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  • USCG (LE Specifically)

    A year ago I was very interested in (enlisting) USCG to try and peruse a career at a small boat station (hopefully) in the south doing more LE type work.. like drug interdiction and immigration stuff. I had a horrible time with my recruiter who basically blew me off and other people I know who wanted to enlist.

    Now that a year has passed.. I find myself still extremely interested in joining. I have a B.A. in Communications, but want to Enlist to get some good training and my hands dirty before and if I put in my package for OCS.

    Now my question is.. is there ANY way to get guaranteed to go to a place like FL doing more LE type stuff. I know you can possibly get put there even if you are not rated, but is it likely? Going in un-rated your more likely to be stuck chipping paint right?

    Just curious if someone can shed some light on this and guide me with a little knowledge before I try again to sign up.

    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    I don't know anything about the USCG but don't let a lazy recruiter discourage you. If thats why you want to do then do it. If that recruiter is still at your local office, take a drive to another one. Good luck no matter what you decide!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NYPO View Post
      I don't know anything about the USCG but don't let a lazy recruiter discourage you. If thats why you want to do then do it. If that recruiter is still at your local office, take a drive to another one. Good luck no matter what you decide!
      Thank you very much for the encouragement.


      I hope someone from the USCG can read this to lend advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        The USCG is a bit different from the other armed services, especially when it comes to recruiting. Unlike the other branches, Coast Guard recruiters really don't have to do much work to get people interested. There are always many more people interested in enlisting every year than there are spots, so recruiters at times can seem like they don't care or aren't that interested in helping you out. If you have an issue with a recruiter's response, by all means talk to the local recruiting commander.

        USCG is starting a maritime law enforcement rating, which is new. In the past LE duties have been done by pretty much everyone, but that's going to be changing. I don't think that the USCG will guarantee you a duty station, but that's something that you should ask a recruiter. It's been a while since I've been exposed to anything Coast Guard, so you may have better luck posting in the military section of the forum.

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you have prior military experience?? If not it's all good... A buddy of mine told me you get to turn in your pick after boot camp and/or go on to OCS School (A-School is much more difficult to get into... but if you work your way up in rank they always have similar training to offer you - like running those motor life boats that can't sink... hope you have a good stomach. lol.), anyway, bottom line is they put you wherever you're most needed... right now south florida is a hot spot. So it texas. The USCG is hard to get into... their standards are much higher than the other branches. But, a buddy of mine has been working their way up rank quicker than the other folks that have been on for more years... the reason being that you get to study at your own pace and take tests as needed - it's all up to you - they're constantly learning things, it's a matter of fitting it into your schedule... if you're lazy you'll end up a cook. If you're a go-getter you'll end up a boarding officer... even XO - but it's a very rewarding career - - so go for it, be a coastie!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pixelshadow View Post
            Do you have prior military experience?? If not it's all good... A buddy of mine told me you get to turn in your pick after boot camp and/or go on to OCS School (A-School is much more difficult to get into... but if you work your way up in rank they always have similar training to offer you - like running those motor life boats that can't sink... hope you have a good stomach. lol.), anyway, bottom line is they put you wherever you're most needed... right now south florida is a hot spot. So it texas. The USCG is hard to get into... their standards are much higher than the other branches. But, a buddy of mine has been working their way up rank quicker than the other folks that have been on for more years... the reason being that you get to study at your own pace and take tests as needed - it's all up to you - they're constantly learning things, it's a matter of fitting it into your schedule... if you're lazy you'll end up a cook. If you're a go-getter you'll end up a boarding officer... even XO - but it's a very rewarding career - - so go for it, be a coastie!!

            yeah South FL is my goal.. Broward County and South is where I want to be. That's where a lot of the action is. Can you ask your buddy (please) or if you know, what the chances of getting put there are if you excel in boot camp as one of the best in the class .. etc. because LE is my main goal. haha, not a line cook!

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah... From what I've heard from various coasties the boot camp part is meaningless... there's a 1% chance that you end up w/ the same folks from your boot camp where you get stationed as well. So don't sweat it. Once you're ready to go in (which is quick - you'll be out before you know it... start learning your navigation info to be ahead - some folks go in and don't even know what the difference between port and starboard is and that will add extra stress - oh and the chart reading... that's always fun and gets intense once you're out of boot camp. lol. You have to "bid" and put in for the law enforcement part - you'll get it - but you may end up stationed somewhere else after you complete the training... not go back to the location you've been told to go to and get settled in at afterwards... heads up. But, you can go up in rank at least a minimum of 2-3 times a year - if you cannot gain access to the LE jobs at first due to lack of command/experience/rank - be friends w/ the higher ups - normally they've always helped my buddies get to where they want to go - it's very "who you know" from what I've gathered from my buddies. Also, they'll offer you extra training in one area that can help you in another, and that looks great when you get picky, the more you have under your belt, the more versatile you are at a station and/or boat - the more they'll pay attention to your desires. I have a buddy that has been with them for about 3 years now... straight out of boot camp... no prior LE or military experience... and they're a boarding officer (one of 2 on the boat) - they have to qualify w/ firearms and everything... they get scenarios on how to find migrants in small compartments on boats big and small, drugs, and other illegal items... I heard it was hardcore - even recovering homemade illegal submarines w/ lots of drugs inside - get stationed in Key West - you'll be surprised!!! lol. They drive the little orange dinghies out (forget what they call it - whoops) from the boat and they even have the opportunity to ride on dolphins (the uscg helicopters) to board boats and such. It's very exciting they all say - even if you're a buoy tender which sucks - as long as you're good with studying/learning quickly... I know one buddy who is getting out this year from active - and remaining in the reserves - they want to pursue other career options while maintaining the benefits (to have a family and such... they don't want to do all the traveling that the uscg requires anymore, etc. even though the uscg pays for moving, finding a place to live if you don't want to live at the station, which my buddies don't recommend - 2 people to a room 24/7 - always on duty because you live there so you never really get any sleep - it can get hectic, etc.) Again, this info is just from the buddies I know - also don't get caught in the drinking like a sailor too much... lol. I'm sure others on here have they're own experiences and can share more, but for me it's my favorite military branch next to the navy - I love being on their boats (when permission to board has been granted - I'm just a civilian) and hearing their stories - I've learned all the NavRules and can navigate successfully and I don't need a GPS (how many folks fear not having one of those, huh?) - only nautical charts - when a hurricane is going to hit I hear what will happen from them instead of the local news stations... and the uscg has never failed me in comparison (they always know what will happen and how it will track before anyone - their information is also much more accurate than the hurricane center folks - guess that's what happens when military planes fly out and bring back data instead of commercial ones - they work together w/ the navy on this too - those squids!) how many people can say that?! - I'm lucky to have them as good friends!

              If you want to see more about what could be ahead for you check this out:
              www.coastguardchannel.com/

              Lots of cool videos on all sorts of areas within the USCG - lots of interviews with coasties too - they're not affiliated w/ the government so you'll get an unbiased point of view - they're just a site educating the public and future recruits on what the uscg is really all about!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pixelshadow View Post
                Yeah... From what I've heard from various coasties the boot camp part is meaningless... there's a 1% chance that you end up w/ the same folks from your boot camp where you get stationed as well. So don't sweat it. Once you're ready to go in (which is quick - you'll be out before you know it... start learning your navigation info to be ahead - some folks go in and don't even know what the difference between port and starboard is and that will add extra stress - oh and the chart reading... that's always fun and gets intense once you're out of boot camp. lol. You have to "bid" and put in for the law enforcement part - you'll get it - but you may end up stationed somewhere else after you complete the training... not go back to the location you've been told to go to and get settled in at afterwards... heads up. But, you can go up in rank at least a minimum of 2-3 times a year - if you cannot gain access to the LE jobs at first due to lack of command/experience/rank - be friends w/ the higher ups - normally they've always helped my buddies get to where they want to go - it's very "who you know" from what I've gathered from my buddies. Also, they'll offer you extra training in one area that can help you in another, and that looks great when you get picky, the more you have under your belt, the more versatile you are at a station and/or boat - the more they'll pay attention to your desires. I have a buddy that has been with them for about 3 years now... straight out of boot camp... no prior LE or military experience... and they're a boarding officer (one of 2 on the boat) - they have to qualify w/ firearms and everything... they get scenarios on how to find migrants in small compartments on boats big and small, drugs, and other illegal items... I heard it was hardcore - even recovering homemade illegal submarines w/ lots of drugs inside - get stationed in Key West - you'll be surprised!!! lol. They drive the little orange dinghies out (forget what they call it - whoops) from the boat and they even have the opportunity to ride on dolphins (the uscg helicopters) to board boats and such. It's very exciting they all say - even if you're a buoy tender which sucks - as long as you're good with studying/learning quickly... I know one buddy who is getting out this year from active - and remaining in the reserves - they want to pursue other career options while maintaining the benefits (to have a family and such... they don't want to do all the traveling that the uscg requires anymore, etc. even though the uscg pays for moving, finding a place to live if you don't want to live at the station, which my buddies don't recommend - 2 people to a room 24/7 - always on duty because you live there so you never really get any sleep - it can get hectic, etc.) Again, this info is just from the buddies I know - also don't get caught in the drinking like a sailor too much... lol. I'm sure others on here have they're own experiences and can share more, but for me it's my favorite military branch next to the navy - I love being on their boats (when permission to board has been granted - I'm just a civilian) and hearing their stories - I've learned all the NavRules and can navigate successfully and I don't need a GPS (how many folks fear not having one of those, huh?) - only nautical charts - when a hurricane is going to hit I hear what will happen from them instead of the local news stations... and the uscg has never failed me in comparison (they always know what will happen and how it will track before anyone - their information is also much more accurate than the hurricane center folks - guess that's what happens when military planes fly out and bring back data instead of commercial ones - they work together w/ the navy on this too - those squids!) how many people can say that?! - I'm lucky to have them as good friends!

                If you want to see more about what could be ahead for you check this out:
                www.coastguardchannel.com/

                Lots of cool videos on all sorts of areas within the USCG - lots of interviews with coasties too - they're not affiliated w/ the government so you'll get an unbiased point of view - they're just a site educating the public and future recruits on what the uscg is really all about!!


                Seriously, thank you VERY much for the info.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whoops. I didn't realize my response was that long... so I'm glad you enjoyed it. You're welcome!! Good luck on your future endeavors!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I dont know too much about ocs but If you sign up enlisted, there are a few options available to you. (some may differ due to amount of openings and need of certain jobs aka "rates"). It will be nearly impossible to get a guarenteed station. but it is very likely to get a guarenteed district. florida is D7 and that includes georiga so dont think its JUST florida. When you have guarenteed district, that means you could go to a station...or a cutter such as a 87, 110, 270...ect. you could go to a ANT team (aids to navigation) which they do pretty much what the title says, they maintain bouys and such. You could go to a SFO "sector feild office" or a sector. depending on your rate, you could be fixing lawnmowers or maintaining housing or working in a warehouse...some I believe have boarding teams that they will detatch and send to units. There is another option for you too and thats guarenteed "a"school. depending on your rate, you will go to boot, then report directly to school...then graduate and in 6months, be an E-4 petty officer. not bad hu? then there is also sign on bonus that you pretty much need to beg for...taxed like crazy though. I recomend that you only sign up for 4 years starting out. the recuriter will REALLY try to get you in for 6 but if you find out that you really dont like it after a year...you will thank me haha. You will only be at a specific unit for 4 years so if you do get a station in FL, you probally will not be staying there for another 4 and it is not uncommon AT ALL for you then to get sent to alaska or washington state or maine (cough cough). I will never turn anyone away from being a coastie but If your looking to do L.E. and customs work with drugs and immigration, lookin into border patrol. If you get in FL, you can basically stay your whole carreer there no problem (and get paid more). good luck

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pixelshadow View Post
                      Yeah... From what I've heard from various coasties the boot camp part is meaningless... there's a 1% chance that you end up w/ the same folks from your boot camp where you get stationed as well. So don't sweat it. Once you're ready to go in (which is quick - you'll be out before you know it... start learning your navigation info to be ahead - some folks go in and don't even know what the difference between port and starboard is and that will add extra stress - oh and the chart reading... that's always fun and gets intense once you're out of boot camp. lol. You have to "bid" and put in for the law enforcement part - you'll get it - but you may end up stationed somewhere else after you complete the training... not go back to the location you've been told to go to and get settled in at afterwards... heads up. But, you can go up in rank at least a minimum of 2-3 times a year - if you cannot gain access to the LE jobs at first due to lack of command/experience/rank - be friends w/ the higher ups - normally they've always helped my buddies get to where they want to go - it's very "who you know" from what I've gathered from my buddies. Also, they'll offer you extra training in one area that can help you in another, and that looks great when you get picky, the more you have under your belt, the more versatile you are at a station and/or boat - the more they'll pay attention to your desires. I have a buddy that has been with them for about 3 years now... straight out of boot camp... no prior LE or military experience... and they're a boarding officer (one of 2 on the boat) - they have to qualify w/ firearms and everything... they get scenarios on how to find migrants in small compartments on boats big and small, drugs, and other illegal items... I heard it was hardcore - even recovering homemade illegal submarines w/ lots of drugs inside - get stationed in Key West - you'll be surprised!!! lol. They drive the little orange dinghies out (forget what they call it - whoops) from the boat and they even have the opportunity to ride on dolphins (the uscg helicopters) to board boats and such. It's very exciting they all say - even if you're a buoy tender which sucks - as long as you're good with studying/learning quickly... I know one buddy who is getting out this year from active - and remaining in the reserves - they want to pursue other career options while maintaining the benefits (to have a family and such... they don't want to do all the traveling that the uscg requires anymore, etc. even though the uscg pays for moving, finding a place to live if you don't want to live at the station, which my buddies don't recommend - 2 people to a room 24/7 - always on duty because you live there so you never really get any sleep - it can get hectic, etc.) Again, this info is just from the buddies I know - also don't get caught in the drinking like a sailor too much... lol. I'm sure others on here have they're own experiences and can share more, but for me it's my favorite military branch next to the navy - I love being on their boats (when permission to board has been granted - I'm just a civilian) and hearing their stories - I've learned all the NavRules and can navigate successfully and I don't need a GPS (how many folks fear not having one of those, huh?) - only nautical charts - when a hurricane is going to hit I hear what will happen from them instead of the local news stations... and the uscg has never failed me in comparison (they always know what will happen and how it will track before anyone - their information is also much more accurate than the hurricane center folks - guess that's what happens when military planes fly out and bring back data instead of commercial ones - they work together w/ the navy on this too - those squids!) how many people can say that?! - I'm lucky to have them as good friends!

                      If you want to see more about what could be ahead for you check this out:
                      www.coastguardchannel.com/

                      Lots of cool videos on all sorts of areas within the USCG - lots of interviews with coasties too - they're not affiliated w/ the government so you'll get an unbiased point of view - they're just a site educating the public and future recruits on what the uscg is really all about!!
                      I don't even know where to start...

                      To the OP, there is some very, very misleading information here.


                      - "A" School is not difficult to get into, some are more difficult than others but I would venture to say 90% of E-4+ have been through "A" School. All it takes is time in and an endorsement from your current unit. That is it.

                      -"if you're lazy you'll end up a cook. If you're a go-getter you'll end up a boarding officer".
                      What the hell does this even mean? First of all, FS (Food Service Specialist, Cook) is a job rating, not a qualification. BO (Boarding Officer) is a qualification that any rated petty officer, warrant officer or commissioned officer can become. Yes, that means that cooks can and DO become boarding officers. Why would anyone think cooks are lazy? It is a job, just as there is a job for a health specialist, a machinery technician, and even the boatswains mates.

                      -"But, you can go up in rank at least a minimum of 2-3 times a year"
                      Negative, E-2 to E-3 is a minimum of 6 months and a few test, E-3 to E-4 is "A" School (And 6 months as E-3). E-4 to E-5 is a lot of sign offs, tests, EPME and Service wide where the CG only takes the top X%.

                      -"live at the station, which my buddies don't recommend - 2 people to a room 24/7 - always on duty because you live there so you never really get any sleep"
                      Again, completely untrue.
                      If you live at the station (usually the newest people live there until a newer person comes in, usually not longer than a few months) you work when you are on duty. When off duty you are not expected to be working. If you take too long to become qualified they might go to a 6 day work week with you to help motivate you to get qualified.

                      -"Boot camp part is meaningless"
                      What does it matter if you are not stationed with your fellow boot campers? Boot camp is to weed out the idiots and teach you basic, basic things you need in the CG.
                      U.S. Coast Guard R since 2006.
                      Petty Officer Third Class (E-4)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Again... just information from the ones I know... who have done such (as far as going up in the ranks in such a minimum amount of time and gained seniority where others haven't taken the opportunities, etc.) and have "lazy" cooks on staff - just passing it along! Different folks have different experiences...
                        Last edited by Pixelshadow; 07-07-2009, 11:57 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pixelshadow View Post
                          Again... just information from the ones I know... who have done such (as far as going up in the ranks in such a minimum amount of time and gained seniority where others haven't taken the opportunities, etc.) and have "lazy" cooks on staff - just passing it along! Different folks have different experiences...

                          I understand that, but it is literally impossible to rank up 2 to 3 times a year (Even at most). Once you get into the mid Es (E-5, E-6) the time in service requirement becomes one year, two years, etc.

                          The quickest you can possibly rank up is E-2 to E-3 (At LEAST 6 mos) and E-3 to E-4 (At LEAST another 6 months). That is one full year and you only went up two ranks (if you can consider E-2 and E-3 a rank, they are very easy to obtain compared to the rest of the ranks/ratings) you still need to wait for the time in rank requirements.

                          You have lazy pople in every profession. I know many, many cooks who are boarding officers. No reason to assume because someone is lazy, they will be a cook in the military.

                          Im not here to call you out, just trying to let the OP know how things really work.
                          Last edited by TPD Cadet; 07-07-2009, 08:55 PM.
                          U.S. Coast Guard R since 2006.
                          Petty Officer Third Class (E-4)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            At one time, and quite possibly, still today, the Coast Guard had a program where Coast Guard Auxiliarists could enlist with a rating, not sure exactly what. The basic Auxiliary couses will give you a leg up on navigation and boat handling, if you're not already a boater. Worth looking into while you're waiting to sign up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dinosaur32 View Post
                              At one time, and quite possibly, still today, the Coast Guard had a program where Coast Guard Auxiliarists could enlist with a rating, not sure exactly what. The basic Auxiliary couses will give you a leg up on navigation and boat handling, if you're not already a boater. Worth looking into while you're waiting to sign up.
                              That is interesting and it does make sense. Most of the auxies know more than the new boots. I am not aware of the program but there is a good possibility it still exists. Thanks for the info.
                              U.S. Coast Guard R since 2006.
                              Petty Officer Third Class (E-4)

                              Comment

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