Coast Guard, anyone ???

  1. Does anyone have any info on the Coast Guard? My son (22) is considering joining. He has always had a strong interest in the ocean and marine biology, but hasn't gotten his life together enough yet as far as "maturity" to figure out how to best persue his ambitions in that direction. Still just a wee bit of the Beavis/Butthead left there, although not much, thank goodness !
    He IS living independantly in Tucson, has a decent job and tries to make ends meet with some "under the table" side jobs to boot, installing computers etc. but up to this point has floundered in "direction".

    I just talked with him on the phone and he totally blew me away with his announcement that he was going to be looking into the Coast Guard over the next few weeks. This from one who has never shown ANY interest in any branch of military service (or anything remotely similar).

    While I havce a decent comprehension of most branches of the military, having been an AF Brat all my life, then joined the AF myself, I confess to knowing NADA about the Coast Guard... is it even considered as part of the "service branches"? I don't believe it is, but am really not sure. And has it not recently been combined with one of the governmental depts., such as Transportation, or something to that effect? I would really like to learn more if someone out there has experience with the Coast Guard.

    Adam says it would afford him the opportunity to get closer to his ambitions, keep him near his beloved oceans, and grant him the opportunity of finally learning to scuba dive, not to mention his love of traveling and seeing new places, even if only in our U.S.

    Just thought I could get some tips on what he should ask, if he can "negotiate" with recruiters, what kind of $$ he can expect, what additional benefits such as tuition for school or even going to school while IN the Coast Guard, can he request certain assignments more related to the ocean as opposed to inland, etc., etc..... ???

    Any input at all would be greatly appreciated !!!
    In the meantime, I'll see what I can find on the web....
    Last edit by jnette on Aug 3, '03
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   bedpan
    To be honest, I know even less than you do jnette, but I found a few websites for you -

    U.S. Coast Gaurd

    U.S. Coast Gaurd Academy

    U.S. Coast Gaurd .org (This one has a lot of official and unofficial Coast Gaurd Links)

    Hope these help a little
  4. by   jnette
    Thanx, Bedpan ! Just did a googlesearch myself, and came up with some good stuff. Appreciate your efforts as well !

    Now. if I can find somone with a little PERSONAL experience in the Coast Guard, (or that of a relative, etc.) it would sure be appreciated !
  5. by   bedpan
    my pleasure
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Jnette . . . my 18 year old has the same tendencies . .

    He has been talking Army though. I think a swift kick in the tush might just be the best thing.

    He was in an accident last night . .on the way to Redding to see a football game with a friend who was driving his mom's Audi. Went too fast around a sharp curve, lost control (traction) and hit the guardrail and spun around the other way. My husband was a few minutes behind them. No one was hurt.

    The boys initially didn't want to ride down with my husband and so that is why the other kids was driving mom's car; because they had some plans in mind after the game. Well, my son ended up going to the game with my husband afterall and the other kid rode home with some pretty angry parents.

    steph
  7. by   jnette
    Oh Steph... I KNOW it's not funny, and I am soooooo glad your son and noone else was hurt... but, but, but... HAAAAAAAR !!!

    I can't help but laugh at the way you described it all, and the end result of their mighty plans.... as well as the swift kick in the tush !

    Yes, I can relate, and even though Adam has matured a good bit in many ways since he's been on his own with noone to enable him, I still would like to give him a swift kick now and then.. just never have a ladder handy to reach it.. he's nearly 6'7 ! :chuckle

    He's really a GOOD kid, though.. very personable, outgoing, with a shy and charming grin... he CHARMS his way around in life. Just hasn't quite understood some things yet. I'm sure if he joins the Coast Guard, those "stragglers" will be cleared up in a hurry. I'm all for him doing this... I think it would benefit him in many ways. Plus, I've always felt the Coast Guard was pretty kool and "different" from the other branches.. what littl e I knew about it. But I'm learning.. have read a lot of info on the web in the past couple hours.

    Funny, too, is that over the past year and a half since he's been back from Germany, then Alaska... wondering what adventure to get into next, I had mentioned the Coast Guard to him a half dozen times ! Went in one ear and right out the other !
    "no way".... was the only grunted response I'd ever manage to pull out of him.

    Oh, but NOW because HE has someone who KNOWS someone his age, and is pretty "kool" (like HIM, of course!) and is in the C.G., suddenly it's HIS idea !!!

    Kids !!! But ya know what? I just love young ppl to pieces ! They just tickle the crap out of me, and no matter how frustrating they can be, I just LOVE the little jerks !!!! Absolutely love them.
  8. by   kids
    Yes, the Coast Guard is a branch of the military.
    My middle kid Nate (20) sounds much like your son. He had been debating between Coast Guard and Navy and has finally settled on the CG, his enlistment is planned for November 2004. He has some of the same reasons your son is has for choosing CG. Nate's intrests lie in Marine Fisheries and the CG does a LOT of data gathering. He really isn't interested in going to college for several years, the CG will give him OJT in the field (his LTG is to work with the WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife, he has volunteered with them for 5 summers).
    Nate was born in so. FL and has been here in WA since 14 mo and has no desire to live anywhere else or see "the world", the CG will give him a reasonanle opportunity to stay within 500 miles of home.
    I am VERY happy with his decision. I grew up in a town full of Navy and CG personel, I can see him making a career of the CG but not the Navy. The CG is just a tad more laid back.
  9. by   jnette
    Originally posted by kids-r-fun
    The CG is just a tad more laid back.
    Thanx, Kids r Fun !!! Yes, I just found a lot of good stuff on the web, and it IS considered the "fifth branch" of the service. I thought it might be, but just wasn't too sure on that one. I DID get the feeling that it was definately more laid back, or more... uh.. "something", or Adam would never even consider it. He is NOT a "military" type person. He is a huge animal lover nad has always taken a keen interest in marine life. When he came back from Croatia and had done some snorkeling there, his mind was made up... marine biology. He just hasn't "found his way" to get himself there yet. He'll figure it out... he's too stubborn to listen to "mom"... after all what do THEY know?

    So... does it take that long to be able to actually join, or did Nate defer his date on purpose? How was his recruiter? Can they "negotiate" as far as their preferences and are they pretty much assured they can get into the field of interest THEY want? Any other tips Nate might have for Adam before he goes to see a recruiter? Any idea what the rate of pay is for an enlisted person to start? Comprable to the other branches? Better/worse? Any other advantages?
    Yep, I'm excited.. hope he follows through. Keep me updated, ok? And thanx again !
  10. by   Mandee
    My hubby is in the Coast Guard, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask. My husband is prior Army and is now a Coastie and loves it. The Coast Guard is in the Dept. of Homeland Security but benefits(pay, housing,medical etc....) are the same as the Dept. of Defense and in war time can actually be considered part of the Navy.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Jnette, yep it is pretty funny how plans get thwarted. The boys were most likely thinking of picking up girls.

    Your son sounds well traveled - that is very good. I wish my kids were. They are basically little rural farm kids . .

    My son is 6'4" so you son has a few inches on him. My son is pretty happy that he towers over his older brother.

    Gonna go take that walk . . . had a nice lady die this morning after my CNA got her up on the BSC . .. .No Code fortunately. I'll bet lots of people die due to "Valsalva" . . .

  12. by   jnette
    Originally posted by Mandee
    My hubby is in the Coast Guard, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask. My husband is prior Army and is now a Coastie and loves it. The Coast Guard is in the Dept. of Homeland Security but benefits(pay, housing,medical etc....) are the same as the Dept. of Defense and in war time can actually be considered part of the Navy.
    wooHOOOOOO !!!
    I really FOUND someone.. a real person eho could give me some input ! Who needs Google when you've got Allnurses? I just LOVE this place !!!

    OK, Mandee.. first, THANK you for responding.

    Yes.. just became part of Homeland Security, right.. I thought they were "merged" with something here recently.

    So basically, what I need to know now (because I did get some good info on the web, and most everything is cleared up in my mind).. are the options available to my son as far as his interests go. I did read the job classifications, etc., but perhaps your hubby would be able to tell me which area he would most benefit from (and enjoy) if his interests lie in scuba diving and marine life. He's not much for data keeping (and I noted there's alot of that in SOME job classifications).. probably not too much for keeping track of fishing vessels, etc. Certainly not going to want to be "inland" but rather out on the sea itself (or lakes).... he MIGHT be interested in rescue, as he has thought of fireman, and even RN in the past, so that's a possibility. I know he'd want to travel as much as possible and see the various coasts....

    I'll also get back with him and ask him specifically what it is HE would be looking for, and maybe we could go from there. I read the PE and water proficiency tests are pretty rigorous.. he'd like that. Any input at all that your hubby can think of as how to approach the recruiters, and what to ask, how best to guide him into those areas that interst him most, etc. would be a big help.

    Thanx again !!!
  13. by   jnette
    Originally posted by Mandee
    My hubby is in the Coast Guard, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask. My husband is prior Army and is now a Coastie and loves it. The Coast Guard is in the Dept. of Homeland Security but benefits(pay, housing,medical etc....) are the same as the Dept. of Defense and in war time can actually be considered part of the Navy.
    wooHOOOOOO !!!
    I really FOUND someone.. a real person eho could give me some input ! Who needs Google when you've got Allnurses? I just LOVE this place !!!

    OK, Mandee.. first, THANK you for responding.

    Yes.. just became part of Homeland Security, right.. I thought they were "merged" with something here recently.

    So basically, what I need to know now (because I did get some good info on the web, and most everything is cleared up in my mind).. are the options available to my son as far as his interests go. I did read the job classifications, etc., but perhaps your hubby would be able to tell me which area he would most benefit from (and enjoy) if his interests lie in scuba diving and marine life. He's not much for data keeping (and I noted there's alot of that in SOME job classifications).. probably not too much for keeping track of fishing vessels, etc. Certainly not going to want to be "inland" but rather out on the sea itself (or lakes).... he MIGHT be interested in rescue, as he has thought of fireman, and even RN in the past, so that's a possibility. I know he'd want to travel as much as possible and see the various coasts....

    I'll also get back with him and ask him specifically what it is HE would be looking for, and maybe we could go from there. I read the PE and water proficiency tests are pretty rigorous.. he'd like that. Any input at all that your hubby can think of as how to approach the recruiters, and what to ask, how best to guide him into those areas that interst him most, etc. would be a big help.

    Thanx again !!!
  14. by   Mandee
    Jnette,
    I'll write you more in detail tonight with hubby by my side. Basically after seeing a recruiter he will go to MEPS and have his physical done and write the ASVAB, how he does on that will determine, along with the needs of the Coast Guard what jobs are available to him. After going to basic training they will send him to "A" school to learn his rate(job) or straight to a unit which could be a small boat station or a cutter where he can either "strike" into a job or apply to an "A" school. Will write more tonight.

    Mandee

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