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Coast Guard??

Old 06-10-2003, 07:12 PM
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Default Coast Guard??

So how many of you were in the CG at one point? I'm thinking about enlisting after High School. Want to move down to South Florida, Figure that will be a good excuse, and want to serve the USA. Anyone who was in it, what was the hardest thing you had to do? What can I do now to prepare for it in 2 years?

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Old 06-10-2003, 10:00 PM
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I wasn't ever in any of the armed forces. But I was on the receiving end of the coasties once and was really impressed with their skills. The problem is that the coast guard is really looked down upon by the other armed forces. I'm not going to bash the coasties, but you may want to at least consider the navy. Enough said. When you enter, you'll be given an exam from which they will determine your capacity in the armed forces. You do good and the future is bright. If you do poorly, well, you'll make a good target while carrying a rifle. Do you understand? Try to get in for OCS. You'll get a college education and you'll never regret being an officer. There are many, many more benefits to being an officer. One is that the officers never scrub toilets. Might not be a big thing, but there are alot of toilets that need scrubbing in the military. Grades and such isn't really important to the military (you don't need to smart to be a target), but being drug free and not having a record is extremely important. If you don't pass the drug test you are OUT! It's that simple. And trust me, it takes a really, really long time for your system to flush clean. You even being around other pot users will cause you to fail your test. Can you hear me now?
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Old 06-10-2003, 10:16 PM
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imboating was in for many years... Sure many others were as well.
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Old 06-10-2003, 10:22 PM
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One thing is the CG is a much smaller force than the other branches of the armed service, so advancement is slower. Also, you may not get South Florida, but maybe Adak Alaska instead!
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:25 PM
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Or Cape May N.J.
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:19 AM
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We have a a Coast Guard base here in St. Pete and we idle past it every time we go out. Those guys sometimes don't get the respect that the other 4 branches get, but they definately deserve it. I think it's an admirable and valuable service...If you think you'd enjoy it, go for it! I know quite a few coasties and they're a great bunch.
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:20 AM
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If you join any Armed Service there is no guarantee you will be assigned a specific Geo location or specialty. If you want Florida you might end up in Sitka and find out you really like it.

I enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1986 and I’m now a Chief Warrant Officer assigned to Marine Safety Office San Juan. The Coast Guard has been a great life for me and in retrospect I am very glad I took the enlisted to officer career path. I would have difficulty in recommending my path to others, however.

Cord is correct officers do get more privilege but they also have to suck it up much more and do not have input regarding their job choice or specialty. There is no doubt that an OCS or Academy career path would be much more beneficial depending on your final goals. Officers do not drive boats (Coxswains) in the Coast Guard. They do Command Patrol Boats and Ships but are removed from the action.

My most rewarding experiences are those while I was a duty Coxswain responding to distress calls. The Coast Guard has allowed me to live in and visit places I would have otherwise never been able too. Petersburg, Alaska - Chetco River, Oregon –St. Clair Shores, MI-Guam- Los Angeles-(lived in Redondo) and now San Juan, Puerto Rico.

If regular enlistment is your only option numerous educational and advancement opportunities are available. Advancements right now are 2 fast and 2 Furious almost to the point that specific skills sets are not attained as the service goes through another rapid change to Homeland Defense. We are seeing E6 and E7’s with less and less time in service. Your ASVAB scores are very important as they will dictate what schools you qualify for and because junior Coast Guard Petty Officers are entrusted huge responsibilities compared to the larger DOD services you must have good leadership and communication skills.

Oh, BTW --You will not attain large financial rewards here either. I do not know of any Coasties that have Blower Motor Skaters or Cig’s. Some of us do have old boats that we wrench and grind on ourselves and dollar for dollar have lots of fun.

Call or PM me if you have any specific ?’s

Good Luck
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Old 06-11-2003, 08:51 AM
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Yes, I enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard in 1990. My first duty was the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea, an icebreaker out of Seattle. Went on Deep Freeze 91’ to Australia, Antarctic, Chile, etc. Next was 2 ˝ years of Fire Control School (Electronics for Weapons Control) hence the Harpoon Missile in my avatar. Achieved E-5 (FT2) in 3 years. Next was the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin, a 378’ out of New York’s Governor’s Island (now not a Coast Guard station). Then onto the Caribbean for Haitian Interdiction and Law Enforcement.

If you are planning to join a military service the U.S. Coast Guard is the way to go. The Coast Guard was under the Dept. of Transportation, now under Homeland Securities, not Dept. of Defense. Different rules completely, more like being a cop than a solider. When you train in the morning you use it that afternoon. There are only about 45,000 Coast Guard members compared to hundreds of thousands of Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force each. I could go on… Call me if you want to know more about this.

The U.S. Coast Guard is the best!!!!

Rob Goodwin
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Cincinnati Offshore Grand Prix
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:29 AM
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Good buddy of mine is a Company Commander at the Training Center in Cape May...he'd love to have you stop in...for a 3-month visit!'s a great way to go....I can pass along his info if you'd like to get in touch with him...

Good Luck!

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Old 06-11-2003, 10:46 AM
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if its south florida you want coast guard, but if you want to drive some Bad ass boats, you will need to go Navy. Special Boat units
but keep in mind, there training is tough, they go to BUDS. I am finished with my Navy career in about 100 days, (Aircraft Structual and Hydraulics) and must say 21 years flew by. Consider your choices, and start your life , in it you will make mistakes, but remember thats how we all learn. good luck keep us posted to your choice.

Last edited by Pete B; 06-11-2003 at 10:48 AM.
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