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Newlywed, husband is thinking about joining CG
Last Post 19 Oct 2015 04:32 PM by Old Guard2. 1 Replies.
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kenz_fechUser is Offline
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kenz_fech

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19 Oct 2015 02:36 PM
    I'm not sure if I'm in the right place, but I'm just trying to get information without any sugar coating.
    My husband and I got married 6 months ago and he's looking into joining the CG, he's 23 and I'm 24.  But I have some questions as a new and possible wife of a CG.

    Some of these questions might be easier to answer with some of this info: my husband scored a 97 on his ASVAB's and he's very mechanically minded.

    1. Does he REALLY get to choose where and what job category he works in? (meaning town and mechanical, investigator, port security, etc)
    2. If he does get to choose his job category in mechanical, does he get to stay in that one area and stay in whichever station he's at or will he be called overseas and such?
    3. Will he come home every night?  (maybe not literally every night, but will he be gone for days-weeks at a time?)
    4. Will we get financial help for college and housing?
    5. If we decide not to live on base, do they help pay for a house outside of base?  Or if we do live on base, is it totally covered?
    6.  Will we move every 3-4 years like I've heard?
    7. Is there a really big chance he could die?  (I know it sounds stupid, but I'm desperate.)

    Thank you for the responses.  I'm just trying to get real answers.  Thank you!

    Mackenzie
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    Old Guard2

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    19 Oct 2015 04:32 PM
    Good for you for asking the questions!!! I wish there had been something like this when I was a newlywed myself!! But let's see what I can do to help...

    1. He really does get to choose which job he would like to do. It is called a rating. The CG will not choose for him. So long as he has the qualifying ASVAB score, he can do what his heart desires.
    1a. City to live in. That's a little more tricky. Out of boot camp, he can request 4 districts. Will he get one of those? Probably. But let's take an example of District 8. That is huge. He might want to be stationed in Milwaukee, WI. He could end up in New Orleans. They are both a part of District 8. If you google USCG District Map, you'll see the District lines. Some are enormous, some are not. So there is no guarantee he will absolutely get the city he wants... Please don't bank on that ever in your career. They try, they don't promise.
    2. He will be stationed somewhere for a tour of duty. Typically 3-4 years, depending upon the unit. Then you will move on to the next unit. Some have great success staying in a close proximity from unit to unit. We always had ridiculous cross country moves but I loved it!!! My son has gone from Boston to Seattle to Staten Island, NY. So he is a nut that didn't fall far from the tree.
    2a. Overseas is typically something the CG will solicit for and the member will apply. If you mean Bahrain. If you mean on board a ship, the ship will likely travel "overseas" often. My son has been to 19 countries, Central and South America. He has not been to the Middle East. His father did serve a year in Iraq but he asked to be assigned there. Possibly I should say he begged to be assigned there, that was a goal for him. But they won't just call up your husband and say "You're headed to Afghanistan next month."
    3. Depends upon the assignment. If he is on a cutter, you can expect him to be gone for half the year. Different size ship, different amount of time away in one stretch. If he is at a small boat unit or a Sector, yes, home every night with the exception of duty days.
    4. He will be provided college tuition assistance. A spouse will not. Not right away at least. After 6 years in the military, he can transfer benefits to his spouse. That is the current set up. Can that/will that change? That is unknown. When I was a wife, that was not a possibility. Housing, yes, you will either be provided housing on a base, leased government quarters or live on the economy and receive BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing). The amount you receive varies, depending upon the zip code of your unit. Obviously the amount needed to rent a house in Santa Barbara California is much greater than if you lived in Elizabeth City North Carolina.
    5. See answer above. I will add that the military is cracking down, in all branches, that if housing is available, you may not be able to opt out of housing. It doesn't make sense to let perfectly good housing sit empty while the military doles out money for you to rent a house on the economy.
    6. Yes.
    7. We can all die, military or not. However, I know what you mean. The possibility is remote. I won't say it can't happen because I've been to a few Coast Guard funerals. I've had friends die on active duty. But look at the Gulf War... The CG has had one casualty, DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal. Compare that number to the amount lost in the Army, Marines, even Navy & Air Force. The chance is remote but of course it exists. It isn't something any of us like to think about but we are always prepared for that possibility as the wife and/or the mother of a member of the armed services.

    We are more than happy to answer questions. Feel free to ask more if these answers led to other thoughts. If you need clarity on something, ask away. Nothing is too silly to be asked. The military is something of a 2 for 1 deal. They are enlisting your husband but they are getting you, too. You have concerns. Don't be afraid to ask. It can be a scary prospect but it can be an awesome career.

    Macie
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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