Career Balance
Last Post 24 Jul 2016 04:45 PM by Superfly. 2 Replies.
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Superfly

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23 Jul 2016 01:15 PM
    Hey everyone,

     I just have a quick question.  How do you guys handle the balance between a civilian career and the USCG?  My understanding is that for those employed in the public/government areas that drill/two week training can be relatively easy to work around, but how do any of the private industry guys feel?  Have you been able to continue your career mobility/training while finding time to build a solid Coast Guard experience?  I am the only person in my machine shop that has ever expressed an interest in enlisting in the the reserves and no one has any prior military experience so everything is new for myself and my employer.  My biggest concern is working in an industry that relies on production and rigid deadlines.  I rarely even get to take a vacation (partly my fault but also due to project dates), so I'm trying to figure out how drill and specifically the two week training would impact things.  

    Also, does anyone know if the Coast Guard intends to use more four and five day drills instead of weekend drills like the National Guard and Navy/Army Reserve seems to be pushing?  I have many Army buddies worried about the impact of that leadership decision on their civilian careers.   

    Take care ladies and gents and thank you!    
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    CPORJM

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    23 Jul 2016 02:37 PM
    If this is really going to be a concern, the Reserves may not be for you. Being a Reservist is more that just your two days/month and two weeks active duty. There's a very real possibility you can be recalled to active duty for some period of time, depending on domestic and international events, or manpower needs of the CG.  The whole point of the Reserves is to be available to augment the active duty folks when needed. In my 15 years in the CGR, I've been on active duty five different times outside my normal two weeks per year. The shortest period was 30 days, the longest was a year.

    Be aware that by Federal law, your employer is required to give you the time off to attend IDT (i.e drills) periods and your ADT (two week active duty). This is the Uniformed Services Employment/Reemployment Rights Act, commonly known as USERRA. Look here for further... http://www.esgr.mil/USERRA/What-is-USERRA.aspx. They don't have to give you specific military leave time, however. They may require you to use comp time, vacation, etc. I'm fortunate in that I work for the public sector and we receive 30 days of paid military leave/ fiscal year. Additionally, we receive make up pay if our leave goes beyond that 30 days. This is where L.A. County (my employer) pays the difference between my salary there and my CG salary.

    As for the scenario you mentioned regarding four to five day drills vice two day drills, that's unlikely to happen in the CG. This is due to funding. The CG is a small service and receives a proportionally smaller amount of funding than the other services.
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
    SuperflyUser is Offline
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    24 Jul 2016 04:45 PM
    CPORJM,

    I completely understand what you mean.  There is a fine line I am trying to walk between realizing my goals while also trying not to extraordinarily inconvenience my employer.  It is difficult, especially when I work in a small shop that relies heavily on each employee.  The recruiter I am working with has repeatedly suggested active duty, but I feel like it would be a substantial decrease in pay for myself and it would really put my fiancee's career in limbo.  I have entertained the idea of earning my master's degree and jumping into the public sector for employment but it feels like that might be a big gamble with the way the economy is still slowly moving along.  It is just a difficult spot to be in and that is why I thought I could pick a few brains and see how others in similar circumstances have addressed things.  I have just not found many people serving in the reserve not employed in education, law enforcement, medicine (private practice) or city/state/federal departments.  

    Thank you, though.  I really appreciate the advice and information.   

      


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