US Coast Guard

www.uscg.mil

US Coast Guard Reviews

Updated January 16, 2015
Updated January 16, 2015
385 Reviews
4.1
385 Reviews
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US Coast Guard Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
209 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • Job security can be a great incentive, especially in these trying times (in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • Time away from family was the biggest drawback, missed weddings and holidays (in 15 reviews)

  • There will be times you are away from home for several months at a time (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

147 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    USCG Reserve

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

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

    Pros

    I have been in the USCG as a reservist for the last 2 years. Overall it has been a very positive experience. It all depends on your rate and command. But very happy to be part of something different, great resume builder and opportunity to serve my country.

    Cons

    Can be hard to get / stay qualified. Not as challenging as I hoped.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better, more specific opportunities for reservists.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Organization

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

    I worked at US Coast Guard

    Pros

    Travel around the Country and in some cases the world.

    Cons

    OER Driven Leadership; Officer Corps is truly elite, on paper.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider promoting more from within the enlisted and OCS Ranks and less from the Academy.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    US Coast Guard Aviation - Pilot

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pilot in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Pilot in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

    Pros

    As a young pilot, you get the opportunity to make a difference in military or civilian life. You will save a life, make a difference utilizing the skills of a pilot. When you get done in your first year, you WILL have saved a life. It is completely worth it to see the look on someone's face of relief that they will live and to witness a family reunited.

    Cons

    You may need to put up with an organization not dedicated to aviation exclusively. Some cons will be depressed funding for equipment and representation at the higher levels of the organization. The USCG is lead by 20th century ship/surface thinkers - lost are opportunities for the future such as advanced flight vehicles and Unmanned systems - all with sensors highly integrated. The USCG continues to search like it did in the 1950s - despite newer ships, they are still ships with limited sensors to find a person or assist the Homeland Security Mission. I have been utterly disappointed with lost opportunities I had on searches or other missions if I just had the equipment. Motivated and great people will only take the organization so far.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leverage tech. Free the organization of service acquisition - apply the time tested commercial off the shelf strategy to utilize the latest in technology and refresh of aging systems. Get away from heavy reliance upon large cutters with exception of Alaska and Arctic/Antarctic mission sets, concentrate on smaller more elite small boats, patrol vessels. Allow the USN to leverage littoral shipboard presence. Optimize the newer air systems with sensors and invest in COTS unmanned systems - more now than ever for Maritime Domain awarenss.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Mission, Small Organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lieutenant Commander in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Lieutenant Commander in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, sound training opportunities

    Cons

    Leadership isn't emphasized as much as it should be

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the time to maximize your human capital

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Management

    Current Employee - AMT1
    Current Employee - AMT1

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

    Pros

    Good place to work and see the country.

    Cons

    Don't give them anything to throw you out for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Chill

  7.  

    Coast Guard

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

    I have been working at US Coast Guard

    Pros

    The Coast Guard provides a great opportunity for those looking to serve and gain valuable training. Solid benefits and the chance to see new places.

    Cons

    Slow advancement and burdensome policy.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A Great Organization

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

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

    Pros

    There are great compensations working in the military: medical, housing, education, etc. You also get federal holidays off (unless you are on duty or deployed) as well as 30 days of vacation per year. The Coast Guard has really good missions, like going after illegal drug smugglers, search and rescue, enforcing public boating safety, and inspecting commercial boats for compliance with U.S. laws.

    Cons

    At times, upper level leadership is completely out of touch with what their employees do and the support they need. Unfortunately, the idea of doing more with less has become the norm and expected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    See "Cons".

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    The best life decision that I ever made.

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits when compared to comparable civilian work available without a degree including 100% medical coverage for member and family with no deductible or copays. 4 years of college paid for after enlistment. Most career paths directly relate to a civilian career. MUCH BETTER quality of life than the other military services. This job is VERY fulfilling, you can and will make a difference. Even support personnel have opportunities to be directly involved in operations. I have traveled to many beautiful and amazing locations. The best part of the Coast Guard is being part of the Coast Guard. You will make life long friendships and have pride in knowing that you were part of what makes it such an amazing organization.

    Cons

    Qualifying for service it the first large hurdle. You must get a qualifying score on the ASVAB to get in AND pass a military entrance medical exam. This can be very difficult for a lot of people since about half of the people who apply will be disqualified for some reason.

    There aren't very many Coast Guard Recruiters or Recruiting offices. They seem to be very very busy, so just keep trying until you can get ahold of one. It took me a year and about 5 or more 4hour trips to get in. It was worth it.

    Basic training is probably the biggest challenge you will go through in your life. It is designed to transform you into a Coast Guardsman who can go out in that storm to save another person without giving up. This takes work. It is at least as challenging as the other services recruit training, maybe harder.

    You will have to listen and obey orders. If you can't do this, go find somewhere else to work. There will be times you are away from home for several months at a time. This is tough, but it is for a higher cause. You will be having adventures and making memories while you are away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up with the initiatives to make the school lists manageable. This is helping morale. Keep selecting the majority of officer candidates from within the enlisted ranks. It always helps to have a few officers at your unit who started where you did.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    An experience of a lifetime

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Reservist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Reservist in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at US Coast Guard part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Medical benefits, training, getting underway

    Cons

    Paperwork, computer mandated training, constantly changing policy, so depending on your job, you will constantly be adapting to the new rules. Time away from family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Merge the reserve retirement program with the active duty. Have a specific training program for the reserves. Make it policy to have ADT 1 to 3 weeks active duty after coming out of bootcamp and A school in addition to the regular ADT.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Operations Specilaist

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

    I worked at US Coast Guard full-time

    Pros

    paid leave, medical, some great superviors

    Cons

    Alot of supervisors will dump their work on you, blame game, politcal nightmare

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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