US Coast Guard Reviews

Updated August 2, 2015
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US Coast Guard Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
27 Ratings

Pros
  • Free training, steady pay and benefits (in 10 reviews)

  • During my career, it was job security (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Generally spend great amount of time away from family (in 15 reviews)

  • Inherent in the missions is the likelihood of time away from home for stretches of a few weeks or even months (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

77 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Good, Stable Job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Juneau, AK
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Juneau, AK

    I worked at US Coast Guard (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. With wage stagnation in the private sector, many jobs in the Coast Guard probably offer more competitive pay than their private sector equivalents. Most people I've worked with are of the utmost integrity.

    Cons

    The usual qualities of a bureaucracy: slow-moving, inefficient, risk-averse, focus on process over results, etc. Mediocrity is accepted and often rewarded. Excellence is not rewarded enough to retain most of the 'A' players. Poor performers cannot be fired or moved to a new position (better fit) quickly enough. As with other branches of the military, political correctness is rampant.

    Advice to Management

    Too many 'yes' men at the top levels of the military nowadays. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard is no exception.


  2. Interesting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Seaman in Cape May, NJ
    Former Employee - Seaman in Cape May, NJ

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits , easy to get a job and you get your pick of a job. Lots of bases by the beach

    Cons

    Boot camp is hard ! Make sure you more than ready to go the recruiter doesn't always make sure you are.


  3. IT officer

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

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The retirement and benefits are good. The job locations are also good compared to other military branches.

    Cons

    Boat drivers and IT professionals compete for promotions. The organization favors operators and not support staff. Expect to be a second rate employee.

    Advice to Management

    Retain qualified staff. A graduate degree does not make a technical specialist.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. No advancement for civilians

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supply Tech in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Supply Tech in Detroit, MI

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

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

    Pros

    Best work environment I have been in with support at many levels. Civilians are held to a good standard and the mission is clear.

    Cons

    Minimal advancement dependent upon location. Upper mgmt. does not take well to being told they are wrong. Many levels apply rules and regulations that are not put in writing and attempt to establish pointless checklists and forms.

    Advice to Management

    Take advise from those on the ground where your made up rules impact the mission. Review the standards of "military" organizations and their pay structures and mirror them.


  6. Good place to serve the country if you can stay in an operational field.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits and generally good people to work with. Missions benefit the American public and are rewarding to take part in. Good travel opportunities and experiences.

    Cons

    Poor workforce management in some officer specialties, particularly naval engineering and C4IT. Poor work environment in C4IT due to overabundance of "old boy" retired Coast Guardsmen working as contractors or GS causing many junior officers to become disillusioned with the service.

    Advice to Management

    MANAGE the workforce, don't just try to maintain quotas on paper. Don't play games with people especially when it comes to their careers and lives. Stop being process-driven and allow junior personnel latitude in getting the job done. Examine the workforce, especially the civil GS side and contractor requirements, and cull the fat.


  7. Enlisted

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

    I have been working at US Coast Guard as a contractor

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The Coast Guard is the smallest of the 5 branches of the military making it a more personable work experience.

    Cons

    The Coast Guard also has the smallest budget of the 5 military branches. It seems you always have to find a way to do more with less.

    Advice to Management

    Give attention to the junior personnel. They are the future of the Coast Guard. If they don't enjoy their job because of their leadership, the chances of them looking for employment elsewhere will be much higher.


  8. Helpful (1)

    PR Coordinator

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

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere Vibrant co workers Easy interview

    Cons

    Hard work Tiresome hours High risk job


  9. Office Automation

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Federal employment offers flexible work schedule. They match the 401K contribution. Earn paid vacation time quickly. Also earn sick days quickly.

    Cons

    Rigid adherence to collective bargaining terms is required for civilian employees even in circumstances when the employee wishes to benefit the employer by bending the rules.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Jobs have varied from great to beyond terrible, all depends on command climate and if Congress approves a budget.

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Great opportunity for those right out of school looking to serve and do something "different" - Some of the best people you could ask to work with / for (all depends on your current command) - A unique set of missions that really matter in the daily lives of many Americans

    Cons

    - Some of the worst people you could ask to work for (all depends on your current command) - The "austere budget environment" we operate in - The USCG has always had a "do more with less" mentality, and likely always will... while this is in part what has fostered a culture of being able to get the mission done no matter what, it has also lead to complacency with: allowing missions to continue on assets that are old enough to collect retirement; accepting a lower standard or accepting no maintenance pf many systems; burning up human capital as an acceptable replacement for not having the right tools, time, or resources to do a job properly - Surprising numbers of civilian employees, both federal and contractors, who seem to make policy decisions leaving uniform personnel with the burden of implementing policy decisions in the field

    Advice to Management

    This is a fantastic service serving a vital set of missions for the country, however, we don't have the tools, training, manpower or financial resources to effectively carry out our missions. This has increasingly gotten worse and is quickly eroding away some of the best and most talented in the service and is undermining many of attempts at policy improvements over the years.


  11. Always great opportunities to expand your horizons and develop critical skills that easily translate to other work.

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

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great travel opportunities, high operational tempo, and many different career fields with excellent job security. Develop valuable technical, management, and leadership skills.

    Cons

    Officers are advanced on a time scale not due to demonstrated competence or skill; impossible to advance quicker than your peers. Officers are “passed over” if they do something unethical or immoral.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to promote integration of women in all workforces; women are not able to compete for every position based on berthing requirements of different units.



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