US Coast Guard Reviews | Glassdoor

US Coast Guard Reviews

Updated February 10, 2017
53 reviews

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

53 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good amount of time off, great benefits (in 63 reviews)

  • There are great people within the organization which makes working in the Coast Guard a pleasure (in 49 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Life as a Reservist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - O4 - Navy - Lieutenant Commander in Portsmouth, VA
    Current Employee - O4 - Navy - Lieutenant Commander in Portsmouth, VA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Coast Guard part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Health & education Benefits of being a reservist is really good, and the pay is not bad for part time work. Believe it or not, short deployments to incidents are actually a blessing in disguise because the rare experience you get and the connections that you make.

    Cons

    For the past couple of years, the reserves seem to run out of money at the end of the FY. So with that being said, if you were unable to schedule your drills before the 4th Quarter, you run the risk of not getting paid and having a "bad year" count towards retirement. This is poor planning on the CG Reserve Program. The other issue is that the Coast Guard wants to support the reserves the same way they support the active duty with the same IT and Security policies. They can't do that for several reasons: 1. Not all reservists reside near a Coast Guard Command and has physical access to a Coast Guard Work Station. 2. Remote Access capabilities are limited to a set of approved reserve personnel and reliability of the connection is unreliable especially during high traffic times. 3. Lack of secure collaboration tools make it difficult for reservists to do CG business without Remote access Or a physical work station. The CG has yet to update their policies, and fund tools and systems to support the reservists. Another issue we have is that O-6's and above and some O-5's and above are expected to Drill for points (ie work for free) because they don't have enough paid billets. I'm not sure someone at that level (usually with 15+ years in and LOTS of valuable experience) appreciates the CG asking them to work, but not pay them.

    Advice to Management

    READ THESE GLASSDOOR REVIEWS! The OAS survey can only tell you so much. The Reserves are in a bad state. Cynicism, low morale due to the perception that our experience and service is not valuable. We expend alot of OUR time and MONEY to serve and it is getting old. If we can not be compensated by pay, or even ease our CG Network and communication issue, you will loose some of your workforce who can bring their civilian career expertise to help you.


  2. "CG"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Warwick, RI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Warwick, RI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    It can be a great career opportunity

    Cons

    It can also be a horrible career opportunity. Because of it's small size and crony politics, business relationships can border on incestuous. Not for those who can't adapt to a "yes sir" mentality. .

    Advice to Management

    Go out and work a real job for a while where people don't care about your rank.


  3. "USCG Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lieutenant in Alameda, CA
    Current Employee - Lieutenant in Alameda, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Good retirement and healthcare options
    - Diverse list of jobs to choose from
    - Impact on community in a positive way

    Cons

    - Geostability is non-existent. I have lived in 7 states in the past 5 years.
    - Promotions are based on time in service and performance has *almost* no bearing on how fast you move up.
    - Due to promotions being based on time, workforce is not highly motivated.
    - Loss of many freedoms enjoyed by civillians.


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  5. "Coast Guard Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Military Officer in Cleveland, OH
    Current Employee - Military Officer in Cleveland, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Training, provides the opportunity to work with dedicated individuals. Great benefits including health insurance, housing allowance. 30 days off a year.

    Cons

    Poor upper level leadership, promotions based primarily on time with organization rather than merit. Heavy emphasis "not making waves" rather than innovation or making difficult leadership decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Concentrate on moral courage. Don't be afraid to make difficult decisions, and value those with the courage to make a decision and move forward over those afraid to make a difficult choice.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Blech"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Branch Chief in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Branch Chief in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    It's a guaranteed job, you're not going to get fired right away. As an active duty member, there are a lot of benefits that come with the job.

    Cons

    A lot of the people are incompetent, arrogant, and don't know how to effectively lead. The culture within the active duty side is definitely broken. The civilian workforce is no better. They are the laziest group of people I've ever known. They know they won't get fired, so they don't bother trying to do their best. The IT system is severely flawed. It's so hard to just send emails some days, it's ridiculous. I can't wait to leave.

    Advice to Management

    Fire the bad people, hire good ones, fix the IT system, make it a better place to work. But that won't happen.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Food Service Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Food Service Specialist in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Food Service Specialist in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Coast Guard (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Offered great benefits and a skill set that will beneficial throughout life.

    Cons

    I worked 56 hours a week in port and 93 hours a week underway on 90 day deployments.

    Advice to Management

    378 need more FS thirds class billets so that they are not overworked and have the opportunity to participate as team members in different capacity. When it comes to receiving the highest marks for the FS rate cooks are expected to go above and beyond what's expected in our day to day job. This is not possible with the working these type of hours.


  8. "Fireman"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fireman in Salisbury, MD
    Current Employee - Fireman in Salisbury, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Coast Guard (More than a year)

    Pros

    Stability, and lots of benefits. Travel and great insurance comes along with a true career.

    Cons

    a lot of time away from family and sometimes the hierarchy can become a little overwhelming.

    Advice to Management

    Try to treat everyone as one unit not as individuals. Take families and goals into consideration.


  9. "Dont Join"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Information Systems Technician in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Not Much, Please dont join

    Cons

    Almost Everything. The people especially


  10. "Machinery Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Machinery Technician in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Machinery Technician in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Travel,training,advancement opportunity,aggressive pay scale, abundant supply of IB profin for any injury supplied

    Cons

    Being deployed for holidays and not being able to be around family

    Advice to Management

    I advanced 5 times over a six year period strictly based off my personal performance


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Civilian Civil Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Juneau, AK
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Juneau, AK

    I have been working at US Coast Guard full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Coast Guard is very well respected, and has an amazing mission. The locations of stations, sectors and facilities are great if you like waterfront areas. The work is rewarding since you see the work helps the Coasties working in your District. All employees are treated with respect by management and the Command.

    Cons

    Professional development is minimal to non-existent for civilian employees. The Coast Guard is really about developing the officers to become future leaders within the organization. Civilians are given no authority or decision making opportunities. The facility maintenance program is hugely underfunded, which can lead to low morale when budgets do not allow for correcting deficiencies at facilities. All management positions with the exception of some civilian supervisors (which are just a normal civilian position with HR/oversight of some civilian employees) are filled only by Coast Guard officers who rotate out of the position every 2-4 years. This creates no continuity of leadership in management, and leads to a lot of reworking projects, changes in command philosophy, and changes in procedures for civilian employees who have no real say in how things operate.

    Advice to Management

    Allow civilians to have some say in the organization. There are many career (i.e. 10-20 year employees) that are civilians who really care about the organization, and would really benefit the Coast Guard if they were allowed to make some decisions rather than waiting to be told what to do and when to do it by Command and other officers.



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