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Civilian/Training to be AST
Last Post 02 May 2017 10:00 AM by llessuryort. 21 Replies.
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llessuryortUser is Offline
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llessuryort

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31 Jan 2017 02:08 PM
    Hello,

    I'm a regular Joe civilian, looking to push myself and get into the AST program. Graduated college with a bachelors in electrical engineering, but never really felt that suited my personality. I've been in engineering outside school for about 4 years now, and want to utilize my interests in a good way. I enjoy climbing, and various adventure sports/activities, and hope to put some of this to good use.

    I've been training outside work as often as I can. I think I'm doing pretty well, however, the thing that I struggle with most is swimming. I was never part of a swim team, or any organized swim programs before, so I'm basically a novice in that aspect. I was practicing on my own and got my 500 yard swim down to 11:36, using a sort of side stroke. Until I got some help from a friend, I struggled with breathing while freestyle swimming. Now, I'm still a novice, but at least I have the basics down. Just spend more time in the pool.

    About two months ago, I got my testing done at MEPS, and told to lose weight. Spent the past several weeks losing weight, and working out. Other than missing out on some tasty cookies, I feel like I'm probably in the best shape of my life thus far.

    I know I've got a good long road to go before everything starts rolling, but I'm excited, and hope this opportunity presents itself to me.

    God bless you all.
    disciplecoreUser is Offline
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    disciplecore

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    31 Jan 2017 07:31 PM



    I went through rescueswimmer school with guys that were close to olympic qualifying and some that struggled with making their times. Some of the ones that struggled in the beginning made it while the fast ones didnt pass. In the ocean its about being a proficient swimmer utilyizing the gear you are given , fins tri sar harness , dry suit etc. Some cant handle the stress. You are far from your goal. You will need to exceed the minimum standards to be successful. Its no joke swimming in 20ft seas in a storm towing a 250lb injured fisherman.

    Practice your water confidence , underwater sprints anf get that diet in check.
    Work on your freestyle stroke , its what they use. Get lessons professionally . Practice practice practice, my times were drastically improved once i mastered it. Its all about the timing of the stroke, having your cardio in check and being confident.

    Thr ast rate is the toughest but its 2 years of hardwork to have 18 year career that consist of standing duty saving lives , fixing survival gear , sewing , call of duty and camping a lot . Best rate out there.

    I am a naval aviation rescueswimmer graduate
    And i got through the 6 month airman program and  got to week 5 of ast a school and was injured , I moved on. 
    Goodluck 



    "The only easy day was yesterday"
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    02 Feb 2017 08:20 AM
    disciplecore,

    I appreciate the feedback. I understand it is very difficult, however, I want to do this, and at the very least try. So, I will take your words as encouragement.

    Thank you for your service.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    mkelly

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    02 Feb 2017 06:29 PM
    Did you have a question? I'm not sure I saw one.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    03 Feb 2017 08:02 AM
    mkelly,

    I was merely making introductions of myself.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    mkelly

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    03 Feb 2017 09:00 AM
    well Awesome. If you have any questions about training, nutrition, being an AST, or the Coast Guard, feel free to ask. Good luck on your journey.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    10 Feb 2017 01:23 PM
    Thanks mkelly.

    I appreciate it.

    So far, I'm quite pleased with my training. I spend most days of the week working out at least once a day (trying to pull two a days, except I tend to have loads of evening chores/activities/errands to do).

    Thus far, my training has been indoors/poolside.

    My swimming is still my weakest aspect, but swimming most days of the week has been helpful. The other day, I was able to swim 1x300, 1x100, and 2x50 yard swims all in 11:57. Granted, I did have to take a mild 10 second rest between each sprint. I know I need to swim the full 500 yards in one go, but I am taking steps in the right direction.

    I have been running as part of my weekly workouts (handful of times per week). Was able to manage my 1.5 mile run in a about 11:20.

    Pushups/Situps/Pull ups/Chin ups - I can manage most, of these my weakest are the pullups/chinups, I can typically manage 5 of each, but am working on these as well.
    sako_hoparUser is Offline
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    sako_hopar

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    17 Feb 2017 11:30 AM
    I'm not in the Coast Guard yet, but I have very strong desires to become an AST. Meeting the minimum requirements to be accepted into AST A-school is probably not nearly the amount of the physical activity and demands that will be put on you in A School. If you're struggling with the swimming portion or only barely making it, it will probably make A-school very difficult.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    20 Feb 2017 09:01 AM
    sako_hopar,

    Hence why I'm doing as much training beforehand. I can swim, but was never part of a competitive swim environment, and I understand I have a ways to go before anything occurs. Either way, I can sort of prepare myself as best I can.
    TheLonelyOSUser is Offline
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    TheLonelyOS

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    20 Feb 2017 05:57 PM
    Biggest thing I've heard is just plain water confidence. I swam for 10 years in competition and I was training with ASTs before my flight physical and they were all pretty serious in the pool. They kicked my butt a good bit but I held my own as best I could.

    I would look at getting on a strict swim plan. Swimming a 500 yard freestyle in 11:36 is ok for a normal person but I was training with guys that were around 7 or 8 minutes and that was just one part of the workout.

    If you want swim workouts just google them and stick to the free style ones.
    A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
    sako_hoparUser is Offline
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    sako_hopar

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    26 Feb 2017 01:52 AM
    I swim about once a week, I'm in the 9 minute range for 500 yards and 36 minutes for 36 laps. I feel confident with the water but it's the 25 yard under waters that get me. Although I'm usually by myself at the pool at midnight so I rarely can try in case I black out. I've never blacked out before in my life for any reason, but I hear it may happen from holding your breath too long.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    26 Feb 2017 08:50 AM
    Water confidence is the under water stuff. If you cannot do the under water stuff, then your "water confidence" is not where it needs to be for swimmer school. Get an apnea trainer on your phone and start working to improve your confidence and comfort with being apneic. Make sure you have a buddy or let the lifeguard or somebody know what you're doing when you are doing under water training. Its very important not to hyperventilate before you do under waters because that will increase your risk of shallow water blackout. Do some research on shallow water blackout so you know what it is and you can go into your training in an educated fashion.
    I don't know what the 36 minutes for 36 laps mean when you mentioned it above. You have a long way to go until you get to AST school but keep working. You need to be very comfortable with doing 25 yards under water. You'll have to work up to being comfortable doing those while out of breath and tired.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    28 Feb 2017 08:18 AM
    Couple questions that seem to be contrasting with what I initially understood.

    1) Is the underwater laps 25 yards or meters?

    2) Is the qualification testing done with fins?

    Either way, I know I've got a load of practice to still do, even then I feel like I'm getting better little by little. So far, I've been doing everything sort of the hard way without gear in just a swimsuit and goggles.
    LanceUser is Offline
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    Lance

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    28 Feb 2017 05:50 PM
    -The pool at the school house is a metered pool. Train with whatever pool you have.

    -A lot of things are changing right now and will probably be different by the time you try out. The 500 yard is done without gear and along with the under waters. 

    With that being said, buy a pair of Large Scuba Pro jet fins, a Sea Vision 200 mask and snorkel. Train every time you are in the pool with the gear. Do A LOT of buddy tows and sprints mixed in. This will only help you, I promise. Be confident in both gear and no gear swims. You guys need to be swimming 3-5 times a week for hours, the pool is where we weed people out. "Get comfortable being uncomfortable". If any of you want work outs reach out to mkelly or myself and we will help you guys out.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    mkelly

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    28 Feb 2017 05:55 PM
    The pool is actually meters in swimmer school...not yards. Might as well get used to swimming meters because that is what you are going to be tested on the moment you get to school. When I was in swimmer school, the testing was done without fins and as soon as you finished the test, you would put your fins on.
    They have changed some things since I've been in school and the PT test for active duty swimmers has changed. I am guessing they are gong to eventually switch over to that at some point. As of now, It hasn't changed yet. I'm going to go play catch with my kid but when I get back I'll describe the tests to you
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    28 Feb 2017 07:02 PM
    Alright, so like I said, the PT test is done in METERS at school and you will be doing it without fins and gear. Just your shorts and shirt on. If you graduate from school, you will have to be do the new PT test which is all gear on.You can do the under waters without gear if you'd like. The test in school has you doing push ups, sit ups, pull ups, chin ups, a run, then into the pool for a 500 and some under waters.
    The New PT test for active duty AST's has you doing a complex of dead lifts/shuttle run, and pull ups. After that you will do some push ups to a cadence, side planks, and a horizontal row with a TRX. Then you will move on to pull ups/hang on a 5 count and after that you will do a 2x300 meter shuttle run, 50 meters at a time.
    The pool portion of the new test, once you graduate school is a 400 yard/meter gear swim, 6x50 sprints, 4x50 buddy tow sprints, and then 4x25 underwater down/swim back. These are all timed, have to have a specific rest internal and have to be completed in a certain amount of time. They have adjusted the times if you are in a yard or meter pool.

    All that being said, be prepared to pass the old test, in a meter pool, without gear.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    06 Mar 2017 12:00 PM
    Well, I am still surprising myself in my training, and hopefully it yields desirable results in the long run.

    I went to my local high school (where I typically work out and train) to give myself a bit of a test to see where I am in regards to my goals.

    Basing my afternoon on the physical fitness test for entry into the AST program, I completed the following:

    1.5 mile run - 10:53
    7 pull ups
    49 push ups
    7 chin ups
    50 sit ups
    4x 25 yard under water laps (would have tried meters, but pool was set up as yards)
    500 yard swim - 10:08

    Still going to keep working on everything to get better, and hopefully I'll be able to join the ranks.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    26 Apr 2017 08:46 AM
    Finally got cleared to join the guard.

    Looking at swearing into DEPs soon, and best case basic towards mid-late summer
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    26 Apr 2017 12:47 PM
    When you are in boot camp, for your dream sheet, request to be stationed near an airstation. We let our nonrates go tdy to the air station to swim with the ASTs. I know for sure they use one pool for two hours two days a week and another community pool I think another two days a week.

    Lol they swim holding a brick in the air alot.

    Keep it up. Using training fins will really help with getting the muscle memory down with how your body needs to be in the water (Not dipping your hips down) but also practice not using gear because your rhythm will be a little different without it.

    These guys offered up the workouts, definitely take them. If you are near an ocean, swim out there. Try and get some knowledge with how water works. In the ocean, they always wear a shortie/full suit, mask, fins, and snorkel, but they're out there in all kinds of weather.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    01 May 2017 02:11 PM
    Much appreciated Bells.

    Another question I have.

    Recently, my buddys (one former air force, another army reserve) mentioned to "lock in" your job. Otherwise, I'd end up getting stuck doing something I probably didn't imagine.

    I have only been to MEPS, and finally cleared the medical screening, and next week am supposed to go in and sign a contract/swear into DEPs.

    Due to their suggestion to "lock in", I've been a bit on edge as to how I do this. Is there somewhere in this contract that I should keep an eye out for? Or should I declare to the recruiter "I want this role, if not, I'm not signing"?

    I'd much rather have an idea of what I want to do for the next several years than sign something and realize I got suckered into something without realizing.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    mkelly

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    01 May 2017 02:24 PM
    Your buddies are wrong. There is no locking in of jobs. You can have any job the you want as long as your asvab score is good enough. Well, I guess I should say you can go to any "A" school that you want....whether you pass it or not is up to you. There is no suckering into anything with the Coast Guard. The recruiters usually do a pretty good job of telling it like it is. They have no reason to lie to you because there are so many applicants that want the job. With your ASVAB score, your recruiter can tell you exactly what you qualify for. 4 months after you report to your first unit you can put you name on any of those lists. Some of the schools are in higher demand and you can go directly to them. Also the AST program is starting a new thing where you can commit to AST school as long as you pass the PT test and you will be sent to an air station to start preparing.
    Choose the job that will make you the most happy and stay in for a career.
    llessuryortUser is Offline
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    llessuryort

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    02 May 2017 10:00 AM
    Thanks mkelly.

    Fortunately, I passed the ASVAB, and qualified for the rating I want. I've been able to make the physical requirements as well. Granted, I've seem to have come down with a handful of sicknesses lately, so gym-time hasn't been allotted lately. I've been feeling better now, so maybe soon, I can get into the gym.

    I'm guessing each branch has their own method for doing things, in regards to getting jobs.
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