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FAMILY AND FRIENDS FAQ

  • For more information, please fill out the request form

    Contact a local recruiter or, chat live with a recruiter during the hours displayed on the chat page. 

  • It really depends on the type of unit. Life at a small boat station is much different than life on a ship. Most boot camp graduates will receive orders either to a ship or a small boat station. At this point, they will start to perform the duties of a crewman at their unit. They must learn everything about their ship or small boat station. They may be assisting with law enforcement, working aids to navigation, conducting search and rescue, or responding to a natural disaster. Regardless of the unit, Coast Guard men and women live to uphold the motto Semper Paratus... always ready.

  • The Coast Guard is proud to have fully integrated women in our operations at all echelons since 1978. The Coast Guard recognizes that our mission readiness is directly tied to the health and well-being of our service members and that childbirth can be a challenge for women in the service. Accordingly, the Commandant has directed eligible members be authorized up to 12 weeks of maternity leave following the birth of a child.  

  • The Coast Guard does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, or religion. Members are allowed to participate in religious services as the mission permits.

  • Their recruiter will provide instructions regarding both physical and mental preparation for basic training. They will also receive a copy of the Helmsman, a recruit guidebook, which details items that they can and cannot bring to basic training. The recruiter will help guide your son or daughter through the process. You can learn more about physically preparing for basic training by going to the following link.

  • During boot camp, letters are welcome, but care packages are not. Phone calls are not permitted unless it is an emergency. If there is a family emergency, you should contact your local Red Cross office who can relay messages to military personnel worldwide. Upon arrival at Cape May, a letter from the Commanding Officer is sent home by each recruit within the first few days of entering recruit training. In later weeks of basic training, recruits may be allowed to use pay phones at the discretion of their company commander. You are invited and encouraged to attend their graduation from basic training. After graduation and assignment to a unit, they can communicate with you during non-duty hours as they wish.

  • No, first schedule an appointment with a recruiter. Find the recruiting office nearest your location and send the Recruiter in Charge (RIC) an email. Our recruiters are very busy and it may take up to 72 hours to contact you. If you don't hear back within 72 hours, it is recommended that you click here to speak with a chat representative. Because of the personal/sensitive nature of the information you've submitted, only limited individuals have access to it. You do not need to reapply but simply go into the general chat forum to discuss your issue or concern.

  • Your son or daughter can join on a full time (active duty) or part time (reserve) basis. Depending upon their citizenship, education level, or prior-military service, they may enter at either the enlisted or officer level. Potential enlisted members must have a high school degree or equivalent. Officer candidates must have or be working toward a college degree. Active-duty enlistees and officer candidates can select from among a variety of job specialties. Many officer programs are available targeting college sophomores and juniors, college graduates, those with professional degrees and aviation training, and current Coast Guard enlisted personnel with college degrees.

  • Following are the basic requirements for becoming a member of the Coast Guard:

    • You must be a U.S. citizen or a Resident Alien.
    • Be between the ages of 17-31 (up to age 32 if qualified for attending guaranteed 'A' school) for Active Duty.(If you are 17, you'll need parental consent.)
    • Reservists must be between 17-40. Prior-service personnel should contact their local recruiter for specific programs.
    • Have a high school diploma. GEDs are accepted in special circumstances.
    • Have no more than three dependents.
    • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
    • Pass a military entrance medical exam.
  • Deployment generally refers to an extended assignment away from your home base. Larger Coast Guard cutters may have extended deployments of up to three months or longer during which they patrol and visit other ports. However, mid-size and smaller cutters as well as air assets generally function in and around the home base where your son or daughter is assigned and generally deploy for a few days to a few weeks at a time.

  • Port Security Units (PSUs) are expeditionary forces primarily responsible for providing the Department of Defense layered defensive protection utilizing both waterside and landside security forces. The PSUs can also provide limited domestic support to Captains of the Port in executing port security operations.

  • It really depends on the type of unit. Life at a small boat station is much different than life on a ship. Most boot camp graduates will receive orders either to a ship or a small boat station. At this point, they will start to perform the duties of a crewman at their unit. They must learn everything about their ship or small boat station. They may be assisting with law enforcement, working aids to navigation, conducting search and rescue, or responding to a natural disaster. Regardless of the unit, Coast Guard men and women live to uphold the motto Semper Paratus... always ready.

  • Active-duty service is a full-time commitment for the period of the enlistment while reserve service is a part-time commitment, 2 days a month and 2 weeks a year. Please note that reservists are subject to active-duty activation in times of national need.

  • Basic training is tough. It's eight weeks of physical and mental challenges. We want to shape an individual into a fully prepared Coast Guardsman, who can take charge and react in the most harrowing situations. Upon graduation, he or she will be a stronger mentally and physically. After boot camp they will receive additional training depending upon their job specialty and enlistment status as either active duty or reserve.

  • All incoming Coast Guardsmen earn a competitive salary based on rank and additional benefits that are hard for young people to come by in the civilian world like free medical, dental and eye care, and for active- duty members, possible housing, meal and uniform allowances.

  • Click the link for the job specialties available within the Coast Guard at both the enlisted & officer levels.

  • Your information will be forwarded to your local recruiting office. You will also receive an email verifying that your information has been forwarded. However, our recruiters are very busy and it may take up to 72 hours to contact you. If you don't hear back within 72 hours, it is recommended that you click here to speak with a chat representative. Because of the personal/sensitive nature of the information you've submitted, only limited individuals have access to it. You do not need to reapply but simply go into the general chat forum to discuss your issue or concern.