coast guard


turbo swimmer
Mar 2, 2003
i'm thinking of joining the coast guard after high school. i've heard a lot of good things about going into the military, everyone i have known who has done it has been happy with it. My biggest problem with doing it is a little itty bitty fear i have. i have peopleshootingatmephobia, in other words i don't like being shot at. so that rules out the army and marines. i talked to the navy and they all semed like a great bunch of guys, i say that sarcastically, they just wanted me to join regardless of what i wanted to do.

so has any one here had any experence with the coast guard?
or any words of advice about any branch of the military?
Any branch is good, if you have the right job. I have a buddy in the airforce that works on navigation systems on the flight lines. He lives off base and they pay for his rent(and then some because he got a room mate) plus his regular pay. He has a gravey job, monday through friday, and he gets to go home on the weekends(only 3 hours away). If I was going into some sort of military, thats what i would do. If you want a job like that they even send you to tech school after basics. Even there you live for free and eat for free, not a bad deal if you ask me.
I don't really consider the coast guard "military". I have two close friends, one who did 4 years active in South Korea, Army Rangers, and the other has been in the Marine reserves for 6 years. Neither had much good to say about their experiences because soldiers are way undercompensated for what they do. But, the coast guard or air force would be good options for you if you don't want to see combat.
IMO only go into the military if you need the $$$$ for college or you need the structure that military life will give you. Sure recruiters will be nice to you and tell you ANYTHING,they have quotas to meet. Dont join unless you need too.

Just my$.02

And yes I was in the military(Army) before I was discharged for health problems.I was only 17 and I hated it.
I was in the army,but I do know that the coast guard has been used in a combat setting.Do some research and you will find that they were in vietnam and other conflicts.Oh and they also get shot at by drug smugglers and the like.They are out in some of the worst conditions doing rescues and patrols.Do not think it will be a easier ride than any other.
BTW, dont always believe the number they tell you about your sign on bonus, its ususally lower, and they tax the hell out of it, your lookin at maybe getting half of what they tell you, just a little fyi
the ting i really liked about them is how up front the recruiters have been. the navy recruiters i've talked to sugar coat everything and it SOUNDS awsome, but i can see through most of their crap. the coast guard guys have ben completely up front about everything. example, the navy told me they would pay to fix my eyes with lasic surgery, all i have to do is apply and wait a while. the coast guard guys said they could do it, if its in the budget, if they see that by paying for it, it will benefit them somehow, and it will likely take a few years to get there. they said they have no problems filling quotas, they serve all of colorado, as well as wyoming and parts of nebraska, so their recurting style is different. they want people to come to them insted of them going to people and pushing the coast guard on other people (i hate that).

My main reason for wanting to join is to go into college while enlisted, have them pay me while i'm going to college, get as much college as i can take, and i'd like to become an officer and maybe become a pilot, wether it will happen like that or not i dont' know but thats what i'd like to do.

I know about their involvement in vietnam, over in iraq right now, and their drug stuff. But i don't hear about anyone dying with them, not to say it doesn't happen but its much rarer to see a coast guard guy die than lets say someone in the army.

coasties have a better chance of getting shot than most everyday job unless youre goin to tend a lighthouse or a bouy boat. quit being a girl, you can be shot while gassing up your GN.:D
Not true. Now with the terrorists attacks the coast guard has been called upon as a large factor with homeland security. They have their standard issue 40. and all just got ar-15's, mp5's and shotguns. My friends sister went through the school and loves it. She said after 9-11 they have many more responsibilities as far as checking suspicious ships etc. You guys cant tell me you have never seen videos of people in the coast guard jumping out of helicopters and saving people and stuff. The coast guard is a very respectable orginization. If you want action got to florida and chase drug runners al night long. Its a very nice field. Im a c/j major and am applying for ATF/DEA/FBI in fall of next year and I have friends who are thinking of the CG.

I would have to say if you are going in join the Air Force. Get a job you do on the outside and make money. No offense to the other guys but haw many jobs do you see on the outside that need a tank driver or grunt. If you join the AF and you work on aircraft you have something to fall back on in 4 years if you get out. I can say this because I have been there and I am still in doing what I love and that is fixing the Mighty Herk. I have been a C-130 aircraft engine guy now for 10 years. I love every minute of it, ok not all when it is really cold outside and you have to fix the aircraft.LOL. Anyway I have been alot of places in mylife now and have see alot of cool things,some I can talk about some I can't. I will say that flying 200-250 ft off ground and doing this with the ramp down and on a harness is something I have never felt before. No BS!!! If you want to see what I worked on and where I was stationed for 7 1/2 years
go to I worked on the one with the big nose. That big nose is for a reason, alot of radars and the TF (terrian following) radar. Anyway that is another story but if you have questions and want names and numbers let me know and I will get them for you. The Air Force does have an enlistment bonus, they also sometime offer you stripes and an enlistment bonus. The quality of life on an Air Force base is always better. I know quiet a few people that have said they wished they would have joined the Air Force and not the Navy or Army. Just my thought but if you have question let me know. I know there are some other current active duty Air Force guys on this site so maybe they will speak up also.
Good luck whatever you choose.

I'm in the CG. I have been in for a little over 6 years. After boot camp I went to a bouy tender as a non rated seamen, it pretty much sucked. I waited for a year and 4 months for my "A" school. I went to Aviation Maintenance Tech school. Currently I 'm stationed in Kodiak, Alaska and was at Clearwater, Florida before this tour. Don't belive all the hype of being shot at in the CG. As a AMT in the CG being assigned to C130's you have your flying job then you have your job you do when not flying. This is how we differ from the airforce. Not only am I what the airforce calls a crew chief (we fix everything but electrical gear) I'm also reguired to hold two flying positions. I'm a Loadmaster a Dropmaster and a Sensor systems operator (cool nighttime survailance camera system for tracking drugrunners and migrants) and a hazardous materials certifier. If you decide to join the CG I highly recommend you go a aviation rate. Your life will be 10 times better than chosing a rate that gets stationed to a cutter(boat, ship etc..) Currently there are three rates you can go in aviation. AMT (Aviation maitenance tech) AET (Aviation electronics tech) and for the crazy I need a thrill type AST (Aviation survival tech) they are the ones that jump out of the helicopters. If you like to work on engines hydraulics sheetmetal stuff like that and dont mind getting dirty then go AMT. If your more the stay clean type and like electronics then go AET. Now if you like to swim ALOT and are in great shape and need a thrill in your job then go AST. If you need some straight up anwsers to weed through the bull**** then send me an email I would be gald to help.
coasties have a better chance of getting shot than most everyday job unless youre goin to tend a lighthouse or a bouy boat. that last one made me laugh:D what i meant was that you should do what you want to do, ive been in the navy for 14 years and only been shot at once and that was when i was on leave back home in the big manzana. dont worry about being shot, if it happens it happens, the only thing that will help you acheive not being shot, whether you are a civilian or military is to always be aware of your surroundings and even that is not 100% cause youre not a robot. one bit of advice that i believe is most important is: if you carry a weapon, ALWAYS know your weapon, be comfortable with it. when an assailant uses a weapon on you more than likely he'll be crappin his pants and will not be aiming correctly...not to say you wont get hit but chances are that if you are familiar with your weapon and can focus even under fire, he'll be on the ground and you will be alive. so quit bein a girl!!:) J/K. good luck.
Have you thought about the National Guard? I can only speak from my experience, but they have some really good deals. I know some states if you are in the Guard will pay for your whole college ride if you go to a stat university.

I joined right out of high school and then got a full time job with the NCNG. Now 4 years later they are sending me to college almost finished and I make 60+ a year working with them. You have some really good opportunities with the Guard. I know 60+ is not really a lot but I am only 24.
QUIT BEING A WUSSY. JOIN THE MARINES MAGGOT. GO TO INTERSTING PLACES AND MEET INTERESTING PEOPLE AND THEN KILL THEM!!!!!!! Actually I am a little biased. I spent 6 years in the corps. and loved it. It was a very good adventure that is unsurpassed by anything else I have done. I would try to get an MOS that gives you alot of travel, however that does come at some personal risk. To be honest with you, if you are worried about getting dead, then your heart is not in it. If your heart is not in it, it is not for you. Being in the service is very honorable, and as such requires much personal risk and involvement. It also has very extensive trials and tribulations that will not make it an easy step. Since I am the kind of person to dive headlong in this kind of experiences, it was fantastic. I persoanlly would not go in the CG. The experiences that you can have in other countries, cultures, varieties of people you meet will stay with you fro a life time. It was an unforgettable experience that I would not trade for the world. I have been in combat and must say yes it was scary and yes I could have died. On the other hand, when I see people walking down the street, driving the cars they want, worshipping where and when they want, I personally have helped to make that a reality. That is something that no one can take away, argue with or understand unless they were in the same shoes. That is pride in my country and I can say that because I did fight for it. Hope this helps.

Bullet Sponge

Marines, the few, the proud, the dead on the beach!!!!

Go AF and have a real job, it will get you alot farther in life than being a grunt.
I tried to convince my brother-in-law to join the USCG but noooo, he new better and went USMC. He's doing well but has high anxiety about going to Iraq but will do us all proud.

Personally, I checked into joining USAF or USCG. Remember you're trained more as a "life saver" or law enforcement officer in the USCG as opposed to the other services. By the way, the USCG has been used in war MANY times in the past and have been deployed overseas to defend naval ports and mine sweep missions. Don't think joining USCG won't keep you from dodging bullets but you'd most likely see less lead than USMC or the Army.

I was told by my uncle who's former USMC that USCG is not elidgible for VA benefits unless you're deployed to a combat zone. I doubt the accuracy of this but can't say 100%
No, we get 100% VA benifits just as any other military service. We are often the forgotten fifth military service.
I have been in the Navy for just under 19 years. There has been some good times and some not so good times. I was in for three years got out, got a job worked harder and made less, got back in the Navy and got a job that would make pretty good money when I get out. To make a short story out of 19 years, yes it sucks at times as does any other job in the world, but I have to say that I have had a pretty good time and have seen a lot and meet some very good people. If I had to do it all over, I would have recieved all the education I could in the first 6 years and got out..... The military's retirement program is just not the same and the health/ dental benifits are just not worth it. As far as getting shot at, Desert Storm got shot at, in Iraqi Freedom didn't get shot at, was on a ship (895 feet long), not a little boat like the Coast Guard, (there is alot of water out there and bad storms). As we say choose you rate (job), choose your fate. I hear its pretty tough to advance (more money) in the AirForce. I'm not a big fan of the Army which would be my last choice and I did enjoy my time stationed with the Marines. Take your time choosing and most important nothing is guaranteed so make sure any promises are put onto paper, black and white. Any recruiter can bs you, but it is up to you to make sure you cover your butt. Besides without the military, I wouldn't have my GN...... And I wouldn't be here answering your post. Good luck its not soo bad.
Originally posted by ehopper302
No, we get 100% VA benifits just as any other military service. We are often the forgotten fifth military service.
That's exactly what I tried to tell him, but I'm sure you know the type. The one in the family who knows it all.