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Long Time, Everyone...
Last Post 27 Jul 2011 04:32 PM by captkyguy. 9 Replies.
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ambientemmissionsUser is Offline
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02 Jul 2011 07:03 PM
    So, I don't know how many of you remember me, but I have been working toward getting in the service for about a year and a half now. I had a lot riding against me. Everyone told me it was impossible, but I persisted. I started the process at 26 years old. I went through MEPS, passed my physical, and passed the ASVAB to where I am eligible for every rate. Unfortunately, I had a GED and delinquent debt. So, over the past year and a half I have struggled with my finances to get into college to get 15 college credits to cover for my GED.

    I now have 18 college credits. As far as the debt goes, I have been on such a tight budget because i've been working only part-time not to mention the transmission in my car went out recently and I had to take out a loan to repair it, so my debt consolidation plan won't take effect until October of this year, but my monthly payments will be below my debt to income ratio for my starting salary in the service when it does kick in. A few months back another hurdle hit me. I got a couple of traffic tickets and I had a CDL, so I couldn't do probation or anything to keep them off my record like a regular license holder can. I had to get an attorney to get probation to keep them off my record and I had to drop my CDL to do this, which was a pain to get for my previous job, but I didn't want the tickets to ruin my chances of getting in the service. The attorney set me back financially even more.

    Anyway, my probation doesn't end until the end of December of this year... two months after I turn 28. Now, my recruiter told me I had to ship to basic just before I turned 28, but I read the Recruiter Manual from the Coast Guard website and it states that if I go in with a 6 year contract that I can go active after I turn 28 without a waiver. Now, I have heard that you have to go in for a critical rate, but I have also heard people have went active with a 6 year contract at 28 and 29 without having to choose a critical rate or needing a waiver. I've even read testimonies on a few various military websites on the net. In the Coast Guard recruiter handbook it says: 28 - 30 years old (may apply with prior military service, 6 year contract or approved waiver from Coast Guard command) 28 - 32 years old (may apply with prior military service or 6 year contract with a gauranteed A school into a critical rate).

    Can anyone shed some light on this? I have been through hell and I haven't given up yet, but I know several people who went to MEPS around when I did that I was keeping in touch with gave up already. I will buy a plane ticket to go see the person at the very top in command in person if I have to in order to get in. I will do anything.
    captkyguyUser is Offline
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    03 Jul 2011 04:48 PM
    Welcome back ambient...I wish you all the best.
    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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    04 Jul 2011 05:17 PM
    Hello, captkyguy. Good to hear from you. I see you're still on here generously supporting potential new recruits. We are very fortunate to have people like you on here offering up your time to offer us guidance. How are things at the fire department?
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    04 Jul 2011 07:42 PM
    Much too kind...all is good on the fire side of things...I left the academy and went back to a station, our fire chief was relieved of his position, the city budget is projected to be 3.5 million in the red...but all is good.

    Stay focused on your goal, get squared away for your recruiter...we look forward to hearing your ship date.
    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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    05 Jul 2011 11:31 AM
    Ambient - you are more of a veteran in this blog than I am, and I'm sure you're well versed in what the CG has to offer. As I understand it (based on my application into the DEPOT program and other postings on this forum) the CG is not accepting waivers. That being said, I know Reserve may not be where you want to go, but if you qualify, you can get your proverbial foot in the door and then go from there. As I understand it, it is much easier to apply for AD from within than it is externally. You may have to wait a bit before they will accept you, but at least you'll be serving (and getting paid) even if on a part-time basis.

    The one thing I've learned through my process, is that you have to be willing to "roll with the punches". If you're not flexible, you will most likely not fit what the CG needs. The ability to adapt to the situation (within reason) is a good quality to have and shows that you're willing to do what needs to be done. This is what I've learned so far, but I haven't been through training yet. I start DEPOT this coming Sunday. We'll see what happens...

    Best of luck to you and I hope it all works out.

    Semper Paratus
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    12 Jul 2011 11:40 AM
    captkyguy,

    Do you prefer to be at a station as opposed to the academy? Why was your fire chief relieved of his position? Speaking about this reminds me of a story my brother told me a while back. He has been with the local fire department for a few months now and here in this city, fires very seldom occur. The fire department mostly responds to medical calls. Several years ago, a big fire broke out at an apartment complex. When the fire department showed up, the fire chief took one look at the blazing inferno and fainted. Needless to say, he didn't retain his position for very long after that.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I will keep everyone posted. The way I figure it, if I get in, hopefully my journey will emphasize to those interested in joining how difficult it can be to get in, but prove that it is possible, even when the odds seem to be stacked up against you.
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    12 Jul 2011 11:56 AM
    coastie2679,

    Thanks for your response. I'm not sure about going to the reserves route you mentioned. It would seem that'd be a logical thing to do, but I have heard that it's actually very difficult to switch to active duty once you're in the reserves, though I have heard it's been done.

    As far as the age waiver situation goes, you're probably right. With the Coast Guard at maximum capacity right now and people still beating down their doors to get in, I can't imagine they'd have any reason to grant a waiver for anything. If it comes down to my needing one though, I will cross my fingers.

    I finally spoke to a recruiter today. I explained my situation and he told me that all of the boot camp slots have been filled all the way up to November for this year. He then went on to explain that ordinarily he'd say there was nothing he could do for me, but because i've done so much to get into the service he said he'd like for me to come in tomorrow with my college transcripts and that he'd try to do something for me. Whether that means he is considering putting in an age waiver request for me, I don't know, but I guess i'll find out tomorrow.

    Congratulations on getting into the service! I hope everything works out for you as well.
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    12 Jul 2011 03:16 PM
    Ambient, that is great news the recruiter was to talk more with you...show him what you got!

    The fire academy was an absolute blast...mentoring but probably more like tormentoring young men and women through the learning process of the fire service and seeing them mature into firefighters was and is extremely rewarding, I feel our program was the best in the area and perhaps the state, so very hard to let it go...however the station is awesome as well, the crew is great, and who would not have a blast screaming down the road in an fire truck with all the bells, whistles, sirens and air horns just blaring and all the lights flashing, because life hangs in the balance of time and we are there to save the day!!!

    Fires are rare these days, thanks to our fire prevention programs and stricter fire codes, therefore EMS is the main thing we do at about 75% of our run volume...however fainting at a fire is a little over the top...lol

    The fire chief was there for 18 years and was very strong minded, the city manager felt a change was needed we guess...we really do not know what the root cause was...I do know that he does not faint at a large structure fire... that story made me chuckle.

    Let us know what happens tomorrow!
    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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    27 Jul 2011 01:22 PM
    Well, here is the results of my journey...

    I didn't get in. Apparently, my first recruiter was mistaken about my debt situation. My recruiter got in touch with command and they told him that even though I signed up for a debt consolidation plan and my monthly payments would be well below my debt-to-income ratio, because the debt would technically still be in collection while i'm paying on it, it disqualifies me. The way they expressed it was, "We're not going to waste our money on him." How nice.

    Hopefully my year and a half experience offers some insight to future recruits that are less than perfect candidates. This is me signing off. I would love to stick around and shoot the breeze with you guys, but this website will just serve as a reminder of what I wanted more than anything in life, but failed to get. I can't thank all of you enough for your support and guidance. I wish you all the best.
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    27 Jul 2011 04:32 PM
    Sorry to hear that ambient...I wish you the best in your future endeavors!
    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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