US Coast Guard Reviews

Updated October 2, 2014
Updated October 2, 2014
342 Reviews
4.0
342 Reviews
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US Coast Guard Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
186 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free training, steady pay and benefits (in 9 reviews)

  • Great benefits, ethical work force, and the APO division is very well administered (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Generally spend great amount of time away from family (in 13 reviews)

  • Time away from home (3 month in/ 3 month out patrol schedule on the ship I was stationed on) (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Lots of mission creep, self-aggrandizement, and bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician in Alameda, CA
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician in Alameda, CA

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    This is definitely the place to go if you want to get into Search and Rescue work.....unless you want to do things like Swift Water Rescue with Jet Skis, then you'll need to join the Sheriff's DEPT or CHP.

    Cons

    Too many to list. Bureaucratic displacement is alive and well. The prevailing ethos is.....I don't really know....play the game to get your pension, college, whatever? Whatever it is, any transcendent value is hard to find in the work ethic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go away; stop being yourself; grow a pair and climb the corporate ladder in the private sector instead of using the government to realize all of your aspirations of personal greatness and achievement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Not family oriented like they state they are when you are enlisted.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Military service, pension after 20 years

    Cons

    When you are enlisted and have family problems or medical problems they are quick to not help you at all and find some reason to discharge you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat all enlisted people fairly. We are the bulk of your workforce.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    persons make this job difficult, not the people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Machinery Technician Second Class in Abbeville, LA
    Former Employee - Machinery Technician Second Class in Abbeville, LA

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Learning opportunities, Reliability, better pay than entry level jobs of the same type

    Cons

    Huge responsibilities and life changing choices decided by people who have only weeks worth of training and potentially one or two instances of experience. a common motto is "perception is everything, the truth means nothing"
    Generally a lack in understanding by superiors, and mostly people willing to backstab for pieces of metal on their collars. Inflated ego's and stretching of the truth, for example, towing a person in due to a battery being dead can result in a news article stating "coast guard saves crew's lives in daring late night rescue"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that the coast guard hires alot of young adults that are desperate for somewhere to go, when they arrive at your unit dont expect them to be a museum and willing to work 16 hours a day 6 days a week for no overtime. Punishments after punishments dont fix people, conveying understanding and support encourages growth of an individual.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Congress is failing the CG

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Machinery Technician in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - Machinery Technician in Detroit, MI

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Experience translates into the private sector. The pay is good if you make rank quickly. So don't slack and be a 8 year E4

    Cons

    Budget issues, aging fleet, the government changes contracts to better their own stance. If you get a DUI off duty you are gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stand up to congress. Also the standards to get in, and make it to retirement are almost impossible. No one is perfect.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Life could be better....don't go OS.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Honolulu, HI
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Honolulu, HI

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Tricare, cool stations, and COLA.

    Cons

    Leadership is unheard of in this organization. They advance by taking test instead of peer reviews which is asinine. Therefore you have people in leadership roles that are good test takers but can't relate to those they oversee nor can the communicate. Bravo Zulu Coast Guard on a job well done...sheesh. With all this said they are losing good people who care because crappy leaders can't motivate nor can they delegate.

     THE PAY IS AWFUL! I got out and found a job that paid 10 times more than I was making in that horrible service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wouldn't matter.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great Mission, but lack of leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Officer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Officer in Houston, TX

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Feeling of self worth for helping others.

    Cons

    Too many officers look out for themselves and don't take the necessary action to prevent or solve problems if it doesn't affect them. Similarly, too many senior enlisted don't take the necessary action to prevent or solve problems either. The result is a few individuals who take ownership in the situation to get results, but are not rewarded for their efforts and instead have senior officers take the credit for the actions of the few who do all the work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take action to correct problems and stop blaming others, the system, etc. It takes a true leader to take ownership of the situation and find a way to correct the problem.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Food Service Specialist 3rd Class

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Food Service Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Food Service Specialist in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Medical, dental, life insurance, G.I. Bill

    Cons

    Corrupt command and supervision, mis-communication, disorganization, and a hostile work environment. Get called in on days off for redundant, pointless tasks, receive little to no appreciation for work done, the list goes on and on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Indentured Servitude

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Depending on your position, you might be making a difference in the world
    - The job is incredibly secure
    - You might walk away with some kind of a nice security clearance

    Cons

    - Workplace culture is abysmally chauvinistic
    - Rape jokes and anti-feminist slander all the live long day
    - Training is a joke, even for the relatively highly technical jobs. You're there to keep things going in emergencies, but never trained enough to actually install or develop any original plans.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The advancement process for enlisted personnel is an offensive joke. Promotion is based 100% about how much you care about the Coast Guard and not at all about the actual work you perform.

    Hard work within your field is not rewarded.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    The Coast Guard is a very small service.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician in Chesapeake, VA
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician in Chesapeake, VA

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The Coast Guard can be a very easy and family oriented career. There are some chances for adventure which you will not find in a cubical.

    Cons

    The Coast Guard is very small in contrast to the other military forces. Advancement is very limited and the educational level of technicians is very poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Embrace the future and train Information Technologists to be just that.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Be all you can be, not exactly in the USCG.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Electrician in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Electrician in Baltimore, MD

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    No pressure, You never get in trouble for not working, only for working..
    If you can contract out the work at 10 times the cost all the better.

    Cons

    The coastie don't care about the vessels. Maintenance is very poor. Why should they keep the boats maintained there only on it for a few months let the next crew worry about it is their policy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring ex coastie's and giving them jobs as civilians in the coast guard because they have no idea what their doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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