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Old 05-24-2021, 02:08 AM   #1
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Default Coast Guard - Good, Bad & Ugly?

Have a young man considering enlisting after his high school graduation this coming Friday out on the west coast. Finishing up with about a 2.8 GPA, but strong in mathematics. What are some of the stronger training choices while serving? Career opportunities post service? Skills that are transferable? Largest bases/stations? Lifestyle while serving? Any insight would be greatly appreciated .

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Old 05-24-2021, 05:37 AM   #2
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Paging atthewall!! I think he would be your best source of information. If I remember correctly, he was in the CG and has posted a ton of pictures and stories about it.

Personally I think choosing any branch of the services to serve in is a noble and wise choice that too few people are still making. Good luck to the young man and his upcoming decision.
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:08 AM   #3
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Coast Guard is awesome, definitely wouldn't recommend my USMC path....
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:25 AM   #4
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Coast Guard is awesome, definitely wouldn't recommend my USMC path....
We appreciate your service. Dont here this very often from USMC service men.
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:32 AM   #5
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Every “Puddle Pirate” I’ve ever met was proud of their service and enjoyed their time served.
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:36 AM   #6
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I have known two people who joined the coast guard, one is my father in law, he was a captain of a ship that serviced buoys and other navigational related pieces out in the water. He was stationed in San Francisco if I remember correctly. He claimed they would sail to islands in the south Pacific to work on whatever needed repair. From what I understand most of those pieces have regular service intervals, so the services are planned every so often.
He likes to claim he was in the Navy, until you get to asking him what he did in the Navy. After the Coast Guard, he went on to be a crew boat captain, and tug boat captain, an A Hole, and a alcoholic. Not sure if he picked up the last two characteristics in the Coast Guard, or if those were things he picked up else where.

Then I also went to school with a guy who joined the Coast Guard, he got stationed on a boat, that also serviced buoys. I think he was on a smaller boat, that mainly worked near shore, he was based out of some port in the north east, some where around New York. His big experience that I know of for his career, was catching a state record sail fish while out on the Coast Guard boat. I think he is a master goof off now, but really don't know much about him since he got out of the Coast Guard.

Then there was one other guy I used to know years ago, he got into working on Coast Guard helicopters. The Coast Guard, has a lot of helicopters and fixed wing air craft. So if you have any interest in a field in air craft, they might be the place to go.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:04 AM   #7
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I know nothing of the CG, but I would advise a focus on being some sort of mechanic. My younger brother is very successful as a diesel mechanic. Seems that or aviation mechanic would easily transfer to civilian life and those roles cant be offshored to a call center overseas.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friscopaint View Post
Coast Guard is awesome, definitely wouldn't recommend my USMC path....
I will second this about the USMC..... Army vet here Kidding!!!!

For the record I wouldn't recommend todays Army either if you have something better to do. Maybe linguist school.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:50 AM   #9
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Thx guys!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowhuntntxn View Post
Paging atthewall!! I think he would be your best source of information. If I remember correctly, he was in the CG and has posted a ton of pictures and stories about it.

Personally I think choosing any branch of the services to serve in is a noble and wise choice that too few people are still making. Good luck to the young man and his upcoming decision.
Yes, I was hoping Rob would see this.

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Old 05-24-2021, 10:47 AM   #10
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I served 2, 2 year stints.
Meaning I signed up for two and reupped for 2 more before the first two ran out.

I went in at 18 and did a lot of growing up in those 4 years.

I can recommend it, but that’s based on my 27 years ago experience.
The CG is a smaller branch, so the work load is spread out to include everyone with multiple task.
My example to that is while I was a mechanic on our patrol boat I was also the small boat coxswain, then the acting “boarding officer”- and we performed a lot of boardings in the gulf doing fisheries.
Aside from the Patrol boat out of Sabine Pass, I also served on what the Coast Guard calls a ship out of Port Canaveral Florida. Good times were had at both places.

On a side note-
I think the Coast Guard is where my brain got broke.
I left thinking things are to be done by the book or else there were consequences.
The world I live in is about polar opposite of that.


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Old 05-24-2021, 11:07 AM   #11
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My dad was in the Coast Guard in the late 60s early 70s, stationed in Portland, Maine. Has told me some great stories
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:12 AM   #12
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Talked with a couple of guys in Kema one year who I believe were CG and not Navy. Kinda in a patrol boat smaller than the big DPS boats but still had weapon systems mounted. They did marine interdiction. I would bet a tough group to get in with, but would be a lot of fun. Prob. only transition over to LE later down the line.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:30 AM   #13
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Great option! Friend of mine's son was trying to get in the CG Academy but they reduced the number allowed this year.
Good luck to the young man!
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Old 05-24-2021, 12:18 PM   #14
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I was in the navy and eorked in ship navigation and regret not getting my boat captains license while in.. i had the chance to do it but blew it off.. there is a tone you can do with that. Im sure you can go look at the jobs and see ehat applys to real world training. If anything, your son woll do a lot of growing up and gain valuable work experience. Just make sure he tries to do something he thinks he will enjoy, ive seen plenty in the service hating their life because their job sucks.. (cooks, boatswain mate... undes deck depatment..)

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Old 05-24-2021, 12:54 PM   #15
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Haha, “choose your rate , choose your fate” was a common saying when I was in.

They would dangle becoming a cook straight out of boot camp so you’d skip being a non rate (E-2/E-3) and go straight from boot camp to being a petty officer(E-4). Thus skipping the normal non rate status of doing grunt work while you waited for your “A” school opening to come up.

Few E-4 cooks that I ran into enjoyed life. Peel this, cook that day after day gets old I guess.


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Old 05-24-2021, 01:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
I served 2, 2 year stints.
Meaning I signed up for two and reupped for 2 more before the first two ran out.

I went in at 18 and did a lot of growing up in those 4 years.

I can recommend it, but that’s based on my 27 years ago experience.
The CG is a smaller branch, so the work load is spread out to include everyone with multiple task.
My example to that is while I was a mechanic on our patrol boat I was also the small boat coxswain, then the acting “boarding officer”- and we performed a lot of boardings in the gulf doing fisheries.
Aside from the Patrol boat out of Sabine Pass, I also served on what the Coast Guard calls a ship out of Port Canaveral Florida. Good times were had at both places.

On a side note-
I think the Coast Guard is where my brain got broke.
I left thinking things are to be done by the book or else there were consequences.
The world I live in is about polar opposite of that.


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Thats would actually be good!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blane View Post
Talked with a couple of guys in Kema one year who I believe were CG and not Navy. Kinda in a patrol boat smaller than the big DPS boats but still had weapon systems mounted. They did marine interdiction. I would bet a tough group to get in with, but would be a lot of fun. Prob. only transition over to LE later down the line.
I doubt he would want to be in Law Enforcement but that role in the Coast Guard would be interesting!
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Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
Great option! Friend of mine's son was trying to get in the CG Academy but they reduced the number allowed this year.
Good luck to the young man!
CG Academy acceptance could take up to two years from what I have learned. Thinking of enlisting and if he likes it then he could still apply for academy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZST_bowhunter View Post
I was in the navy and eorked in ship navigation and regret not getting my boat captains license while in.. i had the chance to do it but blew it off.. there is a tone you can do with that. Im sure you can go look at the jobs and see ehat applys to real world training. If anything, your son will do a lot of growing up and gain valuable work experience. Just make sure he tries to do something he thinks he will enjoy, ive seen plenty in the service hating their life because their job sucks.. (cooks, boatswain mate... undes deck depatment..)

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And this is the concern! Getting into an area that is NOT transferable into a GOOD life as a civilian. Service roles in the military translate into service roles in the real world.......not the best of pay in MOST cases. Yes, exposure to growth opportunities are needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
Haha, “choose your rate , choose your fate” was a common saying when I was in.

They would dangle becoming a cook straight out of boot camp so you’d skip being a non rate (E-2/E-3) and go straight from boot camp to being a petty officer(E-4). Thus skipping the normal non rate status of doing grunt work while you waited for your “A” school opening to come up.

Few E-4 cooks that I ran into enjoyed life. Peel this, cook that day after day gets old I guess.


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GREAT post!!!! Good things come to those that plan to wait and wait to plan!!! Getting a higher E rating short term does not translate to long term opportunity. Thanks for sharing that!
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Old 05-24-2021, 02:12 PM   #17
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I’ll send Rob a message to post on this thread...20 years in the CG.
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Old 05-24-2021, 07:25 PM   #18
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I have friends who were very successful after having served in the Air Force.
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Old 05-24-2021, 07:31 PM   #19
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He’ll never be able to enlist unless he is a non-binary minority raised by two same sex parents. He will also have to support BLM because the Biden administration just came out in support of them.

He should become a certified Plumber instead.
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Old 05-24-2021, 07:36 PM   #20
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he’ll never be able to enlist unless he is a non-binary minority raised by two same sex parents. He will also have to support blm because the biden administration just came out in support of them.

He should become a certified plumber instead.
:d:d:d:d:d:d
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Old 05-24-2021, 07:48 PM   #21
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Marines are out because you’d have to fly (run the flag up the pole) the BLM flag on George Floyd day at embassies around the world.

You just can’t make this stuff up !
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by RifleBowPistol View Post
I have known two people who joined the coast guard, one is my father in law, he was a captain of a ship that serviced buoys and other navigational related pieces out in the water. He was stationed in San Francisco if I remember correctly. He claimed they would sail to islands in the south Pacific to work on whatever needed repair. From what I understand most of those pieces have regular service intervals, so the services are planned every so often.
He likes to claim he was in the Navy, until you get to asking him what he did in the Navy. After the Coast Guard, he went on to be a crew boat captain, and tug boat captain, an A Hole, and a alcoholic. Not sure if he picked up the last two characteristics in the Coast Guard, or if those were things he picked up else where.

Then I also went to school with a guy who joined the Coast Guard, he got stationed on a boat, that also serviced buoys. I think he was on a smaller boat, that mainly worked near shore, he was based out of some port in the north east, some where around New York. His big experience that I know of for his career, was catching a state record sail fish while out on the Coast Guard boat. I think he is a master goof off now, but really don't know much about him since he got out of the Coast Guard.

Then there was one other guy I used to know years ago, he got into working on Coast Guard helicopters. The Coast Guard, has a lot of helicopters and fixed wing air craft. So if you have any interest in a field in air craft, they might be the place to go.
Have a coworker who did the same gig but on the buoys in Alaska on a very large ship He enjoyed it.
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lungbustr View Post
Have a coworker who did the same gig but on the buoys in Alaska on a very large ship He enjoyed it.

Those are ATON units. Aids to navigation, the black hulled fleet.
They are the working ships/boats to keep the waterways moving/ navigable.
I never worked directly with them, but rumor had it it was a fun / hard work billet. Shared many a beer with a few of them from the Sabine Pass station.

I can only imagine they see less action than the White hulled LE/ SAR segment of the service.


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Old 05-25-2021, 07:43 AM   #24
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I went to the downtown Houston military recruiting offices in 1979. Grandad did 37 years in the Navy 1920s - 1950s / Fought the Japanese the entire war. Enlisted at 17 and retired as a Lieutenant Commander. USS Lexington battle of Coral Sea, skipper of his own Gunboat - firing at Japanese positions Guadalcanal / Kamikaze hit on on of the ships and then the rebuilding of Japan, after 1945, working with the men who tried to kill him.

I had a 4 year, free ride to college, Dad had me covered and he was doing, what Grandpa and Great Grandpa did before. Save and send the oldest son to college. The afternoon I told Dad, I was not interested in Texas Tech (his 3 degrees sourced there), I was joining the US Coast Guard.

Let's just say, I did not receive a warm and fuzzy from Dad.

Grandpa on the other hand - OH HELLS YEAH!

The Houston recruiter, up to 1980, stated, I scored the highest entrance exam at the Houston Recruiting office. I didn't think much of it, and had I really leveraged it, I could of gone to the Academy or any Guaranteed Service school based on my scores. I had no clue, I went to them fully expecting to serve and I wanted to go in like Grandpa, at the bottom and serve as he did.

Grandpa never talked about WWII to anyone, for years after the war. When I, his only grandson turned 11, he began to tell me of his experiences in World War II - Pacific Theater - the entire war.

CHAPTER ONE - GUADALCANAL

My Grandpa Roberts, was the main influence in my young life. A war veteran, a Naval Officer, he gave me a Japanese sword and military carbine - given to him, during a Japanese Island surrender at the end of the war.

To this day, this is what I remember
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:57 AM   #25
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"If you're looking for life at 25, and you can't seem to get things right, you may spend the better part of your life trying to make it right, and you just may never get there. Join the military, put 4 years in, contemplate about your future, get away from your hometown, vices, influences and family - stand on your own two feet and SERVE.

Inside, you will find what you are looking for."


Grandpa is the Senior Officer below, 1945 Island surrender - Grandpa's Gunboat flotilla, secured this island at the end of the war. I know no details of the island but, the Japanese Senior Officer, surrendered his sword and rifle to Grandpa, the senior Naval Officer US Navy in this scene.




I had a war hero for a Grandpa, a Leader of men and the skipper of a Fighting ship, charged with fighting the Japanese and keeping his men and crew motivated to fight, over and over and over for years on end, with no end to the war in sight.

This man influenced me to serve.......and being the first born American son, of my Polish last name (Grandpa escaped Poland in 1937 - 2 years before Germany invaded Poland - the second time. Grandpa Z was a teenage, caught up in the first world war and survived. The family had their last two sons, leave for the west - Grandpa Z went to Mexico and his brother - Rio de Janeiro

Being a FIRST BORN AMERICAN, with an American Grandpa who not only served, earned a Bronze Star, Officers Commission, Commanding Officer of his own ship and Commanding Officer of Naval Station Panama - Mom the only child - the daughter of the SHIPS SKIPPER

I enlisted and I earned my Officers Commission, moving into realm of the ranks of the CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER - US COAST GUARD RETIRED

I had some tough BOONDOCKERS to fill..........and I followed him in the same fashion ENLISTED and then COMPETE IN THE FIELD FOR AN OFFICERS PROMOTION

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Old 05-25-2021, 07:59 AM   #26
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I spent 7 years in the CG wouldn’t change a thing. Most off my time was in HH65. Saw awesome places and saved a few lives. Nothing in more rewarding than picking up people who would have never made it. Some didn’t but at least we tried. Only regrets... and it’s not really one.... I didn’t stay in. I have a wonderful family and a good job. I wouldn’t have my family if I would have stayed in. Sure I would have one but....it’s life. DO IT. The scores for entry have to be high.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:15 AM   #27
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I earned a COMMENDATION MEDAL, three ACHIEVEMENT MEDALS and 6 LETTERS OF COMMENDATION and competed and earned my OFFICERS COMMISSION.

When I joined, at 20 years of military service, you retired with half of the annual total of your highest rank.

When I retired in January 2000, I was making a pretty good Officers salary, around the 50k annual rate - which is great for the military back in those years.

I get 27,000 bucks every year, 1099-R retirement, which augments my Information Technology salary - 38 years of IT experience.

The US Coast Guard set me up beyond my wildest dreams. But the 20 years I served, 1980 - 2000 / Analog to Digital transformation happened, on my watch.

I graduated 2nd in my Boot camp class. I had choices of duty stations, Hawaii, Virginia Beach, Seattle, Miami, Florida Keys etc........All of these assignments were small boat stations.

I didn't want to be on shore, I wanted my first duty assignment to be a ship, just like Grandpa who chose to join the Navy and his ship, the USS Lexington - sunk at the Battle of Coral Sea. Grandpa had been aboard Lexington 7 years, before she was sunk - an original PLANK OWNER of the first Super Carrier in the world.

I chose the USCGC Midgett, homeported in San Francisco California - right near Coast Guard bootcamp - the old West Coast boot camp closed in 1981 forever.

I still remember climbing the brow, seabag tossed over my shoulder, button line salute to the Officer of the Day and requested permission to come aboard........

I got eyeballed and then ridiculed. Only rejects get ships - the guys who couldn't score well and or physically weak etc etc etc. I was made fun of for being ranked so high in my class yet picking the worst assignment - apparently ship life at sea isn't as romantic for some, I didn't care about any of them.......none of them, had a GRANDPA like mine who was alive and well during my first 10 years of service time.

I was driven - my personal conviction to not let him down and fail, with a new IMMIGRANT FAMILY who now has their first son, serving in the US ARMED FORCES

I not only served, I retired with an officers commission, which now has my Families last name listed forever, in the "US Coast Guards Officers Registry, the names of all US Coast Guard Officers, who have served in the Guard - forever listed in WASHINGTON DC under the US COAST GUARD

This is what fueled me - nothing to do with career paths after service, I had 20 years to do, 4 kids to raise and a wife and every 2-5 years, we were forced to move. West coast to east coast, Gulf coast to Washington State - my kids in and out of public schools all over the country.

Life was challenging, tough and my kids and wife, took a lot to adjust with the many regional moves and changes.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:31 AM   #28
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The US Coast Guard service members, all of them, are FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS

POSSE COMITATUS - Prevents the Department of Defense (standard military) from acting in any LAW ENFORCEMENT capacity.

In the US Coast Guard, by default, you are a FEDERAL MARSHAL - Customs authority, DEA authority, Wildlife fishery and coastal habitats, Fisheries enforcement, Maritime Pollution response and enforcement, speed traps - no wake zones, pollution response and interdiction, human trafficking, drug and endangered species enforcement.....every ship, inbound to any major US Seaport, all of it, is controlled by the US Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Safety folks - like the FAA controlling aircraft.......

Small boat Stations like Port Isabel, Port Aransas, Port O'Connor - all of them are a viable part of their local communities. You eat lunch with the Mayor or Chief of Police of Fire Chief - why? Because they need the US Coast Guard and living and working in these coastal communities, you are the firehouse, boat house, EMT with 7x24x365 and Helicopter/Jet evacuation coverage, half million to well over a million dollar small boats sit in the boat house. M16 full auto machine guns, shotguns, pistols - yes this is part of your gear because you are A COP WITH A BOAT AND A LOT OF DUTIES TO COVER IN A REGION OF RESPONSIBILITY that is above the STATE LEVEL support.

The Coast Guard 4100 form, the ticket like a DPS trooper carries and writes up violations on the highway - that US Coast Guard boat coxswain, with 2 - 3 people as part of his crew and responsibilities as he runs the boat and works following all missions of the Coast Guard - that guy or gal can write tickets with fines upwards of 5 MILLION DOLLARS

This is a military guy, earning military pay, running a million dollar small boat, with automatic weapons onboard - and yet you don't know he's armed to the teeth.

That guy and his CG 4100 = 5 million dollar fine

The entrance exam into the US Coast Guard is the highest of all services. If you pass the USCG SAT to enter, you can go to UT, TECH and or A&M because, the bar is high because the US Coast Guard has advanced missions and the responsibilities for enlisted folks, is very high.

All other military service branches would never ever, turn their enlisted folks loose with a multi-million dollar boat, automatic weapons and engaged the public without getting you, your command, the US Coast Guard sued for saying or doing something absolutely stupid and not withstanding, the values and reputation of the US Coast Guard with Joe and Jane Public

At any moment, a Coast Guardsman may be involved in a public event, that involves a community, dangerous conditions - some may be toxic chemicals - wildlife protection - and cameras all up in your face with the public as your witness - this is the operating environment - hence the reason why the bar must be high, the USCG needs smart people because they will be charged alone and or with small teams to represent IN PUBLIC, EVERY MISSION SUPPORTED with no OFFICERS GENERALS ADMIRALS CAPTAINS TOP BRASS NICKLE AND DIMING EVER DECISIONS

They cant because, they are on the beach miles and miles away and you are running the ICW dealing the the weekend warriors etc etc etc
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:40 AM   #29
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If you want to be able to hunt and fish in different states without having to pay out of state fees, Coast Guard is where its at.
Want to take a 47' boat out in 10-15' breaking waves over the bow because your CO & XO are bored, Coast Guard it is.
Want an oppurtunity to go to the hottest vacation spots in the country for free, Coast Guard it is.
Just make sure you do basic in summer and not winter in NJ...rather sweat then walk through a blizzard to chow hall.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:48 AM   #30
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I sailed Alaska and the Bering Sea aboard USCGC Midgett - my first two years as a boot up to E3 / at sea sailor and Boatswains Mate watch captain.

I've sailed and steered ships thousand upon thousands of miles - Maine to South America - the entire Caribbean out to the West Indies and all the way west to Panama and Belize and the reefs of the western Caribbean. Alaska above the Arctic circle and down to South America and out the Aleutian Islands to Russia

I've pulled dead bodies out of the water

I've smelt rotting salt water soaked flesh, witnessed the pain of the families, felt the pain in my gut of hopelessness.....I've cried myself to sleep several times

I've watched people commit suicide jumping to their death off bridges as we waited

I've listened to ships sink, men cry, cuss and pray

I've pulled suicide bridge jumpers, off the Oakland Bay bridge with a California Highway patrolman taking order from me as I cover the jumper - he cuffed and hauled him in for eval - only to watch him jump a few weeks later, same spot and then 2 weeks later, recover the body on a mud flat miles away

I've talked to men, skippers and captains - as the last human voice ashore before the sea took them - GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU

I've had my heart in my throat, held on for life for days in storms - storms that snapped 600ft ships in half with 26 Japanese fishermen/sailors/sons-fathers-brothers GONE = 180 NAUTICAL MILES NORTHWEST DUTCH HARBOR ALASKA

We rode that storm 5 days, set back 3 miles per hour backwards, as we held the ships bow into the 60-70ft seas with freak waves of 100 plus ever few hours.....we got shoved backwards for 3 days straight.

Port side Jet turbine engine - ripped out of it's engine mount and the starboard side main diesel engine supercharger destroyed

The Captain of this ship, ADMIRAL ROBERT E KRAMEK, went on to become the Commandant of the US Coast Guard. I worked for him on the Midget, in Miami chasing Pablo Escobar during the Miami Vice era and then as he served as the senior officer for the entire Guard.

I was at his retirement - he gave me a bear hug in front of a ton of politicians and brass - US Coast Guard Academy - He spotted me wearing my CWO uniform - he smiled and bum rushed thru the crowd on impulse

WE WILL NEVER FORGET THAT STORM
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:02 AM   #31
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I have an advanced Telecommunications and Information Technology background. I sat and worked on a Unix computer in 1982 running a funny new INTEL CPU called the 8086 processor, during the beginning of the technology days

SATCOM
RF
HF
UHF
VHF

And radio teletype, sitor, amver, obs, marine broadcast radio, data streams via satcom - command and control plus all of the communications between all agencies military, state, federal and civilian

The US Coast Guard must be versant with DOD as well as all other facets of Communication because, we serve the PUBLIC here at home. So calling the PO PO, State, Governor, State Department, Customs, DEA, Navy, Air Force Army local NEWS TEAMS looking for maritime disaster news etc etc etc

I worked for the VICE PRESIDENTIAL COUNTER NARCOTICS TASK FORCE under President Reagan and VP Bush, 13 th floor Miami Federal building. I held a top secret for 14 years - all tied to the Medellin and Cali cartels

I worked cases with men in the witness protection program with FBI & DEA agents

I've moved cocaine by the tons some seized and others - setups and undercover sting operations in South Florida


I'm not your normal COAST GUARDSMAN

What I experienced, was a transitional period pre 9/11

EXAMPLE Since the US Coast Guard is so small, our advanced training then, was civilian not military based. The other military branches trained for war only and the missions of that only back then

We had a different role - Mother Nature and CARTELS = these were our two enemies and both, when you mix the world of living and working for weeks on end, at sea, with the challenges only that world can dishout


-
They sent me to Modesto California, Swat and Police Academy training - take down - shoot for score - tactical shooting for score - all of the instructors cops, who survived getting shot and now are training us, in the way of tactical control of a ship, as we sweep and secure. I ate slept and trained all at a police academy, with Game Wardens and California cops and highway patrolmen all sharing barracks together.

I was selected as the first COMPUTER PERSON in 1991. They started a "proof of concept" which focused on a new world - a world of information technology, which was changing the world in the 1980s

So after my Miami Cartel drug enforcement stint, they asked me if I was interested in just working on computers and information technology systems. I had advanced training with years of experience working missions, that used these technologies and I became so good at what I did, word got out.

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Old 05-25-2021, 09:07 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtTheWall View Post
I sailed Alaska and the Bering Sea aboard USCGC Midgett - my first two years as a boot up to E3 / at sea sailor and Boatswains Mate watch captain.

I've sailed and steered ships thousand upon thousands of miles - Maine to South America - the entire Caribbean out to the West Indies and all the way west to Panama and Belize and the reefs of the western Caribbean. Alaska above the Arctic circle and down to South America and out the Aleutian Islands to Russia

I've pulled dead bodies out of the water

I've smelt rotting salt water soaked flesh, witnessed the pain of the families, felt the pain in my gut of hopelessness.....I've cried myself to sleep several times

I've watched people commit suicide jumping to their death off bridges as we waited

I've listened to ships sink, men cry, cuss and pray

I've pulled suicide bridge jumpers, off the Oakland Bay bridge with a California Highway patrolman taking order from me as I cover the jumper - he cuffed and hauled him in for eval - only to watch him jump a few weeks later, same spot and then 2 weeks later, recover the body on a mud flat miles away

I've talked to men, skippers and captains - as the last human voice ashore before the sea took them - GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU

I've had my heart in my throat, held on for life for days in storms - storms that snapped 600ft ships in half with 26 Japanese fishermen/sailors/sons-fathers-brothers GONE = 180 NAUTICAL MILES NORTHWEST DUTCH HARBOR ALASKA

We rode that storm 5 days, set back 3 miles per hour backwards, as we held the ships bow into the 60-70ft seas with freak waves of 100 plus ever few hours.....we got shoved backwards for 3 days straight.

Port side Jet turbine engine - ripped out of it's engine mount and the starboard side main diesel engine supercharger destroyed

The Captain of this ship, ADMIRAL ROBERT E KRAMEK, went on to become the Commandant of the US Coast Guard. I worked for him on the Midget, in Miami chasing Pablo Escobar during the Miami Vice era and then as he served as the senior officer for the entire Guard.

I was at his retirement - he gave me a bear hug in front of a ton of politicians and brass - US Coast Guard Academy - He spotted me wearing my CWO uniform - he smiled and bum rushed thru the crowd on impulse

WE WILL NEVER FORGET THAT STORM
Before I ever knew any of this ^^, I figured you were a hell of a guy, based off your post.
I was right
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:08 AM   #33
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They asked me if I wanted to work in Corpus Christi (as I sat in the Federal building in Miami - Cartel with bounties on my head - ordered to not wear a uniform in public and to carry a gun for safety. In Florida, Active duty USCG members could in 1987 legally carry a concealed handgun - just like a Florida full time lawman off duty.

The reason - both Cartel clans (Pablo and the Rodriguez brothers) wanted us gone cause, we were on their *** around the clock offshore there, bahamas, pacific, atlantic and caribbean - we chased them around the clock for years

I agreed to do the REGIONAL SYSTEM MANAGER job - became the first dedicated billet slated to support Information Technology and Systems security in support of USCG Missions

I promoted to CWO - had 26 network engineers, computer contractors, GSA Employees and military personnel - my twilight tour, working with Microsoft engineers in Seattle. I got email with attachments running on Inmarsat servers from Navy ships at sea, email with attachments in 1987

I got Aids to Navigation tugs working the Mississippi river, up on email with attachments in 1991, using Motorola bag cell phones and unix servers

Everything I touched was gold because, this new IT World was at it's beginning, and we millions of dollars to budget with the open communication and IT plans, to talk to DOD as well as Local State Federal and Civil entities - all using all forms of communication which even then, included Morse Code and Semaphore

This opportunity blazed my career professionally putting me out on the street in January 2000

My first job, after retirement......a dot com. A job, that after I joined them, we got bought out by Charles Schwab for 600 million dollars.

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Old 05-25-2021, 09:26 AM   #34
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Out of an Officers uniform and into shorts, flip flops, and beer and pizza every Friday living and working in Austin with the freaks and hippies

Out of uniform and my new job title DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION

I'm not your normal military success story - my timing during my era - I knew what I had and I worked it out the door.

39 years old - 27 k coming in annually - time to find a new job


I'm still working - and manage a highly advanced business network, taking care of 6000 plus restaurants and food service entities - throughout the state of Texas

I have 39 years of advanced information and infosecurity experience

In the military - I worked Unix operating systems 14 years - system and security/network guru before we were forced to use Microsoft Windows NT in 1994

Washington DC has a new Coast Guard Museum under construction - I'm a supporting plank owner.

Being the first computer person in the Coast Guard, the old REGIONAL SYSTEM MANAGER program - the precursor to today's modern INTERNET CONNECTED agency.

It's not the same and the rates have changed. So having me provide a current view, of post 9/11 USCG = I am at a loss.

I've run into retired Coasties, who joined at my last few years and went on to retire under Obama or Trump. It's not even the same service to me anymore?

I'm still trying to figure out the changes

The missions are the same - more focus now on immigration, weapons and drug enforcement as related to here as well as intel and trade embargos, with US COAST GUARD PERSONNEL providing the embargo enforcement at sea, standing off these god forbidden reaches of the Indian Ocean and the **** sand box
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:49 AM   #35
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Here's an example of how different my time in the Guard was then, in comparison to now.

Both of these guys, are sitting with full auto M16s, there's a 30 cal machine gun somewhere behind them on the truck bed, with all the ammo.

We are sitting in a parking lot in front of our barracks. The guy in uniform, a Gunnersmate buddy of ours and we are helping him haul all these weapons to an armory, after we stopped at the State/Federal shooting range near Oakland California.

We piled up 3 wide in this government truck, we had M16s in the truck locked and loaded, with the rest of the automatic guns and ammo, in the bed of the truck.


We drove that setup from Yerba Buena Island, out of the freeways around San Francisco and Oakland, stop and go traffic, loaded with automatic weapons and ammo - open and exposed - on the truck bed

I shot so many years - out of boredom - You can spray full autos around like a garden hose - and you get real good out of SPRAY AND PRAY when ammo is no object


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Old 05-25-2021, 09:53 AM   #36
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Rolling around with military grade automatic weapons, in an open bed pickup truck with GSA PLATES

One in uniform and the other two, civilian clothes.

In today's military - OH HELLS NO


Back then, you have a key, you have custody, then it's your arse if you screw things up

And they turned us loose - the toys we had access to - UNREAL

I got free shotgun shells, issued each month, duck and goose loads, from my Coast Guard Command on the Eastern Shore. They did this for morale - winters up there are cold and brutal but the duck and goose hunting, off the chart. So shells kept us out chasing birds instead of sitting at some miserable bar, with the watermen who are land locked due to bad weather

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Old 05-25-2021, 09:59 AM   #37
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3,000 Lbs of Pablo Escobars finest, onboard USS SOUTH CAROLINA off the coast of Columbia 1980s era

This was a DEA/FBI & WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM the "buying SMUGGLER DUDE" operation. Ran 10,000 lbs after buy up to Puerto Rico and over to the US to target the buyer with the dough, to afford two tons of un-cut blow

A very wealthy American Businessman, who was there with us, fronted the money to buy the blow in this photo. Then we couldn't spend US Tax payer money to buy blow, to setup American sting operations in Miami but, this Jimmy Buffet kinda business guy told me, he was filthy rich, life was kinda boring and he was doing his part, patriot - funding the drug ops, and his agreement to funding was, he had to be part of the mission. So basically he's buying his excitement and helping his government out, at the same time.

In today's USCG, this would be literally unheard of now.

Then - this was a new game, the drug war. No one knew anything and everything was on the table.

And everything we did, was the first time the US Government ever fought drug cartels

So we blazed the new beginning - and the edges were all rough and protocol and procedures, tossed out the window once you cleared the beach and get deep into country down south

No one had been here before - we were blazing new trail and leveraging, the advanced technologies of that time - the war - DRUG WAR with the most vicious drug smuggler to date then - PABLO and his cocaine cowboys

1988-89 - Another day at the offshore office - deep in bad player country

Im standing left Petty Officer First Class and right, the Mayport Florida Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Executive Petty Officer First class, of his L/E group homeported in Mayport FL.

After some Navy Officer snapped this photo from the ship, we hauled and stored it right next to the Ship's nuclear SM1 missiles in the missile storage and battery compartment.

I could not snap pictures of nuclear missiles and cocaine - both cozy together inside this compartment but if I could - no one on the planet can say they have a photo with 2 tons of Pablo Escobar's BEST COCAINE and the US NAVY - NUCLEAR WARHEAD all framed, in the same picture

THAT IMAGE - I STILL SEE THAT UNREAL SCENE - 27 YEARS OLD - JUST ANOTHER NORMAL DAY AT WORK


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Old 05-25-2021, 10:18 AM   #38
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This is me, running the 25ft motor surfboat into Dutch Harbor Alaska. My ship, USCGC Midgett, is riding the hook in the harbor.

This was the day, before we were directed to go at best speed to save the Japanese Factory fishing ship - which snapped in half in that Bering Sea storm.

I lived in arctic wetsuits working up there - boarding and running small boats around the clock, the old USSR fishing ships all in our waters, as well as killing baby seals on the ice flows near Nome and the Arctic Circle.

We chased some Russian seal hunters back into Siberia one week - this was during that period were the world outlawed killing baby seals and started to rope in the whale fisheries as well with quotas and control

1980s

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Old 05-25-2021, 10:22 AM   #39
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Running intercept on a Soviet spy ship - off Santa Cruz headed south to Los Angeles

We setup a passive listening array, scanning all frequencies radiating from them and recording all of it

This had us doing sort and filter work for the DOD and the war machine that world deals with

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Old 05-25-2021, 10:27 AM   #40
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This is a Polish Commercial Stern Trawler (USSR CONTROLLED POLAND)

The 25ft motor surfboat with us, about to board this Polish ship, is visible (white) center

The freezer spaces inside these ships, 20 below zero

And we would go inside these spaces and count and sort fish for hours and hours to points, the wetsuits would shatter ice periodically and our face and all hair white with icicles

The boat ride over got us wet, then inside these massive freezer spaces to have all of that ice up and shatter, as you moved around in a very expensive arctic wetsuit

We boarded ships around the clock. I've slept on a steel deck for hours, waiting for pickup and drop off.

FISHERIES LAW ENFORCEMENT - We had a National Marine Fisheries (Fish Cop) onboard, who knew the species of Alaska, and the laws there of, like the back of his hand.

The fisheries up there, lets just say any of us living in the lower 48 - literally zero experience with the sealife up there. So he was our guru and we worked together.

I saved his ARSE one afternoon, he panicked coming down the ladder in heavy seas, let go and fell about 15 ft down and I caught him, on the bow of the surfboat. He cracked my helmet but we both survived it and went on the board another ship a few hours later.

He swore up and down I saved his life - I swore up and down he tried to take my life


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Old 05-25-2021, 10:37 AM   #41
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Captain Robert E. Kramek Commanding Officer USCGC Midgett - Long Beach California here on the port bridge wing.



Commandant US Coast Guard here

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Old 05-25-2021, 10:59 AM   #42
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Good - It's a full mission service with enough mission diversity, to not do the same job and the MISSION, just like the fire department and or police department, they have jobs to do and training for war, around the clock, is not part of the main goal.

The Navy, if you aren't fighting an enemy, you are playing war with fellow Navy personnel and training with foreign Navy's

TRAINING - FOR WAR HMMMMMMMMM



I would prefer to have a real mission to a local community, wear a uniform to serve that community, and worry and engage war, if and when that time comes.

In the meantime, there's work on the water everyday

SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY - NUMBER ONE JOB

And getting up with a cup of coffee, hearing a marine diesel idle and smelling that fresh salt air - clutch the boat in, slip the lines and leave the dock, the station, the command and your boss back on the beach.

Out there - you are the ONSCENE COMMANDER - Fines up to 5 million bucks - need firepower - full auto firepower if it's needed non of that semi auto stuff - real military issue grade weapons.

If you hunt, fish, surf, hike, explore - OUTDOOR ANYTHING.........pick a place in the USA and go serve there. See it, live it, grow experiences beyond the scope of just here at home in the Lone Star State - have them pay you to see, live, experience and share with new friends and communities.


This is why I loved it. I don't sit well and love to be challenged. The USCG met those needs for me.

EMT, COP, FIREHOUSE, PARK RANGER, GAME WARDEN, MARINE ENGINEER, MARINE CONSTRUCTION, ADVANCED ELECTRONICS - COMMUNICATIONS AND NAVIGATION SYSTEMS

These are the hats, with dozens more........all missions, that meet any coastal communities needs, the US COAST GUARD has a Station there, with men/women and resources. Many rural coastal regions of the USA coastline, the Coast Guard Station is the communities center piece. Even some of these small town Police Departments have little clout in comparison because, the US Coast Guard is funded and outfitted with the right gear and tools to do these missions ,these other agencies have no money nor resources and or training to run and use maritime equipment - which is not cheap.

That's what the US Coast Guard provides - every 50 - 160 miles away, is another Coast Guard small boat station, along the coastline.

From Seattle Washington to Bangor Maine - we have eyes, ears and radio wave coverage of the coastal maritime zones, quietly sitting and serving in coastal communities.

They have been in these communities - some - since 1800

One of the longest standing sea going military service branches here in the USA yet - very little is known of them and their missions

THIS IS BY DESIGN - 25,000 people total (or there abouts) - the entire staff of the US Coast Guard

Lets just say, flying under the radar, has served the USCG Well

And I hope she stays small, very hard to join with a ton of expectations on each recruit, to achieve greatness.

Greatness to serve these communities, greatness to stand behind the others, below the radar, not needing service and or mission purpose and or justification, the missions are always defined and needed


SAVING LIVES AT ANY COST

NOT TAKING THEM - BUT SAVING THEM - FIGHTING THE STRONGEST ENTITY ON EARTH TO DO SO - MOTHER NATURE

Yeah - we ain't combat warriors - no - but we don't get seasick - and that in itself, is more than anything anyone could ever hope for, when crap has hit the fan, steel bends buckles and snaps, winds so strong - over 100 knots and seas so bad, helplessness for days or more, as SHE PUMMELS ALL WITH THEM CRYING FOR HELP AND US TRYING LIKE HELL TO GET TO THEM BEFORE GETTING OURSELVES KILLED


It's a different mindset - it's one of trust, hope and faith with the man above and the hell your are working in - TO SAVE SOMEONE ELSE AT ALL COST

To be a Coastie, you have to be sure of one's faith to work out there, when SHE'S ON and pray, you never get seasick

I don't get seasick, never gotten seasick, and for this, I worked to cover my shipmates who were so sick, they survived on IVs and fluids, too weak to even get out of bed and hit the toilet. We tied them into the bunk and put them on the watch rotation with someone keeping them alive while the rest of us fought the storm as the ship tried to tear herself apart

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Old 05-25-2021, 11:07 AM   #43
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And I do mean SEASICK

To points, you break arms, legs, and worst case, you get tossed over the side in seas so bad, turning the boat around will swamp the ship and kill everyone aboard.

Not all Coasties experience these things - only a handful today.

Back then, we seemed to be more into everything because then, anyone out of fuel and or broke down we had to tow them in. 12ft dingy all the way up to ships - we had to cover and tow

Folks started to take advantage of that, and the Coast Guard was using up all of it's operational monies towing in boats with zero life safety issues.

Now it's call a commercial salvage group like SEATOW

Back then, SEATOW was the US COAST GUARD

So I'm out of touch with today's guard but.........some of the things I mention here, with hours and hours of info left to share......

ALL GOOD, NO BAD since I honestly think, the US Coast Guard's missions alone, should be enough to motivate to keep those who serve others, as the forefront of your entire PURPOSE TO WEAR THAT UNIFORM IN THE FIRST PLACE
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:48 AM   #44
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60,000 shaft horsepower - pair of PRATT/WHITNEY turbine engines

Pair of FAIRBANKS/MORSE supercharged diesel engines as well

4 engines total

TURBINE - 38 MPH
DIESEL - 27 MPH

Diesel - 12 knots = 1.5 months before refuel
Turbine - 38 MPH = 1 week - bone dry fuel tank

JP5 diesel - fuel for turbine, diesel and the HH3 Helicopters (all used the same grade diesel)

378ft long
40ft wide
24ft draft
111ft forward main mast tallest point
70ft Pilot house bridge windows - above the ocean floor
150 men

A lot of folks hate living and working on a ship. These same folks, stand a watch then find other things to do to pass the time.

I would hook up with someone that had skills, electronics, telecommunications, weapons, weapons-fire control systems etc

I would go and hang out in their shops, after work hours, and we had equipment, tools, theory of how these systems worked etc etc etc

I would learn navigation, celestial navigation, engineering, deckmanship - everything I could absorb.

The crew, each and everyone has specific duties and responsibilities aboard. Keeping the ship running, gear going, and outfitted, even if it wasn't my job or duty, I learned by watching and asking others, the things they liked about their jobs and or the challenges within.

This gave me free reign to go to every department on the ship, to learn something different, and keep myself mentally preoccupied.

I'm a NON FICTION kinda person - so parking my butt and reading westerns and or watching VHS taped movie reruns, boring.

Down in sonar, up in combat or out on the bridge with the navigators, engineering watches and spaces, pumps, motors fuel systems and then firefighting and patching holes and saving a sinking ship.

Skills - I wanted to know as much as I could of everything - and I started to get there to points, they picked me to ride these darn Navy ships and chase drug smugglers. I knew a bunch about shipboard systems and once I got on the various Navy ships, I then mosied around with some of the crew, and studied how they did things

To this day, there are many in the US Navy who think I'm a CIA operative wearing a USCG Uniform as cover - THE OLD MIAMI DAYS


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Old 05-25-2021, 11:52 AM   #45
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My ex Brother In Law - was in the USCG with me - got out and worked for the CIA for about 15 years or so.

They tried to recruit me, thru him, in the late 80s and 90s

So glad I told them to PACK IT!
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Old 05-25-2021, 12:25 PM   #46
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Oscar - Based on the mathematical component, which is a blessing really, I would steer him into the Information Systems Technician.

This will expose him to the INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY world of data/voice/security

This is about a close, to the world I once worked in, before they readjusted and modernized the ratings (speciality disciplines), post 9/11 and post 1st decade of the Internet's existence.
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Old 05-25-2021, 12:29 PM   #47
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After serving, and receiving 58 weeks of training in that world - the longest trade school in the USCG, he's working in the field, gaining valuable hands on technical skills supporting the USCG Missions.

Once he completes that, a few years of IT Sticktime in the hot seat, cutting his teeth at the entry level wearing uniform - he takes that uniform off, technical trade schools under his belt with books and materials used to learn, now his. And out in Corporate America, an ex MILITARY IT guy, folks like me, will hire him in a second!

And I too, was like him.........and cut my teeth...........and earned the skills inside along with leadership and management examples, of all the great inside, who make careers of leading men and women in tough situations.

He will earn character, patience, discipline and devotion to duty and cause - the military style, that will carry with him through life.

10 YEARS OF IT EXPERIENCE = SIX FIGURE INCOMES IN TODAYS' WORLD

Nothing to lose learning it wearing a uniform = with 4 years to polish an every growing resume with material learned and earned on the inside

That's my take, based on the current list of available rates in the USCG

Marine Mechanics and Aviation Mechanics - lotta competition with ex Navy and Army guys, from Vietnam to now.

Information Technology, let's just say, there is less competition with the future of IT, being here for a long long time. Some of those mechanical jobs may end up going by the way of electrical engines - which requires new training.

The IT Side, you live and work it and it changes and grows with all IT types, having to push themselves with professional development to remain marketable and relative with the current technology trends of today

Which will be here tomorrow for many decades

Its all gonna ride on his SAT score at the recruiter. He has to pass the basic minimum to get in. And the higher he scores, the more his SAT minimum score plays into his eligibility, to some of the more advanced schooling.

When I served, your SAT score to get in, also was the score you carried for aptitude and pre-entrance qualifications into some of the advanced military training schools.

If the score is too low to qualify, they don't get the opportunity to pick a career field, they can test at the minimum cut off.

The days of getting into the Military, cause one had no where else to go, is over. Must have a high school education or GED and then you have to meet some basic score minimums to be eligible.

Last edited by AtTheWall; 05-25-2021 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 05-25-2021, 12:36 PM   #48
Landrover
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Rob, Thank YOU so much for taking time to respond in extreme detail on this matter. I figured you were busy but did not need the wise-cracks on this thread from a political stance.
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Oscar - Based on the mathematical component, which is a blessing really, I would steer him into the Information Systems Technician.

This will expose him to the INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY world of data/voice/security

This is about a close, to the world I once worked in, before they readjusted and modernized the ratings (speciality disciplines), post 9/11 and post 1st decade of the Internet's existence.
Thanks for spelling that out. I knew it was something specific to pursue but did not know the correct area to start! Yes, being above average in Math & Sciences is a MUST in our future.
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After serving, and receiving 58 weeks of training in that world - the longest trade school in the USCG, he's working in the field, gaining valuable hands on technical skills supporting the USCG Missions.

Once he completes that, a few years of IT Sticktime in the hot seat, cutting his teeth at the entry level wearing uniform - he takes that uniform off, technical trade schools under his belt with books and materials used to learn, now his. And out in Corporate America, an ex MILITARY IT guy, folks like me, will hire him in a second!

And I too, was like him.........and cut my teeth...........and earned the skills inside along with leadership and management examples, of all the great inside, who make careers of leading men and women in tough situations.

He will earn character, patience, discipline and devotion to duty and cause - the military style, that will carry with him through life.
Thanks a bunch sir!!!!
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Old 05-25-2021, 12:45 PM   #49
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Before I ever knew any of this ^^, I figured you were a hell of a guy, based off your post.
I was right

Don’t let that fool you


ATW - CU/I


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Old 05-25-2021, 12:47 PM   #50
AtTheWall
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Here's a young 3rd class Petty Officer, Tier 1 support type, talking about IT in the USCG

I would hire all of them after 4 years and fresh out in corporate America


As you can see in the video, Data centers, servers, routers, switches, vlans and firewalls along with voice over ip Phone systems, fiber and copper the cable mediums as well as WIFI

All cutting edge and the US Coast Guard is the most open standard computing platform out of all of the military branches = USCG Must communicate with civilians and civilian law enforcement which the other military branches forbid comms with the public

Big difference and culturally, the USCG IT GUY is a one for one match with Corporate America data centers and the IT world, the modern world needs to stay fiscally engaged

https://youtu.be/vWqRwMt5nso

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