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Reserve ME at Sector or BM at a Station?
Last Post 18 Dec 2020 03:46 PM by CCCSD. 13 Replies.
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AKwaterUser is Offline
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AKwater

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11 Dec 2020 02:25 PM
    I know this question gets asked a lot so sorry for the redundancy. I’m currently in the Alaska Air National Guard and am in the process of transferring to the Coast Guard Reserve. The two rates I’m looking at are BM or ME. I live in Anchorage, AK and am a full time Firefighter/EMT so my schedule is fairly flexible with drills/training. 

    The ME billet is in the city where I live and it’s at the Sector, I’ve been told that they get to do a lot of commercial fisheries enforcement and recreational boating enforcement which interests me since I’d like to maybe someday try to get a federal wildlife enforcement position here in Alaska. They seem very flexible with their training schedule and they get to work with multiple law enforcement agencies. The commute would also be very short.

    The BM billets are at Station Valdez which is about a 6 hour drive from where I live but it’s the closest Station. I’m interested in BM because I have a small ocean boat of my own that I have had for two years and I’d love to learn more about small boat operations, navigation, SAR and LE. The Reserve BMC I have been talking to is super helpful and he stated that most of the Reservists at that station are BMs and MKs and they commute together and go to the station for about 4-5 days, 4 times a year. He also said that as a Reserve BM I’d have the opportunity to do LE and get BTM and BO certified. I wouldn’t mind commuting to Valdez because it’s an awesome little town and the drive is nice. Just not sure which rate to go with? I know MEs get to go to FLETC but I think I would also love being a boat crew member with the possibility of someday getting Coxswain qualified and also do some LE.

    I’ve talked with two Alaska Wildlife Troopers and one of them said that ME would be the way to go because I’d have a FLETC certificate, the other Wildlife Trooper said to go BM because the wildlife troopers and the federal wildlife LE agencies have a lot of small boats and it would be great experience plus I might get to do some LE as a BM. I’ve also heard that some stations are going away from having their reserve BMs and MKs do LE and focus on their main tasks/ rate duties? Not sure how true that is though since I’ve heard that BMs and MKs do a lot of LE too.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks for any input!
    CCCSDUser is Offline
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    CCCSD

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    11 Dec 2020 02:42 PM
    BMs can attend FLETC training as well, that’s where you get your BO training. If the commute works, and it sounds like they do bunched drills, go for it!
    BM is the most flexible Rate in the CG and you will have plenty of opportunities to do some LE after you get your quals done.

    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    12 Dec 2020 01:29 PM
    Good morning,

    I am a BM and run a station with reservists. Right now we would not put a reservist in for BO School at FLETC. There is a limited quota of BOs per unit and the STA is not likely to use their quota for a reservist spot. It's very competitive to get someone into school, and there is a priority system in place. It is also a bit difficult to schedule and fund your training (the school is 5 weeks long). So it would cut into your ADT time (the 2 weeks) and we would have to request funding for ODT (extra training time). It has to get approved by district. There generally isn't an issue, it just depends on what time of the year it is and if the funding is there or not.

    You can however get BTM fairly easy. You'll get the same experience, you just wouldn't have the "authority" a BO would have. But you can involve yourself in the paperwork aspect of boardings and case processing if you get some.

    Sector would definitely be more of those bigger cases. Station as a BM, it'll take a longggggg time to get qualified coxswain. Alot of the work in on your own time as far as studying and doing the book work. The practical factors on the boat isn't necessarily hard, but the unit will want to run you through alot of drills and scenarios to make sure you are ready for it unsupervised. The average active duty BM3 takes about a year to get their coxswain stuff done out of A-school. A reservists might take a couple years, completely dependent on how much motivation you have.

    Let me know if you have any more specific questions.
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
    AKwaterUser is Offline
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    AKwater

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    12 Dec 2020 03:56 PM
    Thanks for replies CCCSD and Bells! I definitely like the fact that BM is a very diverse rate and has the potential for different types of missions. I've been thinking that BM would also be beneficial for me because with my civilian job as a firefighter/EMT I could use the boat skills on our dive/water rescue team since we have a SAFE boat for water rescue in Anchorage. Like Bells said though, I understand it's a challenge and a long road to becoming a Coxswain for a reservist but it's something I would want to work towards for sure.

    If the BM billet and the station was in my home town I'd take a BM billet without a doubt, but since it's a 6 hour drive I've definitely looked more into the ME billet at the Sector which is 10 minutes form where I live, although I know the Sector Boarding Team travels all over the state to do boardings.

    Either as a BM or ME would I get the chance to go on longer orders occasionally? Like for hurricane relief operations and what not? And if so , which rate would be better for that?

    If I wanted to do a tour with a PSU or transfer to a PSU at some point I'd want to be assigned to the waterside division since I love being on boats, I'm guessing BM would be better for that since they need boat crew members and coxswains? And they probably have the MEs assigned to the shoreside? I know that PSUs are a different animal than the blue CG and I'm planning on staying at a station or sector but I'm just wondering just in case that becomes an interest later down the road.
    CPORJMUser is Offline
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    CPORJM

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    12 Dec 2020 10:14 PM
    Posted By AKwater on 11 Dec 2020 02:25 PM
     I’m currently in the Alaska Air National Guard and am in the process of transferring to the Coast Guard Reserve. The tw
    Thoughts?

    Thanks for any input!

    You're still in the process?  I remember when you first posted about this!
    "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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    13 Dec 2020 11:01 AM
    CPORJM, Unfortunately yes. It has been quite the process and COVID has only made it harder! Finally got my DD368 Conditional Release signed by my ANG Wing Commander last Wednesday. I had to get a lot of signatures and I'm in a career field that is low in manning. A lot of my ANG Wing has been teleworking due to the pandemic but I finally got released and can now pick a rate and billet for the USCG Reserve Also, my civilian job as a firefighter/EMT has been pretty busy with everything going on, but I'm glad I pushed for it and now It's going through.
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    13 Dec 2020 03:23 PM
    Posted By AKwater on 13 Dec 2020 11:01 AM
    CPORJM, Unfortunately yes. It has been quite the process and COVID has only made it harder! Finally got my DD368 Conditional Release signed by my ANG Wing Commander last Wednesday. I had to get a lot of signatures and I'm in a career field that is low in manning. A lot of my ANG Wing has been teleworking due to the pandemic but I finally got released and can now pick a rate and billet for the USCG Reserve Also, my civilian job as a firefighter/EMT has been pretty busy with everything going on, but I'm glad I pushed for it and now It's going through.

    Good to hear!
    "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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    AKwater

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    14 Dec 2020 02:31 PM
    If I ever decided to go to a PSU and wanted to be assigned to waterside vs shoreside would it be better to be a BM vs an ME? I'm just guessing that BMs are usually assigned waterside and MEs are assigned shoreside generally?
    CCCSDUser is Offline
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    CCCSD

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    14 Dec 2020 03:40 PM
    BMs usually are Waterside. SECDIV is made up of MEs, GMs, etc. They NEED Coxwains and Boat Crews. Don’t worry too much on that, especially if you bring quals and skills over.
    AKwaterUser is Offline
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    AKwater

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    16 Dec 2020 02:59 PM
    That makes sense. I'd much rather be waterside if I ever ended up at a PSU. I think I''ll try to stay blue side for awhile and be a BM at the station that is 6 hours from where I live or go ME at Sector that is 10 minutes from where I live. It's tough because I like the thought of being a BM and learning more about navigation, boat operations, charting, and SAR but I also like how close I am to Sector for the ME billet although I don't think I'd do a whole of of boat crew stuff as an ME. I know I can't go wrong either way but I also know that once I pick a rate I'm pretty much committed to that.
    CCCSDUser is Offline
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    CCCSD

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    16 Dec 2020 04:19 PM
    ME being limited BC is about it. Sometimes they will allow you to Coxswain qual, but it would be a waste of your rate and their time and training.

    Choose your Rate, Choose your Fate.
    BellsUser is Offline
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    Bells

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    17 Dec 2020 07:50 AM
    You can definitely get Boat Crew as a ME. They'd probably prefer it. Coxswain would be tough
    Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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    AKwater

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    18 Dec 2020 11:58 AM
    Bells- so due to the diversity if the BM rate, would you recommend that over ME still?

    Thanks for all of your input! This is a hard decision for me because obviously "choose your rate, choose your fate"
    CCCSDUser is Offline
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    CCCSD

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    18 Dec 2020 03:46 PM
    Remember, even if you qual as a BC as an ME, your job is ME, not crewing a boat.
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