2010 05:31 PM
    Im currently questioning what rate i want. How does deployment work with AST and what is a average day for an AST
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    07 Dec 2010 01:18 AM
    Yes you have to do underwater swims without toughing the wall in the deep end. that will be the least of your worries, try 'over unders' half distance of pool then go underwater other half then pop up swim back half way go under etc 400yds in under 4min 30 sec those suck especially if your class doesnt make it in under 430 or if you or somebody pops., i remember we did like 17 underwaters in a row with minimal rest because of popping etc lol if you are wanting to become an ast work on your flutter kick its key to graduating and get comfortable getting manhandled in the water. I was a navy rescue swimmer and i did airman program and got to week 5 in ast a school i got medically dissenrolled due to an infected toe basically i am going back soon on the list again soon. anyways a lots about to change for the ast a school come next year new facility by nov and new airman program airman will go to e city for 3 months which means your wifes can come etc...
    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    08 Dec 2010 03:09 PM
    Quick,

    Sorry to hear you got medically disenrolled.

    It seems that if you make it to school, either you fail the multi, or you get sick/injured....or you pass. It's a shame that you have to go back to the bottom of the list though.

    You'll get it next time!


    In regards to the over/unders, are you in gear or no?

    Thanks for the pointers.

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    08 Dec 2010 10:08 PM
    i broke my collarbone 6 weeks ago and now have a plate and screws that do not need to be removed......would this be a problem for me getting into AST
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    09 Dec 2010 08:15 AM
    Are you already in the CG? If not, it will stop you from gaining entry at all.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    11 Dec 2010 11:50 AM
    Posted By Old Guard2 on 09 Dec 2010 09:15 AM
    Are you already in the CG? If not, it will stop you from gaining entry at all.

    no I am not...I thought the way I read it it was only disqualifying if it had to be removed or was symptomatic. According to the below qualifications I didnt think I would have a problem.

    Current retained hardware that is symptomatic, interferes with proper wearing of protective equipment or military uniform, and/or is subject to easy trauma, is disqualifying (V53.7).

    Retained hardware (733.99) (including plates, pins, rods, wires, or screws used for fixation) is not disqualifying if fractures are healed, ligaments are stable, there is no pain, and it is not subject to easy trauma.



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    11 Dec 2010 03:10 PM
    The reality is it will probably require a medical waiver which is very difficult to obtain. Have you talked with a recruiter?
    Make sure you collect ALL your medical documents and have them available.
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    11 Dec 2010 04:13 PM
    I have only talked to a recruiter to the extent that he sent me an application to fill out, I still have one more doctors appointment in February untill im cleared, thinking I should wait till then to send in the app.

    Thanks for the info
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    12 Dec 2010 05:52 PM
    This is stuff you will be able to do as an Airman before ast a school this is me doing a sar demo in Portland
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAawfLQZXmA
    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    13 Dec 2010 12:16 PM
    Disciplecore
    That was a great video, the best I've seen.
    If that doesn't whet your appetite to become an AST.
    I can feel the excitement.
    Thanx for sharing.
    Sunny
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    21 Dec 2010 03:03 PM
    Any updates from the airmen or ASTs? Surely these storms have required some rescues...
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    22 Dec 2010 03:15 PM
    Nothing to report on my end.
    Just that Erich was dropped down on the Dong Fang Ocean, formerly Exxon Valdez for some kind of rescue. I'll try to find out more when he calls again.
    The Kodiak adventure continues.
    Sunny
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    30 Dec 2010 09:09 AM
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

    Kodiak ASTs 2010
    Sunny
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    30 Dec 2010 03:43 PM
    Posted By sunny717 on 30 Dec 2010 10:09 AM
    Merry Chistmas & Happy New Year

    Kodiak ASTs 2010


    Thanks for sharing Sunny.

    I hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas and an even better New Year!

    SN Q
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    04 Jan 2011 08:14 AM
    Hey I'm on the A school list for AST and I was reading your post and was wondering what over and unders are. Is the half and halfs? Half underwater and half free style? Also is there anything I should definately be able to do before the airman program? They get you pretty much ready right? Also, how long did it take for your physical to pass? That's all I'm waiting for. I got in done and it's now just a waiting game.
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    04 Jan 2011 09:14 AM
    My name is on the A school list and I've gotten my flight physical done already. I've been training before I got my physical and about two weeks ago I got so burnt out. I had been swimming and working out and swimming and working out. I still have no idea what's going on with my physical so it's hard for me to get motivated right now. Does anybody have any idea how long it takes to find out when you're flight physical got approved. Once know, I'l know how much time I have until I go to the airman program and start busting ass again but right now, motivation is hard to come by.
    Also, does the airman program adaquately prepare you for A school? Is there anything I NEED to be able to do before I go to school? I already have the syllabus so I know what is going to be asked I'm just wondering if I know or am able to do something better before I go would it benifit me.
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    04 Jan 2011 09:40 AM
    Hey are you still on the list or have you gone to A school yet?
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    05 Jan 2011 10:23 PM
    Update:! I will be entering week 13 of the airman program monday i got medically dis enrolled end of week 4 In Ast A school due to infected toe etc, Im back at my station and will head back over to the airman program mondayt, i didnt have to put my name back on the list this is aweosme!
    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    05 Jan 2011 11:13 PM
    That is awesome news disciplecore!
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    06 Jan 2011 10:06 PM
    Quick,

    That is awesome!

    Any idea why they decided to send you back to the airman program in lieu of going back to your prior unit? I'm not saying you aren't worthy because I'm sure you are...just curious how you got that route.

    It would make sense (to me) if they did that for anyone who was medically disenrolled, but they felt was capable of passing once healed/better. I know people have dropped out of the class for minor illnesses, only to wait 2 more years to get through, and spending how many thousands of Gov't dollars to move three times. Silly...

    Good luck bud!

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    13 Jan 2011 07:12 PM
    curious to see if there are any rescue stories from AIRSTA Cape Cod or anywhere along the east coast with this recent snow storm?
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    14 Jan 2011 12:02 PM
    So my fiancée's grandmother sent us an article she found about a USCG Sniper who fired from helicopters to take out the engines of fast boats and such. Not by any means set on that only, but exploring options.

    Would that fall under AST or something else? And with any of the air related crew what are the chances I could even get in with my vision being about 20/40? It is correctable, but I know piloting specifically has very strict rules on that sort of thing.
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    14 Jan 2011 04:59 PM
    I'm not too sure on the specifics of vision, but to be a pilot you have to be an officer.
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    15 Jan 2011 05:12 AM
    Well I'm just about done putting together my OCS packet, but I'm not persay looking to be a pilot (yeah that'd be cool, but I've still got many of my options open)

    No, I was just looking at the things that I could do and want to do. In an ideal world, I'd probably like to go PA, but I know that they aren't really letting people into that lately. So I'm trying to explore any and all options. I'm a pretty versatile person. I've looked at the various jobs and seen A LOT of stuff I think I could (and would enjoy) doing. So I just want to narrow it down a bit (and hopefully have a general idea no how likely it is for me to get in.) I saw the article on the USCG snipers and thought "That would be cool, but how likely is it that I could even get in?" While I've thought about eye surgery, it's expensive, and if I can't even get into ANY flight profession it's not worth it.
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    15 Jan 2011 05:08 PM
    Udpate 2. So this week went good in the airman program, i found out that i was doing 13 and 14 out test for the flight surgeon to make sure im fine, then i might get to stay in the airman program awaiting orders but wouldnt get to go to school right away, So i would have to put my name back on the list, the ast detailer said i might get to stay after my pt out test evalm either way im glad im back!
    "The only easy day was yesterday"
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    20 Jan 2011 06:03 AM
    So I don't know that I got the answer I was looking for. Are these snipers rated with AST? Or would they be more GM?

    And if someone could find information on specific sight requirements I'd be very thankful.
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    22 Jan 2011 03:55 PM
    I believe the HITRON units are going to be where you find stuff like helo gunners. I think anyone who is aircrew qual'd can get the gunner position...but I could be wrong. I read at one point that they were having better luck getting airdales qualified on the guns, than getting GMs qualified as an aircrew member. With that said, I would imagine that any of the aviation rates, GM, or maybe even ME could be part of a HITRON unit.

    The person to ask would be sardaddy, he knows his helo ops stuff!
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    23 Jan 2011 06:10 PM
    I've also heard that GM spend more time fixing guns than they do shooting them.
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    24 Jan 2011 05:45 AM
    Yeah, reading the description on gocoastguard.com, it sounds like that's the case bikesnotscott. So it'd be better for me to attempt to go AST then it seems, but I still wonder about the sight regulations there. I really hate that my vision isn't perfect and even more so because it's not THAT bad. I'm afraid it's JUST enough to DQ me from stuff like this.
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    24 Jan 2011 07:51 PM
    It is to my understanding that you need to have 20/20 vision to qualify for any aviation rate. Correct me if i'm wrong.

    I had a discussion with an officer who pilots a HU-25 Falcon and he told me that he had to have corrective surgery so he could attend flight school. He told me that there is only ONE type of procedure that the CG will allow you to get and then work in aviation. It is not Lasik, it's the other one... I forget the name.
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    24 Jan 2011 08:42 PM
    Posted By bikesnotscott on 24 Jan 2011 08:51 PM
    It is to my understanding that you need to have 20/20 vision to qualify for any aviation rate. Correct me if i'm wrong.

    I had a discussion with an officer who pilots a HU-25 Falcon and he told me that he had to have corrective surgery so he could attend flight school. He told me that there is only ONE type of procedure that the CG will allow you to get and then work in aviation. It is not Lasik, it's the other one... I forget the name.


    I'm pretty sure your vision just has to be CORRECTABLE to 20/20. In other words, if you can wear lenses to achieve the 20/20 you should be able to get a waiver.

    I could be wrong, but I know for a fact that there are people in the aviation rates who have glasses/contacts.

    I don't have time to find the regs right now, but chuckles is sure to know them as he's in aviation and he knows his stuff!

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    25 Jan 2011 02:17 PM
    Posted By Eoghan Roe on 20 Jan 2011 07:03 AM
    So I don't know that I got the answer I was looking for. Are these snipers rated with AST? Or would they be more GM?

    And if someone could find information on specific sight requirements I'd be very thankful.


    For simple verbiage, the CG doesn't have snipers. We have Precision Marksmen (PMs). It is a legal thing. Anyway, there are a few types of units that have PMs. AUF units and HITRON, In either case, the PMs are now aviation ratings. We initially had GMs at HITRON but we found that is easier to make a qualified aircrewman a gunner than it is to make a GM, or any other rating for that matter, a qualified aircrewman. This is only because the aviation requirements are so stringent that a fully qualified GM may not be physically qualified to be an aircrewman. PMs are now pretty much AMTs or AETs with a very few ASTs thrown in. 

    As far as the sight requirements go, I am only sure about the pilots. We have to have 20/20 vision to start flight school. Once we start flying we can wear glasses. So as long as we pass the initial vision test, we can go to the flight surgeon after our first flight and tell him we can't see. As long as we can get corrected to 20/20 at that point we are good to go.

    I hope that helped.
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    27 Jan 2011 05:52 AM
    It did thank you kindly. I feel AET and AMT getting higher on my list.
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    14 Feb 2011 06:54 AM
    FYI
    Between air station Kodiak and St. Paul last week there were 15 souls saved. Most of them from the water.
    An AST named Claude saved 5 souls alone in 25ft seas.
    Good job air crews & specially ASTs.
    Sunny
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    14 Feb 2011 11:41 AM
    Anyone lost Sunny? So glad they are out there to protect those on the water. I had a friend was on a fishing vessel when I lived on Kodiak... I hated he was out there, glad I knew people that were ready to rescue him God forbid he ever needed it.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    14 Feb 2011 12:19 PM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commended the United States Coast Guard for the rescue of 18 fishermen in four incidents over the last two months in Alaskan waters.

    The most recent incident occurred early Friday morning when the Coast Guard rescued five fishermen from a grounded vessel near Kodiak Island. This was the second major rescue in a week; on February 8, the Coast Guard saved five fishermen from a grounded vessel near Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands.
    On January 25, the Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from a vessel taking on water in Prince William Sound, and in late December, the Coast Guard made a dramatic rescue of five people from a sinking fishing boat near Petersburg.

    “I commend the Coast Guard for all of these incredible rescues. In a little over a month the Coast Guard has saved 18 lives in Alaska,” Murkowski said. “Each rescue was in a different region of the state and each one showed the heroism that our brave men and women of the Coast Guard demonstrate on a daily basis. I want to thank all the Coast Guard members involved in these rescues for their continued service in keeping Alaskans safe and secure.”

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    16 Feb 2011 04:55 AM
    Erich said no one was lost or injured.
    Erich will be going to St. Paul for 2wks at the end of Feb. for rotation.
    Last month when he was there they had a blizzard most of the time they were there.
    Erich also got orders for July 2011, Barbers Point will be his new duty station.
    He's already talking extending.

    Thanx Pepperdoggie for the correction, I'm only passing on what I hear from my son.
    Sunny
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    16 Feb 2011 05:22 AM
    I didn't mean it as a correction. Thought it was nice someone in Congress took notice of the Coast Guard
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    16 Feb 2011 05:58 AM
    Don't know if the moderator will allow this URL to be included, but I'll give it a try:

    http://www.kiiitv.com/Global/story....S=14038667

    The news station in Corpus Christ,i KIIITV, did a story on the local USCG airstation unit. Great footage and great to see my son in action (he is the rescue swimmer). If the URL is removed Google the TV station and you will find two links one for a morning show teaser for last night's 10 PM news piece.

    Richard
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    16 Feb 2011 07:33 AM
    We would never remove a link to something so long as it is relevant. There have been some removed because they were spam, porn or just nonsense. But something like this... post away anytime. Thank you for sharing!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    16 Feb 2011 11:07 AM
    Hey Richard
    Kevin looks good. It's been a long time since I shook his hand in E-City.
    I'll send this link to Erich.
    Thanx for sharing.
    Joe.
    Sunny
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    17 Feb 2011 10:28 PM
    His time has come! David Munns starts AST school Feb 28th exactly 2 years from graduating from boot camp "Yankee 180". He was at San Francisco air station since Sept. Does anyone know if the orders say Feb 28 - July 1, will July 1 be the graduation date?

    Davids mom - Melanie
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    18 Feb 2011 08:11 AM
    Melanie
    It was 18 weeks AST training when my son did it. He didn't make it thru 74-09 so they said he could do another 8 weeks. Finally he graduated 75-09. There are two very nice sound front cabins that can sleep 6 for cheap right on base. Your son needs to reserve them well ahead of time for you. Graduation was on a Fri.
    Joe
    Sunny
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    20 Feb 2011 02:56 PM
    Melanie,

    Congrats to David! We'll all be pulling for him.

    I'm in the top 30 on the AST 'A' school list now...hopefully I'll get orders in the next 1 or 2 sets that they issue.

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    20 Feb 2011 05:55 PM
    Is there a way to do this without being "in peak physical condition"?i have the medical aspect down prior to enlisting. I'm not"weak" but wondering how strict they mean by the "in peak physical condition" part.
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    21 Feb 2011 07:40 AM
    They do indeed mean in peak!!!! physical condition. My son just began the airman program to prepare for AST A school. He has seen all the people he knew wash out ahead of him. He has been training for this quite a while and has no illusion that he is better prepared than those he has seen go before him.
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    21 Feb 2011 03:35 PM
    Texasdad,

    Does he do marathons, triathlons, etc? Or has he just been training based on what the airman syllabus has in it?

    I'm not in 'peak' physical condition, because you can always get better. I'm a much better swimmer than I've ever been, and can run better than I've ever run...but there is never a peak. With that said, what is considered 'peak'? I can pass the minimums and in 'IN-TEST'...but that's not enough in my opinion. It's important to understand that no matter how good you are, this training is going to be tough. Only those who refuse to quit will pass.
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    21 Feb 2011 08:52 PM
    Well we just said goodbye to David as he's headed to Elizabeth City to start school on Monday! I don't think anyone can relate to the whole process of getting to this point unless you are a parent too. We are so proud. David has worked hard and we are expecting him to graduate but know not everyone does. I would encourage those interested or on the AST list to be consistent with workouts and endurance building. I really think being in water polo and the swim team for 4 years built Davids confidence in the water and will help him. I would love any information or words of encouragement from other parents  Melanie
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    22 Feb 2011 08:26 AM
    In reply to USCG for me. He has been on a 378 for a couple of years and his ability to work out has been restricted. He has the syllabus as a work out guide. He was a life guard before the Coast guard and worked out with his baseball programs. He was a major league prospect at one time. ----------- PasoJack, I wish all the good will and positve thoughts I can to your son. That he has gotten this far is something to be proud of. My son is just starting the airman program and we are becoming aware of just how very difficult it is to become this rate. I was just directed to a webb site called becomingarescueswimmer.com it is very informative.
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    22 Feb 2011 07:18 PM
    Our son too was on a 378 "Morgenthau"and had two Alaska tours in the 1 1/2yrs then on to 6 months at SF Air station. I would imagine depending on the station you are stationed at, the training could differ. The first three months were certainly the seeing how much  mental and physical abuse David could take.  It did make him stronger and he gained a lot more respect  by never quitting or complaining and working out daily on his own. I have to admit in the beginning  we thought the training was more like boot camp style and not specialized training we thought he would get to prepare for A school.   It is always hard on us parents to think our child is being singled out, but now I see  how it "will" prepare him for A school and is more likely to succeed. Thanks for the site info, we had seen that before but maybe it will be helpful for others interested in this position.  Good luck to your son.
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    23 Feb 2011 09:48 AM
    I notice you mentioned 6 months at the air station. We are expecting 4 months. Was this his choice? Is there an advantage to staying longer i.e. a better chance of success in A school? Or do they hold you there until they think you are ready? Of all the people my son has known either directly(from his boat) or indirectly(from boot camp or relatives) that have attempted AST A school none have been successful. One thing about it, this will be something they will always remember and leave knowing more about themselves.
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    23 Feb 2011 07:15 PM
    Texasdad,

    I can't speak for PasoJack, but I do know the following: if an 'A' school class is 12 people, then they actually issue 18 airman orders. They build in a 50% cushion of airmen assuming that there will be some people who drop from the airman program due to injury, or just quitting. They do this in hopes that there are 12 people left to go to 'A' school from the original 18.

    Sometimes out of the 18 airmen, more than 12 will pass...leaving you with a surplus of Airmen and not enough 'A' school spots. What happens then is you will stay at your airstatoin until your turn comes around. I've heard of this happening more than once. Again, this may not be PasoJack's son's reasoning...but it could be.

    I've also known people who roll an ankle, catch the flu, etc - during their airman training. This delays them, and if the injury or illness is minor, they will usually allow the airmen to stay at their airman program, but they obviously have to extend it a bit.

    This is just what I've learned while researching all of this...thought I'd share. I've never been through the airmen program or AST school, just patiently waiting and learning as much as I can while I wait.

    Take care,
    SNQ
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    23 Feb 2011 08:17 PM
    Texasdad, David was scheduled for the Jan 6th class and had his orders. His buddy who started 3 weeks before him was not scheduled for that class because he was actually behind David on the A school list. The AST's requested an extension to the Chief so they could both get some more training in and start the Feb class together. It was actually Sept 6 - Feb10. He took some leave and time for travel. I hear there is a day and night class and still might not be in the same class. But at least they will be there at the same time. They are in Florida now and leave in the morning for Elizabeth City!
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    23 Feb 2011 09:01 PM
    Posted By PasoJack on 23 Feb 2011 09:17 PM
    Texasdad, David was scheduled for the Jan 6th class and had his orders. His buddy who started 3 weeks before him was not scheduled for that class because he was actually behind David on the A school list. The AST's requested an extension to the Chief so they could both get some more training in and start the Feb class together. It was actually Sept 6 - Feb10. He took some leave and time for travel. I hear there is a day and night class and still might not be in the same class. But at least they will be there at the same time. They are in Florida now and leave in the morning for Elizabeth City!


    That's pretty cool that the Chief let him do that!

    I was wondering how the 'double classes' worked. It's interesting to hear about a day/night, first I have heard of that.

    Keep us posted on his progress! Especially his first impressions!

    Thanks,
    SNQ
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    01 Mar 2011 10:07 PM
    Davids class 88-11 has started. There is a day class with 6 students and night class with 7 students. He is in the night 3pm-11pm. He has 3 instructors. Yesterday was basically a introductory class for both classes and a fitness test. He felt he was in the top 3 for swimming and bottom 3 for running. I was hoping to get a call tonight since we are 3 hours earlier, but maybe tomorrow.
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    02 Mar 2011 05:25 AM
    Just wondering... AST school seems hard enough, night AST school???? Is that harder than day school? My personal thought is no matter if you get the same time for sleeping, going to school until 11pm, psychologically you must be more tired. Just curious!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    02 Mar 2011 11:39 AM
    Macie, that was my first thought as well. Granted, I am one week away from Cape May and probably about 2 years away from AST A school.
    Your 2010 World Champions: The San Francisco Giants
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    03 Mar 2011 05:58 AM
    When my son was at E-city there was talk of morning and night classes to help clear some of the backup on the list. His class spent the first 8 weeks in the pool during the morning hours (there were occasional night swims to mix things up). Around week 9 they take their midterm and begin learning the other part of their craft (sewing, rescue equipment) and the next class, the baby, class shows up. The baby class gets the pool in the morning while the junior class gets the pool at night for lap swimming and other light ;-) training.

    Does anyone know if the new swim facility got funded and is being built? It was supposed to be quite an upgrade to the existing pool/facility. The instructors did say it was difficult to schedule pool time for the classes at E-city, if I remember there are three classes there at one time. The time the new class show up the seniors are graduating in around a week leaving the junior and baby class using the facilities.

    Richard
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    03 Mar 2011 03:08 PM

    Posted By proudUSCGpop on 03 Mar 2011 06:58 AM
    When my son was at E-city there was talk of morning and night classes to help clear some of the backup on the list. His class spent the first 8 weeks in the pool during the morning hours (there were occasional night swims to mix things up). Around week 9 they take their midterm and begin learning the other part of their craft (sewing, rescue equipment) and the next class, the baby, class shows up. The baby class gets the pool in the morning while the junior class gets the pool at night for lap swimming and other light ;-) training.

    Does anyone know if the new swim facility got funded and is being built? It was supposed to be quite an upgrade to the existing pool/facility. The instructors did say it was difficult to schedule pool time for the classes at E-city, if I remember there are three classes there at one time. The time the new class show up the seniors are graduating in around a week leaving the junior and baby class using the facilities.

    Richard


    Richard,

    The new RSTF (Rescue Swimmer Training Facility) is well underway. I'm not sure what percentage of completion it is currently at, but the first time I saw a projected completion date, it was late this year. Generally, in my experience of construction project management for government projects, these dates are never met...but we'll see!

    I FINALLY got my airman orders! I'll be going to school around August if all goes well at the Airman program!

    Hopefully I'll get to use the new school towards the end of my training.


    Paso, glad to hear your son is doing good at the swimming aspect of it! Keep us posted on his progress.
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    03 Mar 2011 09:49 PM
    Congratulations on your Airman orders. I wish you the best. David told us last night that most of the guys there were trained strictly by the syllabus ( by themselves) and didn't get the pool  training and extra workouts with the AST's he got.  I would encourage you to find a pool and swim 3-4 times a week with gear on.  David said it is the hardest thing he has ever done! But he is focused and has a great attitude. There are 3 classes there now, 2 baby classes and 1 senior class that has 8 weeks on them. They take there first test on Monday. He said the morale is great and everyone is looking out for each other. They eat like crazy and drink lots of water!
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    14 Mar 2011 12:30 PM

    Dolphinwings,

    Good luck on your goal! My daughter is at boot now, she will graduate in three weeks!  She too wants to be an ast! She actually met the other female ast but did not have a chance to really discuss a lot with her.  She filled out her dream sheet last week so we are eagerly waiting for her next step.  She was always on these boards before boot so she may again.  She worked really hard and did say she was the most athletic of all the other females in her group.  She too was a lifeguard and swim instructor prior to joining and was training for her first triatholon so she feels she is in good shape.  I will keep you posted, if you find it helpful. Again, much luck to you!!

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    14 Mar 2011 01:24 PM
    Congratulations, USCGforMe,

    Can you tell us how long your wait time has been since you put your name on the AST list up until you go off to the Airman Program?
    newms! PATFORSWA
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    14 Mar 2011 02:24 PM

    Off duty AST3 in St. Paul Ak last two weeks.
    Erich put the gun away now.  Dad
    Sunny
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    14 Mar 2011 02:45 PM
    Nice hunt!!! I haven't done any hunting since we left Alaska and fishing has been pretty scarce too! But I have a good semi-step-son that sends us salmon! Now if I could just convince him to send me some backstrap, too! LOL
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    14 Mar 2011 06:18 PM
    We are supposed to be getting salmon, halibut and crab. That's been going on for a year now. I don't think we'll ever see any of that. His new duty station will be Barbers Point end of June.
    So he's got to get his "hunting"  rocks off now.
    Sunny
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    15 Mar 2011 09:03 PM
    newms, our son was 1 year exactly! Now in his 3 week at A school. They have lost 2 guys - one twisted his ankle on a run and the other couldn't pass a pool test after 3 times.
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    16 Mar 2011 06:08 PM
    Sunny --- So I'm guessing Santa has one less reindeer to pull the sleigh this year...... but what the heck are those other furry creatures? Looks like the one on the left has an horn or antler. That was a quick stay in Alaska for Erich, one extreme in temperature to the other.

    PasoJack --- As I remember the early weeks are the toughest, the ones who were not prepared both physically and mentally drop early. In my son's class 2-3 guys suffered dehydration and never fully recovered and eventually dropped. We are keeping your son in prayer, this is a life changing experience.

    Richard
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    16 Mar 2011 06:51 PM
    Thanks, PasoJack,

    I'm rooting for your son.
    newms! PATFORSWA
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    16 Mar 2011 10:33 PM
    Just talked with David, him and 3 others (out of 12) passed the basket test. He is doing well and keeping an "I will"attitude.  So great for us as parents to hear. He said he was getting his hair cut this weekend but keeping it longer on top for his flat top for graduation. Positive thinking from the youngest and shortest guy there. I know it is early days yet and it will get harder.
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    17 Mar 2011 04:36 PM

    Those little critters supposed to be Silver Fox. The antlers you see are on the ground, probably from Santas Reindeer. I like to see him smuggle out those antlers. I got a 5 foot baleen whale tooth home that he smuggled out last year. How's Kevin? Any good SARs?
    Joe


    PasoJack    Hang in there, it's a tough time for both parents and coastie.
    Keep praying.

    Sunny
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    18 Mar 2011 09:30 PM
    Posted By newms on 14 Mar 2011 02:24 PM
    Congratulations, USCGforMe,

    Can you tell us how long your wait time has been since you put your name on the AST list up until you go off to the Airman Program?


    I reported to my unit in August of 2009, got all of my quals done, decided to finally go AST over AMT (I wasted a month and a half trying to decide which way to go), then injured my hand the day before I submitted my 'A' school application in Feb of 2010.

    That took a couple of months to heal and get cleared by a flight surgeon before I finally put my name on the 'A' school list in July of 2010. I'll report to the airman program in April 2011. So, 9 months on the 'A' school list...but I got my flight physical done at basic training. This can make your weight a little longer if you get anything holding you up.

    Paso, glad to hear your son is still going strong! I'll have to look him up when I get to 'E-City' (reporting in april).

    Sunny, your son will have a blast in Hawaii if he likes offshore fishing. Judging his previous fishing pictures w/halibut, he'll be just fine!

    Take care all - I look forward to the updates.

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    19 Mar 2011 09:50 AM
    Getting your flight physical is definitely something you should do asap! Especially if you are stationed on a cutter. Had David had the physical before he went to Alaska he would have cut three months off his wait time.

    SNQ - You must be excited your number has come up and you're getting closer to A school. You have Airman orders for Elizabeth City? That is nice, you'll be in one place for about eight months. Run as much as you can and more We talked with David last night and one of the guys DOR during running yesterday. He thinks by next week or the next they will be down to four and join the day class.
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    20 Mar 2011 11:05 AM
    Posted By PasoJack on 19 Mar 2011 10:50 AM
    Getting your flight physical is definitely something you should do asap! Especially if you are stationed on a cutter. Had David had the physical before he went to Alaska he would have cut three months off his wait time.

    SNQ - You must be excited your number has come up and you're getting closer to A school. You have Airman orders for Elizabeth City? That is nice, you'll be in one place for about eight months. Run as much as you can and more We talked with David last night and one of the guys DOR during running yesterday. He thinks by next week or the next they will be down to four and join the day class.


    That's correct, I'll be in E-City for airman program and 'A' school. I agree, it will be nice to have it all at one spot. One less move, and one less place to get reacquainted to.

    What types of distances are they running? Any idea what time of time limits they have? That would be helpful to gauge where I'm at now.

    Thanks in advance!
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    20 Mar 2011 12:00 PM
    I will find out from David and see if he will get on this forum and give you some tips. I'm excited for you and your ambition. I see you have waited along time to get this far. What day do you report to the Air Station? I'm not sure but I think you all stay in the dorms in the Doughnut?? I'm sure David would be happy to talk with you. He is a happy expressive His buddy Flick who he trained with in SF and traveled to E-City to start school with, sprained his toe just before school.  They let him work at the air station there and he can start the next school that is scheduled for April 25.  Maybe you will meet him. Where are you stationed now?
    Melanie (Munns's Mom)

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    20 Mar 2011 12:11 PM
    Richard - Has or did your son in-law go through A school yet?
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    20 Mar 2011 04:33 PM
    He was 3 weeks into the airman program and he started to have a problem with his shoulder. They did some tests and determined that he needed to have it surgically repaired. He is doing fine and patiently awaiting champing at the bit to get back in the water. He has to get medically approved before putting his name back on the list, but the surgeon said he didn't think that would be an issue. His recovery is slow, shoulder surgery can be quite a long recovery. I think he can start doing push ups this week.

    Richard
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    20 Mar 2011 05:49 PM
    That is too bad! He must have been very disappointed. I wish him a full recovery. Unfortunately, we never know what might happen along the way. I'm praying David will stay healthy and able to handle what comes his way.
    Melanie
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    29 Mar 2011 10:21 AM
    Does anyone know what AST hours are like, say days on and days off in a week? and hours during the day. and I pretty much think that they are on call 24/7 for a rescue?
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    29 Mar 2011 05:21 PM
    At my son's shop they typically stand duty one in four, their typical work day (non duty) is from 0700 - 1600 hours M-F. When they stand duty they are at the base/shop for 24 hours, they do not leave until re-leaved the next day. The air station has quarters where crew members standing duty stay/sleep. When their duty day falls on a weekend (Sat, Sun) they typically get a day off during the week. On his days off he is responsible for staying in a certain radius of the air station in the event the need arises, unless he has a chit allowing him further travel. He did say he is being rotated to the night shift 1500 - 2300 hours. This is not a duty shift, it is a normal work day where they would do normal activities in support of the air station (workout, repair rescue equipment, other shop tasks).

    Richard
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    29 Mar 2011 09:31 PM
    A school update - Davids class is down to three left!  My prayers and his determination is keeping him there. They are in their 5th week and will merge with the day class next week.  He is doing well and feels confident
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    30 Mar 2011 05:08 AM
    How many weeks total is the A school??? I don't post much on this thread since I have only known one AST and that was 23 years ago. I don't have much to add... but I have been reading and enjoy following your son's progress! I hope those prayers and his strength keep him going to the finish line!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    30 Mar 2011 02:36 PM
    My son an AST, class 74/75-09 did 18 weeks AST training. He failed the last week and went before an board in Norfolk and beggen to keep him in. They gave him 6 more weeks to pass and he did, thus 2 graduated class 75-09.
     Normal time is 18 weeks of AST training.
    Joe

    Sunny
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    30 Mar 2011 02:50 PM
    That is really great they gave him the time to complete. I can't imagine one thing tripping me up at 17 weeks and not being able to finish. That would be heart breaking!!!
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    31 Mar 2011 06:02 AM
    That's why only around 20% make it thru.
    Sunny
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    31 Mar 2011 10:47 PM
    Wow! 5 weeks down and the class of 7 down to 3 in the night class are taking  their final Strops test tomorrow. I'm praying they all have the strength and confidence to pull through! Apparently this test is the one most fail. He  completed it the first time with a minute to spare  but didn't check something?? And the second try his mask wrapped around his neck and he choked when he attempted to get out of the lock of the instructor and had to pinch out . Such a shame they don't get more time to go over it. David said he won't go down without a fight and will be back if he doesn't pass this time. He only has 2 no goes against him and you are allowed 7! I don't think I'll be able to get much sleep tonight.
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    05 Apr 2011 06:44 PM
    The night class all failed after 5 weeks and the day class still has 5!! Fortunately David had the privilege  to go before the board today and his instructors recommended he be given another chance. He had done really well and was so close to passing  that they are allowing him to begin with the new class that starts on April 25!  He will be training with his buddy that couldn't start the class with him because of his broken toe. Funny how things work out. Now they will train together for the next couple of weeks and begin school on the 25th. I can't help but think that the more training  the better prepared mentally and physically he'll be.
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    05 Apr 2011 06:48 PM
    Oh Melanie how terrible & great at the same time!! I'm sorry the class failed but I'm glad David is going to be able to do it again so quickly!!!
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    05 Apr 2011 08:34 PM
    Melanie. Your David will be better prepared because now he knows what's coming training wise.
    There's a lot of bonding with the group the first couple of days/weeks.
    Then when your buddies fail out, the presure  is on yourself not to fail.
    The mental strain is tremendous, he's got to learn to focus.
    Sunny
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    06 Apr 2011 10:03 PM
    Melanie,

    I was glad to hear the board review gave him another shot! He'll be stronger because of it.

    I'm looking forward to meeting him in a little over a week!

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    07 Apr 2011 07:12 AM
    Jasen. Give it your best shot. We all hope you do well.
    Sunny
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    14 Apr 2011 08:05 PM
    I bought "So Others May Live" the story of the US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer and it is truly an amazing book. I got it for 7 bucks on Amazon and I highly recommend it for AST fans and future AST's like myself.
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    26 Apr 2011 05:50 PM
    Posted By bostonsc4 on 14 Apr 2011 09:05 PM
    I bought "So Others May Live" the story of the US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer and it is truly an amazing book. I got it for 7 bucks on Amazon and I highly recommend it for AST fans and future AST's like myself.


    Be sure to check out 'Brotherhood of the Fin' also...I liked that one even more than 'So Others May Live'.

    Both great books for AST hopefuls!
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    27 Apr 2011 12:55 PM
    Posted By USCGforMe on 26 Apr 2011 06:50 PM
    Posted By bostonsc4 on 14 Apr 2011 09:05 PM
    I bought "So Others May Live" the story of the US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer and it is truly an amazing book. I got it for 7 bucks on Amazon and I highly recommend it for AST fans and future AST's like myself.


    Be sure to check out 'Brotherhood of the Fin' also...I liked that one even more than 'So Others May Live'.

    Both great books for AST hopefuls!

    Thanks very much for that! I'll be sure to check that one out seeing as I'm motoring through 'So Others May Live' much faster than I'd like to.
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    27 Apr 2011 05:29 PM
    Another good one to read is "Deadliest Sea" by Kalee Thompson. The book cover subtitles it "The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History". I read it and I couldn't put it down.

    Richard
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    27 Apr 2011 07:41 PM
    That made that into a show for Discovery Channel... I was crying through most of it. I would like to read the book.
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    07 May 2011 12:28 PM
    Cordova News

    https://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/780/1082583

    Good job Erich.

    Dad
    Sunny
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    08 May 2011 07:08 PM
    Way to go!
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    12 May 2011 06:41 PM
    Posted By Old Guard2 on 27 Apr 2011 08:41 PM
    That made that into a show for Discovery Channel... I was crying through most of it. I would like to read the book.

    I think I saw that today.
    The Coast Guard performed outstanding considering the conditions they were in.  
    I got choked up watching that show, it was encouraging but also so heartbreaking.  
    Your passion for what you do will set you free.
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    12 May 2011 08:16 PM
    That was the exact feeling... so proud that I'm connected to the CG but so sad because I know fishermen in Kodiak and Valdez and I know what they are up against too. When that rescue swimmer stays behind... I know that's what this rate might have to do... but still... heartbreaking. But it goes to show how incredibly strong those young men & women are in their chosen profession.
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    21 May 2011 10:11 AM
    I haven't posted on this website in forever but, finally got my AN orders after flip flopping A-school list a couple times, I report June 13th in Astoria, Oregon. I'm super pumped/nervous/excited all at the same time. All my buddies are either off at school or the AN program and its finally my turn now.
    1 day left
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    06 Jun 2011 09:54 PM
    April 26 AST class is down to three. Passed the parachute test today and  are practicing the multi's  for their final next week! This week CNN camera crews are filming them in and out of the water. Not sure what the event is but as soon as I know I will post. David said insane workouts for the camera.
    Melanie

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    07 Jun 2011 06:02 AM
    Melanie, I'm glad to hear David is still there and plugging right along. I hope it keeps going well for him! I'm interested to know what CNN is putting together, we'll look for updates.
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    24 Jun 2011 07:17 AM
    Our AST is leaving Air Station Kodiak and headed for Air Station Barbers Point for a couple of years.
    He's already talking extension.
    Has to muster on Jun29.
    A whole new chapter begins in his adventure.

    Sunny
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    11 Jul 2011 09:18 PM
    Only 6 weeks left! David and his 2 classmates are finishing up sewing this week and on to the parachute packing.  Hopefully next week they will get their picks for duty.
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    12 Jul 2011 05:43 AM
    Great going for David.

    Tell David to reserve one of the two fully equipped (except W&D) waterfront cabins on base for graduation for you. Probably still under $50 a nite. They sleep 6 comfortably.

    Tell David NOT to kiss JOBOO on the lips.

    Our AST got married in Hawaii and is stationed at Barbers Point. I guess you can say they are honeymooning in Hawaii. :o} Joe
    Sunny
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    12 Jul 2011 06:00 AM
    First to David... sewing! He can darn his own socks now, no excuse. Congratulations on another week down. I hope he gets the pick he is looking for.

    Next to Joe... congratulations on the new daughter. How exciting to be able to honeymoon in Hawaii for a few years.
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    22 Jul 2011 09:04 PM
    Sunny,

    I was just cruising Flickr tonight and came across this picture... wonder if you saw this one?? Amazing what we can find when we aren't really looking! LOL

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/coast_...540784553/

    Macie
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    25 Jul 2011 11:18 AM
    Posted By Old Guard2 on 22 Jul 2011 10:04 PM
    Sunny,

    I was just cruising Flickr tonight and came across this picture... wonder if you saw this one?? Amazing what we can find when we aren't really looking! LOL

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/coast_...540784553/

    Macie

    Macie, that pix put a smile on my face, thanx.
    He's been in Barbers Point for a month now and needs to qualify for H-65. He only flew in H-60 in Kodiak.
    Doing a lot of surfing while his wife sits on the beach out of the sun. Rumor has it that there are a lot less SAR's in Hawaii than in Kodiak.
    p.s. Google- Erich Klingner

    Joe
    Sunny
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    25 Jul 2011 05:26 PM
    Joe,

    I hear the same from Corpus not many SAR events, and if they happen they happen on someone else's duty day. 

    Richard
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    25 Jul 2011 08:59 PM
    Posted By proudUSCGpop on 25 Jul 2011 06:26 PM
    Joe,

    I hear the same from Corpus not many SAR events, and if they happen they happen on someone else's duty day. 

    Richard

    Hey Richard
    I hope all is well with you.
    I haven't heard from you in months. How is Kevin doing?
    Erich has been in Barber Point for a month now. Got married.
    Trying to qualify with the H-65.
    He thinks he may be in Hawaii for 4+ years.
    They are looking for a house to buy.
    I see that the Gulf has very warm water (85+ degrees).
    Next Storm there will be a good one.
    We hope Kevin and crew will be safe.
    Joe

    Sunny
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    26 Jul 2011 06:09 PM
    Joe,

    We just had a small family reunion, Kevin came home (2 week leave) along with my son-in-law and daughter (they are expecting). Kevin is preparing for the SWE that is coming up in October/November, trying to get PO2. My son-in-law just got his orders to the airman program for a September start and an AST A school sometime the end of the year if all stays on track. Here we go again...... Sounds like it is time for Erich's Mom and Dad to take a trip to an Island paradise to make sure all is in order (tough job but someone has to do it).

    Richard
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    26 Jul 2011 06:27 PM
    Getting closer to graduation David is doing great and just got his picks. Corpus Christy, New Orleans, North Bend and Sitka! He's leaning toward Sitka. Any thoughts out there
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    26 Jul 2011 07:04 PM

    This is what I know about those picks.

    Corpus Christi --- Nice air station, on the Naval Air Station (NAS). There is housing, commissary, hospital, golf course.... That is where my son is stationed, in January he'll have been there 2 years. Hot and Humid.

    North Bend --- My son-in-law begins his airman program there in September. Currently he is at a small boat station in Winchester Bay Oregon. My daughter has a love hate relationship with Oregon, they love the mountains and greenery, but she hates the rain and the cloudy cold that comes with it. When she arrived someone told her to get lots of vitamin D and sun lamps. We live in NM where the sun shines 300+ days a year. Don't know about the SAR cases there, but the Oregon coast can be pretty treacherous.

    Sitka --- I'll let Joe talk to that one since his son is the recent Alaska resident.

    New Orleans --- Haven't heard much about this station.

    Good luck to him on his final multi.

    Richard
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    26 Jul 2011 07:42 PM
    I have lived in all 4 states. Texas was hot but great. Louisiana was REALLY hot and I enjoyed it. I don't recommend it at all if there are kids involved. It is a lot of fun for adults but for kids, I'm just not sure. Colin was 2 when we got there, we left when he was 3 1/2, I didn't want him exposed to a lot of things there. Personally, I loved Oregon. Rain and cloudy weather and the green of the mountains... that gives me energy! Real, serious, tons of energy. So rain doesn't stop me from ding anything. I'll say the same thing about Oregon & Alaska... if there was work in either place, I would move back tomorrow. Alaska... well I love just about everything there is about Alaska. The only thing that CAN get tough, is the isolation. If you are a person that can work past possibly being stuck in one town with no way out for a few days/weeks... it can be a marvelous assignment.

    Now I realize this is the look through the eyes of a wife, not a Coastie but it's an honest review of the places.
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    26 Jul 2011 09:57 PM
    Richard   -Good News I like family reunions.

    Looks like you'll have your quiver full with ASTs

    We planning Hawaii in Jan 2012.

    Joe
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    27 Jul 2011 07:03 AM
    Thanks for all the info. David is so excited about Sitka and going for it. From what I understand he has one more multi test and then graduates Aug 26, 2011. Does anyone know the failure rate of this test? It is only four weeks to go and I would really like to get our tickets since we are coming from CA?
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    27 Jul 2011 08:36 PM
    From what I was able to get from my son it was the hardest, he ended up going last of seven. He had to wait in the locker room listening waiting for his turn. He told us days before the test that failure for him was not an option. He wouldn't go into detail about the test, that is for every AST to experience first hand with no prior knowledge. When we were at my son's graduation the instructors said there were students who did fail the last test, and depending on their effort were re-phased to do it all again. We will keep David in prayer as the coming weeks approach.

    Good luck to David

    Richard
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    06 Aug 2011 01:18 PM
    Breaking news - CNN special on AST's - Our son David was taped several times during the production of this CNN special that will air this Sun Aug 7 and Aug 13 on CNN at 8pm, 11pm and 2am Eastern time. Here is the preview that can be seen at
    www.cnn.com/#/video/us/2011/08/02/larsen.coast.guard.swimmers.cnn

    From what I understand it will air with 2 other unrelated stories. So we are not sure when in the hour the rescue swimmer piece will be. It is filmed in Elizabeth City, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

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    07 Aug 2011 06:32 AM
    Very cool, set up the DVR to record it!
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    12 Aug 2011 09:41 PM
    I am pleased to announce  "We are one of  the few and proud parents of  one of two new AST's to graduate".  David Munns and Dave Froehlich passed their final multi test today. Hoorah!! Joe Winters came close, he will be re-phased to the class behind them Graduation two weeks today. What a journey it has been and it goes on.  On to Sitka, Alaska!
    Melanie
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    13 Aug 2011 09:28 AM
    Congrats to David and Dave.
    Melanie when you get to E-City don't just leave after graduation.
    Go let David give you the tour of the base, pool, Helos, etc. spend the afternoon and talk with the instructors.
    It's all very interesting. Take lots of pictures. Get there early and sit in the front row.
    Joe
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    13 Aug 2011 09:48 AM
    Thank you for all the bits of advice. We are so looking forward to our trip to Elizabeth City. My husband will probably talk the instructors ears off! He is a huge fan of anything that fly's and has been so supportive to our son and can't wait to really see what he has been doing these last 6 months. We are so proud and happy David's dream has come true!  The "Guardian" movie inspired him and he never let go. He will be 21 in less than 4 weeks.
    Melanie
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    13 Aug 2011 11:39 AM
    Melanie,

    Congratulations to the two newest AST graduates (especially your David)! As Joe recommended make sure to get a tour of the base. If you can try staying on base, it is much more convenient and the rates can't be beat. Unlike Joe who stayed in the cabins, we stayed in the trailers directly across from where the ceremony takes place, they were clean and had all of the essentials. Either way see if David can make those arrangements. When my son graduated there were 7 AST and about 25 AMT in a combined ceremony. It is not like the boot camp graduation, you can get up and take pictures as well as pin on his new crows.

    Richard

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    13 Aug 2011 04:33 PM
    Congratulations to both of our newest AST's! That is amazing. Have a wonderful time at graduation. So after the visit to E City, when is the first visit to Sitka?? Beautiful country!
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    14 Aug 2011 08:46 AM
    Nine days to go and we will be on our way to Elizabeth City.  We have a cabin booked Wed-Sat. Is there anything traditional we should give David as a gift for his accomplishment? David tells us he and Dave will be graduating with another class, so we will get there early to seat front row
    Melanie
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    14 Aug 2011 10:14 PM
    Congratulations on your son's wonderful accomplishment!! I can feel your pride!! I have been off and on following your son's journey as my daughter has those aspirations.
     She graduated in April and is currently on a cutter in Miami. She has a crew member that was just returned to the boat from AST school; he was discharged because of a bad knee. He was disappointed of course. She has stopped telling people what she wants to do as they are discouraging her; telling her how hard it is, even her supervisor, except this guy, he is trying to encourage her to go for it. We are of course telling her to go for it, otherwise she will never know and she will have regrets. She is ready to put her name on the list; and knows it may be even harder since she is a female. My understanding is they go to airman school first then on to AST school? Congratulations on your sons graduation!! You are obviously a great parent to raise such an awesome son!
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    15 Aug 2011 06:51 AM
    Mermaid, it is hard, she might not make it... but I like her attitude. She will certainly NEVER make it if she doesn't try! I don't mind when people try to set expectations, I hate when people thoroughly discourage. Tell her to go for it... who knows, she may be one of the best AST's the school ever graduates, only one way to find out. Tell her, she has my support. Even if it's just mental support, I'll cheer her on from here.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    21 Aug 2011 10:54 AM
    We are indeed very proud. It has taken a lot of determination, confidence and strength to get through the training. Yes, your daughter would go to airman school first and will have to meet physical requirements to see if she is ready for A school. There was a girl in the morning class that made it to the 5th week and said she was putting her name back on the list to give it another try.  My guess is not every airman school is preparing the airman enough to meet the challenges they face in A school. David is one of two graduating on Friday that began with roughly 30 back in February. His first class they all failed and David was re-phased in the next class. Your daughter should put her name on the list and get her flight physical. She will find out in the airman program if she is strong enough and wants to continue
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    22 Aug 2011 06:11 PM
    Not exactly where to start here,  I have a few questions, 

    I have dont a ton of research for AST, and I have probably only scratched the surface.  I have a few questions,

    - From what I gather, you have to have the rank of E-3 to be placed on the AST "A" school wait list.  Is this true? if so would doing a six year enlistment get my name on the AST A school list faster then a normal four year enlistment? 
    - Why is it that around 50% of AST A school candidates drop out in the four to six month airman program? Are they only allowed to let a few airman through to A school? 
    - Is it possible to get the airman program in my contract? 
    -What exactly does the flight physical consist of? 
    - Is there a possibility that I will not be allowed to be entered onto the AST A school waiting list because there are no open AST billets? 
    - This may sound stupid, but is the AST program expanding? it seems like older posts/sources say that there are around 290 AST's in the coast guard, and more recent ones say over 320. 
    - What is the average career lifespan as a AST? There has to be a point where a swimmer is too old to be rescuing, what happens then? would the AST then  be placed in a command and coordination center? and if there is no room in a command center, what then?  
    - What is the average rank of the swimmer? are senior chiefs doing the rescuing or is it usually E4-E6? 
    - Is it feasible, after the AST swimming days are over, to go through the OCS program and become a pilot? 
    - Do A school instructors have tests to drop students? like throwing a coin into the pool until there is one student left, then the last student is booted? 

    Basically I want to see what kind of a career move this will be, a little background on myself, I graduated high school in 2010. Have been working full time and attending night classes at my local community college.  I am a triathalete, marathoner, and I ran varsity cross country and track in high school. I am a strong swimmer, and very interested in becoming a AST. I know it is a long and hard road but it is not impossible. also, is it possible for me to get the email of a current AST to bounce questions off of and to get a realistic view of how and if I can get a slot in the AST program. 

    Thank you for your help,

    -David 
    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    22 Aug 2011 07:05 PM
    David I'll help you out with some of the less specific questions:


    - From what I gather, you have to have the rank of E-3 to be placed on the AST "A" school wait list.  Is this true? if so would doing a six year enlistment get my name on the AST A school list faster then a normal four year enlistment? 


    Not true, you can put your name on any A-school list as an E2 after you've been at your first duty station for 4 months, but you will stay at the bottom of the list below every E3 until you make E3. You will be eligible to make E3, 6 months after graduating bootcamp. For any aviation rate, the two months you are at the bottom of the list waiting to make E3 really do not matter because it will take you at least two months to get your flight physical, clearance, and other things squared away. This is why in my personal opinion, it is not worth signing an extra 2 years in an ATTEMPT to shave 2 months off of your wait time for AST A-school. This is directly from the head of the Airman Program:

    "Members on the AST “A” School waiting list that have a CG PSC approved flight physical can expect “A” School orders at any point (even if at the bottom of the waiting list). All members interested in aviation rates should note that the Airman Program begins 4 months prior to the actual class convening date. Members applying for any Aviation “A” School must be aware that the physical/medical requirements are usually stricter than most non-aviation ratings."



    - Why is it that around 50% of AST A school candidates drop out in the four to six month airman program? Are they only allowed to let a few airman through to A school? 


    There is a >50% washout rate because the program is so physical and mentally challenging that not everyone can handle it. Whether it be injury, or someone not being able to mentally adapt and overcome, there are many reasons for someone to be dropped from the program.


    - Is it possible to get the airman program in my contract? 

     
    I can tell you with 99% certainty that this does not happen anymore as there are no critical aviation rates, but it's always best for questions like this to get an official answer from a USCG recruiter.

    -What exactly does the flight physical consist of? 



    Everything: vision, hearing, bloodwork, heart screenings, etc. A google search will tell you everything you need to know.



    - Is there a possibility that I will not be allowed to be entered onto the AST A school waiting list because there are no open AST billets? 


    You would still get on the list, the wait time would just keep getting longer and longer due to a decreasing number of class sizes and convenings. Highly unlikely for AST because of how few people graduate the school.


    That's all I can really help you with, the other AST specific questions are best left to an AST or someone close to them. Good luck!
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    22 Aug 2011 07:12 PM
    - From what I gather, you have to have the rank of E-3 to be placed on the AST "A" school wait list.  Is this true? if so would doing a six year enlistment get my name on the AST A school list faster then a normal four year enlistment?
    slightly, maybe 4 months or so faster
    - Why is it that around 50% of AST A school candidates drop out in the four to six month airman program? Are they only allowed to let a few airman through to A school? Either they are unable or unwilling to meet the physical requirements outlined in the airman syllabus II. Also many of the non-rates don't have a good grasp of what an AST does on a day to day basis. its possible that after hanging out with the AST's for a few weeks and seeing the physical requirements they decide its simply not what they want to do.
    - Is it possible to get the airman program in my contract? No, you have to wait on the a school list, currently about 6 months long. You will be able to put your name on the list once you are an E-3, have all your quals done and have the blessing of the command.
    -What exactly does the flight physical consist of? Im not exactly sure down to specifics but they have more vision stuff like depth perception and some more in depth medical stuff like chest x-rays.
    - Is there a possibility that I will not be allowed to be entered onto the AST A school waiting list because there are no open AST billets?  If there are no billets i would assume that they would suspend classes so you would just sit on the A-school list until they started up again or you decided to change rates.
    - This may sound stupid, but is the AST program expanding? it seems like older posts/sources say that there are around 290 AST's in the coast guard, and more recent ones say over 320. don't know.
    - What is the average career lifespan as a AST? There has to be a point where a swimmer is too old to be rescuing, what happens then? would the AST then  be placed in a command and coordination center? and if there is no room in a command center, what then? Rescue swimmers have to take monthly (i think) physical fitness tests to make sure they are up to par, as long as you can pass the test you will then be rescue swimmer qualified. If you can not you will still be an AST but will not be rescue swimmer qualified. You will continue to preform all the other duties assigned to AST's.   
    - What is the average rank of the swimmer? are senior chiefs doing the rescuing or is it usually E4-E6? The average rank is a mute point since there are more E-4 billets then E-5 etc. I have read that, different then other rates, the more SR. NCO's stand watch as long as they are qualified to do so just like the E-4s (less watch but they still do it) AST's like to jump out of helos i guess the chiefs are no exception.  
    - Is it feasible, after the AST swimming days are over, to go through the OCS program and become a pilot? You can apply and be accepted to OCS at any point in your Coast Guard career as long as you meet the prerequisites to do so. To go to flight school you will have to apply to and be accepted by a flight school board. 
    - Do A school instructors have tests to drop students? like throwing a coin into the pool until there is one student left, then the last student is booted? The A-school syllabus outlines certain tests and physical requirements that the students are to pass. If they don't pass after x amount of attempts then they stand before a board that decides what to do with them (give another chance, Roll to the next class, boot, etc.) If you pass all the tests and dont DOR (drop on request) then you will be an AST. There are more requirements you will have to meet once you get to your unit to become rescue swimmer qualified.

    i am not an AST, nor am i currently enlisted in the USCG (yet NOV.1 ) but this is what i have learned from my research so i thought i would share. The information i provided may be out of date or incorrect all together so dont take it as gospel.

    good luck brother! if you have the physical, and more importantly, mental fortitude to make it through AST A school there is nothing stopping you. I want to be in aviation. Originally as an AMT but after seeing the the 22 month wait on the A-school list, the 6 month wait for AST school is looking very attractive and who doesn't want to jump from helicopters and save people? I just hope i can hack the school, maybe ill see you there. 
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    23 Aug 2011 03:20 PM
    Ok I've been reading alot of the posts in this thread and can someone who knows tell me what is the average time it takes until the airman program starts from when you get your name on the list and after boot camp how long until you can put in for AST school? And also some basic info on what the airman program is. Thanks much appreciated
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    23 Aug 2011 05:15 PM
    from what i understand through my research (i am not a AST or in the coast guard... yet)

    - 8 weeks boot camp (Cape May)
    - 4-6 months at first duty station
    - 4-6 months in the airman program (prerequisite to A school) (Air station close to first duty station)
    - 18 weeks at A school (Elizabeth city )
    - 3 weeks EMT training (Petaluma CA)

    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    23 Aug 2011 05:48 PM
    Cool thanks. So the average wait to start the airman program is about six months? thanks again everyone
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    23 Aug 2011 06:29 PM
    That is if you have all of your prerequisites completed (flight physical, security clearance) to name a few. My son wasn't able to get his flight physical done in boot and he waited on the list for almost a year while my son-in-law had his physical in boot and he was good to go after 7 months.

    FWIW
    Richard
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    23 Aug 2011 07:34 PM
    What is the reason he was unable to have the flight physical in boot? My recruiter didn't really explain the process of getting my flight physical in boot camp. What steps must I go about to get that done?
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    24 Aug 2011 05:10 AM
    They don't suggest that because it can actually be a bad thing. The flight physical is different then the Coastie physical. If you are in boot camp and fail the flight physical you can be discharged from the CG. If you are in the fleet and want to do an airman program and fail the flight physical, they will just tell you that you can't be in an aviation rate. Requesting the flight physical while in boot camp is a double edged sword... it might get you to A school quicker, it might get you kicked out.

    Just going by proud pop's post... one waited a year because there was no physical in boot, the other waited 7 months with a physical in boot. Is it worth the time difference of a few months to run the risk of possibly being discharged before you even graduate????? That's a call only you can make. Also, there just might not be the time to schedule it during boot camp. I'm not saying it can't be done or shouldn't be done... but just learn the first steps in boot camp, how to be a Coastie. Then move on to the next step of preparing for A school. Crawl, then walk, then run... let the process run its course.
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    24 Aug 2011 06:13 AM
    Understood thanks alot
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    28 Aug 2011 01:41 PM
    Hey Melanie

    How was your weekend?

    How was David and Irene?

    You must have lots to tell.

    Sunny
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    29 Aug 2011 02:31 PM
    Just put my name on the AST list. Here we go!
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    30 Aug 2011 04:37 AM

    Good going.
    We'll all be watching your progress.

    Sunny
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    30 Aug 2011 10:19 PM
    We are very proud parents of one the newest AST 3 in the USCG! Unfortunately, Irene did make a mess of our plans. We really wanted to see Kitty Hawk and the outer banks.  We did stay in a cabin on base but were evacuated on Friday after graduation.  Graduation was cut short, everyone was wanting to get out of town. The instructors were kind and impressed with our son's "failure is not an option" attitude. My husband and David left Friday at 11:15am and arrived in Ca on Sunday at 7:45pm! I left with my parents at the same time and drove almost to Charlotte for a next day flight home.  We hit a couple hard showers on the 95  but that was it. I was barely home for 3 hours before they drove down the driveway. Just in time for a welcome home banner and some homemade cookies. David reports to Sitka on Sept 27. In the meantime, we are enjoying his company and stories of A school. A new chapter is about to begin
    Melanie
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    30 Aug 2011 11:31 PM
    Congrats Pasojack! Another chapter started for your son. If you are a reader, I just finished Deadliest Sea, about the rescue of 47 people on a fishing boat that was sinking in the Bering sea. Very informative on Coast guard rescue swimmers.
    My daughter put her name on the AST list! She is nervous but this was what intrigued her about being in the Coast Guard in the first place. Time will tell what her future has in store, but for now she made the first step.
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    31 Aug 2011 06:32 AM
    Melanie,

    Well his graduation is one you won't soon forget... outrunning a hurricane with Coasties. Isn't it funny that you flew, they drove and you only just barely beat them home. Ahhhh, airlines, wonderful experience. LOL Enjoy your time with our newest AST3. Congrats to David again. How soon will you be going to Sitka for a visit? I recommend at least one trip!

    Macie
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    31 Aug 2011 08:27 PM
    Yes, we have read that book and just gave it to David to read So glad your daughter decided to put her name on the list. You never know until you try and trying is better than not trying at all!  Good luck to her. Luckily getting into A school takes time and allows for the physical training she should be focused on.  Running and swimming especially. Building strength and endurance is a must. Your part is to support and inspire
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    31 Aug 2011 08:40 PM
    We just heard David's playground while in Elizabeth City the "Outer Banks" was really hit hard. Such a shame. On the bright side David's sponsor and new chief called today and are looking forward to his arrival. We have heard nothing but positive thoughts on the station and community.  We will definitely be visiting.
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    10 Sep 2011 10:40 AM
    AST Abram Heller (r) from the heroic Alaskan Ranger rescue with my son Erich at the CG ball a couple weeks ago at Barbers Point.
    Sunny
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    10 Sep 2011 07:14 PM
    Very nice!
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    11 Sep 2011 08:45 AM
    question about the flight physical,

    is it possible to take the flight physical at boot? before i go to boot i figure i will be in some of the best physical condition of my life (able to hit some-most of the airman requirements). i would like to take the flight physical then, before i go on the wait list and get out of shape on a cutter for 1-2 years, and after the wait try and pass the flight physical
    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    TriMan1991

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    11 Sep 2011 09:05 AM
    also, how often would an AST be up for a promotion? after A school i would assume that the AST3 would be a E4, what is the average time spent at E4 before promotion to E5-E6 and so on. would the AST3 have to wait untill another AST of a higher rank were to get a promotion? would he have to wait for the billets to open up?
    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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    11 Sep 2011 03:47 PM
    As for the flight physical in boot... that might not be something you actually want. The flight physical is far more in depth. I have heard of people saying they got the flight physical in boot, could not pass it and they were discharged from the CG because of it. While they were in boot camp. If the flight physical is taken and not passed while you are in the fleet then simply you cannot be aircrew qualified. You remain in the CG and become something other than an airedale. So be careful what you wish for. If you feel you will be able to hit SOME of the requirements, do not request it during boot. It is also very difficult to schedule during boot so it is rearely ever done. It can be done, it can come with serious consequences if you don't pass.

    If you want AST you will just STAY in shape. You will figure out a way to maintain a healthy life style and the ability to perform the physical requirements. Again, just be careful what you wish for, you might not like what you get. Just a thought...
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    11 Sep 2011 09:21 PM
    That is a great picture! My husband really enjoyed the book and admires AST Heller.
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    12 Sep 2011 11:06 PM
    Posted By Old Guard2 on 11 Sep 2011 04:47 PM
    As for the flight physical in boot... that might not be something you actually want. The flight physical is far more in depth. I have heard of people saying they got the flight physical in boot, could not pass it and they were discharged from the CG because of it. While they were in boot camp. If the flight physical is taken and not passed while you are in the fleet then simply you cannot be aircrew qualified. You remain in the CG and become something other than an airedale. So be careful what you wish for. If you feel you will be able to hit SOME of the requirements, do not request it during boot. It is also very difficult to schedule during boot so it is rearely ever done. It can be done, it can come with serious consequences if you don't pass.

    If you want AST you will just STAY in shape. You will figure out a way to maintain a healthy life style and the ability to perform the physical requirements. Again, just be careful what you wish for, you might not like what you get. Just a thought...

    i'm not so sure this is true. If they discover something that would be generally disqualifying for the USCG during the more "in-depth" physical then yes they could discharge you for a medical condition that is disqualifying for military service. If you fail a depth perception test in they are not going to throw you out of the USCG, you just cant fly.

    Where did you get this information? Why would they toss you out if you cant fly but would otherwise make a great BM?
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    11 Oct 2011 09:40 AM
    They no longer give flight physicals as an option in CG BC. Just talked to my recruiter and a recent graduate.
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    sunny717

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    07 Nov 2011 09:31 AM
    Don't forget east coast, WedNov09  9pm WEATHER CHANNEL. 
    My son maybe on.
    Look for the AST with the mustache.
    Sunny
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    07 Nov 2011 09:48 AM
    First episode is titled "Welcome to Kodiak, Alaska" Can't wait to see what I remember. Watching it will drive Scott nuts as I pause and say "See this... that's where...., See that... We had... " I intend to make him bananas! Won't be the first time, doubt it will be the last. LOL

    AST moustache... got it!
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    09 Nov 2011 06:42 AM
    I've talked with Erich in Hawaii last nite and he said that he's in a segment where he's in the pool and doing flutter kicks.
    Probably could be anyone.
    He has two SARs already in Hawaii. One, a stranded jetskier and the other someone had to be taken off a large freighter.
    CG pilots are the best when it comes to placing ASTs on the bridge of a moving ship, and then getting everyone back into the HELO. Like threading a needle.
    I'll be watching tonite.
    Sunny
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    09 Nov 2011 08:42 AM
    I saw one where they were lowering the AST and they were worried because of the roll. Sure enough the poor AST slammed into the side of a container, no fault at all to the pilot. The AST got out of his harness, shook it off & took care of the patient they were picking up! Gotta give 'em all a lot of credit! Not an easy job at all! None of them are easy but jumping out of a perfectly good helo or trying not to end up in the sodium lights... yikes. Makes my heart skip a beat when I watch that stuff.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    20 Nov 2011 07:23 AM
    I know its been exhaused in this post, but I would like to hear from a successful AST, how is the best way to train? Is it good to work towards the PT in test requirements and then just build endurance with flutter kicks and some of the other swimming? I am a strong swimmer, but never really swam for a team, so the distances are a bit of a challenge. Any advice on preparation would be great. Thanks!!
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    20 Nov 2011 07:45 AM
    I don't think we have any actual AST's on the forums. We do however have a couple of AST parents that are willing to share their sons experiences. They check in on a fairly regular schedule, so just check back. As far as what I can tell... stay in the best possible shape you can be in when you enter the Airman program. Do not allow yourself to get complacent after boot camp. Constant physical fitness will help you. Also, if the facilities are available, swim, swim, swim... until you develop webbing and quack like a duck don't stop.

    Good luck! AST is probably the most pysically demanding rate.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    CH AVALANCHE 07

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    23 Nov 2011 04:38 PM
    Does anyone know how long the flight physical takes to get approved once it is taken?
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    27 Nov 2011 09:40 PM
    Our son's took about 4 months! That was in 2010.

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    27 Nov 2011 10:00 PM
    Our son David graduated in August from A school and is stationed in Sitka, Alaska. He loves it!
    Make sure you can not only do the required amount of chin ups, sit ups, pull ups, etc., but also do them in the required time frame. Once you have achieved that work on endurance. Run, Run, Run. In the pool, it is not about how fast you can swim, but more about confidence and strength.
    Good luck.
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    28 Nov 2011 07:07 AM
    Hey Melanie
    I'm  glad everything worked out for David and you. Sitka is a great place to be. I suppose he met AST Nathan Newberg already. I agree with the PT, run, run, run, and a desire not to to quit.
    Joe
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    CH AVALANCHE 07

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    28 Nov 2011 01:51 PM
    I understand how physically demanding it is going to be. I am starting a log book to keep track of what I am doing. I am running 4 days one week and 2 days the next and swimming 2 days and four days.
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    Lance

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    28 Nov 2011 06:12 PM
    Posted By CH AVALANCHE 07 on 28 Nov 2011 02:51 PM
    I understand how physically demanding it is going to be. I am starting a log book to keep track of what I am doing. I am running 4 days one week and 2 days the next and swimming 2 days and four days.

    Hey man, 
    Swim, swim and swim. If you are already in get ahold of the AST airman syllabus, if not try googling it. The newest one has been available for a few months. Do your swim work outs right off that. Time every 500 no-gear and every 400 geared swim. Also, do 3 times more whatever is expected. A lot of sprint down and under back. A lot of push-ups and pull-ups will help and work out to make you a better swimmer. Hope this helps.

    My flight physical took 3 months, everyone's can be different. Once you get it done i would suggest calling the sector and asking politely about the status of it weekly. I called until I had my orders in my hand. 
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    29 Nov 2011 08:55 AM
    Because of my schedule...I am allowed to swim 2 days one week and four days the next. Then the other days I am doing body weight workouts and weight workouts. I give myself one day off a week in order to keep my sanity.
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    CH AVALANCHE 07

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    07 Dec 2011 03:54 PM
    What is the schedule like at A school. Most A schools are 0730 to 1530. I figured the first few weeks would not be like that, but I was just wondering.
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    proudUSCGpop

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    02 Jan 2012 06:47 PM
    AST Update --

    My son-in-law showed up in E city on the first to begin his AST training and if all goes well (God willing) he will graduate sometime in late April or early May. We are keeping him in our prayers, if you remember him we would appreciate it.

    My son is working hard in Corpus Christi, TX as an AST, he recently took the service wide exam and wrote the number 1 test score out of 48 E4 test takers. He said he is currently #3 on the list so he may make E5 (God willing) shortly. Not sure how the whole promotion business goes but we are praying he gets his next rank.

    Happy New Year
    Richard
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    03 Jan 2012 07:36 AM
    Great news & best of luck to both of them! What a great way to start the new year.
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    03 Jan 2012 09:53 AM
    Congrats proud - I've seen you son on the local news. I live about 60 miles from CC.
    Proud Mom to SN Lueders - "Mom" to FN Coover - Soon to be AET's
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    06 Jan 2012 04:27 PM
    Hey Richard.
    Great news, another (to be) AST in the family, (God willing).

    Did you get my Christmas Card?
     
    Erich is settled in on the north shore of Oahu.
    Pretty soon you can call me grandpa.
    Kimmy, his wife will be delivering their first baby next week, (God willing).
    He bought a nice 4bedrm house.
    He has a 45min commute to the base.
    We are going out there on Feb 8th for 2wks.
    Happy New Year to all
     
    Joe
    Sunny
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    07 Jan 2012 06:34 PM
    Joe,

    All amazing news! Congratulations!! Have a wonderful trip.
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    sunny717

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    17 Jan 2012 02:32 PM
    A little swimmer arrived SatJan14, 2012,  0117

    5lbs 12oz
    to AST3 Erich & Kimmy K. in Hawaii.

    Grandpa Joe
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    17 Jan 2012 04:16 PM
    Posted By proudUSCGpop on 02 Jan 2012 07:47 PM
    AST Update --

    My son-in-law showed up in E city on the first to begin his AST training and if all goes well (God willing) he will graduate sometime in late April or early May. We are keeping him in our prayers, if you remember him we would appreciate it.

    My son is working hard in Corpus Christi, TX as an AST, he recently took the service wide exam and wrote the number 1 test score out of 48 E4 test takers. He said he is currently #3 on the list so he may make E5 (God willing) shortly. Not sure how the whole promotion business goes but we are praying he gets his next rank.

    Happy New Year
    Richard

    Hey proudUSCGpop. I was stationed in AIRSTA CC for quite a while. I might know your son. Being #3 on the list, he should pin on E-5. Once he makes the cut it usually take about six months to actually pin on the rank. Pretty good feeling once you make second class!! Congrats!
    One turnin.....two burnin!
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    proudUSCGpop

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    17 Jan 2012 05:14 PM
    Joe,

    Congratulations all around. Becoming a grandparent is one of those pinnacle moments in life! Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.

    AMT2 -- He has been there about 2 years now, we are very proud of him and can't wait to see him wearing the new rank. I'm following the "military.com" coast guard forum for service wide exams and all of the posters are waiting on pins and needles to see if they made it or not.
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    17 Jan 2012 05:44 PM
    Richard
    Congrats on AMT2.
    Pr.17:6 How true it is. It has a special meaning now.

    We can't wait 'till we see the new family in Hawaii.
    Pray for no snow storms or ice, etc. so we can get to PHL for our flight to HI on WedFeb08.

    I don't know if Erich is studying/preparing for the next time.
    He took the test before leaving Kodiak, but did not do so well with the grade, so he didn't advance to AMT2.
    Will the results be published and when on "military.com"?
    Joe


    Sunny
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    17 Jan 2012 06:32 PM
    What a gorgeous little mini-Coastie. Best of luck to the new family. Beautiful fingers, they look so long!!! I love baby fingers and toes, so kissable.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    18 Jan 2012 05:02 AM
    Erich said he has big hands and feet for a 5lbs12oz baby. Swimmer? maybe piano player.
    Sunny
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    18 Jan 2012 07:56 AM
    AST generation two!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    19 Jan 2012 11:04 PM
    Joe - Congratulations grandpa. Enjoy your visit to Hawaii.
    Richard - So glad to hear your son in-law made it to A school.  I hear they have changed the school schedule. I'm sure you will hear all about it.
    Best wishes to him.

    I had 5 AST's at my house this last weekend.  What great guys! David and Kyle Music were both spotted on the Coast Guard Alaska program. They are taking the EMT class in Petaluma. The class is now a 7 week class. David  is doing great in Sitka, Alaska. He surprised us and came home for christmas and now in Petaluma about 4 1/2 hours away. One of the AST's is Joe Winters and he is stationed in Corpus. He was going to graduate with David and got rephased on week 16.  Apparently, they aren't using that schedule now. They all swim the entire 18 weeks. The last few classes didn't even have the week 16 test!               

    Proud mom,
           
    Melanie
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    20 Jan 2012 04:55 AM
    Melanie - Thank you

    Proud parents we all are.

    Joe



    Sunny
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    20 Jan 2012 10:09 AM
    Melanie,

    Winters was a non-rate on the Seneca with Colin. Colin would tease him all the time that he should be an AST because he was a pretty boy... they are really good friends, it was poking fun at each other. I'm so glad to see his name and glad to hear he is doing well! If you see him again tell him Robertson says hi! I have some classic pictures of the 2 of them on the Seneca. Good kid.

    Macie
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    31 Jan 2012 09:11 PM
    Hey, I am heading to boot camp in 2 weeks (Feb 14) and am hoping to pursue a carreer as an AST. I have a few questions and any help would be much appreciated. I believe I have the mental capacity for this position, and right now I am in good shape, but focused on becoming more in shape as each day passes from here on out. I want to put myself in the best position to get this great opportunity. I have a college degree, I am 23, so Ill start out as an E3 going into boot camp. What I have gathered is that I will get an opportunity to apply for 'A' school after 4 months of being at my first unit. My concern is the following; I still would like to continue swimming in a pool to further my training, and from what I understand is that after my 5th week at bc, I can put my top3 districts on the 'dream sheet'. This choice of district does not seem to guarentee me an opportunity to be near a pool to train. Is there any way to specify my concern of being able to train, because I want the opportunity so badly? Also, generally, what would be the best place to train?
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    09 Feb 2012 10:29 PM
    I am newly enlisted in the coast guard and have yet to ship out for boot camp. I am interested in becoming a rescue swimmer and have a few questions that i havent been able to find answers for. The answers would help me in my decision to become a rescue swimmer. One is if the pool where most of the training is done is salt water or chlorine. Two is if I am allowed to use my own protein and dietary supplements or only ones provided by the CG. If someone who has gone through the program or who knows the details about the program can answer it is much appreciated.
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    10 Feb 2012 02:38 AM
    Posted By Kearneyrp on 31 Jan 2012 10:11 PM
    Hey, I am heading to boot camp in 2 weeks (Feb 14) and am hoping to pursue a carreer as an AST. I have a few questions and any help would be much appreciated. I believe I have the mental capacity for this position, and right now I am in good shape, but focused on becoming more in shape as each day passes from here on out. I want to put myself in the best position to get this great opportunity. I have a college degree, I am 23, so Ill start out as an E3 going into boot camp. What I have gathered is that I will get an opportunity to apply for 'A' school after 4 months of being at my first unit. My concern is the following; I still would like to continue swimming in a pool to further my training, and from what I understand is that after my 5th week at bc, I can put my top3 districts on the 'dream sheet'. This choice of district does not seem to guarentee me an opportunity to be near a pool to train. Is there any way to specify my concern of being able to train, because I want the opportunity so badly? Also, generally, what would be the best place to train?
    A good chunk of gyms around the country have indoor pools.  Even up here in Alaska, we have a few that are public access, including one on base.  A lot of apartment complexes have one (if you end up living on the economy). Let the detailer know you want to become an AST on your dream sheet.  With luck, you may get to go to a unit straight out of boot with ASTs at it or nearby.  But they aren't going to check if there is a pool nearby.  Just, trust me that they are fairly easy to find, I promise.

    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    15 Feb 2012 01:43 PM
    The pool is chlorine and you can use whatever supplements you like as long as they are not banned or illegal. Just make sure what you're taking has no possibility of having anything like that in there.
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    24 Feb 2012 08:49 PM
    thank you!
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    05 Mar 2012 01:46 PM
    couple questions. as an AST how much down time do we have to do extra curricular things such as attend college online and stuff like that? Also, what are the chances of eventually becoming a pilot? And what happens when you do not complete A-School? Do you get to choose another airmen rate or are you assigned one?
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    05 Mar 2012 09:13 PM
    You'll have a normal life, i.e. CG, wife, baby, college courses, surfing etc. Fail out of a-school? you'll probably be underway.

    My son Erich, Abram Heller, and Mark Peer, et als in training in Hawaii.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZec...re=related
    Sunny
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    05 Mar 2012 11:13 PM
    I know 2 people that fell out of ast a-school, one came from a 378, they said you either go to a 378 or the healy and he went to the healy, then he went back to ast school, tour his acl and i dont know what he going to do. The 2nd time around he was top of his class but i think he wants to get out.

    Other one is female, from the healy, fell out of school and is at an ant. She also will be going back. Both have been in for 2 if not 3 years as nonrates.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    08 Mar 2012 08:21 PM
    Thank you bells and sunny. That video is awesome! You must be very proud of your son. I would love to be them one day. I welcome any more advice you are willing to give to achieve that.
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    20 Mar 2012 08:37 PM
    Posted By jsciuva on 05 Mar 2012 02:46 PM
    couple questions. as an AST how much down time do we have to do extra curricular things such as attend college online and stuff like that? Also, what are the chances of eventually becoming a pilot? And what happens when you do not complete A-School? Do you get to choose another airmen rate or are you assigned one?

    I know an AST1 who put in for OCS, and is now a pilot in training....so it is possible, although not guaranteed. I also know an AST who went warrant officer and is now doing vessel inspections.

    If you do not complete 'A' school, you will go wherever they decide to send you. With that said, not EVERYONE goes to a big white boat. You will NOT get to go straight into another rate. You will be sent back to the field/fleet, and then you'll have to get back on an 'A' school waiting list, and then repeat the airman program wherever you end up, THEN go back to whatever aviation 'A' school you decide to go to.

    I know several people who did not make it through school, including myself, mostly due to medical reasons. It seems that if you just give up/quit, they are less likely to send you somewhere that is desirable. If you are injured, or just can't pass a certain test, they seem to recognize your effort and you wont be punished. With that said, it is based on the needs of the service - so you could go anywhere they need you. If all of the land units are full, and there is an opening for a non-rate on a 270 out of Portsmouth, that's probably where you'll go.

    If you go to A school, fail out, expect to stay somewhere on the East coast as the cost to move you will be much less expensive.

    Don't even think about failing - positive attitude goes a LONG ways. Good luck!
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    26 Mar 2012 11:20 AM
    So, I've known about these Darkfin webbed gloves for a while now, but I just came across them again while I was reading through the forum in another tab and I began to do a little thinking.

    http://www.darkfingloves.com/shop/d...-gloves/1/


    I read through some of the customer reviews and FAQs, and it seems like they are pretty efficient with essentially no loss of hand mobility/grip/etc...in fact, many reviewers have said that the grip is improved. Has anybody here had any first-hand experience with these?

    From an outsider's point of view, it seems like these could be a pretty useful addition to the flight equipment for a rescue swimmer. I would not expect them to be used during training or workouts, but I feel that having this little bit of extra power during a water rescue in rough seas could prove to be beneficial to the swimmer. Obviously, they are not used already, and I assume it is something that has been looked in to before, so I am curious about what some of the negatives would be for a product like this.
    I am on the path to becoming an AST, so I am not familiar with the inner-workings, but I was hoping somebody would be able to give their input.
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    29 Mar 2012 08:59 PM

    I am sure these gloves are great for recreational diving and or swimming but I can’t ever see them being used by the CG. We use our hands a lot in the water and the webbing between the fingers would just get in the way, especially when checking over survivors and placing them in rescue devices such as the basket or sling…ect.

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    30 Mar 2012 10:58 AM
    Thanks Kreske, I assumed the issue would end up being finger freedom. Just something I was curious about.
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    30 Mar 2012 01:45 PM
    Yeah, with the bulky dry suits and all the gear we wear I dont know if those gloves would even make a difference.
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    10 Apr 2012 06:21 PM
    I have recently joined the CG, still have to go through BC and all that jazz. Although, I do have the intentions of going into the AST field. I am a 19 year old female 5'4" and currently working on my physical shape for BC (I have more of a strong than a lean body structure). Has anyone ever heard of someone of my stature succeeding as an AST? Not necessarily to knock the idea out of my mind but more of what to be aware of...
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    10 Apr 2012 07:26 PM
    It will be tough... but not because of your stature or female or height... just because it is tough! But if you want it, go for it! You will achieve it if you work for it and don't let anyone or anything stop you. Don't let quit or try be in your vocabulary. Only will and go! There have only been a few female AST's, be one of the next ones!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    22 Apr 2012 09:34 PM
    hello, I'm currently an emt and want to join the coast board and become an AST, been a dream to do helicopter rescue. I'm 23 and have arthritis, does this mean i cannot become and AST? is there any other job in the coast guard that would let me just be a medic on the heli and not a swimmer? thanks
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    23 Apr 2012 05:12 AM
    there have only been 6 female asts, ever. Id talk to one and people that have gone trough the school. I know 1 person thats gone twice, this second time he was top of his class but tore his ACL, and a female who definately trained, went to mobile, supposavly where you want to go for airman program if your going ast, and failed out. Shes been in for 3 years already but shes going back. I think she might have been 5'4" and shes pretty thick and jacked too. Just really look into it and know what your getting yourself into.

    As far as only being a helo medic I think sardaddy said HSs do it but mostly only in Alaska? And there arent many billets? Asts do most of the first responder medical stuff.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    27 Apr 2012 05:03 PM
    I am a female and am currently starting a workout regimen to begin getting ready for bootcamp (leaving in oct) and I aspire to be an AST. I understand there are only 8 women currently operating as ASTs, which is a little intimidating. I have gone through a fire academy and used to swim competively. I am not in shape currently but am starting a healthy diet and swim/pt workout. Can anyone offer any insight into the process regarding women? Do women not do it because it is so hard or that they just generally do not prefer it? I have read some posts and they all have been extremely helpful but some of the workout talk has been a bit contradictory.
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    27 Apr 2012 08:23 PM
    It's not that a woman cannot do the job. One big factor is that it isn't an overly popular job to women. Even for the few that are drawn to the job, the attrition rate comes into play. Most women may not be able to do it, but most men cant either. I've seen the percentages, and women are historically more drawn to the MST, YN, SK, and BM ratings. If you work for it, there's no reason you can't be an AST though, regardless of gender. Success or failure won't have anything to do with your sex, only your desire and commitment.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    29 Apr 2012 11:27 PM
    Actually there are only 4 female AST's right now. The workout advise given is often times wrong and actually quite funny at times!! There are many women that try out for the AST program, and many of them make it to AST "A" school. Its just a very hard school and not many make it through... men or women. Let me know if you have any questions, I have been a AST for over 2 years now and going on 6 total in the CG.
    -Jon
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    22 May 2012 07:01 PM
    Does anyone know what the current waiting list is for a school?
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    22 May 2012 08:20 PM
    http://www.uscg.mil/epm/docs/a-schoollist.pdf

    Currently projected as 6 months or less.
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    23 May 2012 08:23 PM
    Are all the airman canidates being sent to E. City N.C. for the airman program, or is it still taking place at your closet air station?
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    23 May 2012 09:33 PM
    neither, our airman have been stationed close and far just depends on how many billets are open nearby.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    24 May 2012 06:44 AM
    I've heard that they will start doing the Airman Program at E. City instead of individual air stations, but I do not know when/if that is actually taking effect.


    Disclaimer: I'm simply a prospective recruit who has done a lot of research. I'm on the outside looking in, so don't take my word as official.
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    26 May 2012 05:44 PM
    I have a question, for a rescue crew there are a pilot, co-pilot, swimmer, and extra member correct? Does the member who communicates between the pilots and swimmer fall under the AST rating? I am interested in this rate but I believe that with my small size I would not be effective enough to be a rescue swimmer.

    Thanks.
    But I've got promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. -Robert Frost
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    26 May 2012 07:53 PM
    Please do not let your size stop you if that is what you want. If you can pass the physical requirements and they will make sure you can FULLY complete all training for AST, you can beome one. If you cannot meet those standards AST A school or the airman program prior to A school will have no problem washing you out. But there is absolutely no reason you can't try and succeed if it is what you want. If you don't at least try then you know it will never be.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    26 May 2012 09:06 PM
    It's not really the training that would keep me from pursuing it, it's just that I'm 5 foot and not even 100 pounds. If there were a grown man in distress I was trying to save it would be very easy for things to go wrong. I'm realistic with myself by knowing that I do have limitations to what I am physically able to do. That being said, I would like to be involved with this type of work in a way that I could be most effective.
    But I've got promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. -Robert Frost
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    28 May 2012 10:02 PM
    cgilliam,
    On a SAR ready helicopter there are 4 members. The pilot, co-pilot, rescue swimmer(RS), and flight mechanic(FM). The FM is the one in control of hoisting rescue equipment and the RS up and down safely, they are also the one to con the pilot in on hoisting evolution's. Since most hoisting is done below the aircraft out of sight from the pilot the FM has to verbally paint a picture of whats going on as well as giving conning commands to the pilot. The FM position is the in-flight duty filled by AETs and AMTs which are the two other enlisted ratings in the Coast Guard other than AST. From an RS's opinion the FM's are like guardian angels
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    05 Jun 2012 12:34 PM
    @Kreske Thank you so much! That answered my question completely. I am much more interested in the FM position thatn others. Do you know any that are currently working? Is there one of those rates (AMT & AET) more geared toward the FM position?
    But I've got promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. -Robert Frost
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    05 Jun 2012 10:31 PM
    AETs and AMTs are both just as likely to become a FM. It is a qualification process they have to undergo. I would look into what an AET and AMT does day to day when they are not flying to make your decision about which rating to pursue. And i work with them everyday.
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    06 Jun 2012 09:52 AM
    Thank you so much!
    But I've got promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. -Robert Frost
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    07 Jun 2012 11:32 AM
    Hey Kreske
    Where are you ASTing?
    What station?
    Sunny
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    07 Jun 2012 09:59 PM
    San Diego. Hows Eric liking Hawaii???
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    08 Jun 2012 04:33 AM
    He likes it so much that he bought a house on the north shore, got married in HI and has a new baby.
    He just volunteered for a 3wk Cordova deployment, they may give it to the single guys.
    San Diego was his third choice, got what he wanted after Kodiak.
    Sunny
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    10 Jun 2012 08:52 PM

    How hard is AST 'A' school? I know this is probably an ignorant question, but I've heard lots of different things from different sources. I've heard that it's parallel to S.E.A.L training and other special forces training, and I've heard that it's hard but not THAT hard? Can a AST possibly answer this for me?  Is it mostly already seasoned swimmers that make it through? Highschool competitors and what not? Or can you be a decent swimmer and just physically and very mentally strong?            

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    11 Jun 2012 01:29 AM
    How hard is AST A school....That is the question, isnt it! Well I have not been through any special forces training so I cant say for sure, but I am willing to bet that AST A school is just not on the same level. However the mindset that you need to have while in A school might parallel the mindset you need to make it in special forces training. Those that train and come prepared are most likely the ones to make it through. Yes, its hard and you have to be very physically fit and be willing to break past some barriers or limits that you may have set for yourself. You have to be able to accept that you are going to fail at some thing and when you do learn from it and keep on pushing through. Most importantly, be able to keep your composure while in stressful situations even when you are completely exhausted you still have to maintain the ability to think. There is no need to be a seasoned or competitive swimmer to make it through, it WILL help... but its all about your mindset to not give up when things get tough or when you get uncomfortable. There have been excellent swimmers to drop out, and there have been people that did not know how to swim upon enlistment in the CG to make it through. I will say that the pool is where people have most trouble. The ground PT is hard and sometimes starts really, really early!! all you have to do is just push through it but when you get to the pool and have to rescue survivors... or multiple survivors that are trying to drown you that's when the class sizes start to shrink. Hope this helps a bit, any other questions let me know. I didn't want to get too specific about what A school is like because, to be honest, you will never know what its really like until you get there...
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    12 Jun 2012 02:50 PM
    Leanderthal, to add to Kreske, I'm not a swimmer but I watch the students do their thing day to day here at ATTC. The training is no joke, you have to have your head on and not leave failure as an option. Yesterday was day one for the newest batch of swimmers, as of today, 2 are gone from the room to my left and one from the room to my right. The instructors in all of the ratings are very particular about how things get done and its all for a reason. Good luck if you decide it is the path for you! Oh and we drive by at around 7 in the morning each day for school and the AST airman are already able to wring their shirts out with sweat... I prefer to take the flight mech route, we have a saying too, "So swimmers may live" The AST's are awesome and all seem to be a little cooky, they all have a little different personality from the rest of it. I would say that is the key to success, whatever it is they do to get that mindset.
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    12 Jun 2012 07:13 PM
    Kreske,

    Do most failures at A school come from drop outs or from not being capable and being dismissed? And if you are failed and asked to leave, is it usually from physical incabailities or personality problems? When you say a lot of people drop during the multiple rescue scenerios and what not, is that from not being able to physically, or do you see a lot of people break down because of their water confidence and what not? My recruiter told me that after A school graduates go to Petaluma, CA to go through a 3 week EMT-B course and to become registered. He said that about half of graduates drop out there due to the stress of such a crash course EMT. I already have my NREMT, so say I made to there would I have to test for the National Registry again, or would it just be a refresher course? Also is there a PFT before being accepted to A school, and what are the minimums? Thank you so mch for entertaining all of my questions, I really appreciate it!
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    13 Jun 2012 08:47 PM
    I don't know the stats about when most people drop out... but there is a significant change in pace when the survivors start to become non-compliant, meaning that they fight back and you have to get them under control. most people drop out early within the first week or two, but if you get kicked out of school because you have failed then you have failed the same thing at least 3 times, its not as sudden as some people think. unless its the PT in test which i will get to later. yeah, after A school you are going to go to EMT school in Peteluma. it is now a 7 week course and I have not heard of too many people failing. you are pretty motivated at that time to get fully qualified to stand duty. I also cant tell you if you will have to re-take the EMT school since you are already an NREMT. You need to pass the PT in test before you can start in the airman program. the numbers are 50 pushups, 60 situps, 5 chinups, 5 pullups, 1.5 mile run under 12 minutes, 500yd swim without gear under 12 minutes and 4 X 25yd underwater swims on 60 seconds each(i think, maybe its 90 seconds) all within an hours time. you also need to be able to pass the PT in test before you start A school.... if not then you will be sent home day one.
    BTW ejhcougar has some good points too
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    13 Jun 2012 10:08 PM
    Are the push ups and sit ups in 1 or 2 minutes? Thank you very much for your answers, boith of you. I appreciate it very much.
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    13 Jun 2012 10:28 PM
    2 minutes, with 2 mins rest between push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and chin-ups.

    When are you thinking about joining?
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    14 Jun 2012 05:23 PM
    I leave for bootcamp the 24th of July. I've been seriously considering going out for AST, but I know alt of people say that everything will change during your none-rate time. I meet with my recruiter one a month for my PT test, I have my push ups and sit ups in 1 minute up to 64-70 and 58. My run is around 10:30 and pull ups and chin ups and pull ups are 15-20. I'm an avid Crossfitter competitor, breaking throught physocal barriers is something I've become pretty ascustomed to. I've surfed and paddle boarded alot, so my water confidence is good. Just no kind of professional training or anything. I just hear people say how hard it is in A school, so I keep second guessing.
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    14 Jun 2012 05:33 PM
    Just stay positive and keep working towards your goal. If its meant to happen, it will happen.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    15 Jun 2012 01:24 AM
    Leanderthal, you seem like a very physically driven individual. Did you get there second guessing yourself? I'm going to say probably not. So stop doing it now. Pushing through physical barriers isn't as much about strength as it is about will.
    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    15 Jun 2012 08:14 PM
    I also want to be an AST, I will be shipping late October or early November. My brother is a Navy rescue swimmer, the training is pretty simular.
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    17 Jun 2012 12:04 PM
    Posted By Leanderthal on 14 Jun 2012 06:23 PM 

    but I know alt of people say that everything will change during your none-rate time.
    Dude, this is such BS. I had people telling me all the time that its pointless going AST, I wouldnt make it. I also hear it all the time from people that wanted to go AST but were talked out of it. Do not let anybody talk you out of it. I think that my non-rate time pushed me to do better in "A" school. Mostly because I knew if I failed I would be right back on a big white cutter, scrubbing rust and chipping paint again while underway.
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    17 Jun 2012 09:19 PM

    Hah, awesome. Thanks for the encouragement all!

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    20 Jun 2012 12:12 AM
    I am about to try Ast for the second time I'm putting my name back on the list soon I went to Ast a school 2 years ago where I got hurt, Ast a school is very challenging I knew amazing athletes that did not pass, I am wondering if the new pool is fixed ?I heard it had a crack in it that's why airmen are still going to the nearest air station etc. Motivation for not being on a ship is enough for most, in Ast a school there is a poster with a 378 on patrol and a HH60 off the cost with a swimmer with a quote it says where will you be in 18 weeks? It's totally true you can workharder than you ever have for about a year to become an ast and have an awesome job and life that doesnt feel like work,versus working hard for 20 years in another rate you didn't want to be that you don't like .
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    20 Jun 2012 06:20 PM
    08028511, how did you get hurt/what did you hurt?
     I've heard that a lot of people blow their knees out in AST because they aren't used to the amount of swimming. True?
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    21 Jun 2012 01:30 PM
    Leanderthal, injuries can come from anywhere with the swimmers. You will use every part of your body to full exertion. If you have a weakness, you will learn what it is quickly as an AST at ATTC. Also, the pool is not ready yet, supposed to be done around the same time as the new barracks now, so like sept or oct.
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    21 Jun 2012 03:03 PM
    How much running is done in a school? Is it mostly short or long distance, and how long of distance?
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    21 Jun 2012 10:11 PM
    Thanks ejhcougar good info, I pm you Neanderthal im glad they go new barracks being built,my room had a bad leak and mold. We would always race around the donut holding our breath the full circle that was fun I don't miss the small pool with 12 guys in it at a time always get kicked or punched in the face, and the chlorine made our hair fall out no hair left on legs or arms . Anyways I'm excited the facility looks amazing
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    02 Jul 2012 01:39 AM
    Just found out I'm a candidate for the next AST airman program. Here is how I am feeling ...

    http://nlvogs.wordpress.com/2012/07...rstanding/

    Anyone got any tips?
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    02 Jul 2012 01:59 PM
    WOW, well it sounds like your head is in the right place. Just take it a day at a time. Set small goals and don’t get caught up in the overall length of the airmen program and A school. It will go by quick, just give it your all... there is not much more you can do than that. So...tips for you, Well, I don’t know where you are at physically. Just know the pool is where you are going to get it the worst. Get comfortable in the water and show up prepared and you will be fine.
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    10 Jul 2012 01:30 PM
    Does anyone have any insight on how much running is done in A school, ie, distance or short sprints?
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    10 Jul 2012 02:10 PM
    Monday- high intensity short distance, or short time sprints. Wednesday- little bit lower intensity but longer sprints or time limits. Friday is the long and slow, maybe 5-8 mile run.
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    10 Jul 2012 07:12 PM
    Awesome man appreciatr the info.
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    08 Aug 2012 01:03 PM
    Does anybody know how rescue swimming in the Navy compares to the CG? I'm currently in Navy DEP with an Aviation Rescue Swimmer contract, but I want to switch to the Coast Guard, I have a hiring interview on the 21st of August. To qualify for the conctrat I had basically the same PT test, i had a 9:11 time 500 meter swim, 87 pushups 2 min, 70 sit ups 2 min, 14 pull ups, and 9:46 time 1.5 mile run.

    Does anyone know how they compare in terms of difficulty? By switching to the CG I would be giving up a $12,000 enlistment bonus, but I'm not in it for the money. I want to help the most amount of people, and do something really challenging. I just want to make sure that Rescue Swimmers in the CG are really the elite in comparison to the Navy, because I'm giving up a GUARANTEED contract for having a chance to get on a 2 year waiting list for AST school.
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    10 Aug 2012 11:17 AM
    In the Navy AWs are the helicopter rescue swimmers(RS) and its held as a collateral position, they also perform a variety of other jobs in flight. CG rescue swimmers will always be a RS during helicopter flight operations, with a few exceptions. Can’t tell you how they differ in difficulty because I have never been to Navy RS School, but I believe it’s only a few weeks long, where as the CG AST "A" School and Airman Program is a total of about 8 1/2 months. As far as helping the most amount of people, well, that’s difficult to justify which one is better. CG responds to many civilian/military SAR cases each year in the states and may be sent to other countries to assist in natural disasters, where the Navy has the resources to respond to people in need all over the world. They are going to both be difficult/ challenging but I would say that CG has more opportunity to get some crazy SAR cases, and in my opinion is the "elite" in helicopter rescue operations. Do your research and know what you are getting into because you have a pretty long road ahead of you if you want to become an AST in the CG, but it’s WELL worth it!
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    10 Aug 2012 12:15 PM

    Hey Kreske, do you remember me taking your pix just before training? Peer is in HI, Cleary in TX, Carr?, and the female got injured, and you in CA.

    Sunny
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    10 Aug 2012 12:51 PM
    HAHA Yeah, Good times. Carr is in Humbolt, CA.
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    13 Aug 2012 02:30 AM
    Are the ASTs also eligible for one day becoming a pilot like AET/AMTs? I like the fact ASTs have the health knowledge but I also would like to one day fly.
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    13 Aug 2012 05:54 AM
    My friend was an MST and became a pilot for the CG. You don't have to be in an airdale rate as an enlisted person to become a flyer as an officer.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    16 Aug 2012 10:04 PM
    Im aware that recruiters come from all jobs but im interested in this rate and was wondering whats the process of eventually becoming a recruiter?
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    17 Aug 2012 02:25 PM
    Is your main goal to become a recruiter? If you go AST you have a very long and hard and uncertain road ahead of you, I don’t understand why you would go through all that just to get out of rate to go recruiting...
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    22 Aug 2012 05:41 AM
    no my main goal isnt that but i was just wondering how the process goes to get there if i wanted to.
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    22 Aug 2012 07:21 AM
    You have to be at least an E-5 with at least four years in the CG to apply for recruiting. If selected and released from your rating, you will do one tour in recruiting (4 years). It's not a permanent position at all.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    26 Aug 2012 03:22 PM
    Has anyone heard if the amount of a school billets will be decreased or increased for 2013 year?
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    01 Sep 2012 06:42 PM
    Just Recieved my Report date to the AST Airman Program


    I'm just waiting on orders... But I have trained hard these past few months, and the swimmers on base have put me through the ringer... Im as ready as ever.

    Check my blog if ya like, I'll be writing about the experience...

    http://nlvogs.wordpress.com/2012/02...verything/
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    14 Sep 2012 02:29 PM
    Congrats nlvogs! Your blog is very good reading material. I will definitely be following it!

    Question for all of you AST's out there...

    How much water confidence training and what drills did you perform in aschool?
    Bobbing,Buddy breathing, Bound dolphin kicks, Bound floating, Submerged knot tying? Exactly which drills did you do with the brick?

    In distance, up to how much swimming/day did you do? 6000m? 2000m? I know it varied but on the days you did the most swimming.

    Leave date Oct30! Kilo 187!
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    14 Sep 2012 10:36 PM
    Alot of water confidence training! bobbing, drown proofing, dolphin kick, underwater laps, treading water with brick out of water, underwater laps with brick, underwater laps with mask clearing ect...

    Distance wise, it depends on the day. Mostly around 2500yds up to ??? I think the longest timed swim was 2000 yds? I cant remember exactly.
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    15 Sep 2012 11:48 AM
    Awesome! Thank you for the info! and on that 2000yd/m timed swim can you remember what the qual time had to be? Was that 2000yrds performed with or without equipment? (fins,mask,snorkel, harness etc)

    Also when going from the cals to the pool to the weight room during the day how much time in-between do you get? for instance, do you wake up, run, eat, hit the deck and swim, then eat then go to the weight room? Or do you do it all back-to-back-to-back?

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    19 Sep 2012 05:11 AM


    Barbers Point future swimmer.       No . . No . . No . . the real SAR Baby lives in E-City.
    Sunny
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    19 Sep 2012 05:39 AM
    Getting so big!!!! Beautiful smile.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    30 Sep 2012 07:59 AM
    Hawksbill-
    I dont remember the qual time for the 2000yd swim but its not something crazy. By the time you do it, you should be in good enough shape that it wont be much of a problem. All of us were looking forward to it because that meant it was a large chunk of uninterrupted time the instructors were not yelling at you and making you do under waters. the swim is with gear. Most swims are with gear except for PT tests.
    As for your second question, it changes constantly but but the thing to remember is always be prepared for anything. Anything you might need for the day......keep it with you. Typically you don't get much of a break on your PT days. The longest break you get is lunch and then its back to the pool. Be flexible and Don't spend your spare time trying to figure out what you'll do next....its futile.

    AST Class 99-13!!!
    Graduating 12OCT
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    30 Sep 2012 11:17 AM
    mkelly, Where are you getting stationed?? Are you in the same class as Hornbruch(spelling?)??
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    30 Sep 2012 02:21 PM
    I'm headed to North Bend, Oregon. I am in the same class as Hornburch. You spelled it correctly. He is headed to Miami. How do you know Hornbruch?
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    30 Sep 2012 02:22 PM
    Ha, I spelled it incorrectly the first time. My fault......
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    01 Oct 2012 03:23 PM
    He was my Airman down here in San Diego. Glad to see he is making it through, ,Have fun up in North Bend.
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    02 Oct 2012 09:05 AM
    I have a good friend of mine in North Bend! Enjoy it
    Honor: if you need it defined, you don’t have it.
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    11 Oct 2012 04:27 PM
    Has anyone heard word about missing AST Matthews?
    Sunny
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    11 Oct 2012 07:35 PM
    Sunny... Missing??????
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    11 Oct 2012 07:43 PM
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    11 Oct 2012 07:58 PM
    Son of a XXXXX... I hadn't even heard of it. I hope he is ok and they find him sitting somewhere contemplating life.... I hope he isn't so distraught he could think of no way out. My prayers are with his wife and the CG family. Please let us know if you hear anything more. Thanks Cooch.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    12 Oct 2012 06:59 AM
    mkelly, congrats on your graduation!

    We had talked briefly about my son going into the Honor Guard and he decided it wasn't for him but I really appreciated the time you took to share your knowledge.

    Good Luck and Be Safe!

    Kris
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    13 Oct 2012 05:15 PM
    Thanks Kris. I do remember talking. I cant wait to get to my next unit and work on getting qualified. Hope all is well with your son and thanks for the well wishes.
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    19 Oct 2012 04:16 PM
    Check out the post about the dedication of the new training facility in E City:

    http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007...w-facility

    Pretty sweet looking, there are some photos of small boats in the facility to simulate night egress. Oh to be young again and able to do this. Glad I've got a son who took on the passion and is serving in Corpus.

    -Richard
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    19 Oct 2012 04:25 PM
    The cost of that was probably astronomical. Does it make sense to spend that much when we only train a handful of ASTs there every year? Orders are being delayed all over the Coast Guard due to a lack of budget, and seeing this makes me wonder if we are being good stewards of the taxpayers dollar.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    19 Oct 2012 04:28 PM
    I'm not saying that the ASTs can't get good use out of it. There's no doubt in my mind that it will help them out. I just wonder if it should have been a top priority or not.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    05 Nov 2012 10:01 AM
    I dont want to get political about the topic of the pool and my knowledge of the decisions about the pool is extremely limited. It is an amazing pool and egress training facility. I do know that for the last 10+ years they have been trying to get a new pool. While I was in school, we had more days than I can remember where the pool was closed because it was unsafe for us. This set us back a lot in our training. The old pool served its purpose but the new pool will allow for training in situations that might actually happen. Having the egress facility at ATTC will keep the school from shipping the students and every other air crew member up to Norfolk for Egress training. Its an amazing facility. I have no clue how much it all cost. I have no clue how budgeting for it works either. I do know that we needed a new pool sooner than later. I think that if the Coast Guard built the bare minimum pool there would have been a lot more grumbling about the Coast Guard only doing things half way. I guess my thoughts are that if you're going to do it, do it right. I just don't know when the right time would have been to build the new pool. Being somebody who might have been the last class to go through school in the old pool, its sentimental to me but I'm super excited for the new classes in the new pool.
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    05 Nov 2012 11:02 AM

    I am a 22 year old female, wanting to do something in the aviation part of the Coast Guard. I have a medical field background so I would like to know if it is possible to combine a HST into an aviation field. I have researched on the rescue swimmer aspect of aviation but I do not see where many females are in this branch. I enjoy physical fitness and I believe I have the mental stabilty to go through what seems like pretty tough physical/mental challenges. Does anyone have any details they can give me in regards to how many females get into this field or what other aviation field would be good for HST if any?

     Thankyou!

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    05 Nov 2012 11:27 AM
    I believe there have been 6? And maybe 3 are still in? One of my friends is spending her second time in the airman program to then spend a second time at AST school. It's hard, she didn't make it last time (and I thought she would have shes pretty jacked), but it's the only thing she wants to do. My other friend also went to AST school twice (hes super jacked) but this last time (he was top of his class) he tore his ACL so he then had to sit around and heal and then he got out because he wasn't about to go for a third time, and he didn't want to do anything else in the Coast Guard.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    14 Jan 2013 08:52 AM
    I know your vishion has to be correctible to 20/20 can that come in any form? ea. glasses or contacts? and while out on a case can you use either? thanks!
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    18 Jan 2013 11:38 PM
    Hi Sunny and Richard, Have you been watching Coast Guard Alaska? David was on the "into the mist" episode . He was the newly qualified rescue swimmer. So cool to get to see him get his wings and first case. He loves Sitka and all the "fellas" he works with! We went to visit last August. Loved it there and all the Coasties we met:-)
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    20 Jan 2013 04:29 AM
    Yes. We've been watching. Congrats to David. Alaska is where the action is, they say. Erich, who is in Hawaii is thinking of going back. We never been to Alaska. Maybe some day. Did you say hello with Nathan Newberg? I think he is still in Sitka. Erich advanced to AST2. We have a one year old grandson now, and will be visiting the family in Hawaii for a couple of weeks in March. We pray that David and the rest will stay safe.

    p.s. Richard, what's going on?
    Joe
    Sunny
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    20 Jan 2013 07:51 AM
    Haven't posted in a while, but I've been lurking reading the posts. Kevin is still in Corpus Christi doing well he plans on getting married in April. We can't wait to extend our already growing family! He too made AST2 last summer and is enjoying the work. He said he would like his next posting to be Alaska as well, I think he has a year left in Corpus. We don't have cable, internet only, and I wish they would post full episodes on the weather channel to watch. I've checked Netflix and as I said Hulu and nothing. The weather channel has the 2 minute trailers which only make me wish I had cable TV.

    Dittos on prayer for our sons and daughters who are serving to stay safe.

    Richard
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    20 Jan 2013 12:26 PM
    Hello, everyone My name is Alex and my husband is looking into being an AST after he graduates college. We are doing as much research as we can and this forum has definitely been helpful. I just have a few questions though:

    1) is this timeline for training to be an AST still correct?
    TriMan1991 said on 8-23-11:
    "- 8 weeks boot camp (Cape May)
    - 4-6 months at first duty station
    - 4-6 months in the airman program (prerequisite to A school) (Air station close to first duty station)
    - 18 weeks at A school (Elizabeth city )
    - 3 weeks EMT training (Petaluma CA) "
    which I now think the EMT training is 7 weeks though.

    2) Would my husband only be required in barracks during BC? Would I be able to be with him after that? I know some people on this forum don't recommend wives being there during school and training, but we are wondering if we would be allowed to live together after He completes BC since what I understand from the timeline above, there could be a significant gap between BC and A school...

    that's all I have for now, but I'm sure as he gets closer to enlisting, the more questions we'll have!! thank you!
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    20 Jan 2013 12:53 PM
    Posted By amagsmith on 20 Jan 2013 01:26 PM
    Hello, everyone My name is Alex and my husband is looking into being an AST after he graduates college. We are doing as much research as we can and this forum has definitely been helpful. I just have a few questions though:

    1) is this timeline for training to be an AST still correct?
    TriMan1991 said on 8-23-11:
    "- 8 weeks boot camp (Cape May)
    - 4-6 months at first duty station
    - 4-6 months in the airman program (prerequisite to A school) (Air station close to first duty station)
    - 18 weeks at A school (Elizabeth city )
    - 3 weeks EMT training (Petaluma CA) "
    which I now think the EMT training is 7 weeks though.

    2) Would my husband only be required in barracks during BC? Would I be able to be with him after that? I know some people on this forum don't recommend wives being there during school and training, but we are wondering if we would be allowed to live together after He completes BC since what I understand from the timeline above, there could be a significant gap between BC and A school...

    that's all I have for now, but I'm sure as he gets closer to enlisting, the more questions we'll have!! thank you!

    the time line looks about right, for the time at the first duty station you would be allowed to move with him and he would not be required to live in the barracks.
    you can also move with him to the Airman program, you would not move to either the A school or to the EMT training as they are not long enough, in order for spouses to PCS the school has to be 20 weeks or longer in length.
    HTH's
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    20 Jan 2013 01:37 PM
    The time at the first duty station could be longer, depending on a lot of variables, such as the waiting time for that school when he comes in, and whether or not he can get qualified at his unit first. Also, there is a 6-24 month timeframe that it takes to get into the CG in the first place.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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    20 Jan 2013 07:57 PM
    Posted By amagsmith on 20 Jan 2013 01:26 PM
    Hello, everyone My name is Alex and my husband is looking into being an AST after he graduates college. We are doing as much research as we can and this forum has definitely been helpful. I just have a few questions though:

    1) is this timeline for training to be an AST still correct?
    TriMan1991 said on 8-23-11:
    "- 8 weeks boot camp (Cape May)
    - 4-6 months at first duty station
    - 4-6 months in the airman program (prerequisite to A school) (Air station close to first duty station)
    - 18 weeks at A school (Elizabeth city )
    - 3 weeks EMT training (Petaluma CA) "
    which I now think the EMT training is 7 weeks though.

    2) Would my husband only be required in barracks during BC? Would I be able to be with him after that? I know some people on this forum don't recommend wives being there during school and training, but we are wondering if we would be allowed to live together after He completes BC since what I understand from the timeline above, there could be a significant gap between BC and A school...

    that's all I have for now, but I'm sure as he gets closer to enlisting, the more questions we'll have!! thank you!

    Alright, heres my little journey that my wife and I went through. Now, everyone's is probably going to be different but wanted to at least get you some in sight on his journey if he wants to become an AST. 

    1.
    Spent roughly 7 months of waiting for BC.
    8 weeks of BC.
    11 months at my first duty station which was a 210' and I was qualified within 4 months and my name was on the A-school list right after (wait time 6ish months and thats with being pro-active with the 3 holds to his name)
    4 months at my airman program
    7 months at A-School for being re-phased (yeah, it can happen... going to AST A-school 2 times back to back)
    7 weeks of EMT C-school

    2. 
    You should be able to live as a happily married couple after BC, Whatever you two do after BC at his first duty station is up to you guys. Now wither he gets airman orders to his local Airstation or to ATTC (E-City) you guys will be able to move together as a couple. School was the hardest thing I have ever done but what was harder was being away from my wife and new-born child. 

    Some food for thought, Just this A-school list AST A-school has now joined AET and AMT A-school by having all there projected classes as TBD. That can be based on a lot of things as of right now and can also change by next month. The journey to become an AST was not easy at all, I've spent more time away from my wife then I have with her, But from what I believe and other AST's is that you have just joined the best job in the CG and possibly the whole Military( just my opinion you smelly BM's ). Hope this helped and if you or your husband have any questions about the journey mkelly or myself have just completed it and here to help.





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    22 Jan 2013 03:11 PM
    To whom ever can assist me,

    I am currently a non-rate and actively training to be an AST in as many ways as I can at my unit. I am not on the AST A-school list yet because I want to get as much information about being an AST as I possibly can and hopefully hear from someone who can tell me what their journey was like? I am really motivated, disciplined, and just overall excited to get things rolling. I want to be as ahead of the game as I can possibly be before I put my name on the AST A-school list and get orders for the Airman program. I am wondering what advice you have or information that would be helpful for me and my journey? I have been at my unit for 7 months and I have successfully completed my oral board to be a boat crewman. I am just waiting on my command and a day of good weather to complete my check ride. Anyways, after I'm fully qualified I want to put 100+% into getting where I need to be for an AST. It is to my understanding that I need a flight physical as well as a physical fitness test before I can receive orders for the airman program, is this accurate? I see a lot of people are stagnant on the list because they have not completed either the flight physical or physical fitness test. Why is this? It is because they didn't pass? Or is it just a longer wait than i think to get these physicals/tests done or approved? Can I get a jump start on my flight physical/PF test before I put my name on the A-school list? If so, how does the process work? Do I have to go through my command to set any of this up? Or can I just go over to my med clinic and get the ball rolling myself? Like I said I want to get a head start and do what ever is necessary to be ready to rock in roll! Any advice and/or direction would be greatly appreciated! I hope to hear from you soon.

    Very Respectfully,

    Justin
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    22 Jan 2013 04:37 PM
    just my opinion you smelly BM's


    I like you Lance. Let's be friends.
    “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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    22 Jan 2013 08:38 PM
    Hey Justin,
    All you really need to know about being an AST is that its awesome. I was doing Boat ops today and those guys seemed to be having fun too though. Lance and I have the same thought process though when it comes to being an AST.....cant beat it. I'm guessing every unit is different with appointments and whatnot but when I was a non rate I called and made an appointment for a flight physical as soon as I knew I was putting my name on the list. Depending on whats going on with the clinic near you and the Doc's that are in, it might take a while to get the appointment. It took 3 months for me to get mine and people were surprised it was so quick. As with everything in life, stay on top of it and it will get taken care of. As for the PT test, that didn't take long at all. It took a morning to do the test and fax it. You can certainly get on the flight physical if your command doesn't mind and I'd assume you can do the PT test whenever. The holds on the "A" school list aren't always indicative of actual holds I think. As with everything, start with your direct supervisor and see if you can work it out at the lowest level. AST "A" school is just as much, if not more, about mental preparedness as the physical. If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me and I'l try to get back to you as soon as I can.
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    23 Jan 2013 08:23 AM
    I know your vishion has to be correctible to 20/20 can that come in any form? ea. glasses or contacts? and while out on a case can you use either? thanks!
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    23 Jan 2013 04:48 PM
    Hey mkelly,

    Thank you so much for responding. How do I go about sending a PM? I am new to this forum and I could very well be sending you one right now haha, but I just want to know for future reference? Thank you.

    V/R,

    Justin
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    23 Jan 2013 10:58 PM
    Hey CGBorn Ready,
    I saw you ask the question earlier and I don't know the definite answer for you. I cant imagine anybody going out wearing glasses or contacts. It doesn't take much to lose your mask and then you would be blind if glasses or contacts are the only things correcting your vision. I have never seen anybody wear glasses out in training but I am still pretty new. From what I hear, PRK by a military doctor if you're in, is the way to go. Don't take my word as the CG Manual but hopefully that helps until somebody more knowledgable gets on here and gives you the skinny.
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    27 Jan 2013 08:26 AM
    thanks for your help, everyone!!!
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    31 Jan 2013 01:36 PM
    My heart is dead set on becoming an AST. There are a lot of moving parts to earn that opportunity and I'm trying my best to create a well-rounded training regimen. I'm finding lots of good information on here and other sources on physical training. From what ASTs are saying, it's that mental strength that makes or breaks. I don't ship out for boot camp until May, so I have many a thing to accomplish before striking for A School. I'm an avid reader and it seems that I'll have some time between now and then to read avidly. So I was wondering if anyone (especially you ASTs) had suggestions on books to read that I may find useful in my pursuit. Thanks for taking the time to read/respond!
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    31 Jan 2013 02:15 PM
    I ship out in May as well, with the same goal. I'm about halfway through "Brotherhood of the Fin" by Gerald R. Hoover. I've got another coming in the mail,"So Others May Live" by Martha J LaGuardia-Kotite. I was recently told of "A Storm Too Soon" by Michael J. Tougias, so that might be next on my list. Finally, "Until the Sea Shall Free Them" is mentioned in Brotherhood of the Fin, and it's about theMarine Electric tragedy that was really the start of the rescue swimmer program.

    Hope this helps.
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    31 Jan 2013 05:44 PM
    I read "So Others May Live" and while I was at school I read "No Easy Day", "American Sniper" and "Lone Survivor". When things got really hard I always told myself that Marcus Luttrell had it worse and to sack up. Stay focused on becoming a AST, it's possible, I promise.
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    31 Jan 2013 09:53 PM
    Much appreciated-added those to my Amazon shopping cart. I've read Fick's "One Bullet Away" and that definitely puts personal sacrifice in perspective. Going to stick to my guns and do what it takes, these books on my bookshelf will serve as good reminders. @Ocelot: I'll see you in Cape May, just a few short months way.
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    04 Feb 2013 05:53 AM
    The author of American Sniper was just killed this weekend in Texas. What a shame.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    08 Apr 2013 12:08 PM
    What are under/overs and multis?
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    08 Apr 2013 08:37 PM
    Over unders are where you swim the first half length of the pool on top and the 2nd half under water. You touch the bottom crack of the pool, come up and do it again without a break. continuous laps for about 300 yards in school. Multis are multiple survivor scenarios. Somewhere between 3-6 survivors typically and a lot of chaos.
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    10 Apr 2013 02:11 PM
    Gotcha-thanks mkelly.
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    11 Apr 2013 05:38 AM
    Congrats Son.

    http://www.d14.uscgnews.com/go/doc/...7/1742695/

    Too bad they spelled out name wrong.

    J. Klingner
    Sunny
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    11 Apr 2013 06:07 AM
    Many congratulations. That is really terrific.

    Sorry about the spelling thing.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    12 Apr 2013 06:40 AM
    Posted By sunny717 on 11 Apr 2013 06:38 AM
    Congrats Son.

    http://www.d14.uscgnews.com/go/doc/...7/1742695/

    Dad


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    16 Apr 2013 07:09 AM
    Joe,

    Congratulations to Erich on a job well done. We just got back from Austin where my son Kevin tied the knot to a wonderful girl he met in Corpus. My wife and I can't wait for the little AST(s) to show up?

    Rihard
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    17 Apr 2013 04:59 PM
    Richard
    Congats on Kevin and your new daughter-in-law. At least you will be closer to them.
    We just came back from Hawaii a little over a week ago. Our grandson Wolfgang is 15 months old now, what a joy.
    Erich and Kimmy are doing fine. We were there for two weeks. My other son is getting married this Sat. then we are all going to Rincon PR. for two weeks. There's about 50 of us going Erich, Kimmy and Wolfgang will be there also. The whole wedding party and friends and family. Erich is thinking PR for his next duty station after Hawaii.
    Joe
    Sunny
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    31 Jul 2013 11:07 AM
    Quick question. Since they did away with the airmen program, and have replaced it with a 6 weeks indoc course in E-City, how will the timing for your orders work? For instance, if I possibly project myself getting orders for the November class will I go in September, 6 weeks before the class date? Or will I still go in November and it goes later into the year? thanks!
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    01 Aug 2013 12:04 AM
    I could be completely wrong but it is my understanding that the AN program was done away with and school was extended. If thats the case, a separate indoc course would kind of defeat the purpose. Thats what the AN program was. I would think the extension on school would be just that; an extension on school. I could be wrong but I would expect to get orders to school and whenever the class convene date is, is when you will be heading to school. Just a guess.
    Either way I would venture to guess you should find out pretty soon by what they do to the October class.
    On a side note, however good you think you are at finning, get a lot better.
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    01 Aug 2013 01:15 PM
    Lets say you get orders to the class on 11/11/13, that is when you will start your 6- week "indoc" and after that you will start A-school. The Airman Program is on it's way out the door... The last Airman at our Airststions will be in this class starting in a few weeks or October class. This whole Indoc is a new thing so there's nothing I can tell you except the Navy has a similiair indoc for their "special operation jobs". With that being said, things change and can change back to the airman program in 3 months... every person in every rate or rank thinks they know whats best for our rate. Don't think you will get in shape and be ready for A-school in 6-weeks. Like Mkelly said you need to be ready and in the best shape of your life on the first day you report. Good luck and train hard so you can have the best job in the Coast Guard.
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    02 Aug 2013 06:47 AM
    Is the Indoc for all aviation rates or just AST?
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    02 Aug 2013 04:54 PM
    I have no clue what the others are doing, just AST Airman. If I hear anything else Ill post it on here. Where are you sitting on the A-school list?
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    03 Aug 2013 01:14 AM
    Dang, where is all this new A school info coming from? I have heard nothing about an indoc or what the new A school standards will be. We still have airmen down here in San Diego. And take mkelly's advice and keep finning! HAHA...
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    03 Aug 2013 06:51 PM
    I think I'm sitting at number 59 on the AMT list. I've heard all my rumors from an AET at elizabeth city and a Master Chief at elizabeth city and a Master Chief at detroit but all they have told me or passed to me was that the airman program was history.
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    30 Sep 2013 11:01 AM
    hey guys,

    Anyone have any insight as to the process towards getting in to the "A" school? Specifically, I mean the process immediately out of boot camp.

    I already have decided not to try to get the flight physical in boot, but was curious if you can request the (no longer functioning?) airman program. If the program no longer exists, is it just a matter of waiting to break the list, staying in top shape, and having a flight physical and secret clearance? I just wasn't sure if there is anything else that can be done straight out of boot (like if getting stationed at an air station for the first unit helps).

    Thanks!
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    30 Sep 2013 04:01 PM
    Nope. There are no tricks. You have to wait 4 months before you can put your name on an "A" school list (those are the rules). In order to actually go to an aviation "A" school you'll have to have a completed flight physical. Your secret clearance should already be processing if you've DEPed in. The Airman Program is/was for those people who already had/have orders to an aviation "A" school.
    “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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    30 Sep 2013 06:52 PM
    thanks Gears,

    Anyone have any good recommendations on locations and positions to try to request that would best prepare me during my time before placing my name on the A school list and waiting?
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    01 Oct 2013 03:17 PM
    You really cant request a position and for the location, well, thats up to you. The people who are at my shop now represent all different kinds of units before they went to "A" school. Work hard, get your name on the list after 4 months, then rain and learn as much as you can until you get orders to school.
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    18 Oct 2013 06:05 PM
    Thanks for the advice mkelly.

    Can anyone suggest swimming workouts that I should be able to accomplish to be prepared for A school since there is no Airman program? Details like total time during workouts, with or without fins, specific types of workouts, etc.

    The more detail the better! I leave for basic training on Jan. 14th, but I would like to already be fit as possible at that point in case I have trouble finding a pool after that point.

    Thanks for all your help!
    Nate
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    19 Oct 2013 08:09 PM
    Nate-

    Do pyramid yardage in the pool. Something to start with is:
    50yard x10 
    100yard x6
    250yard x 4
    500yard x2
    250yard x4
    100yard x6
    50yard x10
    All with 25sec between set. Get yourself a set of Rocket Fins to get your ankles ready. Throw in a lot of underwater laps with no more then 60 sec. Rest and develop a good flutter kick. Everyday will be different at A-school and spending 2-3hrs in the pool now will help when you get to school. I was on a 210' after boot camp and spent more time underway then in-port which sucked for pool training so you gotta make your time in the pool count. 

    I'm sure Mkelly will be will be on here shortly to help too. Train smart and take care of your body.


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    25 Oct 2013 10:26 AM
    Hi Lance,

    Please pardon my ignorance but I'm after some clarification on the lingo.

    That swim pyramid you posted is that in one session with out fins?

    an earlier post from someone else said "no matter how good you think you are at finning get better" is finning just kicking on your back with no arms using fins? what sort of distances should someone be doing?

    "develop a good flutter kick" is that the abdominal exercise when you're laying on the floor, with your hands under your butt and your legs are alternating in the air?

    I appreciate your help

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    25 Oct 2013 09:55 PM
    If you have the type of fins used in school, you might as well use them in preparation for school. You can mix in some non-fin stuff but almost everything in school is with the fins on. The finning you are doing in school is typically towing somebody. A good starting point for practicing that is doing laps on your side while only kicking with fins. Once you are good comfortable with that, grab the 10lb rubber bricks they have at most pools and keep that thing out of the water while finning on your side. If you can keep your arm straight up, go for it(perpendicular to you while on your side, not parallel.)
    In school, you will probably never just kick on your back while in the water. You will have to either tow somebody or fin on different sides, maybe your stomach. You are correct on your definition of a flutter kick. Doing them with the Fins will make you stronger.
    Knowing all of this stuff is helpful but no matter what, you will be pushed past your limits and school is a lot physical but more mental. Like Lance said, there are plenty of people who are coming from a boat and don't get tons of time to train. The longer school will help prepare you physically and you will learn everything you need to know there. That pyramid is a good set. If that seems like too much for you, you can always build to that. something like 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 75, 50, 25. You get the idea. Play around with it. You will be doing a lot of sprints in school most likely. 10x50 sprints are great to mix in your sets followed by some under waters. Under water down, sprint back, or sprint down, under water back. Get comfortable with over under laps. I'm sure if you read the 20 pages here, there are plenty of exercise examples and swim sets repeated. Get your mind right and take care of your body.
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    26 Oct 2013 02:24 PM

    Thank you very much mkelly. Much appreciated
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    27 Nov 2013 02:44 PM

    I dont know where else to post this question and seeing as this is the most visited AST thread I figured I'd ask here...

    I have just recieved my orders to the 03FEB ast a school class and was wondering, aside from the seabag items any of you AST's recommend bringing?  Ive heard items such as vasoline for the chaffing and tape for all the blisters from the fins etc...Im also assuming I can get these items from the exchange on base.

    Thank you!
    V/R
    SN Impagliazzo, Chris

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    27 Nov 2013 03:40 PM
    Congratulations on your orders. Very best of luck to you. I'm sure one of our regular AST's will be along to help.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    27 Nov 2013 09:44 PM
    No need to freak, there's a Walmart 10 minutes away. As for your comment on how us AST's were not staying on top of our airmen and keeping them accountable... Well it's sometimes hard to keep a 19 year old "accountable" when you have maintanece for 10 aircraft, a training flight every other day, standing duty and keeping your own fitness up. Either you have it or don't.
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    28 Nov 2013 10:15 AM
    From what I hear, you'll have plenty of time to figure things out with the new AN program incorporated into school. I didn't use Vasoline, tape or anything like that. You will be told what you need, when you need it. Was the comment about keeping a 19 year old accountable deleted?
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    28 Nov 2013 10:28 AM
    Never mind. I just saw the comment about being accountable. Accountability has nothing to do with it. The attrition rate has been pretty much the same since the inception of the ASM/AST program. If AN accountability was an issue, it would not have taken them over 30 years to figure this out. I was pretty much on my own for my AN program. Like Lance said, you either have it or you don't. You'll see. When you see one of your classmates surface during a non compliant survivor drill, wide eyed and looking panicked, you're not going to be wondering why he wasn't held more accountable. Being accountable has nothing to do with thinking while under pressure and hypoxic.
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    05 Dec 2013 10:34 AM
    I meant no disrespect by keeping the AN accountable comment. An ast2 Im friends with in miami was telling me it was harder for some air stations to keep track of the AN's training regimine because of the workload. Like you said, during the AN program its hard to keep the AN accountable for their workouts, especially if they dont have it. Apologies if the comment came off the wrong way, and I hope to be joining you as an AST soon.

    Where are you stationed Lance, if you dont mind me asking?
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    08 Dec 2013 08:03 AM
    Miami, let me guess your friend... Mros?
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    11 Dec 2013 08:30 AM
    Lance, I was laughing pretty hard when he said his friend from Miami told him, then asked you where you were stationed. How perfect huh? How is sunny Miami? We had snow on the beach out here. We actually had to use snow chocks...
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    12 Dec 2013 07:16 AM
    It's been rough over here, 80 degree air and water temp. Farmer John's FTW. Hope the family is staying warm up there!
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    07 Feb 2014 04:36 PM
    After a lengthy search online, and I phone call with a recruiter, I found this web page:

    http://www.uscg.mil/epm/docs/a-schoollist.pdf

    It appears to list the current wait times for the different A - schools. Am I correct in thinking that the AST wait time is ~6 months? The table on page 6 says 6 months, but if you go to page 12 you can see that there's guys and galls who've been on the list since '12 and '13... Any help would be greatly appreaciated.

    M
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    07 Feb 2014 05:20 PM
    that is for qualified nonrates, meaning they have their flight physical done, aren't dealing with anything medically, and I believe there is a fitness test prior to going to a-school now.

    The people that have been sitting on the list aren't fully qualified to go.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    07 Feb 2014 06:36 PM
    So if you have passed your flight physical and fitness test then there's an approximately 6 month wait? And am I correct in thinking that by qualify you mean 4 months post boot, with your medical and physical squared away?
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    12 Feb 2014 10:59 PM
    And a follow on question: I've heard that some AST's have medical training. I've heard EMT-B and some paramedics too. How does this work? After a certain ammount of time served are you put forward for this?
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    13 Feb 2014 01:08 AM
    all ASTs have medical training. They are the first responders basically in the Helo.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    13 Feb 2014 01:44 AM
    Thanks for the response Bell. Do they hold a specific level of medical training? I hate to say it, but I saw a few episodes of the Coast Guard Alaska show, and one of the AST's referred to himself as a paramedic. Does he have Paramedic level training, or is that him trying to explain the role to the cameras. I see that some aircraft have lifepack monitors, so I'm just trying to find out what level of EMS training these guys have.
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    13 Feb 2014 06:24 AM
    You can expect about a 1 year wait until you get orders to swimmer school. It really comes down to how persistent you are.

    The standard for us AST's is having your EMT-B and CPR. With that being said the guys in Sitka are EMT-I due to their cases and transport times. Any of us can go to paramedic school but it's going to be on your own time. 

    I think the boys up in Kodiak are using the Philips MRx. Yeah it's a "ALS" monitor but it has the built in AED which makes one less thing to carry. 
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    13 Feb 2014 10:02 AM
    If you don't pass EMT school you can't get your RS qual.
    I have no clue where we would fit the Mrx in a 65
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    13 Feb 2014 01:18 PM
    Posted By Lance on 13 Feb 2014 07:24 AM
    You can expect about a 1 year wait until you get orders to swimmer school. It really comes down to how persistent you are.

    The standard for us AST's is having your EMT-B and CPR. With that being said the guys in Sitka are EMT-I due to their cases and transport times. Any of us can go to paramedic school but it's going to be on your own time. 

    I think the boys up in Kodiak are using the Philips MRx. Yeah it's a "ALS" monitor but it has the built in AED which makes one less thing to carry. 

    Thanks for the response. I am already a Nationally Registered Paramedic, which is a source of great pride for me, which is why I ask. I saw lifepak 12's and a Zoll monitor on the Alaska show, and you're correct in thinking that they both have an AED setting like the MRx. When you say EMT - I do you mean intermediate? We don't use EMT-I where I am, it's EMT-B and EMT-P only. 

    Thanks again for your replies so far, I'm hoping that I'll be able to use my Paramedic training and scope of practice if possible.
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    13 Feb 2014 05:15 PM
    There are a couple of things to consider here first.
    1. Make it through "A" school first!.
    2. Don't forget to make it through "A" school.
    3. You will be operating under the flight surgeon so he would be the one to give you permission to use your paramedic training under his license. That would be mean they would have to purchase extra equipment for you, figure out where to put it on the helo, and he would be taking all the risk that comes with trying to start IV"s, or IO's while in a helo....administering drugs ect... There might be a couple of units where transit time would allow for that stuff but mostly it is basic care and getting them to a hospital ASAP. The units that would have time for that stuff either put the AST's through school for that or fly an HS/flight surgeon if needed. You are most likely not going to have time to set up a 12 lead and transit in the helo is not like transit in an ambulance.
    4. All that being said, you might be able to use your paramedic skills in the Coast Guard but you're more likely going to be able to use them picking up shifts outside of the coast guard with an ambulance company or fire department and the coast guard is more than likely still going to send you to EMT school in Petaluma no matter.
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    14 Feb 2014 01:28 PM
    Great answer, thank you. 

    I know A school will be tough, but hundreds have graduated before me and I can too. 

    Thanks again. 

    M
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    16 Feb 2014 01:37 PM
    I Just received my orders to the April school class. Im Wondering if anybody has any knowledge of the new 24 week program. I'm nervous but very excited! i've been waiting a long time for this opportunity!
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    16 Feb 2014 05:20 PM
    Best of luck! If I'm ever in trouble out there I expect you to come save me.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    16 Feb 2014 11:27 PM
    The new program is similar to the old program but with 6 weeks added to help prepare you for school. The entry PT is lowered and you will get more rest on certain things. It will allow for more time to learn about equipment and procedure so your pool time can be spent focusing on what actually needs to be done. I think your tests in the water may start earlier during this time as well and they will count against your total go/no go. One of the things that will help your stress level in school is don't try to figure out whats next. The people that spend their entire time trying to figure out what is going to happen next add more stress to an already stressful environment. Things are constantly changing. Be liquid, attack the tests head on, and get the job done.
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    18 Feb 2014 09:18 PM
    Thanks for the response mkelly. Is there any other advice you can give me before heading to school? Any good workouts that youd recommend I should do for the next couple weeks? I want to be as prepared as possible..Although I don't think i'll ever feel ready enough!
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    19 Feb 2014 03:40 PM
    Everyone has there own way on making through school. I learned to completely turn off my brain during PT and conditioning, straight zombie status. When we had a test and where told "showers on" I turned the old coconut on for whatever test I was going to do. Passed the test, off the brain goes. I hope you have been training non stop up until now. Stick to body weight work outs and 2000(ish) swims. Nothing you do now will get you in better shape. Get everything at home squared away, you don't need drama when you are there. You are in good ride, push yourself everyday. It will pay off.
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    20 Feb 2014 02:36 PM
    Thanks Lance. Another question, what is the day to day schedule like at school?
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    23 Feb 2014 03:56 PM
    It's a all new schedule now and have no clue. Just expect to work out and swim everyday.
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    05 Mar 2014 08:12 AM
    I'm new here and can't seem to find any information on this particular topic, so I figured I would ask here as you seem like a knowledgable bunch. Assuming I can make AST, what is the possibility after a few (maybe 8-10) years of getting a commission and going on to be, say, a pilot? I'm assuming with the physically and mentally taxing nature of the AST rate that it's somewhat of a young man's game, and I don't know that I'll always want to be the one in the water.
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    05 Mar 2014 10:18 AM
    There is a possibility but there are a lot of factors that would play into you getting selected and then picked to go to flight school. There are some good enlisted to officer programs out there but they all don't lead to you being a pilot. Once you get into the aviation world and see what pilots actually do, you may not want to be a pilot.
    On a side note, if you do not always want to be the one in the water, do not go AST. You will fail.
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    05 Mar 2014 08:20 PM
    Meeeeeh... I have no intentions of ever becoming a bus driver.
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    05 Mar 2014 08:58 PM
    Thanks mkelly. Just to clarify, am I right in assuming that most AST's don't stick around for the full ~20 years? I have nothing to base that on other than that it's a physically taxing position. Sorry if I came off as uncommitted with the part about not always wanting to be the one in the water. If I do go AST, I'll devote myself to it completely. I guess I won't know until I've been there, but I'm just thinking about longevity. That's why I'm thinking aviation. When I do eventually get pushed out of the Guard, I would like to have experience that will transfer well to something I can do in the civilian world with a lower stress schedule. As a pilot, I can see lots of civilian equivalents. Aside from the first responder field, what would a former AST do?
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    05 Mar 2014 09:09 PM

    So.. this?
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    05 Mar 2014 09:35 PM
    Forgive my ignorance, but is being an officer and a pilot really looked down upon? I understand rescue swimmers are the elite, and therefore any other rate is a step down. However, I would like to know what my career prospects will be after the Coast Guard if I remain AST vs. transfer to pilot.
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    05 Mar 2014 11:54 PM
    Might want to do some research.

    "Any other rate (rating) is a step down"?

    "Transfer to pilot"?

    Have you even been accepted for recruitment yet?

    Do you have the experience to put in for pilot?

    I personally don't look down on anyone's job. Soooo. That is all. I can't really respond with anything other than I want you to do some research besides asking questions like that

    Edit: Now I have seen your other two posts. How old are you? Ive recently met AST Masterchief so 20 plus year ASTs do exist. Can you perform the physical requirements? I would like you, besides doing homework on your questions, to look into a bootcamp style workout situation,  and then on top of that do some serious pool time. Then, do it with someone telling you to do it harder and to the point where you think you are going to break from a simulated high amount of pressure and stress. Bootcamp and then AST school more so are both physically and mentally draining situations that last months at a time. Most people fail because they give up or get hurt. I know three people that have gone to AST school. 2 of them have gone twice and are still non rates after more than 4 years, and 1 went BM. 


    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    06 Mar 2014 04:43 AM
    any other rate is a step down.


    You couldn't be more wrong.
    “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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    06 Mar 2014 05:24 AM
    To our other AST's - I'm sorry for what I'm about to say...

    Hey Clay - Get off your high horse. There is no STEP DOWN to another rate. Nor is there a MORE ELITE rating in the CG. Please tell CHIEF Gears how keeping his boat running safely and keeping a crew safe is a step down. Please tell PETTY OFFICER Bells when she is out there in a 45' boat pulling some surfer that has been caught in a riptide how she should get out of your ay because you plan on BEING ELITE. Please tell PETTY OFFICER's FloridaGirl & Seabass you OS's... Sure, you take the call on the radio, you are the ones to actually speak to the mariner in trouble and you are the ones that get the coordinates so my butt can get out to that spot but truly you don't really matter. What a shame those people can't be considered ELITE! To bad they took the easy way out and went for lesser ratings that don't really mean piss... Because here comes CLAY! He is a hero, let's worship his brown shoes and clear an immediate path with rose petals at his feet.

    The other point to this post... CHIEF Gears, PETTY OFFICERS Bells, FloridaGirl & Seabass have forgotten more about the Coast Guard then you even know at this point. How about you back it down a little bit and when you make it through and can stand next to Lance & MKelly and say I AM AN AST then you can make some comments? Even then, you will never hear those 2 gentlemen making comments like they are elite. A wet behind the ears newbie that probably hasn't even been to a recruiter yet, you really need to stop with the elite BS talk.
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    06 Mar 2014 07:32 AM
    Bells -
    What I meant by "a step down" is that AST is the smallest, most selective rating in the Coast Guard, not that it's the most important or respected position. I realize that everyone has a job, and every job is integral.

    "Transfer to pilot" - I don't really know the correct terminology, but I mean go through an enlisted to officer program and flight school.

    From what I can find of the requirements for the Coast Guard and for AST specifically, there's nothing in my record or medical history to disqualify me, but I'm still undecided and haven't applied.

    It's good to hear you don't look down on anyone's job, that's just the impression I got from Gears' post.

    I don't have the experience for anything. I'm an 18 year old college freshman. I've been looking into this, as time has allowed, for a couple months, and have read all the FAQ's on this forum as well as the recruiting website and a handful of other sources. If I've missed something I'd really appreciate a link. While I understand boot camp and particularly swimmer school will be tough mentally and physically, I can do all the dry land and pool PT no problem, and the only thing that would disqualify me is my eyesight.
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    06 Mar 2014 07:47 AM
    Old Guard - As I said to Bells, I didn't mean to disparage any other rating. All I meant was that going from AST to almost(?) any other rating is going from a more exclusive group to a less exclusive one. I don't presume to comment on the relative difficulty of one job over another as I have no frame of reference. Sorry if my last comment came off as arrogant.
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    06 Mar 2014 07:54 AM
    My comment was directed at Lance. You're going to learn rather quickly we give one another lots of guff.
    “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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    09 Mar 2014 01:08 PM
    I'm gone for a few days and everything falls apart!

    Clay- us swimmers tend to all have a Type-A personality. There are some that are pretty full of themselves but the majority of us just want to be "that guy" who is actually doing the hands on part of SAR case. Want to know who the elites are? pararescue, SEALs, Delta those are the elites.

    There a plenty of jobs after you do 20 years as a swimmer. Besides the obvious EMS jobs you can work for Airline companies and maintain all their survival and oxygen equipment and get paid very well, theres Life Saving Corp. and a few guys have started teaching Survival skills to mariners and pilots.

    Gears- NAILED IT!
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    09 Mar 2014 04:22 PM
    I kinda feel like this belongs here.. http://www.reddit.com/r/Military/co.../this_guy/
    “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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    12 Mar 2014 05:46 PM
    So interesting thing here, the definition for elite: 1.privileged minority: a small group of people within a larger group who have more power, social standing, wealth, or talent than the rest of the group. With that definition, I would consider the AST's as being elite. The fact that this rating specific board has 22 pages on its own, while most have nothing close demonstrates a higher social standing. There are certainly less AST's than MK, BM, and OS but wayyyyy more than PA, who are also elite...

    To answer Clay's question, we have a pilot that is actually a former AST so it can be done, yes. You won't know what you want until you get your feet wet and start learning what is really happening. The aviation world is definitely different than the boat world so it may or not be what you want. I have seen both people that love aviation (me) and people who hated it and actually switched rates to MK or BM. Either way, research, research and more research is the best way to see if you would be a good fit for the Coast Guard.
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    12 Mar 2014 08:07 PM
    Alright, so AST's are a small group of people within a larger group but we are not a privileged minority. We do not have more power, social standing, wealth, or talent than the rest of the group. We are just different. Just as much as I don't want to sit in an office and do paper work all day, a YN doesn't want to jump out of a helo. From my side of the hook as an AST, there is not enough to be said about a talented flight mechanic or a pilot who can make the right decision quickly in a hairy situation. When the crew works together to get the job done in a time of stress, its a beautiful thing. It seems that you don't quite understand the definition of elite.
    The reason that this topic has so many pages is because there is a bit of secrecy that surrounds the school and people are trying to figure it out. It has nothing to do with higher social standing and has more to do with fear of the unknown.
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    12 Mar 2014 08:14 PM
    There are also some AST parents that share regularly in this thread the comings and goings of their children. It is fun to watch them interact and hear about their children. As an OS mom, Colin sits behind a black door and says "I would love to show you where I work... But, oh well." So there isn't much in the way of sharing his job for me.
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    13 Mar 2014 02:47 AM
    Have you seen the AST physical fitness test that you are required to complete before you can go on the a school list?

    I wouldn't say ASTs are exclusive because they are small. I would say the Coast Guard designed a billet strucure which only requires a certain amount of ASTs to be in the service, opposite to the coast guard needing a few thousand BMs and MKs. It's supply and demand. Just like other rates that have a very long waits to get in.... yada yada yada. To be considered elite... I don't know. I'm not trying to get on you at all now I'm just at the point of discussion. And like gears said we have a bunch of inside jokes that the ratings and officers can say about eachother.

    If you want to be an AST and make it through school and become one, then hey all the power to you. But for me, I knew I joined to be a BM because I knew I wanted to be a part of a rating that could be OIC of the small boat, station, or small cutter, without being an officer. Which one could say those such BMs have worked very hard for those certifications and could be considered exclusive to the rest of the CG. But then again you could say that about anything in any type of situation that you would consider exclusive based on your own opinion. A cook that can actually cook something I would consider eating is something I would consider for them to be part of an exclusive part of cookdom world. An IT that can promise me I will never lose or corrupt my archive folder in Outlook or lose my profile would allow me to put them in an exclusive group of IT make-my-day-world. Everyone has their part.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    13 Mar 2014 06:46 PM
    My definition of elite was meant pretty tongue in cheek but it does apply. And come on now mkelly, I work with swimmers EVERY DAY. Not privileged?! I walked in to the AST shop yesterday and was greeted by an AST1 in Chaps, a cowboy hat, and fake mustache over his ODU's and an officer in a bear costume... Swimmers are elite, there are more swimmers who could lateral to other ratings than there are other ratings who could make it through AST A school, that's just how it works. Now to say other ratings aren't important, that would be ignorant. I know my radios in the plane but a good OS operating at a sector is indispensable, as is a good BM that is in the search pattern and the MK that made sure that boat was ready to go. Everyone certainly has their part, the Coast Guard as a whole operates on the bare minimum of what is required to get the job done and asks a LOT of its members. That climate makes each person both indispensable to the group but easily replaced if necessary. I have a lot of respect for anyone who does their job well, period, but I still would say swimmers are the elite. They are held to a different standard on a lot of things.
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    13 Mar 2014 09:00 PM
    Chaps


    There's that word again. Your definition and my definition of "privileged" is very different. I have my own stateroom with a wooden gear plaque on the door. Also, there are fewer FRC sailors than ASTs, who are being held to a higher standard. #IAMELITE
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    14 Mar 2014 05:51 AM
    Alright - We have beat this horse to death, revived it and beat it again. ENOUGH! This is a thread to discuss things about the AST rate not if they are God's on Earth or just a regular Joe. They are an important part of the Coast Guard, no one says they aren't. But so are OS, FS, MK, BM, AET, ET, IT, SK... whatever rate you want to name... If any cog in a wheel falls off, the wheel no longer works properly. So that's that... Talk about what the rate does, what the training consists of, where you are stationed/hope to be stationed but whether or not they are more important, more elite, more privileged whatever ends now. I will lock this thread and start a new one if this continues, any new members continuing this conversation, I'll delete your account.
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    14 Mar 2014 09:12 AM
    Wow Old Guard! It sure is easy to tell when you have been having a rough day! ....As an AST, when I have a rough day, I get a good workout in if i'm not too sore, go home, and enjoy some ice cream with my beautiful family.
    Well I'm stationed in North Bend, OR and we get about zero SAR up here. The surf has been been big lately and mother nature has been laying a beat down on us swimmers doing surf ops. I love my job and all the guys in my shop. AST "A" school has been changing a whole lot so not a lot of us are going to know about what is going on in school. The only things I have heard are from an AN who just failed out and came back. I'd like to give a shout out to the dirty boaties for covering us during RS ops. I'm sure it sucks being out there in the wind and rain....
    I've heard of chaps being authorized for ODU's....I'm guessing that was a some sort of special trial period going on.......
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    14 Mar 2014 09:43 AM
    Yeah, I tend to get a little moody some days. Sorry for the harshness but it worked.

    I was in North Bend not that long ago. I want to move back to Oregon more than words can describe. From North Bend it isn't that far a drive to Tillamook Cheese and Ice Cream outlet shop and factory! I had some amazing cheese when we stopped there. I think ice cream with the family shuold always be the order of the day. I also think Chaps should be authorized wear... Where is Gears when we need him? MK's can sport a pretty nice set of chaps, too! Can you imagine walking in that shop and seeing an officer in a bear costume? I can see the CO just looking, shaking his head and walking out. Sometimes words just aren't needed. LOL
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    19 Mar 2014 08:20 AM
    I am only a hour away from Tillamook - much closer than that AST guy.
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    19 Mar 2014 12:30 PM
    If I play my cards right... I'm hoping I won't be as far from Tillamook as I am now in about a year, 18 months... I have REALLY been pushing that I want to move back to Oregon.
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    19 Mar 2014 01:37 PM
    I fly over Tillamook about every 4 days or so. I really wish we could fly up on an ROL and get some ice cream. Maybe they could just lower me down on the hook, I could grab some ice cream quickly, and we could be on our merry way?
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    19 Mar 2014 02:17 PM
    That would make headlines for sure!!! I think it should be allowed. Flyboys want ice cream too!
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    30 May 2014 05:05 AM
    Hey Richard, et al
    I just talked to my son in Barbers Point. He said that your son will be going there for a while.
    Congrats. The two of them will be working together. I think Erich has to leave in 2016 for a new air station.
    He also tells me that your son in passing all the test with flying colors, and moving up in rank. Congrats.
    I met your son when he was in the baby class at AST graduation about 3 years ago.
    Next time I'm in Hawaii I'll look him up for sure. 
    We also became grandparents again with Erich and his brother. Two babies in 3mos. isn't it great.
    Keep in touch.
    Joe


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    31 May 2014 03:35 PM
    Joe,

    Yeah, we are very excited about where his career is going. He was above the cut line for first class in the last SWE, he said he might be able to pin it on some time in December. He was initially thinking Alaska, but now that he is married Hawaii will be the better choice. As with all transfers it will be hard since he has so many friends and buddies in Corpus, but since the service and the rate are small one they eventually bump into each other again.

    My son-in-law got accepted for USCG OCS in December so we are going to have my daughter and their two kids for a while, we are really looking forward to that. Not sure when we will get to Hawaii, but if Erich is there we will defiantly say hello.

    Good to hear from you and enjoy those grandkids.

    Richard
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    25 Jun 2014 07:02 PM
    Would an AST hopeful have to get their Prk done before their flight physical or while waiting for A school orders?
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    25 Jun 2014 07:35 PM
    Do you need the surgery in order to be within the aviation standards? If so, it needs to be done before your flight physical. Get your paperwork in ASAP, it's a long wait.
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    25 Jun 2014 07:43 PM
    Aviation standards is "correctable up to 20/20" so if you wear glasses or contacts you'll be fine. Avoid any surgeries!.. avoid going in to the doctor for anything really unless completely necessary.
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    25 Jun 2014 08:09 PM
    Posted By Astlust on 25 Jun 2014 08:43 PM
    Aviation standards is "correctable up to 20/20" so if you wear glasses or contacts you'll be fine. Avoid any surgeries!.. avoid going in to the doctor for anything really unless completely necessary.

    Not quite. If your uncorrected visual acuity is worse than 20/400, it is disqualifying for aviation, even if it is correctable to 20/20.
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    26 Jun 2014 01:22 AM
    My eyesight isn't that bad. So, I wouldn't need to do the surgery to do the flight physical?
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    26 Jun 2014 05:14 PM
    Nope. If your vision is within those limits, and it is correctable to 20/20, you should be good. Find out where you would be doing your flight physical and give them a call. They will be able to give you more definite answers.
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    10 Jul 2014 09:46 AM
    Currently in the process of getting a dd368 signed. Just looking for some advice on how to get better in the pool.
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    10 Jul 2014 10:07 AM
    If you read through this thread, there are a good amount of workout tips and some advice to get better in the pool. Once you try all of the stuff listed in this thread, ask for more. If you need specific advice, feel free to ask or PM me. I'm guessing you're getting the release to join the CG and have talked to a recruiter?
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    10 Jul 2014 10:18 AM
    Will do. Yeah just waiting on my CO to sign it to continue the process.
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    10 Jul 2014 12:37 PM
    Dee if you need any workouts or anything for the pool feel free to shoot me a message as well, always willing to help. Been talking to a lot of people who are swimmers, or have made it pretty far so if you have any questions go for it. How far along in the process are you?
    Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. ~Jim Rohn
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    09 Aug 2014 01:57 PM
    I look forward to being an AST in USCG!

    The only thing standing in my way is time! Hopefully I will begin my AST A School in 2015. I dont see it as a challenge physically or mentally. I will just need to learn the basic techniques for rescue and maintanance. Hope to see y'all there!
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    09 Aug 2014 07:00 PM
    Posted By CoastieRecruitHogan on 09 Aug 2014 02:57 PM
    I look forward to being an AST in USCG!

    The only thing standing in my way is time! Hopefully I will begin my AST A School in 2015. I dont see it as a challenge physically or mentally. I will just need to learn the basic techniques for rescue and maintanance. Hope to see y'all there!

    Oh its going to be a challenge, I promise.
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    09 Aug 2014 08:09 PM
    Oh Coastie recruit, how I hope we hear from you again. You have no idea the challenges you are about to face.
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    09 Aug 2014 08:17 PM
    Do you even boot camp, bro?
    “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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    09 Aug 2014 09:04 PM
    As far as the physical side of everything goes I believe it will be easy. After 2 years as a collegiate swimmer and two time All-American I don't see the USCG being able to physically push me as much as I've been pushed before.

    As for the mental part of it, I do believe I will be able to handle it. I know that this may be a little naive seeing how I am waiting for my shipping date for bootcamp. But as I said before, being a collegiate athlete isn't easy mentally either.

    I will keep yall updated on my Coast Guard adventure! I'm excited and ready for the challenge!
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    09 Aug 2014 09:22 PM
    College athletics and training for SAR cases are galaxies apart. I think you're in for quite the awakening.
    “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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    09 Aug 2014 09:37 PM
    Posted By Gears on 09 Aug 2014 10:22 PM
    College athletics and training for SAR cases are galaxies apart. I think you're in for quite the awakening.

    I will definitely take your word for it! I am excited for this opportunity to expand my horizons. I am keeping an open mind for all of this new training and I hope it does make me a better/stronger Coastie. Saving lives is the ultimate goal and I can't wait until i get to that point!
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    10 Aug 2014 06:25 AM
    You are probably right... swimming in a temperature controlled swimmimg pool with life guards near by and jumping out of a helo with gear and fins into raging seas while swimming against prop wash to get to a human being that is possibly panicing and will attempt to drown you..... I see it, just as challenging, no difference at all. Hahahaha
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    10 Aug 2014 07:30 AM
    Posted By CoastieRecruitHogan on 09 Aug 2014 10:04 PM
    As far as the physical side of everything goes I believe it will be easy. After 2 years as a collegiate swimmer and two time All-American I don't see the USCG being able to physically push me as much as I've been pushed before.

    As for the mental part of it, I do believe I will be able to handle it. I know that this may be a little naive seeing how I am waiting for my shipping date for bootcamp. But as I said before, being a collegiate athlete isn't easy mentally either.

    I will keep yall updated on my Coast Guard adventure! I'm excited and ready for the challenge!

    Just stop kid.
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    10 Aug 2014 09:48 PM
    Whoa Lance!!! Kid???? I think you mean "All-American". He swam in college for 2 years and paid his dues. On second thought, I don't think this All-American is real.
    Hogan, if you are real, a little humility will go a long way. There is a fine line between confidence and stupidity. Neither of them will save lives but one of them can get you and your crew killed.
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    11 Aug 2014 11:34 AM
    Ignorance is bliss until reality kicks in.
    Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. ~Jim Rohn
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    12 Aug 2014 11:37 AM
    Posted By CoastieRecruitHogan on 09 Aug 2014 02:57 PM
    I look forward to being an AST in USCG!

    The only thing standing in my way is time! Hopefully I will begin my AST A School in 2015. I dont see it as a challenge physically or mentally. I will just need to learn the basic techniques for rescue and maintanance. Hope to see y'all there!

    I'd like to use the above comment as a reference--- But let me start off by saying thanks for all the support and positive comments!

    Now back to what I was going to say. Nowhere in the above comment did I say SAR cases were easy. Also, never did i say in the above that because i am a great swimmer, partaking in said cases would be a breeze.

    I simply stated that with my strong background in the water and with fitness, my journey through bootcamp and A-School would be a little easier. Hence it not being a challenge.

    Sorry if my confidence offended you. 
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    12 Aug 2014 01:09 PM
    Confidence is not offending. Cocky attitude with ZERO experience to back it up is revolting.
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    12 Aug 2014 01:23 PM
    Hence it not being a challenge.


    I'm sure you'll breeze right through.
    “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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    12 Aug 2014 02:25 PM
    First off, you have to get through school to partake in "said cases". What do you think AST school is for? Its to see if you have what it takes to partake in "said cases". Your swimming background will help but it is nowhere near a guarantee for anything in school. People who are great swimmers fail school and people who are not amazing at swimming pass school. If AST "A" school was just about learning the techniques for rescue and maintenance, a lot more people would pass. So far, in my short career as a rescue swimmer, school has been much harder than any SAR case I have been on. Here is a little secret about AST "A" school. They take the worst case scenario they can think of and that is how your tests go. School isn't about swimming laps or being prepared for a hard workout where the coach writes your set up on the board. There are no recovery weeks or visualization weeks in swimmer school. No tapers to prepare you for a big test. No coaches to coddle you and mentally build you up.
    There is a long list of athletic accomplishments that a lot of people who passed school and failed out of school had before entering school. I can state with almost 100% confidence that what you feel in the shower room before a non compliant survivor test dwarfs any feeling you have every felt before a hard practice or race. Shoot, what you feel before a pool day will dwarf any feeling you have had while preparing for any athletic event. When you're in the pool and you see or hear an instructor that you know is going to let you have it, and you feel like you've been kicked in the nuts you'll start to understand.
    Confidence in school, at times, is exactly what you need. What you are exhibiting was not confidence. Maybe a false sense of confidence. Hopefully over time you can develop a respect for the process. Please understand that what you said is like spitting in the face to the 9 people out of my class of 12 that failed. I think Lance might have had 4 in his class of 24 that passed. A lot of those people who failed are great athletes and great people. What you said is pretty insulting to everybody who worked hard to make it through school, and those that worked hard and didn't quite make it. I hope you can understand that the comments you made do not beg for support or positive comments. Everybody on this forum works hard to help guide people in the right direction and have worked hard to get where they are. You don't need support and positive comments. You're an All-American swimmer. What you needed was the truth about your attitude and about school. Boot camp was easy. Annoying but easy. I'm sure you'll handle that fine....not if you go in with a cocky attitude, but you'll be fine there. "A" school is a different story.
    Laslty, what you have said here is bound to make it's way to the swimmer school instructors and I'm sure they will be eager to have an All-American swimmer with confidence as one of their students.
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    12 Aug 2014 05:10 PM
    Posted By mkelly on 12 Aug 2014 03:25 PM
    First off, you have to get through school to partake in "said cases". What do you think AST school is for? Its to see if you have what it takes to partake in "said cases". Your swimming background will help but it is nowhere near a guarantee for anything in school. People who are great swimmers fail school and people who are not amazing at swimming pass school. If AST "A" school was just about learning the techniques for rescue and maintenance, a lot more people would pass. So far, in my short career as a rescue swimmer, school has been much harder than any SAR case I have been on. Here is a little secret about AST "A" school. They take the worst case scenario they can think of and that is how your tests go. School isn't about swimming laps or being prepared for a hard workout where the coach writes your set up on the board. There are no recovery weeks or visualization weeks in swimmer school. No tapers to prepare you for a big test. No coaches to coddle you and mentally build you up.
    There is a long list of athletic accomplishments that a lot of people who passed school and failed out of school had before entering school. I can state with almost 100% confidence that what you feel in the shower room before a non compliant survivor test dwarfs any feeling you have every felt before a hard practice or race. Shoot, what you feel before a pool day will dwarf any feeling you have had while preparing for any athletic event. When you're in the pool and you see or hear an instructor that you know is going to let you have it, and you feel like you've been kicked in the nuts you'll start to understand.
    Confidence in school, at times, is exactly what you need. What you are exhibiting was not confidence. Maybe a false sense of confidence. Hopefully over time you can develop a respect for the process. Please understand that what you said is like spitting in the face to the 9 people out of my class of 12 that failed. I think Lance might have had 4 in his class of 24 that passed. A lot of those people who failed are great athletes and great people. What you said is pretty insulting to everybody who worked hard to make it through school, and those that worked hard and didn't quite make it. I hope you can understand that the comments you made do not beg for support or positive comments. Everybody on this forum works hard to help guide people in the right direction and have worked hard to get where they are. You don't need support and positive comments. You're an All-American swimmer. What you needed was the truth about your attitude and about school. Boot camp was easy. Annoying but easy. I'm sure you'll handle that fine....not if you go in with a cocky attitude, but you'll be fine there. "A" school is a different story.
    Laslty, what you have said here is bound to make it's way to the swimmer school instructors and I'm sure they will be eager to have an All-American swimmer with confidence as one of their students.

    I do see how what i said can be offensive, but by no means were they meant to be.

    I also see how my eagerness and excitement to finally be able to start the process has made me sound cocky.

    I respect everything you said, and now knowing that you are an AST if you have any more info you would be willing to share (via message) with me it'd be greatly appreciated!

    I'm not here to stir anything up! I am here to LEARN and hopefully become an AST!

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    12 Aug 2014 06:45 PM
    Look, I think mkelly pretty much covered it all and you should really take it in and learn from it. Him and I are the two Rescue Swimmers that are on here often and are always helping anyone who comes along with questions about our job but your ignorance will get you nowhere. Your 3rd statement about "respecting everything you said, you're a AST blah blah if you have more info blah blah something about sharing it" just doesn't sit well with me. If you have a question, ask it. Take some notes from Astlust, he fell into a similar situation just a couple of pages back and rebounded from it. Everyone knows just about everyone in our rate and thats including the instructors at the school house, your reputation starts here.
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    13 Aug 2014 06:07 AM
    What you say goes a long way. Like go figure, yesterday I saw you make a post on a USCG instagram photo CoastieRecruitHogan about how your a "future rescue swimmer".
    Be mindful what you say and how you treat others, never know who might take it the wrong way.
    Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. ~Jim Rohn
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    13 Aug 2014 05:24 PM
    Adding your last name to your screen name and identifying yourself as a recruit, brilliant. One you haven't shipped and unless you don't plan on advancing you won't be a recruit for very long. Using your last name just makes it easier for CCs to identify you.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    13 Aug 2014 07:37 PM
    Yep I remember my CCs read the page for the date we reported, and one of the girls said she was preparing by eating cookies. She got it handed to her when they found out she wrote that.
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    14 Aug 2014 02:06 PM
    Alright, well thats enough of that I'd presume. Those of you wishing to go AST, keep working hard. No matter how good you are or think you are, you are nowhere near good enough when you get to school. Nobody is. A deep respect is needed for the process; just like a deep respect is needed for the power of nature every time we all go out to save a life.
    Keep on Finning....
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    23 Aug 2014 10:53 PM
    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20140823163221AAR4v2r

    Calling my AST friends. There is a question on yahoo navy versus coast guard rescue swimmer. The one answer says after cg ast a school, you go to a unit as a nonswimmer. I don't think I've ever heard that before. That doesn't even make sense to me. Not saying it isn't true, just would like confirmation. Thanks guys, appreciate it. I know a lot but I also know I don't know it all.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    24 Aug 2014 08:21 AM
    I read that link and have no clue where they are getting that info from. I assume that they were talking about the Airman program and got that confused, either way you are not an AST until you graduate Swimmer School. Its taking about 1-2 years right now to get to Swimmer school but that really depends on how motivated the candidate is, if you look at the AST A-school list it has some being on there for 2+ years for holds. There is something like 350(ish) AST's in the CG right now and A-school is 24 weeks long and that includes a 6 week airman / ramp up to A-School. Washout rate is still about 80%, I think the class that is set to graduate in September have 4 of 24 left.

    You cant really compare CG Swimmers and Navy Swimmers. If a Navy, Marine, Army or whoever takes a dirt nap offshore, its safe to say 99.3% of the time a Coast Guard Swimmer will be the one pulling them out. Navy Swimmers tend to do their job when they are deployed. Like I said above our Swimmer school is 24 weeks long, thats non stop swimming and getting your ass handed to you for the whole 24 weeks whereas the Navy has a 5 week Swimmer school and you move on to your next phase. I respect anyone wanting to get in the water and rescue someone but if you want to see the world and belong to a massive branch, join the navy. If you want to be pushed, be a select few of individuals and do your job all the time then go the Coast Guard Swimmer route.

    I don't have a yahoo account OG so if you would like y