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1st drill experience
Last Post 15 Sep 2015 05:12 PM by pjennings. 7 Replies.
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newhopeUser is Offline
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newhope

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18 Jun 2015 08:48 PM
    It will be highly appreciated if you can, please describe your experience on your first drill. Especially, those who completed DEPOT. Here are some guiding questions;

    - What happened in the first hour of your arrival at your unit? Smooth check in and reporting? Duty assignment? etc.

    - Those who hadnt gone to the A-School yet, how was your experience as a non-rated? Were you treated as the rating you were going to get?

    - Did you get to meet with the CO at the unit during first drill or at all?

    - How what you learned during DEPOT helped you during the first drill?

    - How fast did you get familiar with the daily life at your unit?

    Please feel free to elaborate on any other matter that you can think of.


    Thanks
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    CPORJM

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    20 Jun 2015 06:42 PM
    When you first report, there will be a check in process. It involves stuff like admin, equipment issue, medical. It could take one day or both drill days, or you could be scheduled to come in on a regular week day, so you can meet the command staff, who are usually not there on the weekends.
    DEPOT is designed to give you a base of knowledge about the CG in general, not what's going to happen on your first duty day.

    Since Reservists are guaranteed their A School, it's not uncommon to work as a non rate in the rating that you'll be going to school for. The exception to this might be if that job requires a top secret clearance, which you won't have yet, as they typically take 6-8 months to complete.

    Now...I'm going to qualify all this by saying I'm going off what I remember from 14 years ago, coming out of REBI (the predecessor to DEPOT)

    Good luck!
    "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
    newhopeUser is Offline
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    newhope

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    26 Jun 2015 05:59 PM
    Thank you Chief. It would be nice to hear from recently DEPOT-graduated folks as well.
    Joe947User is Offline
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    Joe947

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    26 Jun 2015 09:15 PM
    I was in the last company.  Send a PM with any questions.
    LjcalimanoUser is Offline
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    Ljcalimano

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    11 Jul 2015 01:36 PM
    I graduated from DEPOT 04-14. My station is pretty big, there are more than 40 reservists. I have to ask for things in order to get my quals. You have to really push your self to get quals because no one will hand it to you, at least thats my expereince. Always have a vision of what you want to do and when you want to accomplish those goals. For example, I needed to get boat crew qualifies so I worked on that. Right now I am in TCY for BMA school so once I graduate Ill make E4, another goal accomplished. Once I get back to my unit I wanna be BTM qual and after that work on my coaxswain qual, etc etc. Again, my best advice is push your self and dont fall into the bad habits of others that dont get better at anything.

    - What happened in the first hour of your arrival at your unit? Smooth check in and reporting? Duty assignment? etc.
    It was somewhat smooth. Every unit is different. My first drill was during the week mainly because I had to see the yoeman and turn in my medical file to medical. I did get to meet both the CO and XO.
    - Those who hadnt gone to the A-School yet, how was your experience as a non-rated? Were you treated as the rating you were going to get?
    I graduated as a non rate so during my drills i pretty much did anything I was told to do from cleaning up to doing boat checks or simply getting underway which was the best part of the weekend.
    - Did you get to meet with the CO at the unit during first drill or at all?
    Yes both the CO and XO, but it was during the week. I do see them once in a while during drill weekends.
    - How what you learned during DEPOT helped you during the first drill?
    DEPOT is mainly Coast Guard stuff in a general way. Once you get to your unit you learn how to sort of do things their way.

    - How fast did you get familiar with the daily life at your unit?
    I have been drilling for a year and honestly, every month is different. Just have an open mind for change, thats my advice.
    pjenningsUser is Offline
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    pjennings

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    14 Jul 2015 12:24 PM
    My 1st drill after bootcamp was over 8 years ago, but my experiences are probably not all that different from what you'll run into today. 

    - What happened in the first hour of your arrival at your unit? Smooth check in and reporting? Duty assignment? etc.
    I don't really remember much other than being in trops for only the first 15 minutes or so, meeting my supervisor, introducing myself to the unit at all-hands, and filling out paperwork.

    - Those who hadn't gone to the A-School yet, how was your experience as a non-rated? Were you treated as the rating you were going to get?
    I was an RK reservist so I went to bootcamp one summer and went to MST "A" school during the next. For my drills as a non-rate in between I was assigned to the MST side of the house and knocked out as many sign-offs for marine safety quals as I could. I also worked on my E-4 EPMEs. I cannot stress this enough, get your E-4 EPMEs knocked out before A-school! It'll be one less thing you have to worry about and you'll be mostly guaranteed to graduate A-school as a Petty Officer. Additionally, as all non-rates discover, I spent time cleaning, taking out the trash, and doing random odd jobs (such as serving as the unit telephone operator during a vessel allison / oil spill incident, being the "fire" in a fire drill during a port state control examination).

      - Did you get to meet with the CO at the unit during first drill or at all?
    I did not meet the CO during my time at my first unit. However, I did meet the XO.

      - How what you learned during DEPOT helped you during the first drill?
    I enlisted directly into the reserve and attended the full 8-week bootcamp rather than REBI (DEPOT's predecessor) so I can't fully answer this question. However, what I learned in bootcamp definitely set me up for success.

    - How fast did you get familiar with the daily life at your unit?
    Depending on your rating and unit daily life may never be "familiar". For example, during my last drill weekend I was planning to run in a memorial 5K with my unit and provide some basic facility inspector training for my junior MSTs. I ran the 5K with my unit, but two hours after that my crew and I were zooming across the AOR to respond to a boat fire with survivors in the water. Immediately after wrapping that up, Sector called and we were zooming to the other side of the AOR to respond to an oil spill. Following both incidents myself and the other MST1 on duty had to prepare and give briefs about each incident to our unit's Chain of Command and Sector's Chain of Command. We also had to begin preparing MISLE casework for both incidents. What started as a straightforward 8 hour day turned into a complicated and hazardous 13 hour day. Long story short, some days are cake. Some aren't. Be Semper Gumby (always flexible) and be the sponge (always learn from your experiences and share what you've learned with your shipmates). While daily life will likely never be "familiar" you will grow to be better prepared with experience and training. 

    Schregkl07User is Offline
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    Schregkl07

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    28 Aug 2015 05:54 PM
    So would you rate your experience so far a positive one? Would you recommend being a reservist to others?
    pjenningsUser is Offline
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    pjennings

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    15 Sep 2015 05:12 PM
    My experience has been very positive and I would highly recommend it to others.
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