US Coast Guard
4.0 of 5 297 reviews
www.uscg.mil Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

US Coast Guard Reviews

Updated Jun 15, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 297 reviews

                             

69% Approve of the CEO

US Coast Guard Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.

Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.

(163 ratings)

85% of employees recommend this company to a friend
43 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    acquired fundamental life skills

    Engineering Support (Former Employee)
    San Diego, CA

    Prosjob security, travel, health benefits

    Conssmall budget, currently down sizing, lack of training

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Not entirely what I expected...

    Lieutenant Junior Grade (Current Employee)
    Alameda, CA

    ProsService to country and humanity
    Good benefits and pay, Tricare, SGLI, cost of living and housing allowances
    Great organizational values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty that are usually adhered to
    Military access and secret clearance
    Unique experiences depending on unit such as travel to foreign countries or polar regions

    ConsFocus on job performance and advancement is highly politicized, less focused on results and more on ego stroking and self promotion
    Many Junior Officers and Chiefs care more about personal advancement and gain than mission completion or well being of others in organization
    "Perception is Reality" most senior officers do not look much further than their own observations to pass judgments on junior officers

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Choose your rate, choose your fate! This is more true than you know.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe US Coast Guard offers a huge number of potential career paths. The promotion path for each field is laid out very clearly. There are well defined processes to achieve promotion. In certain rates promotion can be quickly achieve and a great deal of responsibility can be given to a very junior person. The pay is adequate and in my experience it is above what most would receive in a civilian job of equal responsibility level. Paid relocation every 2-5 years, and the opportunity to see some very unique places in the United States and its territories. Tuition assistance is an awesome employee perk and hopefully it is kept around for some time to come. There are awesome mentors if you seek them out. This is an ideal job for a young man or woman without a family, especially in the junior ranks. The retirement is hard if not impossible to beat in the civilian sector.

    ConsAs my title states. Choose your rate, choose your fate. The Coast Guard offers little to no cross training opportunities from one rate to another. Once you have selected a specialty rating you will almost be guaranteed to only be trained in that position. With the exception of ship damage control, you will be limited in your experience. Non- rated individuals really need to do their due diligence when selecting their specialty, this is especially true if the individual does not intend on retiring from the military. In general the FS rate only reinforces Food Service training, and most enlisted members in this rate do not have much opportunity to really develop quality management skills because units are small and until you make Chief you will never have more than about 6 people under you. The HS rate is a sad excuse for medical training, either that or the individuals I have encountered as HS people should never have been in anything medical. In general an HS will have to perform additional training once they leave the military to even become qualified as a paramedic. This list goes on and on. Positions like GM, AST, ME, MST, PA have such a small number of civilian professions to transfer skill into after leaving active duty, that these individuals in these positions need to be aware that these are positions you need to reach retirement in the military prior to leaving. Although ME and GM can likely make a transition into the Law Enforcement sector. As a Yeoman (YN), the time management and customer service training received by these people is so poor most would not be able to maintain a HR position in the civilian world for very long prior to being fired. Granted there are some excellent YN in the Coast Guard who would perform outstanding in the corporate or civilian sector, but in general the majority are nearly incompetent. The SK's think they are performing accounting, and they are getting valuable computer training and contract training but that is about all. MK's and BM's make up the backbone of the operational Coast Guard and it is obvious that the Coast Guard puts a lot of resources and training behind these individuals in these roles. Their skill also transfer to the civilian world most readily. The Coast Guard essentially pigeon holes the majority of their enlisted corps into their trade.

    You also have the opportunity to work with some great mentors and some very poor ones. Discrimination is prevalent in undertones of junior members, particularly in regards to Muslim peoples. I would disagree with the idea that this is an ethical organization, although it outstrips the rest of the military in this regard. There is some level of reverse discrimination at some units with women, but it is generally minor for now, but an annoyance. The big issues I have with it is junior members using the "N" word, towel head, dot head, and various other inappropriate terms. The predominance of white males in this service and multiple units that are literally 100% Caucasian is odd, or 100% male, or 80% female is odd.

    CO's can be part of a buddy system that essentially eliminates junior members from bringing up serious issues even when going outside the chain of command. Being short staffed prohibits true corrective action on employees performing badly. In addition the short staffing can lead to unqualified or dangerous people retaining "qualification letters" even when their actions have injured people.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRetool the buddy system, provide corrective action when Command Cadre is accused, harsher punishment for members using derogatory or incendiary slurs, create a better system to provide relevant training for members who do not intend to retire from the service, eliminate CO's says in the race/gender of transferring members, hold Assignment Officer's accountable for accommodating these requests or the appearance of favoritism in regard to race/gender/religion. Encourage members to initiate conversations to reduce waste of funds, or reporting Command misuse of funds. Stop allowing unfit mentally/physically people to make it through boot camp, or have an easier process to remove members who are not up to task or unwilling to comply with regulations and hinder the actual function of a unit. Alcohol and smoking need to be more controlled in the military. Too often obviously hung over or intoxicated individuals show up to work at port calls, and no reprimand is administered. Employees who smoke are often taking smoke breaks often wasting two or more hours of a regular work day, putting additional work load on those that do not smoke. Chew tobacco should be completely banned from ship. Members are often caught breaking regulations prohibiting its use indie the hull of the ship and never punished, or using drinking cups to spit their chew juice in. It is nasty and dangerous.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    The easiest branch of them all

    Seaman E3 (Former Employee)
    Portsmouth, VA

    ProsMost people who join the Coat Guard stay forever, The benefits are excellent and the retirement plan makes this job the best job ever.

    ConsChanging location and low budget compared to other branches. No personal life, and you can not quit

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen more, talk less.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Challenging and rewarding to a degree.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsUpward mobility available for go getters. World wide travel.

    ConsToo many missions, too many programs to trim workforce.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    It depends on management, but could be very gratifying or very miserable

    Anonymous (Current Employee)

    ProsSteady paycheck, 30 days of leave per year, advancement is feasible

    ConsChange in climate of the coast guard. They are getting a lot stricter and are kicking people out left and right. There is no incentive to staying in because of lack of security at this point.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaintain good leadership to maintain good workers

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Moving at the pace of a large organization

    Boatswains Mate (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsTravel, Core Values, Education, Training, Military discounts, Health care, Respect. Great Senior Management.

    ConsMoving every 4 years. You have to put your time in to advance regardless of how you contribute. Memorizing useless information.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWith sequester try moving people every 5 years instead of 4.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Wouldn't trade experience for anything!

    Petty Officer Second Class (Former Employee)
    Alameda, CA

    ProsSome of the best reasons for working here are:
    1) Decent Pay
    2) Benefits
    3) Travel
    4) Meeting some amazing people.

    ConsChallenges of working here:
    1) Underappreciated
    2) Lengthy hours (depending on job)
    3) Picking up slack for some
    4) Meeting some "questionable" people

    Advice to Senior ManagementAs far as upper management is concerned, it'd be more helpful to listen to and consider some of the ideas that the up and coming pay grades may have to offer and not chastise them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    The terms "military" and "job security" are a thing of the past.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsDuring my career, it was job security...not so much these days. Compensation and education opportunities are pretty much the highlights otherwise. If you enjoy travelling, which I did, that is another bonus.

    ConsThe Coast Guard is "trimming the fat", so to speak, and dumping members left and right these days. Some cuts are well deserved, and others are bogus. There is no such thing as job security at the present time. Also, it seems as if they need to choose to be a "military" entity, or a civilian service...whatever is happening is just NOT working; E-2s and E-3s dictating command actions (effecting all personnel) by sniveling in Federally required surveys; the typical lack of uniformity in service due to frequent transfers; and, as in most large organizations, a general lack of (pertinent) communication.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPut your neck out for good people/performers, do what is right, and worry less about your OERs. It's called good leadership.

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Had fun when i start and went down as the years went on

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsA lot of great people and supervisors

    ConsInformation is keep from the member
    A lot of waiting for requests made and information pertaining to work-life

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at US Coast Guard reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for US Coast Guard CEO Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. . All 43 reviews posted anonymously by US Coast Guard employees.