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Getting a dream rate. Lots of questions.
Last Post 02 Sep 2016 08:17 PM by stealthtt24. 18 Replies.
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Matt TUser is Offline
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Matt T

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28 Jul 2016 09:35 PM
    Hi all, I've been dead set on the military my entire life. Always considered the Air Force or Marines. However, I've been increasingly enticed by the Coast Guard. I have multiple questions. How selective is the Coast guard? I DEFINITELY want maritime enforcement, what are my chances of getting it? Do I just have to wait for it or can it be in my contract? Once in, how does one go about getting into MSRT, after a few years of course? After the military, what are some viable career options, I am interested in SWAT. Sorry for all the questions, and if you don't want to answer them all, then answer how to get Maritime Enforcement please. Again, thanks in advance for all the help!
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    29 Jul 2016 04:28 AM
    You cannot get ME in your contract. All you need is a qualifying ASVAB score, once the appropriate time has passed after boot camp, put your name on the A School list and become an ME. Done.

    As far as how selective is the USCG? As selective as they want to be because we don't have the recruiting numbers that the Army or Marines have. The CG turns away more than it accepts. Is there a reason, medical/legal/financial, that the CG wouldn't take you? If not, they you have the same chance as others. Best of luck.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    29 Jul 2016 10:14 AM
    Howdy. I spent 13 years in the USAF and my son is a seaman in the Coast Guard so I think I can give you some good advise. Think about the mission of each branch of service and then decide what best fits your interests as each is very different. If you enlist in the Coast Guard you are going to sea. Do you like boats and ships and the water? In the Coast Guard will be involved in a more operational role then in the USAF ie you are a member of a ships or boats crew and it takes a crew to carry out the mission.

    As Old Guard says the Coast Guard is very very selective. The USAF and the Coast Guard have the highest min requirements for ASVAB scores. I've seen a lot of new recruits that have blown the ASVAB away in the Coast Guard so sometimes the min isn't good enough because of the limited amount positions available. You must meet all standards of enlistment and have no serious health problems to include mental health issues.

    Choosing you job. The Coast Guard is unique in that unless you enlist for a critical manned job you will go in as a Non Rated person. I think this is a wonderful concept. I knew many airman who enlisted into a job that sounded good but once they went to tech school and joined a squadron they found they didn't like it. In the Coast Guard you get to see what the jobs are and in some cases do them before you decide. Once you decided and once you meet some other requirements then you put your name on the school list and wait for a class date to open. Some schools because of the manning strength of the rate can be a long wait to get that job.

    Also think about where you want to live and what kinda of adventures you want to have? For example if you join the USAF you could end up wearing a parka and bunny boots in North Dakota for three years or shorts and flip flops and see white sandy beaches and blue water in the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has duty stations all along the east coast, the west coast and all around the great lakes, so you have a huge selection of climates and location to choose from.

    As too jobs after you get out? That my friend is a crap shoot. There are a lot of studies out there that say veterans have a hard time when they get out finding work. Some people I know have a easier time then others, a lot of it depends on what you are willing to do when you separate.

    Good luck. Remember choose the mission first.
    Matt TUser is Offline
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    29 Jul 2016 11:25 AM
    Thnx all. Also, I really think I would like a Coast Guard Lifestyle. So getting ME is really just getting into the coast guard and waiting for it? If so, I am completely willing to do so.

    I have no medical issues, I am not overweight, I have good eyesight, fairly athletic, and I usually do very well on tests. I believe with practice I can have a good ASVAB score. How many times can you take the ASVAB? Do they count your last score or your highest?
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    29 Jul 2016 11:40 AM
    Greetings.. I'm going to follow up a bit on what M1A is saying. You're certain you want to go into the ME rating. Do you really know what members in that rating do on a daily basis? You're not swinging from ropes and doing other cool SWAT-like stuff. If you get assigned to a Sector, you'll likely be doing security boardings of tankers, container vessels, and the occasional cruise ship. If you're at a Small Boat Station, you'll be doing some law enforcement, but you'll also be training your colleagues. If you're on a cutter, pretty much the same thing. As for an MSRT assignment, there may or may not be any openings when you graduate from A School. It's rare that new ME3's go directly to an MSRT, though it can happen.

    You may go to your first unit out of boot camp and find that the day to day life of an ME is not at all what you thought it would be (if there are even any at your unit). I'll share a story that perfectly illustrates this. I have a friend I met about 11 years ago when she was a non rate at STA Calumet Harbor (Chicago). She was determined that she was going to be an AST (rescue swimmer). She trained every single day she could.. swimming, running, etc. Then she transferred to a cutter on the Pacific Coast and found she was way more interested in the OS world. Today, she's a happy OS2. The point of this anecdote is that you may be so focused on one rating, you're not even aware of others out there that may more interesting or suited to your skill set. Once you get out of boot camp and arrive at your first unit, keep an open mind as to the other jobs available. You never know what you'll find.

    As for life after the military, there's any number of options. Most employers just want to see that you hold a Honorable Discharge, very rarely do they care about what you did. There's a few exceptions. As for going into SWAT, understand that's going to require getting hired by a police department, making it through the academy, and putting in your time as a patrol cop, possibly for several years. After all that, you can apply for your department's SWAT team...along with all your co workers that think they're equally qualified.

    Know I'm not telling you all this to rain on your parade. I'm giving you a realistic look at the CG and civilian law enforcement from someone who's been a cop for 28 years and in the CG Reserve for 15.

    Best of 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
    Matt TUser is Offline
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    29 Jul 2016 12:27 PM
    Understood and thnx for the insight. However, I figure that goes with just about any rate. Plus, I'll have time to change my mind and I will look into other rates more so thank you. However, does the same still apply? Assuming you score high enough on the ASVAB, it's just a matter of waiting for a rate you want?
    GearsUser is Offline
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    29 Jul 2016 01:29 PM
    I have a friend I met about 11 years ago when she was a non rate at STA Calumet Harbor (Chicago). She was determined that she was going to be an AST (rescue swimmer). She trained every single day she could.. swimming, running, etc. Then she transferred to a cutter on the Pacific Coast and found she was way more interested in the OS world. Today, she's a happy OS2.


    I'm pretty sure we have the same friend.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    29 Jul 2016 04:53 PM
    Posted By Gears on 29 Jul 2016 01:29 PM
    I have a friend I met about 11 years ago when she was a non rate at STA Calumet Harbor (Chicago). She was determined that she was going to be an AST (rescue swimmer). She trained every single day she could.. swimming, running, etc. Then she transferred to a cutter on the Pacific Coast and found she was way more interested in the OS world. Today, she's a happy OS2.


    I'm pretty sure we have the same friend.
    Why yes, I believe we do

    "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
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    29 Jul 2016 04:56 PM
    Posted By Matt T on 29 Jul 2016 12:27 PM
    Understood and thnx for the insight. However, I figure that goes with just about any rate. Plus, I'll have time to change my mind and I will look into other rates more so thank you. However, does the same still apply? Assuming you score high enough on the ASVAB, it's just a matter of waiting for a rate you want?

    Yes, if you score high enough on the ASVAB, any rating is open to you.  At that point, it's a matter of the wait time for your particular school.  This is the current list.  It will likely change by the time you enlist....https://www.uscg.mil/epm/docs/A-SchoolList.pdf
    "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
    Matt TUser is Offline
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    29 Jul 2016 11:01 PM
    Well thank you guys so much! I guess now I just practice a lot for the ASVAB to be prepared for whatever rate I end up selecting. Is their a limit on how many times you can take it? Do they take you most recent or your highest score?
    GearsUser is Offline
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    Gears

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    30 Jul 2016 05:45 AM
    Ask your recruiter, but if I remember the rules correctly you take the initial test. If you don't qualify you can take it again in 30 days. If you still don't qualify you can take it every 6 months after that. They will only take your most recent score. When you decide to take it, be prepared.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    30 Jul 2016 04:22 PM
    Also, recruiting numbers are higher than they've been in the last 6-7 years, we are short 3000 some odd people. They are loosening the reigns a little bit because we are hurting
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    30 Jul 2016 04:30 PM
    She would have been happier as an AST. 
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    30 Jul 2016 04:31 PM
    Posted By CPORJM on 29 Jul 2016 04:53 PM
    Posted By Gears on 29 Jul 2016 01:29 PM
    I have a friend I met about 11 years ago when she was a non rate at STA Calumet Harbor (Chicago). She was determined that she was going to be an AST (rescue swimmer). She trained every single day she could.. swimming, running, etc. Then she transferred to a cutter on the Pacific Coast and found she was way more interested in the OS world. Today, she's a happy OS2.


    I'm pretty sure we have the same friend.
    Why yes, I believe we do


    She would have been happier as an AST 
    GearsUser is Offline
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    30 Jul 2016 05:47 PM
    Last time I saw her she was pretty happy living the OS life.. I mean how hard can it be?
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    31 Jul 2016 11:12 PM
    Some of the OS's we have love their job. I am 100% sure I could not be in a room like that all day. I would go insane. To each his own.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    Old Guard2

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    01 Aug 2016 08:27 AM
    My son loves being an OS. He also loves being underway. That's why choose your rate, choose your fate is so important. Don't go for the shortest wait for school, the rating that moves the fastest, the rating with the largest bonus (or any bonus)... No, go for the rating that makes you happy and will make you successful. That's the beauty of the CG... You do have a lot of control over your destiny.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    GearsUser is Offline
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    08 Aug 2016 06:47 AM
    I am 100% sure I could not be in a room like that all day.


    Same here. The best part of being an MK is the tangible results. Crushed your mission hours? MKs. Everything working in proper order? MKs. All hell broke loose, but we got home safe? MKs.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    stealthtt24

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    02 Sep 2016 08:17 PM
    Posted By Old Guard on 08 Aug 2016 06:47 AM
     That's why choose your rate, choose your fate is so important. Don't go for the shortest wait for school, the rating that moves the fastest, the rating with the largest bonus (or any bonus)... No, go for the rating that makes you happy and will make you successful. That's the beauty of the CG... You do have a lot of control over your destiny.

    This times 1000. There are a good amount of people on medium size cutters who choose MK or BM for whatever reason (possibly influenced by their bosses and just want to leave a tough unit quick). Go for the rate you truly want, I've talked to multiple PO's who wish they would have stuck out the wait for aviation, HS, MST, etc....
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