Reserve Questions
Last Post 10 Oct 2019 09:06 PM by squashy. 4 Replies.
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squashyUser is Offline
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squashy

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08 Oct 2019 02:13 PM
    Hello,

    I am looking to potentially join the coast guard. I have several questions.

    1. I am going to be finishing my bachelor's degree within the next year. I see that currently Coast Guard reserves is not accepting non-prior service officer candidates, but has a 31 year old limit (I am currently 29). Do you foresee that in the next 2 years there will be opportunities for myself to get into a reserve officer role? My degree is in criminal justice and I currently work in law enforcement.

    2. Is the reserve OCS the same as active duty OCS?

    3. Are there as many openings for officers as enlisted in the great lakes region?

    4. If I were deployed to an extended state-side deployment (6+ months), would my family be able to join me? I understand this is not possible for overseas deployments.

    5. If I join a unit, can the coast guard assign me to another unit at any time? Or only if I request it?

    6. I attempted to join the USMC in 2008 but was medically disqualified for childhood asthma, and they were not offering waivers at the time because they were backed up 18 months in shipments to boot camp because of the failing economy. Does the coast guard offer waivers very often for enlisted or officer, if I am able to pass the PFT?

    Thanks,
    Josh
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    CPORJM

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    08 Oct 2019 03:45 PM
    Greetings... I've been in the CGR for just about 20 years, so I should be able to help here

    1. If you want to make yourself eligible for the Selected Reserve Direct Commission (SRDC) Program, you will need to enlist and get some service under your belt. As you correctly stated, SRDC is only for prior service personnel. There's no way of knowing if the prior service requirement will be lifted. If you wish to enlist, the cut off is 39, for those with professional experience or having 60+ college units.

    2. No. Reserve Officer Candidate Indoctrination (ROCI, the Reserve OCS) is only five weeks, versus the active duty 17 week program.

    3. There's fewer officer openings versus enlisted openings CG wide.

    4. No, not unless you want to pay for the move and incur the costs of maintaining two homes.  The CG is only going to pay you a housing allowance for your home of record. If family separation is an issue, then the CGR (or any Reserve component, for that matter) may not be a good choice for you. As a Reservist, you exist to augment the Active Duty component and are subject to recall at any time. In nearly 20 years, I've been activated five times (not counting my annual two weeks). The time periods ranged from 30 days to one year.

    5. Yes, they can. Especially as an officer. Officers are subject to assignment anywhere in the US, versus enlisted who are guaranteed an assignment within a 50 mile radius of home (unless the member waives that ). So even though you live in the Great Lakes region, it may happen that a position needs filling in Boston, so off you go. Travel is on your dime, though lodging is provided.

    6. Yes. Waivers are a possibility
    "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
    squashyUser is Offline
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    squashy

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    09 Oct 2019 11:06 PM
    I appreciate your response, this is all great information. A few follow up questions if you don’t mind. Family separation definitely isn’t preferred, however, my wife has a flexible job, so she would be able to come to a stateside deployment and stay for some time (a week here or there) if it was allowed. I just didn’t know if it was treated like an overseas deployment where there isn’t opportunity to see family.

    Is “A” school different for reserve than it is for active? For example, ME “A” school is 10 weeks. Is it the same class for both sides?

    If I am an officer living in Minneapolis but they assign my reserve duties to Boston, do I travel on my dime or does the CG pay for it since they knew my address and still assigned me that far away?

    Lastly, I live in the Minneapolis area, so the nearest base is further than 50 miles, but I’m willing to drive to it (Duluth). Would I be able to put a 200 mile radius on or if I sign that I will commute outside of 50 miles, can they assign me anywhere in the US?

    Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    CPORJM

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    10 Oct 2019 09:17 AM
    No problem.....

    Your wife would be able to visit. It just might take some planning around your duty schedule. A School is the same for AD and Reserve. However, being a LEO can get you a waiver for ME A School.

    As I mentioned before, if you go outside the 100 mile round trip (called the Reasonable Commuting Distance=RCD), commuting costs come out of your pocket. If you decide to go to a unit outside the RCD, you cannot put a limit on it. Either you're willing to go outside the RCD or not. Again this only applies to enlisted. If you're an officer, the RCD doesn't exist. I have a friend who is a Reserve officer, living here in So. Cal. He has been assigned to CG units all over CA and he's now slated to go to Honolulu. Again, on his dime. Another friend (long since retired), made warrant officer and was sent to Boston for about 18 months. Another made warrant officer and was going to Cleveland from SF Bay area for nearly two years. All this to say if you go the officer route, you'll need to budget for travel at some point in your career.

    Hope this helps and let me know if you need further info
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
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    squashy

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    10 Oct 2019 09:06 PM
    I spoke with a recruiter today about my needs for a waiver and she did not think that it would work out for me. Sounds like it will unfortunately be something that will work. I appreciate your help and answers to my questions. I hope they're able to help others looking into the process as well. Thanks for your service!


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