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BM / ME
Last Post 02 Mar 2011 06:42 PM by Podmom92. 22 Replies.
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donnieboy32User is Offline
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donnieboy32

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28 Feb 2011 07:38 AM
    My son will be finalizing his paper work to enlist in the CG. If he can, he will be trying to get an A-school appointment to be a BM after bootcamp. A few questions have risen in the past few days that you guys can answer for me. Is it smart for him to commit to an A-school at signing? Some have suggested going non-rate and get a feel for everything the CG has to offer. He WANTS to be in a LE, boarding officer, Home Land Security type job. If he were to get an appointment and become BM rate, can he at that time put in for the ME rate knowing the wait is 2 years or more? Also, what is the major difference of BM / ME? Sorry for all the questions at once.
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    28 Feb 2011 08:03 AM
    BM is not a guaranteed rate so if he wants that, non-rate life for a while, it shall be. It is the same with ME at this time. The only guaranteed school right now is FS (Food Specialist). He will go into the fleet, see what a BM does, see what an ME does, see what they all do essentially and then he can pick & choose what rate he might like to go for, so long as he has the ASVAB score for it. He cannot be on two A school lists at the same time... meaning he can't be on both BM and ME then go to whichever calls his name first. He can start striking BM, have his name on the ME list and if he so desires to give up BM if his name gets called, he can do that. Because there are so many BM's in the CG, I have a feeling once you serve your commitment time to your rate, you can PROBABLY switch to another rate. If you were an FS or OS or ET, something that is pretty much always on the critical list, you would be hard pressed to be allowed to change rates. I'm not saying he can do it, I'm just saying it is more likely that he would be able to do it. There is a saying in the CG "Choose your rate, choose your fate." So he should consider all options wisely. It can be a very rewarding career but it can be a very long job if you choose something based on expedience or convenience. Choose by what your heart tells you is right and then go from there.
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    28 Feb 2011 09:35 AM
    Thanks for the input Old Guard2. We realize he cannot apply for two rates at the same time. Assuming at whatever point he would already become a BM then he could put his name on the ME list and wait.
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    28 Feb 2011 09:42 AM
    Again, switching rates is not all that easy to do. As a BM, it might be slightly easier because there are more than enough to go around. But that doesn't mean his command has to approve a switch. The CG pays a lot of money to train someone into a specific field. If he chooses BM, then the CG expects to get a BM for their money. Not someone waiting for another job to open while they advance in one rate and then switch. Again, choose your rate, choose your fate. If ME is where his heart is, wait for it. He will wait a lot longer making BM then attempting to switch to ME then if he just waits on ME.

    And also... there is no "appointment" to a rate. This isn't like the Academies, this is enlisted rates & ranks. He puts his name on an A school list, his number comes up, he goes. There is no special dispensation or appointment to a rate.
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    28 Feb 2011 09:48 AM
    Thanks, very good info to take in. I will talk it over with him. He has no problem going in as a non-rate and working his way up from the bottom. He may decide to put his name on the ME list and wait. If he strikes BM and gets called to A-School for BM and declines so he can wait for ME is that frowned upon and can he continue striking as a BM after declining?
    pepperdoggieUser is Online
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    28 Feb 2011 10:44 AM
    My son is a BM2. He has served on Cutters, shore stations, deployed for Hurrican Katrina, participated in drug busts, done search and rescue, hundreds of ship and small boat boardings, and a ton of Law Enforcement work. He is constantly going to various LE schools, is a certified tactical coxswain and trained on numerous weapons small and large. It's a good rating if the individual takes advantage of the opportunities offered during their career.

    As OldGuard said, BM is NOT a guaranteed school after basic. Only FS is currently guaranteed. Your son will graduate basic, go to his first unit, and then decide what rating he wants to do for his career. When the CG trains you in one rating, and spends tons of money on you, they expect a return on their investment.

    Right now, you need to concentrate on Boot Camp. This is 8 weeks of culture shock coming, so you can help him by being prepared both physically and mentally for the toughest challenge of his life.

    Don't worry about ratings right now. Take it one step at a time. Many Coasties change their minds multiple times until they see all the jobs the Coast Guard has in a hands on situation.
     
    Everything will be explained in full detail at Cape May and his first unit.

    Best wishes,

    Pepper
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    01 Mar 2011 05:57 AM
    Pepper,

    Thanks for the input. We son/mom/dad had another appointment yesterday with his recruiter. He is 17 so we need to be there. My son put in for June 14th 2011 as a requested ship date and were told we would know if this date is available within a week. We are slowly putting the pieces together and are getting a better understanding of what WE are doing. Never once has he second guessed his decision to join the CG. As stated in another thread he has applied for the CGA and is waiting a response. We all know how hard it is to get into the Academy so he is perfectly fine with enlisting, getting his degree and later in life, when he's ready, apply to OCS. He plans on making a career out of the CG so he signed for the 6 year comittment which we were told he will come out of bootcamp slightly higher on the E ranking as if he were to of signed a 4 year. Still a little gray in the understanding of that so any input would be great...... Learning and asking a ton of questions we know understand that when he gets out of bootcamp he will have several weeks stationed wherever to see first hand what a BM/ME does on a day by day bases. He is possitive that he wants to do the same as your son as far as the LE part but this will give him a chance to see if ME is something of interest or not. If you could give me a brief overview of the differnces/ advatages of 4 year to 6 year commitment (from your eyes) would be great. Also, how old was your son when he enlisted and would he do anything differently? Again thanks for the info and the time you spend with us.
    GearsUser is Offline
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    01 Mar 2011 06:10 AM
    He plans on making a career out of the CG so he signed for the 6 year comittment which we were told he will come out of bootcamp slightly higher on the E ranking as if he were to of signed a 4 year.


    The only difference is in pay. E-2/E-3 are all nonrates and get to do the same work.

    he will have several weeks stationed wherever to see first hand what a BM/ME does on a day by day bases.


    He will likely be at his unit for a couple of years. He'll have to wait 4 months to put his name on an "A" school list, then he'll have a 1 to 2 year wait for 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
    pepperdoggieUser is Online
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    01 Mar 2011 06:35 AM
    He was 19 when he enlisted. His first duty station was on a Cutter in Kodiak, Alaska. After BM "A" school, he was assigned to a shore station on Lake Michigan for 4 years, and now is at Sector NY on Staten Island. His next assignment takes him this summer for duty onboard the 270' Cutter Tampa, in Portsmouth, Va. He got married along the way and they are expecting their first child in June. He signed a 6 year enlistment contract. As Gears mentioned, it really doesn't mean much more than a few dollars a month more initially. Things level out after a few months anyway, but it's nice to have the extra stripe after boot camp, I guess.

    I don't think he would do anything much differently, except more cutter time before his first child is born. As a BM, you need sea time for advancement down the road.

    Best wishes

    Pepper
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    01 Mar 2011 06:37 AM
    Colin was 20 & 1 week exactly when he left for boot camp. But he was also born into a CG family. It's the only life he has ever known. He took a couple years off after high school just to be a bum, figure out what he might want to do. One day he said "Mom, can you take me to the recruiter tomorrow?" I called my boss, said I wouldn't be at work and we all but camped outside the recruiters office. He signed some papers that day, had a MEPS appointment, specifically asked for the February date (this was September) and he was gone... He hasn't looked back yet and it was the best decision he ever made.

    Colin also signed for 6 and started as an E-3.
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    01 Mar 2011 06:54 AM
    Wow, it sounds as if you both (Pepper and Old Guard2) have great kids with a great future. Gears, is the A school wait for BM 2 years? We were under the impression that it was much shorter. Old Guard2, his recruiter mentintion stopping at the MEPS station around 45 days prior to his ship date for finger printing and other stuff. He has his ASVAB and medical done. What else is done or will be required at the MEPS appointment. He ships out Tuesday June 14th and we realize Monday June 13th he will be put up in a hotel along with others to be together when sent to the MEPS center to be sworn in. Can family members be at the MEPS center to see this?
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    01 Mar 2011 07:26 AM
    BM school currently is 2ish years, yes. I think that is pretty much the fingerprinting is all he needs to go for that day. That is just the clearance stuff. There should be no further medical stuff when he goes back 45 days prior to shipping. Absolutely you can be there Tuesday morning. I saw Colin sworn in and got to spend the time with him before he left on the bus for the airport. If MEPS is close enough and you can go, I recommend doing it!

    My son is a pretty good kid. A big goof and a bit of a jerky boy, but a good kid. So far I'm pretty proud of his choices and I like the career path in front of him.
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    01 Mar 2011 08:07 AM
    MEPS is about 25 minutes from our house. It wouldn't matter if it was 10hrs 25min from our house we would be there. My wife is having a semi-hard time with him leaving the nest. Always saying "what if". What if he doesnt like it. or misses home. I always come back with "what if the moon slams into the earth" lol.. That's getting old and I fear one day of getting a right hook when I least expect it..I'm excited for him for knowing at a young age what he wants to do in his future. I'm sure it will change a bit from now as he gets in the CG seeing what is available to him. He knows that he can play football for several colleges and come out with a degree in 4 years. He also knows he will be in debt 100-200k and still may not have a career path. He wants to establish a career path and then get a degree that will benifit that path. When he was ten, we got pulled over by a Coast Guard boat for a safety check and Donnie said to us. "I wanna be on a boat with a big gun" Thats were he started being interested and as the years went he was more and more attracted to the water. Most of my friends who own boats call him to come to their aid if they need help on the water. It's a good fit for him. It was his choice to do the 6 year commitment. He realizes it's only a small difference pay and rate wise but he looks at it as small is better then none at all.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    01 Mar 2011 08:50 AM
    Can your wife be easily distracted??? When we went to MEPS with Colin, there was a tear or two as he was getting on the bus and I sort of felt the breakdown coming a little bit... Scott said to me "So, you want Waffle House?" "Waffles!!!! Let's go!" Tears stopped. But I also had no doubts about Colin going, liking it, knowing this was going to be all good for him! I know your son is sure about his future... but I know the doubts a mom can have. This is a scary step into a great big unknown. But it sounds like Donnie has known for quite a while what his calling is. I'm almost 45 and haven't found mine yet, so God bless him, that is terrific. Just keep ducking from that right hook because I agree, it's probably coming sooner than later. LOL
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    01 Mar 2011 09:02 AM
    We have been married 20 years June 1st. I know (most of the time) when it's(the right hook) coming so I lay on the ground so the fall hurts less. I'm 44 and my wife is 46 so we are in the same time period and she cries thinking about him graduating high school so I cant wait for the water works on ship date. We are not big vacation people simply for the fact we have no time with two sons in sports. Once Donnie is stationed I'm sure we will use our travel time to see him as much as possible. Just a new chapter in our lives.
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    01 Mar 2011 02:08 PM
    donnieboy...what area are you from? Our son has met with the recruiter and was told he's looking at a bootcamp date in about six months....he really wants to get in and get moving. But there's only one recruiter in our area so he said he gets back logged.
    Proud UNIFORM 185 Mom
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    01 Mar 2011 07:12 PM
    A bootcamp date within six months for a male is not that bad. When i was going through we had people that were waiting a year to 2 years and one girl waited 4 years. If your recruiter says that they can't put people through for about 6 months then it is because cape may is full for that amount of time. The bootcamp date request that the above poster put in is only a request, cape may can say no we only have beds availible from this time forward.

    Your son like said above can strike BM (on-the-job-training) where he his studying a binder that is a foot high and then getting activities signed off to prove that he knows the knowledge. He then takes the end of course test and the DWO test (navigation situations test) and once he passes those is when he would decide whether to stay on the A-school list or not. He can be on the BM list or the any other list but as soon as he passes those tests and wants to get on the striking list to advance his name gets dropped off of the a-school list.

    Also Each rate has a set amount of time you have to obligate to it before you can even think about switching. BM I think is two years. Also, say he makes rank and gets up to E-5 as a BM and he wants to switch to ME, unless he has all the pracs for ME3 and ME2 signed off he is even less likely to be able to switch to the ME rate as an E-5, he would get dropped down to a E-4 and serve as an ME3.

    Also, both force master cheifs for the rates have to agree to the switch. Even if the BMs will give him up the MEs can say that they don't want him. The ME rate is pretty locked up right now, along with BM's and others regardless. \

    This is the current a-school list to give you an idea of how long the wait is for each a-school.
    www.uscg.mil/epm/docs/A-SchoolList.pdf
    You can only make yourself look bad.
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    01 Mar 2011 09:41 PM
    Thanks Bells! The recruiter just keeps telling him "I'm the only one here, so you have to be patient with me". When he met with him in late January he said he could be in by March if he wanted to be, and two weeks later it's six months. Was just wondering.
    Proud UNIFORM 185 Mom
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    02 Mar 2011 06:10 AM
    We had our first meeting with my son's recruiter back in July of 2010 at the Catonsville office in Marlyand. We knew it was a long process and took our time doing a few of the needed things that he wanted Donnie to do. January is when he started most of his paperwork for a June ship date. One of the reasons he put us off until January after our first meeting in July was to see how serious my son was to be a CG recruit. He will be 17 years old when he jumps on the bus to Cape May and i'm sure his age is why he did it. When Donnie called his recruiters cell phone on January 3rd 2011 he was convinced of how serious he is. We meet with the recruiter February 28th to sign the request for a June 14th 2011 ship date and will either get a call or call him first thing next week to see if they have room in that class.
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    02 Mar 2011 07:42 AM
    Thank you for the information....it definitely helps! Your son is young, no wonder your wife wants to hold on tight. Best of luck to him and your family.
    Proud UNIFORM 185 Mom
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    02 Mar 2011 07:51 AM
    We live in Cape May be sure to let me know when your son is definitely shipping.  All summer there are many local 5k runs that some of the companies participate in if I know his company I will take pics and post on facebook.  If you have facebook when you get his company info go on and search for 'uscg november 184' (for example, that's a current page you can look at).  The company page is usually adminstrated by a CC's spouse and it keeps the families informed through boot camp.  Lots and lots of support. 

    Good luck to your son and your family.  Maybe our sons paths will cross some day.
    Proud UNIFORM 185 Mom
    JH726User is Offline
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    02 Mar 2011 05:16 PM
    6 Months wait for boot camp is definitely not a bad deal. I first contacted my recruiter in October of 2009 and I ship out at the end of may this year!
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    02 Mar 2011 06:42 PM

    @JH726 .... then I guess this momma just needs to chill a little   Thank you for your service and best wishes for a successful journey through boot camp.  You'll be in Cape May with the good climate, should help a little.  Let your loved ones at home know about the USCG company pages on Facebook.  They are a great 'sanity' tool for your family members.  God Bless!!

    Proud UNIFORM 185 Mom
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