US Coast Guard Reviews

Updated July 28, 2015
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US Coast Guard Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
90 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

190 Employee Reviews

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  1. communications

    Former Employee - Public Relations
    Former Employee - Public Relations

    I worked at US Coast Guard

    Pros

    This was a great place to work.

    Cons

    depends on the leadership, but most often civilians are forgotten.


  2. USCG

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

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

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

    Pros

    Very rewarding mission. Good training. Diverse workforce

    Cons

    Unpredictable schedule. Outdated equipment. short tour lengths.

    Advice to Management

    Treat subordinates as you would want to be treated. Be slow to punish and quick to train.


  3. US Coast Guard Electronics Technician

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ET2 in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - ET2 in Baltimore, MD

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

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

    Pros

    Military service salary and benefits

    Cons

    Many of the skills that you learn have no civilian equivilent

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to get civilian certifications for employees


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  5. Could be a much better ran service

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

    I worked at US Coast Guard

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

    Pros

    Retirement check after 20 years service. Most are great people in this outfit, but some will stab you in the back and act like they don't know what your talking about.

    Cons

    Political correctness running wild, unable to perform duties without thinking about offending someone and getting trouble by protected groups.

    Advice to Management

    Take a visit to the deckplate level, gut underway for a couple days before you try and run operations from a desk. Stop looking for perfection in all employees, you will only get personnel with no mistakes in their career, but not the best leaders because those left will not have the experiences to lead with and reflect on.


  6. Fun for a time

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

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Extensive travel to foreign countries, saving lives, making amazing friends, experiencing things that few people ever get to do in their lifetime.

    Cons

    Ship life is brutal for work/life balance, the first year or so there's little in the way of compensation or work satisfaction, and it's a complete gamble if your command is going to be awful or amazing.

    Advice to Management

    The Coast Guard, along with other military branches, are facing a reckoning when it comes to sexual harassment in the ranks. Things are improving, and justice can be served, but it takes top-down leadership to purge the cancer that's spread. You lose good people as a result of this, and advance other people into trusted leadership who shouldn't be there and who are then insulated by the system while they abuse those who are not as well protected. Stop worrying over people's pensions or years of service and just purge the cancer.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Lieutenant

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New London, CT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New London, CT

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

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great job stability & benefits -- as long as you are minimally competent and don't have a significant conduct issue on your record, you will be able to reach retirement age. Compared to other military services, the job locations are more desirable (their larger bases are in major US port cities) and there is greater potential for geographic stability.

    Cons

    Highly bureaucratic, just like most government jobs. As an officer, in order to promote beyond Lieutenant Commander or Commander you have to follow a defined career progression that may change depending on the current leadership. The career progression includes a mix of "operational" and "staff" jobs; however, most personnel tend to enjoy (or are simply better at) one type of job more than the other. Furthermore, if you truly love a job, you still have to transfer every 2-4 years. The Coast Guard values officers who have a diverse set of experiences but this makes it harder to specialize and become an expert in a craft. With brief tours of duty, the Coast Guard continues to force highly trained people to transfer as soon as they become most productive; if a member doesn't transfer on time or requests an extension, it's at the expense of their own careers.

    Advice to Management

    Take advantage of your highly skilled personnel and let them innovate, specialize, and take ownership. The Coast Guard does an adequate job at weeding out the bottom-level employees but a truly poor job at retaining top-quality talent. The evaluation process tends to reward those who don't "rock the boat" and are willing to have patience with time-based promotions and calculated job transfers, but provides little incentive to make significant change within the organization.


  8. Amt1

    • 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 (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benifits and locations to work

    Cons

    none that I can think of

    Advice to Management

    None


  9. Great foundation to jump start any career.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Active Duty Military E-5 in New Orleans, LA
    Current Employee - Active Duty Military E-5 in New Orleans, LA

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, fully covered dental and medical, employee discounts, friendly coworkers and morale, fair living wage and lots of opportunities for growth.

    Cons

    Depending on your position you may work hours that make it difficult to balance your work-life. Poor leadership crumbles down the chain and can create a stressful work environment. Then there are always issues with people who let rank get to their heads and they forget how to treat people with common human respect and decency

    Advice to Management

    Be good to your workers and they will produce good work. Dont let the military rank structure change your outlook on how to treat a person with proper respect and courtesy. Rank does not make you any better quality of a person than anyone else.


  10. Loved it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operation Specialist in Key West, FL
    Current Employee - Operation Specialist in Key West, FL

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Competitive pay, fun, adventurous, teaches great leadership. Over a career one will be afforded many travel opportunities. Duty stations located all across the United States and abroad.

    Cons

    Military structure can be exhausting. You may be stationed in an undesirable location. Also everyone starts from the bottom, takes a while to advance into a good position. Pay also is underwhelming at first.

    Advice to Management

    It's the military, you do as your told. Management needs to connect more with the persons on the ground floor. Upper management has no idea whats going on at stations and the small cutter fleet.


  11. Aviation

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

    I worked at US Coast Guard

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

    Pros

    Great People and great work

    Cons

    Schedule can hard, but it's all for something bigger than all fo us/

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing the good thing



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