Apologies if this has been asked and/or answered before, but I am having a bit of a hard time finding a definite answer.
I've done a lot of research on the Coast Guard, so I know that I've read some things, and then others that contradict those things. Everything gets confused and mixed up.
My question though: When do I swear in/sign my contract?
When am I actually in the Coast Guard? When is it too late to change my mind and decide I don't want to join? (Not that I want to at all, I very much want to be in the CG, just trying to make my question as clear as possible.)
I have been to my recruiter a couple times. I just took the PiCAT ASVAB a few days ago and scored quite well, in my opinion. My recruiter told me he is just waiting for MEPS to clear my medical pre-screen. After that I will get my date to go to MEPS to take the confirmation ASVAB and have my physical done.
Will I be swearing in/signing my contract there? Or is that at a later point in the process?
I feel like I've read in the past that you can go to MEPS, have them pay for your food/hotel/etc. and still have no obligation to actually join. Is that actually true? Or is that one of the things that I've got mixed up/found misinformation about? It seems from when I've tried researching this recently, that other branched sign up at MEPS. But I couldn't find that information for the Coast Guard.
A couple other small questions I have:
1. At what point in the process do I get my bootcamp date?
2. Is it possible that I don't get the job I want, even if I qualified for it on my ASVAB?
I told somebody who I know and that is in the CG, and has been for a while, what I scored on the PiCAT. Someone else who was there asked, "So what does that mean?" and the CG member replied, "He will be able to get the job he wants if it's available." I was told there is about a year wait for that job's A school, but is there a chance I don't get to end up going to that A school, even after waiting? The "If it's available." part kinda made me wonder a bit, as I hadn't seen something like that in my research.
3. What kind of time do I have after bootcamp before going to my first station?
Will I have the opportunity to come home and get my clothes, car, and everything else I might need? How does that whole process work? Do I have to pay for all the transportation during that time? (If I had to fly for example.) I live on the east coast. If I was stationed on the west coast, would I have time to drive there? I'm just wondering how the whole process from bootcamp -> first station works.
Thank you in advance for the help! It is very much appreciated.
This became a little bit long winded. Definitely much more than what I thought it would be. Hopefully I explained everything well enough to get the answers I'm looking for though. And again, thanks so much!