Thinking about joining the Coast Guard

Thinking about joining the Coast Guard

Posted in the US Coast Guard Forum


United States

#1 Sep 7, 2009

I am 27 years old and I am considering a career in the military. My entire life, I have worked a variety of jobs trying to find my niche (and still searching). I've gone from getting an AA degree, working with chefs in kitchens, auto repair/body work, retail, utility jobs... I could go on forever. Recently, I have been taking classes to become an EMT and eventually a firefighter. I think one of the biggest things holding me back is that I'm happily married (and might have a baby on the way) and I really don't want to leave my wife alone for 8 weeks, I would feel really bad putting her in that situation. Also, both of our families live in Florida, and we really don't want to be stationed somewhere out of the state (Georgia would be pushing it). My entire life I've been athletic and active, I love being outdoors, and I'm the type of person that isn't scared of some hard work, so I'm pretty sure I would love it. It's just the whole issue of leaving the family and possibly being stationed somewhere far away. I'm wondering if I go to a recruiter if they would just tell me what I want to hear and reassure me that I would be sure to get stationed near home, just so I could sign up. Just got a lot of questions.......

Help me out people

Thanks and God bless you all

Blue Ridge, TX

#2 Sep 8, 2009

The Coast Guard recruiter is not going to tell you he will keep you near home, as it will not happen. Your first duty assignment will at minimum be 100 miles from home and more then likely farther then that and then you will be moved around every 3-4 years give or take.

If leaving Florida is a no go then the Coast Guard is not for you I am afraid. However I would like to strongly encourage you and your wife to reconsidered the possibility of moving to new and different locations and embark on a journey of a lifetime as the Coast Guard can offer you a great and secure career that I am sure you would most certainly enjoy.

Boot camp is 8 weeks long, you then get 5 days of leave then move off to your duty station for a period of time where you complete your qualifications and see and work with all the different rates (jobs) the Coast Guard has to offer. You then get to select the rate you want and after 4-6 months and you meet your qualifications you get to put your name on the A-school list (technical school to learn the trade of the rate you chose). You then work and earn your right of passage as a non-rate until your name comes to the top of the list then off to A-school. At which point you will be assigned to your new location wherever the Coast Guard needs you.

So again staying in Florida is not going to happen for you unless you do the reserves.

If interested in becoming a firefighter my department is hiring I am in Garland Texas

Please note the application deadline is Sept. 11 5pm (it must be submitted by 5pm not started) no exceptions.

I hope that helps a little and I wish you the very best.

Blue Ridge, TX

#3 Sep 8, 2009
I forgot to suggest to you to come on over to to ask a lot of questions and to get some great feedback. Excellent site and people!
AMT3 Gonzales

Miami, FL

#4 Jan 14, 2010
That is incorrect. It is true that no one can guarantee you location, there is a possibility to stay in Florida. I'm stationed in Miami and know a few members who were recruited in Florida, and have spend their whole time here. I know a Senior Chief who spent 16 consecutive years in New Orleans! It's rare but it does happen. There is no requirement to send you a minimum of any miles from home. Depending on the job, you can possibly stay in the same state. I'm in aviation, which is a small group, and I'm a HU-25 Falcon mechanic and crewman, which is an even smaller group. As of today, there is only 4 airstation in the CG that has Falcons, Miami, Corpus Christi, Mobile, Cape Cod. There is a mechanic here that has been here for 10 years. Don't assume that it's not possible. It's just not probable.

Having a family can be hard, but the CG realizes that your family is very important, and have many options for helping a family. The previous post makes a good point about being a non-rate then going to school. Perhaps it's best to leave your wife and child with family until you get to a stable unit. I joined in 2006 and didn't spend more than 1 year at a unit until 2008. Early on it will be very hard, but for a family man it's hard to find anything better.

Summerville, SC

#6 Nov 9, 2010
I want to join the USCG, but I dont want to leave my fiance and my 5 month old son. I want to get into maritime safety or security. I'm going to get my ged and i'm about to start tech, I am taking Diesel and Heavy Equipment. I realy need a answer frome someone.
Curious George

Dallas, TX

#7 Sep 10, 2012
I'm 26 yrs old & I have 5 months before I turn 27. Do I still have time to sign up before I turn 27& get in. I know it can take up to 8 months to a year till i go for basic training. So I'm askin can I still join even though I have a couple of months before I turn 27?

San Antonio, TX

#8 Jan 7, 2014
I am 17 and I've always wanted to join the military for a long time and I'm really excited that I'm just an arms length from reaching my goal. It is a pleasure to be able to help and serve my country and to save lives. I am so happy that I'm really close to reaching my goal and get a strong, firm grasp on my dream about to come true.

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