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Prior service AF guard to CG
Last Post 13 Oct 2016 12:42 PM by Old Guard2. 18 Replies.
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kylesmith050612User is Offline
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kylesmith050612

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20 Sep 2016 12:35 PM
    Hey everyone I am trying to get a question answer that I am confused on. I am currently in the AF national guard and looking to switch to CG. I understand that I will bump rank from E5 back down to E3 and I am okay with that. However, I spoke with people on the live chat about how long I would have to wait to go to "A" school and get promoted back to E4. My questions are this: 1) After the 3 week boot camp I will get sent to my first duty station as a non rate. I am wanting to go to BM "A" school which currently has a 0-3 month wait. I was told at 3 months I would be able to put my name on the list. Is this an accurate time frame? I have been reading about how there is quals that have to be done first. Can someone explain that a little more? 2) After I complete "A" school how soon will I get promoted to E4? 3) Lastly, I was told after I reach the rank of E4 I believe he said there was a 6 month to 1 year wait time then I could test for E5. Is that accurate? Thanks for all the advice that will be provided!!
    tumonsandsUser is Offline
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    20 Sep 2016 08:21 PM
    Similar situation as you. Currently Army National Guard and already have my conditional release approved. I can't speak from experience but from what I've read...

    1) Sounds about right. I've read you wait 4 months before, putting your name on the A school list. You do all your quals in that 4 month period. After 4 months is up, you put your name on the A school list of your choice. Then you're on that respective school's wait list - in your case 0-3 months.

    2) You make E-4 upon completion of A School

    3) not sure, someone in the service could chime in

    Not sure how far you are in the process of switching, but just make sure your DEPOT date falls within your conditional release period. I had to get a second conditional release just to catch the next DEPOT cycle
    AuxnoobUser is Offline
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    21 Sep 2016 05:19 AM
    If you are coming over from AF NG, you probably don't have an MOS that corresponds to BM (wild guess here). In that case you would be going to the normal 8 week basic.
    kylesmith050612User is Offline
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    21 Sep 2016 01:01 PM
    Hey Auxnoob I have already been told because I am prior military that I go through DEPOT the 3 week basic training course.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    21 Sep 2016 02:02 PM
    Even if it doesn't translate from one MOS to a rating, KyleSmith is correct, he will do the 3 week shortened course. Best of luck to you!!

    As for the wait time to put your name on the A School list, it is 4 months. You also have to have all of your qualifications signed off and be recommended for advancement by your command. I'm sure you will be but stranger things have happened and it has taken some 6, 7, 8, even 12 months to get their name on the A School list. Your quals are the things you need to know how to do to be a good nonrate. Then after A School you will get another set of quals to complete, that is to be a good E4 at your unit. Then again at the next unit, the next promotion, etc. You are always looking at another set of qualifications for something. That is pretty much SOP.

    Upon completion of A School, E4. You complete school and put your crows on. There are TIS restrictions some might graduate a SNBM {Sunbeam} or SNFS or SNOS but you'll have TIS so you don't have to worry about that. I did just want to offer a bit of insight.

    E4 to E5, again your quals need to be completed, you need to be recommended for advancement and then you must take the SWE (Service Wide Exam). I know people that have made it from E1 to E6 before they got their first lifers stripe on their sleeve. Advancement can come quickly. It depends upon you and it also depends upon your rating. BM you may have someone that has been an E4 for a while, a lot of seatime, has some awards and uses up all his dinosaur points. You write #2 on the SWE but because you have no points, you fall all the way to #22 on the advancement list... and they are only making 20 this promotion. So you get to try again.

    If you have any other questions, ask away. I guarantee a lot, if not all of this, will be taught in boot. But I also understand wanting a handle on it before you get there. Welcome aboard and welcome to the CG family. Thank you for your service so far.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    BellsUser is Offline
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    21 Sep 2016 02:42 PM
    Along with your practical factors (sign offs for BM2) you need to be qualified as a coxswain (officer in charge of a small boat) or Underway Officer of the Deck (Conning a Ship) to be eligible to take the Service Wide Exam for BM2. As a general guideline it would be tough for a BM3 to convince their command to allow them to break-in OOD on a cutter larger than a 110-175', however it's definitely possible and happens. It is also tough for a BM3 to get coxswain qualified on a cutter (because there is less emphasis on training on most cutters than there would be at a small boat station). So, it would be in your best interest to try and get to a cutter out of bootcamp so that you can knock out as many underway qualifications as you can as a junior member (makes it alot easier to recertify when you are more senior) and then out of A-school take a station so that you get coxswain done. It takes the average third class approximately a year for breaking in coxswain at a station, and I would shoot the breeze and say two years on a cutter if they get it at all.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    kylesmith050612User is Offline
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    21 Sep 2016 05:56 PM
    Old Guard2 and Bells I greatly appreciate your responses. What are the quals that keep getting mentioned? Also how hard is it to complete the quals? What are the lifter stripes that you speak of? Do you know if BM has a good advancement rate? Also, I hear that BM is basically a jack of all trades and has to be able to do most things aboard a ship is that correct? Last thing is how do make line breaks on this forum? thanks again for the help
    AuxnoobUser is Offline
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    22 Sep 2016 04:47 AM
    My mistake. Thanks for letting me know.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    22 Sep 2016 11:59 AM
    Most quals are not that difficult. Some are time consuming. The simplest way to explain it... You need to know A B C to do your current billeted position. To be sure that you know what you're doing you have to complete quals (qualifications). They are as varied as there are units in the CG. The qual you'll need on a 378 isn't the same as the qual at a small boat station isn't the same as the qual you'll need at a sector.

    Lifer stripe... that thing on your sleeve for every 4 years enlisted. BM - Jack of all trades, master of none. Please don't tell an MK you know how to do most things on a ship. There will be a throw down. We have a Gearhead on this forum, Gears, a Chief MK that swears BM's were only put on this Earth to break things. LOL

    Line breaks should just be hit enter twice. Sometimes we hit little glitches but we are informative so we make up for the glitches.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    BellsUser is Offline
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    22 Sep 2016 12:47 PM
    We're jack of all trades in that we do almost all the deck work and resurfaces decks and bulkheads (ship walls), work and clean up buoys, get qualified in rigging and cranes, work on aviation gear maintenance, armory maintenance and management, anything that has to do with the small boats except engineering systems, rescue and survival maintenance, and then as you advance you do alot of administrative work and training.... we are also on the bridge so navigation and plotting, conning ships... Just a bunch of stuff.

    If you can get coxswain or underway OOD then advancement to 2ND class is on track to other ratings. After that it is pretty slow to make first class and chief because our rating is so big. It took me 5 years from bootcamp to make 2ND class, some people are able to do it in 4, some take longer. To first class depending on how well you test could take 7-10 years. Again some could do it quicker. I consider myself motivated and have always been on top of my qualifications and finishing the requirements to advance, but I'm up against dinosaurs when it comes to advance to first class. You need to advance to 2ND class within 10 years including prior active duty time and 15 or 16 years for first class, I do not remember, or you will be kicked out for High Year Tenure. They enacted high year tenure a few years ago and it's helped with advancement, but in general, it's still taking awhile.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    22 Sep 2016 05:02 PM
    Posted By Auxnoob on 21 Sep 2016 06:19 AM
    If you are coming over from AF NG, you probably don't have an MOS that corresponds to BM (wild guess here). In that case you would be going to the normal 8 week basic.

    All prior service are now OK'd for DEPOT, whether or not they have a MOS that has a corresponding rating
    "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
    m1ashooterUser is Offline
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    22 Sep 2016 10:36 PM
    My son is on a 210 ft cutter. It took him four months to complete his quals but that was because they were in drydock for almost two months and there were some sign offs that could only be done while underway. Some of the things he had to do was sketch different systems of the ship.
    GearsUser is Offline
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    Gears

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    23 Sep 2016 05:40 AM
    BM's were only put on this Earth to break things.


    You're not wrong.

    BM make up the CG's largest rating so the advantage is you can go anywhere. However, advancement can be tough depending on how well you test. We have Service Wide Exams for advancement, anywhere from 100-450 people can take the test which can affect advancement. In my experience, there are Station BMs and Cutter BMs. You'll have to experience a couple of units to figure which one you're going to be. Not that you'll go to one or the other exclusively.
    “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
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    23 Sep 2016 07:15 AM
    Ahhh Gears, I miss you buddy!!!! You have to come back to the Great Lakes. You know you want to!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    kylesmith050612User is Offline
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    kylesmith050612

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    23 Sep 2016 12:59 PM
    Hey everyone I greatly appreciate all the information that you all have provided!! I am still trying to make the decision about coming into the CG vs some of the other branches. Two major factors that worry me a little bit off the bat is: 1) Having to bump rank down to E3. This wouldn't be so bad except I have been on orders as an E5 for awhile now so it will be a decent pay cut to drop back down. However, I see it as short term loss vs long term gain. (that is why I was worried about advancement back to E5) 2) In the AF if you decide you don't like your career field you can cross train however I learned that in the CG that means dropping back down to E3. I forget the saying I saw bounced around the forum but I feel like it was something like choose your rate decide your fate. That is a big decision. I want to make the military a career because I love to serve. Any opinion that people can give me would be great
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    23 Sep 2016 01:51 PM
    Choose your rate, choose your fate. That's the saying you are referring to. I think service in any branch is honorable and can be a great career. You just need to find the service that fits your needs and desires. It isn't easy to switch in the CG because we don't have the same amount of people. I heard someone say there are some Army bases that have more people stationed on that one base than the Coast Guard has as a whole service. I'm sure that could almost be entirely true. The CG is a smaller service with a large mission. As a BM you would probably be more readily afforded the opportunity to change ratings, simply because there are more BM's than anything else. If you were an FS or OS, it would be much harder. Those ratings are typically in critical status and need people to fill the billets.

    As far as dropping back down to E3 to change ratings, that isn't true. You would need to speak to the Chief of Ratings Force (something like that, I can't remember the exact name I know I'll be corrected) and they will decide if you can make a switch. Again, not something taken lightly. If you can, you put your name on the A School list of your choice and ASVAB score, you wait the time to get your orders, go to school and a once BM becomes a newly minted MST or OS or YN... You will be bumped back down to E4 but not E3.

    It is a good branch, more family than any of the others I feel like. The highest retention rate of any of the services, that has to say something for the quality of the CG. Still plenty of travel, plenty of fun, plenty of job experience and all the same benefits. If you aren't 100% sure, keep looking. You'll know what's right for you. It isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. This could either be a great career, any of the branches, or if you aren't happy a really long, miserable 4 year commitment.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    m1ashooterUser is Offline
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    23 Sep 2016 11:26 PM
    Are you a full guardsman? If so then taking a two pay grade reduction might not make sense to you, if you are looking at this from a pay perspective only. I think you need to look at the mission and determine if the mission is right for you. I was in the AF many moons ago. My son graduated from Boot Camp last March and should make make E4 with around 14 months of active duty time. Is that happening in the AF? When I was in it took people almost four years to make E4 and E5 around 8 based on the career field they were in. In the AF it used to be very hard to cross train, especially if your career field was critically manned. What job are you doing in the guard? Our family was all USAF but as I've traveled this journey with my son I have to say that the Coast Guard experience is a better path.
    GearsUser is Offline
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    Gears

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    13 Oct 2016 08:18 AM
    You have to come back to the Great Lakes. You know you want to!


    Nope. Not even a little. My next tour is looking like the west coast!
    “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
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    13 Oct 2016 12:42 PM
    Well that seems far away!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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