Regardless of which service you join, you will be obligated for an 8 year service window. If you join for 4 years and then separate from the respective service, you will be placed in the individual ready reserve for a period of 4 years.
I would suggest doing some deeper research on the two branches as we have different roles and responsibility's. Make sure you are happy with your choice.
Transferring to another station elsewhere while in the reserves can happen, but it is not as easy as one would think. There has to be a like opening where you want to go, both commands need to sign off on it, etc, etc, etc. It can be done, but to realistically set your expectations, do not count on it.
There is a saying in the Coast Guard, choose your rate, choose our fate. There has to be good reason to transfer to another rate, and in your situation, it probably will not happen.
Active duty time before using the GI bill is 2 years. I do not have the info on reserves, but expect it to be the same.
These poor, plain men, dwellers upon the lonely sands of Hatteras, took their lives in their hands, and, at the most imminent risk crossed the most tumultuous sea…and all for what? That others might live to see home and friends. — Annual Report of the U.S. Life- Saving Service, 1885 Recruiting Website Read here for answers to the most often asked questions about joining the Coast Guard!