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Careers in the Coast Guard

Aug 17, 2007
A career as a Coast Guard officer in the U.S. demands a conscientious and dedicated approach to the duties and responsibilities that accompany the job profile. There are a number of options open for people that want to pursue this career path. The job not only gives you a chance to serve a humane purpose but also gives you the opportunity to stretch your physical and mental capabilities beyond the ordinary.

The department was founded in 1790 as the United States Coast Guard or USCG, as part of the Department of Treasury. Initially, the job involved countering smuggling off the U.S. coastline. However, today the Coast Guard is responsible for the promotion of peace and rescue operations.

Basic Requirements

The following are some of the requirements for becoming a Coast Guard officer:

-You should be a citizen of the U.S. or a resident alien.
-You should be between 17 to 27 years of age to qualify for active service.
-You should be a high school graduate.
-You should have cleared the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test or ASVAB.
-You should have passed a military entrance exam.

Benefits Of Becoming A Coast Guard Officer

-Steady Income: You are paid twice a month, depending on the specified pay grade at the time of recruitment.
-Chances Of Promotion: Your work is periodically appraised on the basis of performance, time served in a particular pay grade and service requirements.
-Paid Vacation: You are eligible for paid leave, comprising of 30 days in a year.
-Health Care: You are eligible for complete medical and dental health care, absolutely free.
-Life Insurance: You are covered under a $400,000 life insurance plan.


The training for a Coast Guard officer involves training at a boot camp at Cape May, New Jersey. The training lasts for 8 weeks and is mentally and physically challenging. Water survival techniques are taught hands on. The physical fitness regime adopted differs for the male and female recruits. Candidates are grouped to instill teamwork and co-ordination from the very start. The ability to swim is not a prerequisite for the Coast Guard. The selected candidates are given lessons in swimming and basic water rescue operations.

The Coast Guard Academy

The academy is one of the five federal military service academies in the U.S. Candidates are not charged a tuition fee and the academy offers various options to recruits. Some of them are:

-Civil Engineering.
-Mechanical Engineering.
-Naval Architecture.
-Marine Engineering.
-Operations Research and Computer Analysis.

All the options within the job profile of a Coast Guard involve rigorous training and detailed, specific education with regards to the department chosen.

How To Apply

Applications are accepted online, with the deadline being March 1st of each year. All inquires can be made directly to:

The Director of Admissions
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
15, Mohegan Avenue
New London
CT-06320 9807

Other Options

The U.S. Coast Guard Reserves offers part-time recruitment also. It is the perfect way for those in college or already working to gain experience with the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard also welcomes the services of physicians, dentists and pharmacists.
The job involves rescue operations, aircraft missions, interception of illegal migrants and port safety checks. The diversity of activity handled by the Coast Guard is attractive and a planned approach to becoming a part of the United States Coast Guard is not difficult at all.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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