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BM-BOATSWAIN'S MATE
Last Post 05 Jun 2018 01:41 PM by CPORJM. 206 Replies.
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ebeeUser is Offline
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ebee

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05 Mar 2015 10:46 PM
Not BM related, but you should be able to complete the E4 EPME in a few weeks as opposed to a few months. Find a mentor who will work with you to complete the sign-offs so you can take the test and get that out of the way. I recommend knocking out the EPME as soon as you can so you're not worrying about it while you're focusing on BM-related stuff. It's like when you're in school and you want to get your gen-ed stuff knocked out so you can focus on your major.
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06 Mar 2015 06:04 AM
Additionally, it is now a requirement to pass the EPME before you get orders to A school. Right now, most A school lists have relatively short waits and most individuals on the lists haven't passed the EPME yet, so whenever you are ready, if you do have the EPME finished you might get orders relatively soon after you put your name on the list.
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07 Mar 2015 06:30 PM
Quick question about something Bells said a few posts ago:

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

You can work on getting your coxswain qual as a nonrate? If so, wouldn't it then be beneficial to get assigned to a small boat station out of boot camp so you could get started on that sooner and more easily?
USCG STA New York, Staten Island
TriMan1991User is Offline
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10 Mar 2015 10:35 AM
It depends,for the qual my station knows I am going BM and I have to get all the required quals out of the way (boat crew, aton crew, minor aids, crane operator, bds etc.) before I can start on something like coxswain, and by the time I'll start coxswain I'll most likely have orders to A school. Its something I'm wondering about for when i go for BM2 and need to have the coxswain qual, just trying to plan things out and apply to the best possible place (for my career) after A school.  I am also at a very small unit so as a non-rate I am more likely to get quals that non-rates at bigger units wouldn't have, like OOD. 

for shore or sea after boot camp, its really luck of the draw. stations have coxswains, and cutters have coxswains too (they also have small boats).  If you plan to go BM remember its not a really long wait so if you aren't happy with where you are after boot you only have to wait a year or so  (4 months for E3, 0-3 months wait for BM A school).  After boot I would suggest to go to a cutter so you can see more rates in action and be able to better choose what you want as a career, my ANT only has BM's, MK's and an EM.  And that dream sheet at boot is more of a dream than reality so I wouldnt put too much stock in it. 
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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01 Jun 2015 12:52 PM
Putting my name on the list soon, and I have a few questions about BM A school:

With only 6 people ready to go to school, will they start taking non-rates who haven't passed the EPME again? They won't have enough to fill the classes.
Am I allowed to live off base? My wife lives close by and I've heard conflicting things.
I will be there over the holidays, is there any time off for Thanksgiving or Christmas?
Anything you'd reccomend getting out of the way before I go? Im not on a cutter or at a station, so I can't do BTM or anythhing cool, but I hope to get my DWO done before I go.

Thanks!
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okoliver13@gmail.com

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15 Jun 2015 11:29 PM
What do I need to have to qualify as a diver? Are BM's divers?
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okoliver13@gmail.com

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15 Jun 2015 11:29 PM
What do I need to have to qualify as a diver? Are BM's divers?
BellsUser is Offline
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Bells

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16 Jun 2015 01:38 AM
BMs Are not divers. Divers now have their own rating. Go to the Coast Guard Messaging System to find internet releasable information on the dive program. For now, you have to be an E-5 or higher petty officer, able to pass the physical fitness test, and Then compete when there is a solicitation. The last board took people with very high marks (evals).
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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19 Jun 2015 04:00 PM
I passed the Farnsworth Lantern test at MEPS. DoI have to take it again before going to BM A-school?
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19 Jun 2015 07:41 PM
I don't think so. I struck BM and didn't have to redo it
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
TriMan1991User is Offline
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21 Jun 2015 11:06 AM
Can a current BM give me an idea of what a BM3 does on a cutter? or station?

From what I gather:

Cutter: DWO, in charge of about 20 non-rates,
Station: OOD, Coxswain, BTM, BO,

Is it common for the USCG to have BM's go to school and be certified as an EMT?
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
BellsUser is Offline
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21 Jun 2015 02:17 PM
As a BM3 I would say it is more likely than not to not have a BM3 as Underway OOD or Station OOD, unless the unit is really small. A BM3 will definitely be a JOOD or QMOW on a cutter, and then at a station you'll definitely be expected to become a coxswain.

Same with BO, it depends on the unit, but most will definitely require BTM, and then if you have an interest or you are making second soon they'll send you to BO school.

If a unit has an HS you probably won't have BMs for EMT. Going to EMT school is based on unit need. If you are at the right place at the right time it could happen, but I wouldn't focus on it being a priority.
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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23 Jun 2015 08:47 AM
Any other BMs experience? Did you have to take the color vision test again after MEPS and right before A-school?

Bells striked so that may be different.
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24 Jun 2015 04:00 AM
I've only seen BM3's be inport OODs on a 210'. The lowest BM our COs allowed as DWOs was BM2.
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25 Jun 2015 12:15 AM
They wouldn't really need to. Once you are cleared with meps you should be clear.

If you are worried about having iffy color vision just... I don't know, ask yourself if you can really see the colors. I'll tell you this, I wear contacts. If I am missing a contact (which I often do rock just one contact for whatever reason), my sight when it comes to coxswain/driving the boat significantly worsens. I literally need a lookout doing their do diligence to spot things that I can't make out maybe 5 miles plus away, or when it is really small objects in the water.

So that might come to be a problem if you plan on ever becoming a coxswain, and you are worried about having colored vision. I know a couple that have scraped by, and it might not be readily apparent to other people that they are struggling slightly, but when you mash in fatigue, long searches, night, hunger, loss of motivation, and everything else goes into SAR cases, just every little bit of cons make a case that much harder, and you are going to be the guy, the big man running it.

My crew knows my vision isn't the best, and I carry an extra pair of glasses in my blouse pocket if I need to ditch my contacts, but still its an annoying problem that I have to deal with time to time.
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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01 Jul 2015 09:30 PM
I've never had a color vision issue, I just began to worry knowing I could not pass the PIP test. I passed the Farnsworth Lantern test without an issue, but I was nervous taking it, failing the PIP caused me to be a little nervous about my visit is 20/20 uncorrected. 

Thanks for the answers. 
TriMan1991User is Offline
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04 Jul 2015 08:59 AM
To the BMs on here, How much of your job is actually going on SAR cases? I know you cant expect to get a case, but when I was an EMT with the fire department we would get at least one or two calls a shift. From what I have seen SAR cases are few and far between.

Are boardings more or less running down a check sheet of required items boaters are supposed to have, and then writing a ticket? or is it more of the PDT stuff I see the PATFORSWA guys doing on youtube?

Thanks!
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
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04 Jul 2015 09:10 AM
Excuse my typos, the auto correct feature on my phone should be renamed auto incorrect.
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04 Jul 2015 01:22 PM
Posted By TriMan1991 on 04 Jul 2015 09:59 AM
To the BMs on here, How much of your job is actually going on SAR cases? I know you cant expect to get a case, but when I was an EMT with the fire department we would get at least one or two calls a shift. From what I have seen SAR cases are few and far between.

That's gonna depend on the type of unit and its location.  At my current station SAR cases are almost nonexistent, but I've talked to some people who came from stations in Florida who said they'd get calls every day during some parts of the year.
USCG STA New York, Staten Island
BellsUser is Offline
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Bells

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04 Jul 2015 03:28 PM
For us sar cases are few and far between. I think we've had 20 so far this year, but for boardings we are in the 80's, which is probably low compared to most places. We have a small station so we are training a lot and usually don't have enough people for two boats and crews which limits everything we get done.

Typical boardings are more of the checklist style you mentioned. I've only come across two weapons, a revolver and a super old rifle. However my AOR is mostly people going out on the water to fish to make a living, not a lot of inexperienced recreational boaters out there.
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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09 Sep 2015 10:53 AM
Quick question, I'm in the process of putting all of my paperwork through to join the CG and once in am hoping to become a BM. however I've worked in food service since I began working as a teenager, and had been told by a recruiter that there's currently a guarantee to A-school directly from boot camp for FS's right now, which is a tempting offer considering all my work experience is in food.

To be perfectly honest I'd be happy with either rating, and was wondering if anyone knew the Current wait time to go to BM A school so I can Further weigh my options. Any info Helps, Thanks in advance!
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09 Sep 2015 11:39 AM
Google USCG "A" school list, the answer lies within.
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10 Sep 2015 08:46 AM
Posted By RoldGold_365 on 09 Sep 2015 11:53 AM
Quick question, I'm in the process of putting all of my paperwork through to join the CG and once in am hoping to become a BM. however I've worked in food service since I began working as a teenager, and had been told by a recruiter that there's currently a guarantee to A-school directly from boot camp for FS's right now, which is a tempting offer considering all my work experience is in food.

To be perfectly honest I'd be happy with either rating, and was wondering if anyone knew the Current wait time to go to BM A school so I can Further weigh my options. Any info Helps, Thanks in advance!


You have to wait 4 months out of boot camp to put your name on the list. You also cannot (usually) put your name on the list until fully qualified at your unit, which could take more than 4 months. Also, those who pass the EPME go ahead of those who have not yet.

My name is on the BM list. I was fully qualled and passed my EPME before my 4 months, so I put my name on RIGHT as soon as I was allowed to, and I'm looking at a 3 month wait probably, if they keep the next couple classes. SO, the list says 0-3 months, which is true in a perfect world. So, at the absolute quickest, I'll have been a nonrate for almost 8 months before getting to school. If you get to a unit that takes longer to get qualled and you struggle to pass the EPME, it could be a lot longer.

The saying is, "chose your rate, chose your fate". FS is critical, which means you can put your name on BEFORE 4 months and before passing the EPME. My advice is to NOT go straight to A school and go to your unit to check out both rates. If you are there for a few months and KNOW you want to go FS, you can put your name on the list and go in the next class (most likely, with how short the list is now). You just never know what you're going to like until you really see it, and as a nonrate, you'll get to see both. It'd suck if you went straight to school and didn't have the right idea of what FS is all about and didn't like it. Be patient, do a few months as a nonrate and really see what u want to do. my $.02.
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10 Sep 2015 10:44 AM
My elder son has his quals done, has decided on BM A school, but has decided to wait several months to put his name on. He wants the sea time and to spend the winter in sunny waters on a cutter. Being SN is fine. Well, now that quals are done. Who knows, a couple more patrols and he could change his mind. And what's wrong with winter? After A school he wants to go to Station Buffalo. Kids...
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13 Jun 2017 09:12 PM
Has anyone become a BM with color vision issues?
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05 Jun 2018 12:32 PM
Hello,
If my primary interest is in Law Enforcement is BM a good fit for me?

Thank you
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CPORJM

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05 Jun 2018 01:41 PM
As I mentioned in my response to another of your posts, BM is not the only rating to do law enforcement, nor is law enforcement a BM's primary duty. Are you interested in the BM's primary duties, which are small boat handling, navigation, deck operations? If not, then BM is not for you. You should find a rating that really interests you, as law enforcement is only a small part of what you'll be doing.
"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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