With my nine years of leadership experience, I have made consistent career progression, growing as a leader by honing my verbal communication skills and working diligently to earn four promotions in that time. My experience with the United States Coast Guard taught me how to work in a team environment. The tasks that proved to be most challenging were successful because of our motivation and team-oriented culture. Having been stationed in over five units, I gained the unique opportunity to collaborate regularly with a diverse set of team members from several entities that included Coast Guard units, Coast Guard Associations, external sports marketing and promotion teams, Hawthorne Elementary School, FEMA response teams, the Ronald McDonald House, and other military services.
As a Storekeeper (SK), I found myself immersed in several job positions that ranged from procurement and contracting to property management for the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Based on my achievements and job experience outlined in my resume, I demonstrated increased responsibility over time, which is also endorsed on my recommendation letters. From 2006 to 2014, I was responsible for maintaining million dollar budgets to forecast spending plans for future fiscal years. With over 100 events managed and a 20-member Honor Guard team, I assigned members and participated in events that honor our military veterans and our country. From 2007 to 2010, I expertly maintaine
Relentless schedule with overwhelming responsibility for junior members
-If you go in with a career oriented mentality and only want to serve then you won't be disappointed. there is much opportunity for advancement and you have a chance to work with very dedicated and intelligent people. the problem is that you roll the dice every time you get orders. the person you worked for that you liked will not be your boss for long and the next guy you get will make life miserable for you as much as possible. you have no tools for preserving your own dignity. whenever it is decided you will be labeled and made an example as often as necessary. you have no way of quitting or moving on. you just have a contract to exhaust and then you are let go. you make the same money whether you work hard or force your work on others. the people who excel in their grade are the ones that rub elbows enough with the management. same as anywhere i guess but if you thought the military would be based on merit, experience, or achievement, you were wrong. favoritism is as much in effect here as anywhere except you have no freedom whatsoever. you're not even allowed to be disappointed or object to the structure for fear that the rest of the peons will also reject the master.
-that being said though. great opportunity for learning. if you apply yourself and know who to follow you will learn many skills and have a chance to do many different things. it's an interesting career, with benefits. you will travel and see other countries. you will be put into a role of responsibility
Proshealthcare, housing money, travel
Consinfinite hours, command indecision, lack of professionalism
U.S. Coast Guard: Active Duty / Boatswain Mate 3rd class(May 1997- May2001) / US Coast Guard Reserves with (2) Deployments/ Maritime Enforcement Specialist (Aug. 2004-March, 2010) PSU 301(DHLS)
I conducted Maritime Law Enforcement Operations; Fisheries and drug Enforcement on board the USCGC Reliance; I have boarded many vessels, seized (3) vessels for illegal catch of fishes. I was also responsible for working with other law enforcement agencies in drug enforcement. In addition I conducted search and rescue operations; providing assistance to vessels in distress, and/or the recovery of persons from the water. I also participated in the recovery operations of Flight 990, Egypt Airlines.
With the PSU 301 I was responsible for the upkeep of rescue and survival gear. I was a designated boat gunner and driver. We provided security for water-borne vessels and assets, to include naval installations. I participated in Global Terrorism operations (GTMO / Kuwait), in GTMO Cuba, I participated in the commissions, and provided security escorts for Iraq and Afghanistan prisoners going to their trials. In Kuwait, I provided protections of vessels inbound and out bound of its ports and provided the physical security of its surrounding Oil platforms.
During my time with the Coast Guard, I had received the following: Global War Terror Service Medal 10/26/2009, CG ARMED FORCES RS NUM MOB DEV 04/25/2009, Boat Forces Operations Insignia 11/13/2009, CG, Merit Team Commendation 07/17/2007, CG Re
Command Master Chief (E-9) & Senior Enlisted Leader for West Coast’s only long range, fixed-wing search and rescue Coast Guard Air Station. Advising, consulting and participating in the senior leadership team and Human Resource requirements. Assist all 200 members on personnel policies, programs, ideas and opportunities pertinent to their well-being, allowing them to focus on performing their mission and enhancing their careers.
Promote balance between workforce needs and command goals. Accessible to all crew members and their dependents, command chiefs encourage communications affecting personnel and mission accomplishment.
Aid personnel with special issues; Humanitarian Assignments, Hardship Transfers, Aid members with legitimate special circumstance transfers; Special Needs Program, work with Command Drug and Alcohol Representative, Unit Financial Specialists, pass to personnel all necessary information for advancement opportunities.
Provide a direct route of communications between CO and workforce concerning all work related issues, morale events, surge ops, recognition, leadership training, daily routine, improvements to unit infrastructure and providing a safe work environment.
Run interference for Commanding Officer on smaller personnel issues that can be properly handled at a lower level, child support, and providing routes for professional counseling to help with relationship issues, provide contact with appropriate Work Life resources for personnel.
Prosworking with dedicated professionals on a daily basis
As a member of the United Stated Military I was fully aware that it was not suppose to be fun, but with all of the duties and responsibilities that I had while in the Coast Guard I was surprised with how often I truly enjoyed myself. The work wasn't always easy, and sometimes people requested miracles which was very frustrating, but to be able to grant the miracles requested was a wonderful feeling. Not only was it a weight off my shoulders, it also gave me a since of pride, and confidence knowing that I could deliver sometimes unreasonable requests. I lived and worked with the same people everyday, sometimes away from civilization for months at a time. Learning how to deal with all of the emotions was the greatest experience. Even on the toughest days we learned to put aside our personal feelings and get the work done, and deal with many different challenges and issues while in very situation.
Communication was not always the greatest, and planning was not an easy thing to do, The thing about the military is that everything is unpredictable! We've got to make the best judgment call for what we think will happen, and if it didn't as planned, we learned to proficiently manage the changes to best suite our needs and the operations of the ship. Regardless of where you are at in the military you have a chain of command we have to follow, which can sometimes make things very hard, and sometimes it makes things much easier. The hardest thing about the job was learning how
ProsSalary, plus monthly stipened for housing, and great benefits.
Great experience if you are a water person. You gain so much invaluable skills that will help you should you to return to the civilian workplace.
A typical day within the Coast Guard is never that. You never know what will happen next. That said, it depends what occupation you do within it though. As a former Police Officer and Search and Rescue Agent, everyday is different. One minute you are eating lunch peacefully and the next minute you are being called out to rescue persons from a sinking ship or boat. If excitement is what you are looking for, the Coast Guard is the way to go.
I learned to be a leader, hard worker and gained so many different skill sets that you can never get in the civilian workplace. One of the best things about being in the military are the people you meet. You are noting without your crew. They are like a second family to you and knowing that any positive outcome of any mission is only going to be happen due to the teamwork everyone puts into it. You watch their backs and they watch yours. Not to many civilian workplaces are like that where you see everyone only out for themselves.
The hardest part of the job mainly goes for those who are married with kids. If you are on a big boat and out to sea for three months at a time some can get pretty home sick at times. Even those at land stations tend to feel the same due to the long hours being spend there.
The great thing about the Coast Guard that attracted me to join was that unlike other armed forces, the C.G. does not perform long deployments. The longest they deploy for is approx. four months. Although they do deploy to other parts of the
Prosgreat training, schooling, advancements, free housing if married, free medical and college funds.
Conslong hours without extra pay, being away from family days at a time, pay remains mostly the same.
I learned a lot of great skills in the Coast Guard that is going to allow me to find decent employment when I get out but my 5 years in the service were very eye opening to say the least. As a minority in the Coast Guard I didn't see very many people that looked like me in high positions especially when I became a Public Affairs Specialist. I got the opportunity to travel to a lot of different places within my field of work which was great. But I spent a lot of my off-time being on after hours duty. Where I worked at the workplace culture/moral was dismal in both locations I was stationed, the mission was the focus but the well being of the people did the mission to me wasn't much of a focus. The hardest part of the job within my job realm was after hours work and deployments. The most enjoyable part of my job was deployments as well ironically, those were the only times where I felt my work was genuinely appreciated. Within the last year of my active duty service I saw two racial incidents whiten the service that made national news and both incidents were committed by commissioned officers and were related to white supremacy. As an African American I was exposed to a lot of great opportunities that I normally wouldn't of experienced if I had not joined the service but I wouldn't suggest my future kids or nieces and nephews to join the USCG. If they want to join the military I would advise them to join the Navy, Army or Marines. The Coast Guard still has a long way to go
ProsBAH-Housing allowance, travel opportunities, getting paid extra IF you have dependents, good insurance benefits
Consmajor diversity issues within the coast guard, on duty very often, small workforce in the public affairs rate, difficulties scheduling time off
Proficient in marlinespike, deck, and boat seamanship; manages, supervises, and administers personnel and facilities; navigates vessel and serves as deck watch officer and boat coxswain; trains, directs, and supervises personnel in seamanship, maintenance, rigging, deck equipment and boats; supervises damage control and working parties; maintains discipline; operate and maintain heavy equipment used in loading and buoy tending work. Knows standard boat nomenclature and terminology; knows and uses basic marlinespike seamanship including line types, construction and materials, knots and hitches and deck fittings; manages and trains boat crew in the topics discipline, personnel safety and survival techniques, wellness, first aid, and CPR; maintains boat safety and rescue equipment; understands boat construction, stability and maneuvering characteristics; identifies and applies survival procedures during emergencies; performs stokes litter use during medical evacuation activities; understands proper techniques for assisted towing operations; understands and operates emergency pumps in damage control situations; understands, operates, and demonstrates marine firefighting equipment; Master of small vessels including marine navigation, radar collision avoidance, and piloting skills; uses electronic navigation equipment; understands marine meteorology; understands and applies the collision regulations (Rules of the Road); maintains a safe navigation watch; understands anchoring proc
Logging into a workstation and taking phone calls administered through a phone triage system. ultimate Goal was to exhaust all possible options to help the user in need and in the event I could not help, documenting the experience in the user's trouble ticket and alerting upper management in about the unresolved situation.
The objective was to diagnose and remedy all situations that came within a 10-15 minute window. Any situations that required more time would be passed onto to another specific group designated to handle issues that needed more time.
I learned how to move, think, and react in a fast moving environment. When one phone call was completed or passed on, another call was coming in 30 seconds later. I learned documentation was critical because of the volume of calls that came. Well documented tickets saved time and eliminated having to follow up with other technicians that may have worked with a caller on a previous business day.
The hardest part of the day was having to tell the user that there was nothing else we could do. Though this came once or twice a day, I still tried to reach out to the user's later throughout the week to see if there were any changes or updates in their situation. At times I was able to learn new fixes or get educated on some new updates or processes that was unknown in our workspace.
The most enjoyable part of the day was hearing a user state how fast I was able to resolve their issue so they could catch up on work or move o
ProsTwo works of extra paid holidays
ConsSometimes needing to work overnight or late shifts due to turnove situations that came unexpectedly.
The Coast Guard was great when I joined, but since sequestration, everything has been skewed to help the higher-ups. They seem to be okay with stifling the growth of junior folks while still continuing absurd programs for Officers. For instance: They cut tuition assistance, which is primarily used by lower-ranking enlisted members; but they kept the advanced education program in place for officers to attend grad-school. Typical cost of tuition assistance: $4500 a year and you're expected to take classes in your off-time. Typical cost of tuition for the advanced education program (again only available for officers): $25,000-$50,000 and going to school is your job for two years. You get paid all the benefits as normal, without having to put on a uniform.
They also implemented a program called High Year Tenure, which the Commandant himself said was aimed at senior enlisted. The program is supposed to clear out all the old guys who are clogging up the advancement structure for the rest of us (I've been stuck in the same rank for 5 years). But when you look at the program, it is the total opposite of what they claim it will do. The manual actually shows that the E-4's and E-5's will get wiped out first, while the E-7's, E-8's, E-9's can literally sit for nearly a decade after they are retirement eligible. So again, the system is being skewed to help the higher-ups. But hey, I take this as a compliment: The Commandant thinks that I'm senior enlisted.
If you're looking to joi
ConsTotally skewed to benefit the higher-ups.
Questions And Answers about U.S. Coast Guard
How often do you get a raise at U.S. Coast Guard?
Asked Sep 23, 2020
More often than normal companies
Answered Feb 3, 2023
Answered Jan 30, 2023
What is the promotion process like at U.S. Coast Guard?
Asked Apr 3, 2022
I believe your six month promotion and you always have room to move up in the company
Answered Feb 3, 2023
Taking a test and went by how you scored. Length of service in your rate/rank, award points, sea time, and evaluation.
Answered Jan 24, 2023
What is the vacation policy like at U.S. Coast Guard? How many vacation days do you get per year?
Asked May 15, 2018
30 per year if it can be approved.
Answered Jan 21, 2023
30 for active duty
Answered Jan 15, 2023
If you were to leave U.S. Coast Guard, what would be the reason?
Asked Mar 28, 2017
Toxic environment and lack of competence
Answered Nov 25, 2020
Lack of competent individuals/Lack of leadership/ Lack of personal life/ I can go on.
Answered Jul 25, 2019
What is the work environment and culture like at U.S. Coast Guard?
Asked Feb 25, 2016
Very toxic environment. Have been in for 9 years and dread another 3 before I can finally separate. Abusive leadership at 3 of the 4 units I have been to. Dread going to work due to the extremely hostile environment. Can bring it up higher because you’re I’ll face reprisal. Those that work hard get treated horrible and those that pawn off responsibilities get merit. Promotions do not matter if you know your job or are a good leader. There is no work life balance. Decided to never have kids because it’s unrealistic while being in the service. Due to the work schedule and terrible supervisors, unable to get medical help for anything (not like we can ever get an appointment at the clinic ever). Do not recommend. Favorite unit so far has been a WHEC. Have had a base gig, communications unit (not sector) and 2 ships. If you want to survive the Coast Guard be an average performer and don’t have any friends in the service. Wall flower till 20 and you got a retirement. I have never been so miserable in my life but fell for the “your next unit will be so much better” trick. Stay far away from this service!!!!
Answered Nov 25, 2020
The CG is a very toxic environment. While I have heard several enjoy their time, my 9 years in so far have all been a disappointment. Bend over backwards and work hard and you will be abused. There is no military bearing. Also not a good place to have a family. We have decided to not have kids till I leave because we have witnessed so many people get completely over run (lack of recognition/promotion/very offensive comments) for having a family. More specifically women. Forced morale. Really
Looking forward to finally having a job again that you go to work and leave work at work.