US Coast Guard Reviews

Updated August 28, 2015
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US Coast Guard Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
259 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

523 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    USCG is the best kept secret in the federal workforce.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Warrant Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Chief Warrant Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Wether you join the Coast Guard as an elisted member or an officer there is a lot of opportunity to make a difference while enjoying a little travel and adventure. I came in as an enlisted member and immediately went to Hawaii. From there I got to see Japan, Russia, South America, Singapore, and all over the south Pacific. Then the Coast Guard trained me in IT. Then they sent me to college for 2 years, all expenses paid. I didn't have to go to work, school only. The Coast Guard really does give you equal to what you give it. Hard work and intelligence are rewarded with promotions, choice jobs, and education. It is a very dynamic job and it's an important job.

    Cons

    I'll post when I find one that is unique to the Coast Guard. There are some aspects of working for the Coast Guard that some people might object to. These reasons are common to all military branches such as moving every few years. Getting underway on a boat for a week or a couple of months. I don't really consider these downsides. The moving can be very refreshing. I like to live in different places. As for getting underway on a boat, it has it's advantages. Namely travel and adventure. A Coast Guard cutter took me to Japan, Alaska, Russia, Mexico, Peru, Samoa, nameless Islands in the South Pacific, Challenger Deep (the deepest part of any ocean)

    Advice to Management

    None to post here.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Federal Employer of Choice!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Petty Officer in Elizabeth City, NC
    Current Employee - Chief Petty Officer in Elizabeth City, NC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The US Coast Guard provides the perfect opportunity to do work that truly matters. The mission of the service is fullfilling and you never find yourself wondering, "Why do I work here?" AS en employer, the Coast Guard never forgets to take care of its people. Outstanding benefits and support; outstanding opportunities in a wide variety of fields; an outstanding place to work.

    Cons

    Depending upon the job you chose, you have to be prepared to spend time away from home. But again, you chose those jobs. Some jobs promote slower than others.

    Advice to Management

    1. Continue to be open and honest with the team and the public. 2. Beg Thad Allen to stay on board for another four years at least.


  3. USCG

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Perhaps the best reason to work for the Coast Guard, relative to the other armed services, is its size. This puts you at a definite advantage. At the same time you have the opportunity to excel and be promoted!

    Cons

    There are few downsides working for the US Coast Guard. One should have a willingness to work in harsh conditions. Someone considering the US Coast Guard should be considering the other armed forces, their strengths and weaknesses.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to Management: maintain the current approach. I developed respect and honor for a flexible management style that manages to get the job done very well under trying circumstances. Often, a more inflexible or stamped approach will not work under dynamic conditions.


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  5. Great place to work!

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

    Pros

    Everything is great about the CG. It is a military organization, so they demand a lot out of you but you get what you put into it. It is definitely worth it.

    Cons

    Being a military organization, it can be very stressful at times.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!


  6. Fun and rewarding experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    leadership opportunities, training opportunities, travel opportunities, great benefits, collaborative culture. The supervisors and co-workers alike care deeply about your professional developmemtn.

    Cons

    officer promotion schedule is rather rigid; not tied closely enough to promotion. Staff positions come with the job (rotate from staff positions to operational positions)....this is a small price to pay for the "fun and exciting" operational jobs in the Coast Guard.

    Advice to Management

    You could not as for a better group of senior leaders. The Coast Guard is very fortunate to have Admiral Allen forging the path and leading leading change within the organization. The only reason I left the Coast Guard was because I had different career aspirations that could not be attained in the service; however I loved the Coast Guard and will always look back fondly as my days as a Coastie.


  7. Big job in a small military service

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Officer in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Officer in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of responsibility, great people, awe-inspiring missions, eclectic mix of tasks, many leadership opportunities, great personal and professional development infrastructure

    Cons

    more and more demanding, woefully obsolete fleet of ships, leadership seems unclear on role and mission priorities and unable to translate needs into resources at the congressional and department level, hard to get in, curse with "do more with less" mentality

    Advice to Management

    Decide what the priorities are, focus on those priorities, shed non-priorities to other agencies based on the will of Congress and the American taxpayer


  8. Great Employer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Elizabeth City, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Elizabeth City, NC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great Benefits, Good Pay, Excellent Travel Opportunities

    Cons

    Long Hours, Have to move every 4 years or so.

    Advice to Management

    Try to remember that we are all people with families, and not numbers to present to Congress. Please don't change policy solely for the sake of an OER. Truly believe in the changes you are making, and do not enforce a policy just because someone else said to. Challenge new policy that does not seem right or make sense. The Coast Guard has a great reputation, and is a great place to work. Please continue the good work.


  9. Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Division Chief in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Division Chief in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The Coast Guard is a well led organization that has meaningful work. I was very happy with my career.

    Cons

    Long commute due to lagging highway development in Northern Virginia.

    Advice to Management

    Conduct StrengthFinder 2.0 assessments and move people to jobs that use their strengths.


  10. The most adventurous and gratifying job you could ask for.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Aviation Maintenance Tech in Buzzards Bay, MA
    Current Employee - Aviation Maintenance Tech in Buzzards Bay, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Saving someones life is one of the best feeling you will ever have! GI Bill, money for collage Small service, more personable then the other branches

    Cons

    Having to move every four years. It is tough to uproot your family and start all over meeting new friends and the movers are not always gentle.

    Advice to Management

    Do away with the push for diversity. Select the best and brightest regardless of race or gender!


  11. Great organization to work for.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Provided great training and career. Was able to travel and live in numerous locations throughout USA. Very fair advancement system that allows individuals to seek their full potential. Provided a challenging and rewarding career.

    Cons

    Once you have a family and they begin to have roots in a community it can be tough to deal with being transferred to new locations. Transfers happen on average every 4 years (some transfers can be to positions in same area). A small organization that often lacks sufficient funding to provide needed facility, major asset and equipment upgrades.

    Advice to Management

    Better manage organizational infrastructure system to align with budget. Maybe read about companies like Southwest Airlines and how small companies with smaller budgets do it.



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