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OS-OPERATIONS SPECIALIST
Last Post 01 Sep 2019 04:55 AM by AG305. 206 Replies.
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FloridaGirlUser is Offline
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FloridaGirl

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01 Feb 2013 08:49 AM
Look thru this thread and others in this section. There are lots of OS ones that are fairly recent. Reservist just do 8 hour days instead of 12.
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20 Mar 2013 02:05 AM
what are the best perks of being an OS? Can they be part of a boarding team? Are they likely to be assigned to a large cutter because i would love that.? I'm leaving to boot camp on june 25th of this year, if i bust my butt to get qualified to put my name on an A list how long would it take to make E-4?
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20 Mar 2013 07:00 AM
My son is an OS aboard the MIDGETT. When his ship returns to port he will have been underway for his longest patrol ever. He was stationed on the SENECA before A School and he did some decent trips. I think he is ready to touch down on some solid ground though. LOL

I believe, the last time I checked anyway, the wait time for OS A school is about 6-10 months. So bust buttons, get qualified, show that you should be on the list for advancement and get your name on the A School list. Expect for it to take about 2 years-ish. But please... really WANT to be an OS and not just see the advancement light at the end of the tunnel. FloridaGirl and my son are both OS's. They will both tell you, the exciting moments, are really exciting. The rest of your 8-12 hour shift is listening to static, watching blips on a screen and dull. Of course a dull day for an OS probably means really great days for fisherman and the like.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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20 Mar 2013 08:57 AM
Posted By Old Guard2 on 20 Mar 2013 07:00 AM
 Of course a dull day for an OS probably means really great days for fisherman and the like.

Basically.  Its what we said at the hospital too.  "Did you have a good day at work?" "Depends what side of the counter you were on."  Good for us = probably a crappy day for someone else.

Yes, we are on cutters 210' and longer.  You can be part of a boarding team, but how often you do them is up to the cutter.  Usually you won't do many.  The best perk of being an OS varies person to person I suppose.  Some people like the down time to take online classes.  I like knowing I was the person that was there for you, from beginning to end.  You said you needed the CG, I heard you.  I talked to you, reassured you, listened to your fear, and only let go when things were all over.   I may not ever meet you or see you, but you are alive because of me.

There is a lot of down time. You are stuck behind a desk for 12 hours at a time. Its the most boring job in the history of ever.  Until its not.  90% boredom, 10% chaos.  I wouldn't have it any other way.
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20 Mar 2013 12:27 PM
See im not joining OS for advancement because my recruiter told me all about that area. I was told it can be so wonderful and stressful and then really boring, but told me its like being a quarterback for a team. I love great responsibility. I also took into account although may like other rates i also have to think about my future. i prefer not to sit in a rank for most of my career. 
but i also like the excitement and the outdoors. If you can give me another rate with a pretty good advancement not a fast one like FS because i may never like the job for that reason but one that has things to see. 
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20 Mar 2013 02:31 PM
BMs and MKs see things. Most ratings see things, almost all of the ratings have cutter opportunities, some of them are at only certain paygrades, but thats usually relevant to how much seatime is needed for that particular rating. FS has the highest seatime requirement, and FS, BM, and MK usually would have idealy rotating one tour shore one tour sea. ET and DC are up there in seatime too. Then maybe EM and OSs. The lowest seatime is probably SK, YN, and PAs.

BMs work outside a lot. Engineers mostly work inside.
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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20 Mar 2013 02:58 PM
But there are so many BMs and im pretty sure its hard to advance (correct me if im wrong), but again im not looking just to get promotions because if that was the case i would do FS. I just dont want to be E-3 forever. I want to do something thats great even its behind a radar and waiting for that mayday call but i would love to be on the deck and be for of boarding teams that seize other ships for drugs.
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20 Mar 2013 03:13 PM
If you are an OS, you are going to spend the majority of your time in a windowless vault, either in the middle of a ship or in a building somewhere. If you want to be outside, being an OS is probably not for you.
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20 Mar 2013 03:31 PM
@Floridagirl that i do know of and that i do accept. i just figure to ask some questions about their extended objectives if they had any. But the thing i love about being part of the coast guard is that ill have the chance to see some rates before i choose
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23 Mar 2013 11:37 AM
You choose a rating, not a rate.
You can meet the standard, or you can set the standard. It's your choice.
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23 Mar 2013 03:50 PM
I wouldn't base your decision off of advancement opportunities. It is always changing.
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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26 Mar 2013 06:00 PM
Exactly, before OS's were advancing at an extremely high rate. Now with the new ERATS, OS's will not advancing as fast as they once were.
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thestormiscoming

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02 May 2014 12:21 PM
<----- I'm an OSC and I'd be happy to try and answer any questions about the OS rating.
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06 May 2014 03:17 PM
i just got orders to a school and i would like to know what to expect on a cutter. i hear at a station its pretty much a 12hr watch and a 2 on 2 off type of deal. also if there was any advice you would give to new OS personnel what would you say?
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06 May 2014 06:49 PM
Congratulations on the receipt of orders!  Petaluma is a great place to learn your rating.  I had a much better time there at TC school than my three weeks at Yorktown for SAR school.

My only experience as an OS on a cutter was my most recent tour before recruiting. I was on the CGC RELIANCE from 2010-13 as the OS1. The Command, Control, Communications (C3) suite on a 210' is very simplistic and minimal, so much so that the watch is manned by one petty officer (OS, ME, ET and IT), during normal operations. That's where you come in. You will be expected to learn how to operate, tune, load crypto, and monitor the radios, RADAR repeater, SIPRNet user terminals, and infrared camera system. You will also be the backup plotters to the bridge during special sea detail, rarely were we used, but we plotted fixes to keep us proficient for quarterly drills and TSTA. The C3 suites on the larger cutters that have OSs can be much greater in size and complexity and they usually require a two watch standers or more during normal operations. If you want to see the latest technology that OSs are required to be proficient in, go to a WMSL (BERTHOLF, STRATTON, etc.)

If you have your choice of going to a 210' or a 270', try for the 210'. You will be doing the exact same operations (AMIO, counter drug, SAR, etc.) but have a smaller, closer crew, and even more opportunity to gain responsibility. On a 210' the OS1 and OS2 are the EKMS managers, whereas on a 270+ it's usually the OSC and OS1. My OS2s were able to gain all of their competencies needed for OS1 and OSC on the 210'. We even had E-4/5s as in port OODs, which you will not see on a 270'.

My bit of advise to a new OS... get afloat for your first unit! I don't know about you, but I joined the CG to see the world and get out on the ocean. Which is why I was happy to go to a 378' out of bootcamp. Get that sea time out of the way for OSC early and knock out as many competencies as allowed at your unit type. You can never have too many qualifications these days with CRSP, HYT, and the new reenlistment guidelines.  Keep in mind you will not get all of your RPQS sign offs completed on a cutter, most will require you to go TDY or visit the nearest Sector several times.
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COLORADOKID17

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28 Dec 2015 09:07 AM

Good Morning everyone,

There hasnt been very many recent threads about the OS rating so I was wondering if anyone out of A school recently could let me know what there billet list looked like or if anyone knows what they have been looking like. I will be shadowing an OS later this week at sector and if I enjoy the job i would like to put my name on the A school list. But I am looking at trying to be at a sector so I can finish my bachelors degree. I am also unsure on how the choosing of billets goes. I am at a small boat station currently and have served only 4 months at my current unit. Does grades or anything like that still get factored in? I am also married which I am sure doesnt account for anything but I am trying to get all the details for my wife and I before we commit to moving again already. I really appreciate any input at all.

Respectfully

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28 Dec 2015 11:07 AM
It is hard to judge anything by past, even the very recent past, on billet selections. This time might be all underway billets, next time all land billets. It simply doesn't add up to any figuring as to what might or might not be available.

Also, I know this is the internet and everyone seems to believe, for that reason, things can be lax and no one should notice. However, I do notice and it grates on my last nerve. You are striving to be an educated individual, I respect that. An attempt at proper English would be a good thing. Let your education show through and be proud of anything you write, even on the internet.

My son is an OS and loves his work. But be aware it is typically hours of boredom, followed by minutes of pure adrenaline pumping action, the day completed with boredom. It is a good rating, if it is something you can deal with.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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28 Dec 2015 12:40 PM
I graduated last year from A school and our picks were mostly land billets. The notes from the RFMC seem to indicate that they are trying to get more seagoing OS's out in the fleet.

They went off time in service and sea time for picks. The less than a year people in with no sea time got the bottom of the barrel. They don't really go off of grades for A school just a go or no go scoring platform.
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
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30 Dec 2015 07:59 PM
I apolgize for my sloppy grammar. I swear that the age of texting and the ease in which to be lazy while communicating has ruined me!

Thank you for all of the advice. I am excited to be the first responder in a case I enjoy currently standing watch at my station, while its a rush everytime you get a call knowing your the person who can make them feel like help is on the way is what is enticing about the position.

Like I said I would like to return to school to finish my degree which is possible from a position at a sector from what I understand? If I am on a cutter I dont believe it would be possible, especially since they are mostly large cutters. I would be nervous because I have no sea time as I am at a small boat station and also I am putting my name on the list with not much time in service. If I wanted to get a top pick would you suggest waiting to put my name on the list until I have more time in service?

Thank you
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09 Jul 2019 09:09 PM
I've been reading through these forums for a while now and I just want to throw myself out there. 

I am in the process of enlisting, I took my ASVAB last week and now all my paper work is being looked at my MEPS. I qualified for every job except for Damage Control, my highest scores came from the electronics and mathematics portion of the test. That being said I am interested in OS, ET, EM, or AET.  

The critical rates interested me the most because I can go to A school right after boot camp and knock all of that out in half a year or so. My wife will be completing her last spring semester of community college while I am completing boot camp/beginning A school. After that semester she can transfer to any state school in the country for child development and finish her degree. I was torn between choosing a critical rate or choosing a rate with a long wait time so we aren't moving around halfway through her degree. 

I know most people say to go in first and find out what rates you like before you choose your fate. It's better to find out what you like so you can enjoy it and do it for 20 years. I do not know if this is what I want to do for 20 years but it's something I've always wanted to do since I was a Boy Scout.

I talked to my recruiter about this and he did something very similar, he went in as an OS 14 years ago because he did not want to be a non rate and wait a long time to finish school and then make rank. With that being said, he was talking about the reward of helping people and being able to be the voice of the coast guard. He also said he was able to get his bachelor and master degrees while working when he wasn't at a busy sector.

I am the type a person that takes what's thrown at me and make the best I can. I heard the happiest people on the ships are usually ET's. I've also read in other forums that if an OS says he likes his job then he is lying. I really just wanted to put myself out there and see what they thought of my situation.
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09 Jul 2019 11:31 PM
Your wife isn't required to move with you when you go to your first unit. If you want she can finish her degree then move out to wherever you are and still get all of the travel entitlements. Also you can still decide to choose a critical rating later on, you dont have to choose right away. Go to a unit as a non rate, 6 months later you can put you name on any list or for critical ratings I think the wait time is waived so you can take as little or as much time as you want at the unit.
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10 Jul 2019 10:42 PM
Honestly those who say the OS's who like their jobs are lying are probably not OSs. I love my job at the Sector as I get to help people, go to school full time and I work about 3 days a week. With that being said, being an OS is difficult if you like moving around, talking to people, only want to work during the day, etc. Both the OS and ET rates are critical and both rates are cool. I had a friend graduate ET school at the same time as me and now they are an ET2 and in Bahrain doing a deployment.

If I could do it again, I would have taken the guaranteed A school. At the end of the day it's your career. If you can beat the system of being a nonrate and wasting a year and a half or more and get higher pay sooner do it.

If you have questions about the OS rate feel free to message me. 
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21 Aug 2019 03:08 PM
Hi! I will be a part of the October A School class for OS. I am super excited to be going and was just looking for any words of wisdom anybody might have! Also, how does picking ones location work? I know every rate has a different system at A School. I've also heard that when it comes to standing duty it is a 1/4 rotation. Is this accurate or does it change each class?

Also, how realistic can I look to be at ranking up to 2nd fast? I am a very ambitious individual, lol.

Thanks so much guys!
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21 Aug 2019 03:22 PM
When my son went through OS A School, choosing a duty station was left to them. Here;s the list, get together, confer. If you all agree, GREAT. If you don't, well then we'll pick for you. They all agreed and everybody got what they wanted. 1 in 4 is pretty much the standard.

Instead of worrying about being promoted, this is the military not call of duty, worry about getting through school first. Then worry about learning what you need to know at your first station/ship. You can't advance so fast that you don't know how to lead. One step at a time. No one ever went from Ensign to Commandant quickly.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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21 Aug 2019 03:24 PM
I know a guy that made Chief before he put his first lifer stripe on his uniform. He was hated and not because he promoted quickly. Because he was a moron and couldn't answer a simple question from a subordinate. Be respected in the rank you are first and then go for the next one.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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21 Aug 2019 03:25 PM
A School is much less strict than boot camp, but you still march in formation with your class so same rules apply as in boot camp, dont talk in formation, dont look around and be loud. You are going to school to become a petty officer so be professional in how you look and act.

Duty at A-School is a 1 in 4 or 5 depending on how many students are there at a given time. Duty consists of being assigned to a specific post for up to a 4 hour watch. These posts consist of barracks front desk, bowling alley clean up, movie theater front counter, pool clean up, base clean ups, barracks clean ups and colors. None of them are hard jobs to do.

I dont know much about the OS rating so someone else will have to answer those questions.
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01 Sep 2019 04:55 AM
Posted By mlcarroll on 21 Aug 2019 03:08 PM
Hi! I will be a part of the October A School class for OS.
me too! see you there 

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