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DCSS
Last Post 28 Jan 2013 12:34 AM by Default Again. 10 Replies.
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jlac2001User is Offline
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jlac2001

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23 Nov 2012 10:43 AM
    I'm planning to submit my packet for this year's DCSS program.  I have not seen this program come open/available in the past, how does the USCG determine when this window of opportunity comes available? 

    Additionally, what are the major factors that the board considers, given that the requirements are fairly straight forward?   Are they looking for more leadership or more technical knowledge experience? 

    1.  Interview
    2.  Officer Evals
    3.  Medical Board
    4.  Narrative
    5.  Transcripts/Awards/Etc.
    6.  Letters of Recommendations

    I'll be 34 years old once the board takes place, prior service Active Army Officer (5 years), and USMA grad with a B.S. in Env. Science and am currently working on my Master's' degree.  Given a general overview of my background, what would you say I need to work on, and how competitive will I be given past selection history?

    Thanks,

    Joe
    JBjuniorUser is Offline
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    JBjunior

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    25 Nov 2012 07:36 AM
    As far as the program itself it is opened up as needed to get specific areas of focus in to the CG. Just like with aviators, lawyers, and other specialties there is something about those schools that the Coast Guard desires. For that particular program I would say that they are looking for a combination of leadership and a certain experience, unlike with the other specialties mentioned where they would more heavily weigh in the skills.

    Your experience as an Army officer, as long as it was positive and you did well, would for me personally be a strong factor to consider. Your major should also be a positive as well. Any volunteer experience or other positive things in the community would be a positive. I have no speciality knowledge on the process.
    jlac2001User is Offline
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    jlac2001

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    26 Nov 2012 08:13 PM
    Thank you for your reply, helpful insight.  I'm working on getting letters of recommendations and most people are asking for a format.  I've asked the recruiter and he said that it's pretty open, but to expand on qualifications and achievements.  Any other helpful advice?  

    Thanks again.
    JBjuniorUser is Offline
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    JBjunior

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    30 Nov 2012 03:18 PM
    The format is open. I was already enlisted so I was allowed one inside the CG LoR and one from outside. I can't remember off of the top of my head what you are authorized. I would make sure they are on some type of letterhead if they hold a title and be from someone that you worked/had contact with. I don't want to say make sure it is a high ranking person but realize that the people choosing you are most often going to be O3 and above. If you had an O1 write a LoR for you it might not hold much weight.
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    30 Nov 2012 04:07 PM
    If you are enlisted the LORs should be in Memo format, if you are civilian, it should be a letterhead/regular format.
    You can only make yourself look bad.
    CoochUser is Offline
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    Cooch

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    30 Nov 2012 04:13 PM
    The rank of the individual writing it isn't what's important. The content of the letter and the position of the writer make more of an impact than their rank.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
    JBjuniorUser is Offline
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    JBjunior

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    30 Nov 2012 08:27 PM
    They better be a great writer if you put faith in an ensign saying how good of an officer you are going to be. The general consensus before I applied was to get an O5 and above. The best option is to get as many LORs as you can from as many different people and pick the highest quality ones.

    As for LORs for enlisted personnel, your outside the CG LOR wouldn't be in memo format.
    CoochUser is Offline
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    Cooch

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    30 Nov 2012 09:13 PM
    They should be a good writer regardless of who they are. Their letter may be the make or break part of a package. Not all Ensigns are brand new to the military. Some are prior enlisted that have been in for many years, so what they have to say could prove to be very valueable. Having been enlisted for many years and now an officer for a few, I think they know better than just about anyone what it takes to be a good officer. An Ensign that was a prior enlisted member knows a lot more about leadership than someone straight from the Academy or a civilian graduate of OCS.
    You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
    JBjuniorUser is Offline
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    JBjunior

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    30 Nov 2012 10:05 PM
    As someone that meets all of those items you just listed (minus the few years as an officer, hopefully I am not still an ensign in a few years), I agree Cooch.  The problem with a LOR is that the members of the board and an interview panel will not know whether I am prior enlisted with almost a decade of experience in the Coast Guard or someone straight out of the Academy at my first unit.  Of course there would be a blurb in there about my experience but the majority of the LOR should be dedicated to the person applying, not having to explain why my opinion is of value.  All things being equal, a member applying to a commissioning program should choose a higher ranking individual so that on face value it will hold more weight.  If someone asked me to write a LOR for them, I would advise otherwise.
    jlac2001User is Offline
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    jlac2001

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    01 Dec 2012 02:37 AM
    Appreciate all the guidance. My LOR's will be squared away with O-5's and above. Anyone have specific numbers for past DCSS programs, for example:

    1. Number of Selected Applicants out of Number of Applicants that Applied
    2. Selection Rate (%) of past DCSS Programs
    3. What is the career field placement for most of the selected applicants?

    I understand that every year is different, but obviously there is a reason why the USCG has this program and would expect that there aren't that many applicants that meet the initial selected schools profile.
    Default AgainUser is Offline
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    Default Again

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    28 Jan 2013 12:34 AM
    In regard to letters of recommend, I had an O-5, an E-8, and E-7 write one for me last year and I ended up as an alternate. Take that for what it is worth.
    O be wise, what can I say more? -Jacob
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