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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    united states

    thinking about joining the coast guard . Anyone in the coast guard here

    anyone here in the coast guard. can you tell me how it is . i am interested in two jobs. Being an ast(rescue swimmer) and being an ME(maritime law enforcement specialist. Also can you guys tell me what you did did while you were waiting for your a-schools. to become an ast their is a 2 year wait list for a-school. during those two years i heard you did the duties your station was required to do. How are they. i heard you start from the bottom of the food chain. also what kind of jobs did you do.

    after my 4-6 years in the coast guard i plan on going to college and after that i want to become a federal agent. i have been thinking about the cgis lately since i am thinking of joining the coast guard. Anyone here in the cgis. i am interested in investigating

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    East Coast
    I'm a Lieutenant in the CG Reserve so I may be able to provide you some insight. Both have a long wait time till A school. You'll either be at a small boat station or on a ship as a seaman. As the lowest ranking person, you'll be getting qualified in various duties. Some will be fun but a lot will be the grunt work. Keep in mind you need to pay your dues. Rescue swimmer A school has a high failure rate. Don't be overconfident. As for the IV rate, those folks in CGIS, it's a reserve rate. They have civilians and military members. I'm not sure if it's full time, active duty folks or reservists on active duty or some of both. The Coast Guard is a small service and CGIS is even smaller. AST and IV are very difficult to obtain.
    "It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power." - David Brin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Somewhere between a rock and a hard place
    The US Coast Guard is the Worlds Largest NON-NUCLEAR Navy! Awesome folks, incredible mission.
    That is the law. . . according to the rules.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Western Hemisphere


    LT/JetTroop I think he was referring to the new MLE/ME rate vs. INV as a reserve. Iban1997, keep in mind the civilian equivalent if you go rescue swimmer. There is basically no civilian equivalent for AST other than your highest level of pre-hospital care certification/licensure (i.e. EMT-B; EMT-I; EMT-P). Also, the USCG doesn't routinely provide funding/education for certification higher than the EMT-B level. However, some air station Commanding Officers will come off the hip with extra training money for Intermediate or Paramedic school IF you show a burning desire and have outstanding personnel evaluations. Things you'll do waiting for "A" school include 40% grunt work, 45% TRAINING and 15% life-saving adrenaline boosted wind in your face/salt in your hair Search & Rescue or Law Enforcement. When I say law enforcement, you're providing boarding team security and helping with searching vessels while conducting space accountability. I was the M-60 (now M-240) belt fed 7.62 {.308) machine gunner for my boarding team in Florida. I had an E-9 (Master Chief Boatswain's Mate) USCG Vietnam vet from Texas for an Officer-in-Charge. He personally trained and qualified me on the M-60. He told me, "Son, if the boarding team is aboard the target vessel and they hit the deck and lay flat, that means somebody's shooting at them aboard that vessel. You take this here machine gun and eliminate the shooter. If the shooter gets caught on a boat hook, cut him in half." The bad guys in those days KNEW that was exactly what we would do. That's the exciting LE stuff - conducting boardings and doing safety inspections. The SAR stuff, well, sometimes you pull folks out of the water alive; and a LOT of times you pull them out of the water dead. When they're dead and have been in the water a while (we called them "floaters") their skin drips through the steel mesh of the stokes litter. I did a LOT of CPR on traumatically injured drunk boaters/swimmers. You can only do the best job possible and live with that, along with your faith. If you ever "get used to it" and the death/SAR stops "bothering you" (or any public safety job treating the injured/seeing death) then it's time to get out of the business. Now, for the grunt work: I spliced/washed/maintained all the ropes and towing hausers constantly; and I was on a paint barge a lot of the time during my regular work days and my duty boat crew days. A paint barge is simply a wood platform on those blue plastic drums on which one floats around the hull of the small boat in order to paint the hull. On our duty days we would literally wear our duty gun belts, while on the barge sanding & painting, in case the SAR alarm went off; in order to maximize response time. We took all our guns & ammo on SAR calls in case we encountered an LE situation upon return. The reason for so much painting the hulls was due to nicks and scrapes that occurred from towing other vessels on actual SAR calls; and from just regular training where we towed each other's (USCG) boats. Training is paramount. NOBODY trains as much as the USCG because lives really do depend on skills & abilities on a daily basis around our country and at sea. I hope this {somewhat dated} insight assists you with your vision of a CG career. BTW the LE rate will afford you the higher potential for civilian law enforcement work if/when you choose to ETS from USCG. P.S. USCG is all over the world; and the large cutters (ships) travel the entire globe - conducting ice breaking ops and boarding U.S. flagged vessels worldwide.
    Last edited by FedAgent; 12-28-2014 at 18:03. Reason: Spelling
    Stay safe!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    As an Active Duty Sailor, I have immense respect for the Coast Guardsmen and their mission. There's a reason it's the hardest branch to enlist in, that pilots from other branches transfer to despite crappier promotion prospects, and which doesn't have the idiotic demand to make Chief (and admin-paper pusher hell) as soon as possible for those would rather remain in a blue-collar rate doing the drug interdiction/Intel/rescue swimmer/etc. job they signed up for.

    Even the undes Seamen make some impressive quals (can't have duds or a bunch of non-watch qual'd guys when you don't have 3,500 spare men like on a CVN), and I've heard their Boot Camp is quite the 'blast' too.

    Seriously though, lover that I am of the maritime services, enlisting Army into a 35 series MOS that gets you a TS/SCI is a much better idea (if your objective is 1811 Fed LE as fast as possible). Transferring into counter-intel specialist (35L), which is non-entry level but which is lat-movable quickly due to undermanning, gets you sworn 1811 experience that will be more valuable than CG, Navy, or any other enlisted time. You have to weigh being in the most reviled sub-set of reviled military branches (ain't nobody likes the MPs/Shore Patrol, and being part of the group that goes undercover and does IG work despite being part of the same enlisted brotherhood isn't likely to build friends) against a 'normal' but less productive enlistment. If you could secure 35L and get any undergrad degree, you'd be set for a civvie 1811 job, and there are a lot of preference agencies like AFOSI and NCIS that you could try for with experience in military law enforcement.

    I'm not a BTDT 1811 but I know that merely being in the Intel field or military doesn't cut it for 1811 hiring... and looking back, I would consider the 35(anything) to 35L route pretty strongly myself.

    Hope those $0.02 we're useful... have a happy new year!




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