Questions about the Coast Guard

mrpilotguy

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I am seriously considering joining the Coast Guard and hoping to eventually get a pilot spot, but have a few hurdles in my way and would like to know if it can be done. First of all I have only a 2 year degree, and am considering enlisting for now and continuing my degree while enlisted(If this can even be done, I don't know if there is time for it ????) Then of course there is the question if I will be accepted for OCS and furthermore what are the chances of getting flight school out of OCS? Anyone who could give me a few answers please reply, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

I was also wondering what is a "typical day" like as a Coast Guard pilot(I know it probably changes everyday) but I am mostly wondering about Duty and off duty times, and also an example of a weekly schedule.
 

CGPILOT

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mrpilotguy, Lots of questions. Here goes:
1. You can enlist now and go to OCS later. How old are you? For OCS you need 60 credits and must be E-5(It would take a couple of years) or finish your 4 year degree(It would take a couple of years) and you can apply at any rank so age is an issue.
2. If you are already an AET, AMT, or AST (CG Aviation enlisted ranks) your chances for Flight School after OCS are good.
3. A typical day... There isn't one. If it is a regular workday then it is usually 0730-1600 unless the aircraft are broken then you will stay later. If you have the "ready" as a Flight Mechanic or Rescue Swimmer, you stand 24 hours of duty. Most units change the ready aircrew at 1200, 1500 or 1600. A non duty day will see you work on aircraft and fly. Most Duty days will have a flight.
Hope this helps. It is really just a small piece of what happens. I'd recommend going to a CG Air Station(if one is near by) and seeing for yourself. Note: After bootcamp, if you don't have a guaranteed aviation school, you will most likely be assigned to a ship until you get a school slot. This can be 3 months or 3 years depending on the wait for schools. I didn't want to leave this out.
Bottom line- If I was you I would get my Bachelors Degree first then pursue the CG. It will just be easier. I know because I did it the other way. E-mail me if you have other questions. V/R
 

qmaster3

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CGPILOT,

I think it is E-5 and 32 semester hrs? Anyway MRPILOT if you are going to go CG enlisted there is only one way to go. OS (operation specialist) We'll make ya an E-5 within a year, and if you squared away you'll have the "inside connections" for your package. Plus, you will have all excellent education opportunities as an OS (as far as time for) If you want me to help you get in as an OS or any rate let me know.
 

mrpilotguy

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Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it. I have my 2 year degree already so I have a little over 60 credit hours, I'm 23, which I don't think is too old quite yet. I called a recruiter and what he said was that since I have 60 credit hours already I would enlist as an E-3 and right out of bootcamp I would be an E-4, and then it would be 6 months to 1 year before E-5, is this accurate or is he trying to pull one on me?
Also would the fact that I am a CFII/MEI and have about 700 hrs TT help me out at all?
Thanks again for answering my questions.
 

IronManNDFW

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MrPilot Guy:

There are plenty of ways to become a pilot in the miliary. They will all say you need a degree, but you don't. Army will take you off the street, AF - 4 years or nothing. The CG, Navy & Marines can take you at 60 hours. You just need to talk the right people and keep asking the question "How do WE get this done.

Here is the deal. For the Navy & MC they have the NAVCAD (Naval Aviation Cadet program), CG has something simular. The basics of the deal is - if yu have 60 hours, they will take you , test you physically, mentally, give you a paper flight test (Army WOFT Type test), on aircraft attitudeds, turn, banks etc.

Once all that is in, then they will "enlist" you into the program, and off you go to Pensicola for Navy / MC Flight School. IF you pass flight school then you earn your commission, and get select an aircraft on your wish list. You will have a military committment, and during those years YOU PROMISE to finish your degree. If you don't finish that degree they can kick you out or send you to college of your choice on orders, so you get all pay & benefits just like you were on AD.

I went enlisted MC and never made the 60 house in 4 years, but I did make E-5. One of my O-4 Operations offircers (Pilot) told me about this little known program, as he got orders to his college of choice, an had to pack to go to school.

With you already having some pilots ratings, and flying time, they will be very interested in you.

If you want to know more about how this program works, and other Programs work just PM me.
IronMan
 

psysicx

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Why do you stay longer if your not flying? Also how often do you sit alert and are certain duty stations harder to get?
 

CGPILOT

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We stand duty about every forth day. It can get better(every eighth day) or worse (evry other day)depending on vaction schedule, rotation time and pace of operations. Right now I am standing the "ready" 8 days/month. As far as staying longer after not flying, I can't answer that question but some lose medicals, some lose the edge and some just decide they have seen enough and move on.
 

psysicx

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What is career progression like in the CG? When do you do your staff job and how often do you deploy?
 

CGPILOT

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psysicx,
Career progression is begins at flight school followed by tour at Air Stations. A staff tour (usallly after 2nd Air Station tour) and grad degree are a good mix to make O-5(Commander). Deployments are anywhere from two weeks to two months deployed on a CG Ship. These are also only for HH-65 and MH-68 crews. H-60s do not deploy to ship but do deploy TAD.
 

psysicx

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Is one helo harder to get over another? Also are certain duty stations not available like Alaska since your new? And is it possible to transition to FW or do you stay put the whole time?
 

CGPILOT

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I don't know if one helo is harder to get but we have twice as many H-65s as H-60s so that kind of creates a 2 to 1 demand. Alaska and HITRON(MH-68s) are not open to new flight school grads. You can transition to FW but they are few and far between,
 

zab1001

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IronManNDFW said:
...For the Navy & MC they have the NAVCAD (Naval Aviation Cadet program)

NAVCAD has been over and done with for the Navy and MC since the late 90s. A 4 year degree is no longer optional.
 

SIG600

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zab1001 said:
NAVCAD has been over and done with for the Navy and MC since the late 90s. A 4 year degree is no longer optional.

There is the USMC Meritorious Commisioning Program... you gotta be a superstar though (I've known 2.)
 

psysicx

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So do you go from your first air station to another or do you go to an IP job like the other branches? Also what kind of desk jobs are available and who gets to fly the Gulfstream?
 
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CGPILOT

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psysicx, IP is a collateral job at air station. You can also get transfered to ATC Mobile, AL where we have our aircraft qual courses and be an IP also. By desk jobs do you mean collateral assignments at air stations or a non flying billets somewhere? The Gulfstream jobs are assigned to mostly former Falcon pilots.
 

sardaddy

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psysix,

Good questions, Lets see if I can't throw my two cents into the fray. The questions you are asking are airframe and timing dependent. I will go with the H-65 as there are more of them and it is what I know.

Generally, the Coast Guard has unit IPs and it has what are known as ATC (Aviation training center) IPs. ATC IPs conduct all training to new pilots and evaluates all Coast Guard units every year by visiting the air stations and conducting checkrides. Each pilot also goes to ATC for a week to train and get check rides. There are not a whole lot of ATC IPs. About 19 right now. So it isn't something most pilots will do in their careers. But becoming unit IP is relatively common and many are set down that path sometime during their second tour. They are still unit pilots, they just conduct unit training.


As far as staff jobs go, the world is your oyster. You can compete for graduate schools that will put you into a specific staff job or you can apply for many that are available. For aviation, the staff jobs are usually for O-4 or higher but there are a few exceptions. The staff jobs are at headquarters and they run the gamut on what is available. You can also apply for other jobs like a liaison to a foreign country and other interesting jobs.
 
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