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Initial Non-rate status FN or SN
Last Post 05 Feb 2016 09:07 AM by AirDale13. 12 Replies.
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AKWriter1User is Offline
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AKWriter1

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16 Mar 2015 06:51 PM
    Hi, I am new on this forum so I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but I looked all over the forum and couldn't find it.

    Anyways, I am working with a recruiter right now, I have already done my first MEPS visit and taken the ASVAB. (Scored a 92 on AFQT). But I was wondering how in bootcamp one is selected to become a Fireman or a Seamen? 

    Secondly, is one more preferable over another to receive certain duty stations and later A Schools and ratings?

    Lastly, will my time as a non-rate be just boring? Does this have anything to do with being a FN or a SN? 
    Some have cautioned me about the CG saying that I would spend two or more years painting and cleaning. I know someone's gotta do it and joining the Coast Guard is a dream of mine so I am fine doing those things for a while and when the recruiter told me straight up that I'd do that stuff, I still went forward with it. But it would help to know that as a non-rate I am going to surely have some adventures and excitement.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    mkelly

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    16 Mar 2015 07:14 PM
    FN or SN pretty much just depends on what is needed. If you are going to a boat and they need somebody to help out in the engine room, you'll be a FN, if they need a deck hand, you'll be a SN...if you by some chance are lucky enough to go to an air station, you'l be an AN.
    It makes no difference on "A" school.
    As a non rate you will have plenty of adventures and be given way more responsibility than any other E-3's in the other armed service branches. You will be doing a lot of cleaning and painting depending on where you are. You can google USCG "A" school list and will see the wait list for each rating and figure out how long you'll be waiting before you go to school. Your job is what you make it and your supervisors will most likely give you as much responsibility as you can ever handle or want. Just take the initiative.
    ebeeUser is Offline
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    ebee

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    17 Mar 2015 01:44 AM
    Non-rate life definitely has its ups and downs, but just like any other rank in the Coast Guard, it is what you make of it. If you just want to skate by and do the bare minimum, then you will be sanding and painting all day. But if you step up, volunteer for extra duties, help develop newer non-rates, get as many quals as possible, etc, then you will still be sanding and painting, but you will also be doing a ton of other stuff.
    TheLonelyOSUser is Offline
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    TheLonelyOS

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    17 Mar 2015 06:14 AM
    I got an 87 out of boot camp and went from SN where I was sanding and painting and splicing line and all the fun of deck work then I got moved to engineering and became a FN and I loved it. Turning wrenches all day, cleaning bilges, and being covered in oil and grease was a blast. I had a great shop too so that helped a good bit. There really is no difference between them just different shops.
    A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
    AKWriter1User is Offline
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    AKWriter1

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    17 Mar 2015 10:16 AM
    Thanks for the answers! I am getting the picture that being a non-rate is as good as you make it to be, working hard, volunteering, etc... And that SN and FN really don't matter in regards to one over the other. Let me ask you guys one more question, as far as advancements. My recruiter told me that I will most likely (unless I screw up or something) make E-3 four months exactly after BC. Is that true? I was hoping to come in at an E-3 because I have my Billy Mitchell award from Civil Air Patrol, but apparently they don't give that advancement anymore.
    TheLonelyOSUser is Offline
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    TheLonelyOS

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    17 Mar 2015 11:33 AM
    Becoming E-3 is entirely up to you and your motivation towards advancement. I knew one guy that had all his sign offs done within 2 months of graduation along with his other initial quals and I knew someone else that took almost 8 months.
    A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    19 Mar 2015 09:06 PM
    On the cutter, they needed all their sign offs and then they were good to go, at the station they had to be fully qualified also, which for us can take around 5 months for boat crew and btm.... It just depends.

    The time is pretty insignificant, just get everything done, get your name on the a-school list, and get on with your career
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    tsosa89User is Offline
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    tsosa89

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    03 Feb 2016 11:39 AM
    Thanks for all of the information to date.

    Would anyone be able explain what the typical schedule for both FN and SN look like? From what I am reading, it sounds like they are both in the same unit doing slightly different jobs and when needed can do the same job.

    I'm going for MST A School as well as applying for OCS (I have a college degree). I am aware the wait is currently lengthy for MST and there is a risk I may not be selected right away next year for OCS. I was wanted to get a read if I would enjoy either FN or SN more so than the other. Any thoughts?
    AG305User is Offline
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    AG305

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    03 Feb 2016 12:18 PM
    cant really tell you what you would enjoy because that all boils down to personal preference yknow.

    if you like the idea of working on the deck of a ship handling lines and stuff then youll enjoy SN. if you like the idea of working on engines and doing mechanical stuff then youll enjoy FN.
    stealthtt24User is Offline
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    stealthtt24

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    03 Feb 2016 12:47 PM
    I can back what ag305 said. I'm a fireman and I work in the engine or all over the boat, always mechanical. Seaman are working on painting, sanding, cleaning and boat lowering details. I still clean however, it's just machinery. Also on a side note, at least at our unit, engineers are slightly more respected as our work is a bit more "appreciated".
    AG305User is Offline
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    AG305

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    03 Feb 2016 02:15 PM
    how about say someone really likes what the MKs are doing and wants to go to that A school but is a SN. is it possible, through your command, to just work in the engine room with MKs to start gaining experience even though technically youre a SN? vice versa as well (likes BM but is a FN).
    stealthtt24User is Offline
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    stealthtt24

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    03 Feb 2016 08:47 PM
    We've had multiple non rates switch from fireman and seaman but it all depends on your command (get used to that answer).
    AirDale13User is Offline
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    AirDale13

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    05 Feb 2016 09:07 AM
    EDIT: Added comment I'm replying to.
    osted By AKWriter1 on 17 Mar 2015 11:16 AM 
    Thanks for the answers! I am getting the picture that being a non-rate is as good as you make it to be, working hard, volunteering, etc... And that SN and FN really don't matter in regards to one over the other. Let me ask you guys one more question, as far as advancements. My recruiter told me that I will most likely (unless I screw up or something) make E-3 four months exactly after BC. Is that true? I was hoping to come in at an E-3 because I have my Billy Mitchell award from Civil Air Patrol, but apparently they don't give that advancement anymore.




    It's true if you join the USCG as an E2. If you have at least 2 years of JROTC you can enlist as an E2. If you enlist as an E1 you won't make E3 until you reach 8 months in the USCG. Why? Because there is a 6 month time in grade requirement to advance from E2 to E3. You will also need your COs endorsement and meet weight standards. This is EPME (Enlisted Professional Military Education) information and is also explained in a classroom setting at boot camp.
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