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Should I enlist? A school wait times worth it?
Last Post 03 May 2019 06:11 AM by Gears. 8 Replies.
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dean4768User is Offline
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dean4768

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01 May 2019 06:36 PM
    Hello everyone, to keep it short and simple, I'm 27, have my college degree, and go to meps next week. I'm second guessing enlisting because it seems that any and all of the great rates are either closed or have extremely long waiting lists. That leaves but a few undesirable rates left. I admire what the coast guard does; that's why I'm enlisting, but I hate the idea of being a non-rate for over a year, possible, just to finally begin a school. It makes sense and doesn't at the same time. I'm this close to switching branches just for that fact; being trained right after bootcamp seems more desirable than being treated like crap again after bootcamp for another few years. Am I overthinking this?
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    01 May 2019 06:52 PM
    Which ratings are closed? ME and PA were closed, but have since reopened. Those were the only two. Don't pick a rating simply because it has a short A School list. That's an exceptionally short sighted way of looking at things and a guarantee that you'll be miserable. The other thing to know is that A School waiting times constantly change. As for your assertion that you'll be treated like crap after boot camp, that's a very skewed view. Will you be doing a lot of "grunt" jobs at your unit? Sure, but we've all been there. However with the right attitude, you could also learn a lot about the CG and the basic skill sets you'll need to succeed. When you're junior enlisted, no matter the branch of service, you get stuck with the crappy jobs. That's just how it is. You need to make the best out of it and treat it as a learning experience.
    "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
    nenglandUser is Offline
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    nengland

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    02 May 2019 04:57 AM
    For what it's worth non-rate life was a couple steps backward for me as well. Looking back I don't regret the time. I was on a cutter, close to operations, and doing things I'd never get to do once rated and specialized. It was good exposure and ultimately gave me some mission buy-in that I would otherwise not have.

    You could switch branches and go from boot to A and that would be the quick path to a specialty. There will be some differences in your experience as a result. Other branches typically view A School as more an extension of boot camp which makes sense since it immediately follows the initial indoctrination. CG members are typically fleet returnees and the school has a more college atmosphere. By that I mean people are treated like adults not recruits. You pick your poison either way. CG you're gonna be stuck with the shit job until A School. All other branches you're going to be treated like shit until after A School.

    I think CPORJM kinda hit the nail on the head when he said it's making the best of things. It's hard to construct a career if you're not positive about assignments, roles, and the opportunities at each. There's always something good to be had and in the CG attitude and persistance can really pay off.
    ACWestUser is Offline
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    02 May 2019 05:45 AM
    I am curious as to which rates are "great rates" and which rates are "undesirable rates."
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    02 May 2019 06:22 AM
    Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. There is grunt work in each and every branch, in each and every job. No one ever graduated college and was CEO the next day and off to the links with martinis on the back 9. They all started at or near the bottom and worked their asses off to achieve what they wanted. It sounds like you want to graduate boot camp and command a ship. Well, that doesn't happen skippy, too bad. You don't want to wait for A School? Don't! Go to another branch. In 4 years when you are mentally exhausted and not fulfilled and getting out because you can't take it, make sure you have the number of someone that went into the CG the same week and see where they are in 4 years. Yes, some will feel the same. Most will still feel like it was the greatest choice and I'll bet they will outrank you.

    Choose your rate, choose your fate. I guess the same could be for branch of military as well. I'm with ACWest... What do you think is "undesirable"?? Because I'm sure someone else would love it and what you find glamorous, might be torture to another. Each his own. Best of luck but if you really think waiting a period of time to have a fulfilling career is a thorn in your side, good luck in the Army.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    reiss_pieces11User is Offline
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    02 May 2019 07:29 AM
    Knowledge is power. Although you may be having to paint or do lawn care (as my SO does as a non-rate), you learn so much as one. You use that time to learn what rate you want to go. Once your name is on the A School waitlist, you can start studying for that A School (some stations have certain qualifications that you could get, which as I said before knowledge is power). Having knowledge will allow you to have a high class rank, and you may not have to spend as much time studying as others. Having a high class rank in A School could just get you where you want to go. They will give you a list that will need your rate 3rd class. If you have the best grades, you get first pick from that list. Want to be on the West Coast? You can (as long as it’s on the list)! Because guess what, you spent that extra time at your station prepping for A School and you were able to graduate with a high class rank!
    Keep Calm and Love a Coastie!
    jdhuskerUser is Offline
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    02 May 2019 09:13 AM
    You could join another branch and get your specialized training much sooner but my brother who is in the navy says that E4 and E5 in the navy have very little responsibility and still get treated as the lowest people at a unit. In the coast guard you will have more responsibility and get treated better even as a non-rate.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    02 May 2019 02:35 PM
    I don't need to repeat what anybody has said but I will speak for the quality of life in the Coast Guard. I have met zero people who have been in another branch and switched over that wished they stayed with their other branch. Everybody will tell you that the quality of life, as a whole, is better in the Coast Guard.
    Also, its great to move up the ranks quickly and have more responsibility but I can tell you, without a doubt, that if you want to do your job correctly, the higher up you get, the longer your days will get. Responsibility is great and I love my job, but my days are a lot longer and I have a lot more to do the higher up I get. I love my job but looking back on the non rate days, its not all bad to clean and leave on time. I still do some of the "grunt work" now because I think its important but now I have a lot more admin work and other things to worry about that get me to work a lot earlier and staying a lot later.
    Wait for the job you want.....unless you're just getting in for 4 years and getting out to use the benefits. If that's the case, weigh the pros and cons and do your thing.
    GearsUser is Offline
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    Gears

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    03 May 2019 06:11 AM
    Posted By ACWest on 02 May 2019 06:45 AM
    I am curious as to which rates are "great rates" and which rates are "undesirable rates."


    There's no such thing. There's jobs you want to do and jobs you don't want to do. Ultimately, it's up to you to figure out what suits you.
    “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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