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BM-BOATSWAIN'S MATE
Last Post 03 Dec 2020 06:18 PM by Bells. 218 Replies.
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BellsUser is Offline
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16 May 2014 09:21 PM
2/3rds of bm3 billets are station billets
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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17 Jul 2014 12:17 AM
Looking into the BM rate as a possible career, question for BM's, what is your worst day like? everyone asks for the best/most exciting...  but I would like to know your opinion of the worst day.  Speaking with one of the recruiters at my station sparked this, he was saying when I am a non-rate I should ask the rates I am interested in/shadowing what their worst day was... if I cant handle them at their worst I should move on to another rate... something like that. 

Any insight would be helpful. Speaking to some of my Navy friends, they were floored to find out that a USCG BM can be in charge of a station or ship, guess the USCG puts more trust/responsibility in her members? 

I am looking into BM because of the eventual command of a station/small boat, that I would be responsible for the crew, the possibility to be stationed almost anywhere the CG needs me (most versatile) the law enforcement and SAR work, and... well it would be pretty badass piloting a boat in heavy surf.  BM's seem to be the ones doing and leading boarding parties and leading tactical operations, along with being responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of a ship. 

So forum BM's, what is your worst day like? what would you tell a CG recruit who is interested in your rate? 

“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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19 Jul 2014 03:42 AM
Worst day. Hm. Could be a combo of trying to get Coxn qualified to be able to advance, along with trying to get what you want out of your command. To, breaking ice off of a 6000' flight deck, every day, for a month, in the arctic,, toooo, man I dunno.

When you get hard cases obviously it'll be hard. But in general I think most of us would agree that yes we are a very diverse rating, and that's cool because you'll learn a million jobs, but you are also responsible for knowing it all, and it's a lot. But you are so spread thin it's hard to be proficient at everything at the same time. That's what's frustrating in general.

Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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19 Jul 2014 11:29 PM
What is the failure rate in school? Its not that I'm worried but I am just curious.
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22 Jul 2014 11:40 PM
Posted By Champman555 on 19 Jul 2014 11:29 PM
What is the failure rate in school? Its not that I'm worried but I am just curious.


90%!
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23 Jul 2014 12:07 AM
^He's kidding... Mixing paint and playing softball isn't that hard! Back when I was in A school, most BMs that had issues were knocked back a class, kind of like boot camp. We (MKs) shared the building with them and I heard that the most common thing people had issues with was passing the pt test and the DWO test. As long as you are doing what you are supposed to do (studying) you will be fine!
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23 Jul 2014 12:15 AM
Good god really??? I want to see the pt test be a CG wide requirement. And DWO, take that thing a thousand times before you leave for school. You'll be able to relax during that week but building your navrules book is pretty beneficial.

I struck so I really don't know how school is
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23 Jul 2014 03:54 PM
I have been trying to study my navrules as much as possible. Thats been my biggest fear is getting a 90% on the DWO test. I have never been a very good test taker. Although, I have heard that BM A School breaks it down for you so much that even the worst test takers can pass as long as you study.
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23 Jul 2014 04:41 PM
Try to get it done before you go. There is obviously going to be some who fail it in Yorktown and get knocked back though. I remember during DWO week, the guys that had already passed it pretty much got the week off. There was only like a handful of them out of like 35 that didn't pass though. Also, get your EPME done before you go if you can!
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24 Jul 2014 10:50 AM
Excellent advice JDMD!
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25 Jul 2014 09:50 AM
If you strike BM, are you still eligible to attend C school courses?
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25 Jul 2014 12:17 PM
Absolutely, yes.
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25 Jul 2014 01:21 PM
That's what I was thinking, but I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!
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13 Oct 2014 03:14 PM
Hey everyone I am able to put my name on an A school list I am really torn between BM,DC and MK I think I would enjoy BM but I've been told many times that they are just like glorified non-rates, especially a third class. Can anyone tell me a little about what a BM3's duties include and if I will indeed be just like a non-rate
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13 Oct 2014 04:00 PM
I think the whole "glorified non-rate" argument is very dependent on the unit you go to as a BM3 and what billet you have at that unit. I was a non-rate on a 378, the 3rd class BM's in the Nav Department did their own thing and had a specific job to do that had nothing to do with non-rates (they were like Quartermasters). For the BM's assigned to the deck department, I can see where this picture of "glorified non-rate" stems from. You do a lot of the same work alongside the non-rates (painting, sanding, needle-gunning, etc.) while also managing all the work they do. You get more responsibility and play a leadership role, but no, it is not exactly glamorous work.  A BM3 at a station is going to have an entirely different experience and opportunities than those that are assigned to a large cutter. Well, they may technically have the same opportunities, but those opportunities may take much longer to finish (such as getting coxswain qualified while aboard a large cutter). It is both the blessing and the curse of this rate. It is so diverse in terms of the billets you may fill and thus the job experiences you will have. It is up to you. I know a lot of people on my 378 were completely turned off from the BM rate because they did not like being in deck force and only saw the work the deck BM's did. All my engineering friends said the same thing to me about BM's that it seems like you're getting told. At the end of the day, though, I had to think about why I joined. I wanted to be out there, doing the search and rescue and helping others. And now my next orders are to a station dedicated to doing just that. I also had the option of going to a MSST, which isn't "glorified non-rate work" by any means. So it's up to you. End rant. If you need anything, PM me.
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14 Oct 2014 08:32 AM
On my cutter the thirds helped out the nonrates here and there but they all had collaterals so it was pushed to work on those. At the station I feel like a glorified nonrate. The only difference between me and a nonrate is that I can make lists of work to do but I'm right out there doing it. It's kind of a bummer really I havnt been professionally developed much since I left the cutter besides getting coxswain. The BM2s have the collaterals that us as thirds had on the cutter and it'snot something we are really learning about
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14 Oct 2014 04:04 PM
How is advancement as a BM compared to the aviation rates? I see the A school wait list just dropped a few months, hoping it stays that way when I'm ready to pick my rate.
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14 Oct 2014 05:18 PM
Rating*

The number one thing that holds up BMs is that it's a command rating. You need a coxswain qual or underway ood qual to make second, and you need oic ashore and afloat (?) to make chief
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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14 Oct 2014 11:07 PM
Posted By Bells on 14 Oct 2014 05:18 PM
Rating*

The number one thing that holds up BMs is that it's a command rating. You need a coxswain qual or underway ood qual to make second, and you need oic ashore and afloat (?) to make chief

ratING, got it. You lost me at coxswain qual, I'm in the enlistment process right now and am still learning much about the CG.
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26 Oct 2014 05:29 PM
ALCON- The BM Striker Program has been suspended. See ALCOAST below

http://www.uscg.mil/announcements/a...LCOAST.txt
"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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31 Oct 2014 06:03 PM
Hello, I'm curious as to what kind of mathematical obstacles I would face as a BM, I've never been the best with math and I think I would like BM but I've heard you must be very good with math. Anyone have some info for me? Thanks
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05 Nov 2014 10:18 AM
I was wondering if anyone has any good advice for taking the BM2 EOCT? I am a BM3 on a cutter and I finally completed all of my tasks. I just havent seen any good study guides for this test.
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13 Nov 2014 07:27 PM
I know the striker program for BM isn't available at this point, can someone point me in the direction of a curricula/SOP/check off list for the BM Striker program before it was closed down? I want to have an idea of things I should focus on while I am waiting to go to A school (once I put my name on the list in about three months
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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13 Nov 2014 11:49 PM
I heard there's a good study guide on flashcardmachine.com

When I took the old test I took the bm2 course material and made a study guide using all of the sentences that had a number in it. The eoct like using numbers. It's really just a matter of getting into the course material.

For the bm3 pracs, they are in CG portal. Just search BM RPQs and they should show up. And look on the BM rating force master chief page.
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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02 Dec 2014 05:34 PM
If you plan to go to A- School Focus on passing your DWO test, EPME, and SAR Funds. If you have those three test complete, A-school will be a walk in the park for you. Also, make sure you are fit enough to pass the CG PT test.
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02 Dec 2014 07:59 PM
Is the BM A school wait list usually pretty short? It's 0-3 months now, but I'm not sure if it's been longer previously.
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01 Mar 2015 10:44 AM
Some career planning advice...

To make BM2 I will have to get a Coxwain letter, is this something that is possible on a large cutter (looking at a 210 or 270)? I am going to be putting my name on the BM A school list soon and am thinking about what type of unit i should focus on after A school. Originally I wanted a cutter so I could knock out the sea time required for chief before I have kids, but I have been told that going on a cutter as a BM3 would hold my career back. The idea being that I wouldn't be able to get the coxwain letter even if the cutter had a small boat to deploy.. the odds are a BM3 wouldnt be able to get the qual. My BM1 was telling me that on a cutter I could be a deck watch officer and it counts the same to make second as the coxwain qual, but would a large cutter have a BM3 be a DWO when they have BM1's and BM2's that have more experience?

Also looking to wait to put my name on the A school list until i pass the DWO test (in A school we only have three chances to pass) and my E4 EPME, during the summer my BM1 will be helping me and the other seaman break in as coxwain since we both are going BM.

Advice on what to look at as a unit after A school? I want a cutter for the sea time but I am planning to spend my career doing SAR and LE at small boat stations, hopefully a tour at a MSST.
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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01 Mar 2015 04:46 PM
Can you get a coxswain letter at your current unit? Your bm1 is right. The reality is, is that it is really hard for thirds to get a coxswain letter as it is, so on a cutter it's even harder for first time qualers. I was on a polar and we got the small boat underway maybe ten times a year, besides mooring evolutions.

To say the least, in the last I know 4 years, the HEALY has failed to qualify a BM3 as a coxswain. They qualify the 2nds since its easier, and this is just kind of the reality of large cutters. If you want a cutter, try for a 175' or smaller, and then be ready that there's a million other missions to do besides getting you qualified.

At a station, the struggle is still real, but not as bad. Expect it to take at least a year from the time you report to be ready for coxswain. The board and everything involved for a coxswain qual at a station is quite substantially more involved than a cutter boat coxswain.

If it were me, and I had a BM1 looking out like yours is, I would stay at your unit until you get a coxswain qual, go to BM-a school, then go where ever you want out of a-school. That road to make second is going to be a lot shorter than going to a-school asap, and then going to another unit, and if that is a cutter, don't expect to make coxswain anytime soon, and if it's a station, it'll be at least a year if not 1.5 years, and then some time for all of your second pracs. Showing up to a unit out if a-school with a coxswain letter in hand would make your life 4,099 times easier, even if that means staying at your first unit as a nonrate longer than maybe you would want.

For underway OOD, I wouldn't even consider it as a likelyhood for anything other than a 110' and smaller as a brand new third class. Unless you are super mature, and had a captains license or something as a civilian, the under OOD qualification is quite a doosy, and it generally takes JOs about a year to finish it their first time.
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05 Mar 2015 10:21 PM
Thanks for the advice Bells!

I think over the next three months I am going to focus on passing the DWO and E4 EPME, Boatswainsmate.net is an AMAZING resource... still having a hard time getting the nav rules to "stick" in my head, just more practice and reading, I'm reviewing rules almost every night. 

What you said about the likelihood of making coxswain on a cutter makes complete sense, and I have been asking my supervisors about cutter time and how likely it is for a BM3 to make coxswain on a X size cutter (i want a 210' or 270') along with what level of BM is usually trusted as a DWO. So adjusting my plans a bit and hoping for either a small boat station or MSST out of "A" school and then a 210' following the shore rotation. 

What tests should I try and pass before A school? I should have my E4 EPME finished in a few months and my DWO finished after the EPME. From what I'm told passing DWO will give me that week in A school off.... which is a cool motivation! the other and more attractive motivation is that in A school I'll only have 3 chances to pass (90% is passing) and if I take the test before A school I'll have essentially unlimited chances to take it (once every 21 days). Not sure if I'll be able to take SAR Funds at an ANT. I have been also going over the BM Striker packet to try and focus my training in the off season. 

A year to make coxswain at a station following A school, seems very do-able, possibly a little longer because I'll probably also need to get BTM and BO along with shooting quals and whatever other C schools I'll have to attend. Part of me really wishes the BM Striker program still existed, if I were to make coxswain at my current unit along with passing the DWO and EPME... I should have been good to go as a struck BM3. 
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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05 Mar 2015 11:41 PM
Posted By TriMan1991 on 05 Mar 2015 10:21 PM
Thanks for the advice Bells!

I think over the next three months I am going to focus on passing the DWO and E4 EPME, Boatswainsmate.net is an AMAZING resource... still having a hard time getting the nav rules to "stick" in my head, just more practice and reading, I'm reviewing rules almost every night. 

What you said about the likelihood of making coxswain on a cutter makes complete sense, and I have been asking my supervisors about cutter time and how likely it is for a BM3 to make coxswain on a X size cutter (i want a 210' or 270') along with what level of BM is usually trusted as a DWO. So adjusting my plans a bit and hoping for either a small boat station or MSST out of "A" school and then a 210' following the shore rotation. 

What tests should I try and pass before A school? I should have my E4 EPME finished in a few months and my DWO finished after the EPME. From what I'm told passing DWO will give me that week in A school off.... which is a cool motivation! the other and more attractive motivation is that in A school I'll only have 3 chances to pass (90% is passing) and if I take the test before A school I'll have essentially unlimited chances to take it (once every 21 days). Not sure if I'll be able to take SAR Funds at an ANT. I have been also going over the BM Striker packet to try and focus my training in the off season. 

A year to make coxswain at a station following A school, seems very do-able, possibly a little longer because I'll probably also need to get BTM and BO along with shooting quals and whatever other C schools I'll have to attend. Part of me really wishes the BM Striker program still existed, if I were to make coxswain at my current unit along with passing the DWO and EPME... I should have been good to go as a struck BM3. 
If you're really eying the coxswain qual at your next unit you may want to rethink the idea of a MSST straight out of school. I had the option out of A-school to go to two different MSSTs or a number of stations. Ultimately I chose the station because 1. I'm not much of an LE person, I wanted to be involved in SAR and real day-to-day operations and 2. from everything I've been told by prior and current MSST members it is somewhat difficult for a 3rd class to make coxswain at a MSST. By no means is it impossible, but it just isn't a top priority for them, because there are plenty of 2nds and 1sts around already. Whereas at my station it is mandatory we get coxswain qualified within 6 months of our boat crew qual. Of course there is leeway with the time frame, but the point is they want and need us to make coxswain, it isn't something we have to chase to get done.
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