Hello there everyone. I have been reading a whole lot of topics on the forum for a while now, I've been googling everything there is to google about the Coast Guard, because it is so foreign to me. I come from a line of military officers and NCOs (albeit from outside the US), mostly Army, but also AF, Navy and Marine infantry, but I would be the first in my family to join a Coast Guard service.
I'm currently a senior in college majoring in molecular biology with an interest in healthcare. These past few years I've been researching the heck out of the military to figure out where to join and only recently did I start to consider the Coast Guard. The more I read about the CG, the more I like it. I like the way the CG operates compared to the other services. I narrowed down my choices to the Air Force and CG and when I went to the AF recruiter I was basically told to pick one of these four critical specialties (one was special forces, the other linguist, so really 2) or I won't be sent to MEPS. That same day I called my CG recruiter and he spent 2.5 hours answering all my questions, talking about the CG, and getting my paperwork done. He and the other recruiters are extremely helpful, friendly, and although they are serious, they have a sense of humor. It was very different from my visit to the AF recruiter. Finally, when I told him I wanted to be an HS rate, he responded "if you are willing to wait and you make the effort, you can definitely be an HS with the CG". That was the deciding factor for me.
I'm glad to say I am now in the enlistment process with the CG and I hope to ship to Cape May in June.
I'm sure it will be asked (it always is), but I have decided to enlist rather than try for OCS for a couple reasons. The first is I have a weak packet, especially when it comes to my grades. They are not bad but they are certainly not officer material. I don't have much in the way of rec letters or the like either. Secondly, I have no idea whether I am fit to be an officer, if I would enjoy the officer mission so different from the enlisted, and whether I would be up to standard to lead other personnel being as green as I am. Lastly, being an officer would not allow me to pursue a healthcare specialty unless I already have a health professions degree, which I do not.
I am sorry for the long post, I tend to make long posts on forums, but I hope I will be a good addition to the community here and am excited to learn more about the USCG.