Coast Guard Special Operations

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by Kentriguy, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Kentriguy

    Kentriguy New Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    Are any of you (or sons/daughters) going to the CGA with ambitions to do CG Special Operations? Ex. Deployable Operation Group, Response Team, MSST? I was just wondering if anyone had information on this, or if it is even possible to join a CG Special Ops Team after graduation. Any information would be very helpful!
     
  2. CGAFencer

    CGAFencer Member

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    I was placed on the waiting list this year but I am interested in the Special Operations side of the CG. I don't know too much about it but I think two years after graduation you will be able to apply for CG Special Operations and you will have to pass certain physical tests. But thats pretty much all I have heard about it, if you find out more please do share! :shake:
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It's not real "special operations."

    A "deployable operations group" unit is just something that can pack up in your carry on luggage and moved quickly. The MSRT is as close to special operations as you can get, and it aint special ops. The MSSTs are like SWAT, and a Strike Team is a pollution response team.

    Don't get too hopped up on the DOG talk.
     
  4. Objee

    Objee USCGA Admissions

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    Depsite LITS's opinion, the opportunity (although it's a small community for officers) exists for special operations work within the Coast Guard. It would also not be your "career field" like it would be in other military services, but the jobs exist now and people are doing the work everyday. Of course, this community could shrink or disappear in the future, but no one really knows what direction the next Commandant or two will want to take the Coast Guard in. I do agree with LITS that if you're looking for full-time (15-20 year career) special operations work, you're not going to find it as an officer in the Coast Guard.

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/02/04/cg-petty-officer-earns-special-operations-award.html (CG Petty Officer Earns Special Operations Award)
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The current El Commandante isn't a huge DOG fan, at least not when it came to cuts.

    Look, the MSRT and the MSSTs have cool gear, and they do some interesting stuff. I don't think, and a number of my old coworkers, don't think they are quiet what was envisioned.

    Like Objee said, this is not a career path. While some officers and enlisted have been able to dip in and out of the DOG, it's not a specialty.

    The Army has the same issue years ago. How do you hope to have people specialize and fine tune their skills when you pull them from an operational unit, like an MSST, to put them on a desk, and then four years later, send them somewhere else, that has nothing to do with the DOG. How many senior positions are there? You start removing someone from the MSRT or MSSTs and bring them back 6-8 years later, how much has to be relearned (not even considering how new many of these kinds of units, minus the strike teams, are).

    If you're picturing a full career at an MSST, then give up that idea now. You may be able to go to one second tour, but to stay in it, nonstop.... well, as an officer, I'm not sure if anyone has really done that.

    People like DOG units. Some people don't. It's not a community the entire Coast Guard either looks up to, or wants to be in. Their fairly focused, but I think, at some times, the Coast Guard isn't entirely sure what to do with them.... so they send them to the same areas a PSU could work (but I'm fairly certainly a PSU is far cheaper than an MSST to run).

    I'm not trying to be down on the DOG community. I've had friends, classmates, and fellow CGA folks who have worked in/with them. I've had a few positive run ins with them as well. All good people. I just don't want you to get the idea that you're going to be pulling "Zero Dark Thirty" ops or anything like that.

    The opportunity exists, even two years out of CGA, but you need to know what to expect.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    BUT.... you can get a "special operations" ribbon.... just not the kind you'd be thinking of! :wink:
     
  7. CGAFencer

    CGAFencer Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up about the career path, thats good information to know.

    I know they dont do stuff like in "Zero Dark Thirty" (not that we know of anyway :wink:) but it still looks like an interesting opportunity in the Coast Guard from the very few videos I found on youtube of MSRT or DOG.

    So if someone was to start a career pathway in say mechanical engineering right after the academy and joined MSRT or DOG later on in their career, would they be able to go back to where they left off in their mechanical engineering career? How would that work? :confused:
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Good question.

    Think of career path as more of a "community" in the Coast Guard. While mechanical engineering is your major, and may help with a career path, it is not, in itself, a "career path."

    Also, think of planning your career in two "paths", one operational, and one, possibly, staff.

    Operational:

    My brother-in-law went to a cutter his first tour (afloat tours, some sector positions, and aviation are all operational positions). After two years he went to a nationals security cutter as the 1LT. After that he went to a buoytender (his first cutter was a buoytender)....

    So he's set his career path (operationally speaking) to be a cutterman (and already had his cutterman's pin).

    Staff:

    I have another classmate who went first tour afloat, then followed that with a public affairs billet, then back to a cutter afloat, and now a grad school program for public affairs. While her operational career path is afloat, she has also developed a staff tour path as a public affairs officer.

    Why is it important to think about both paths? You will likely alternate in and out of operational and staff tours, and having a general path, that you develop, helps manage your expectations as well as specializes you in certain areas.
     
  9. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    You'll get some cool gear issued to you and do some interesting training but so far that's really all they've done as far as high speed ops go. They are a huge money drain so I could easily see them diminishing over the next few years. TACLET's are another option. They get similar training and deploy with the Navy to do counter drug ops. They are usually pretty successful too.
     
  10. CGAFencer

    CGAFencer Member

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    Oh ok that clears up a lot of things, thank you for that!

    I've heard about TACLET before. My cadre in AIM's week wanted to go into TACLET. Thats also another option I'm open to.
     
  11. SoonerSteve

    SoonerSteve Member

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    Three afloat tours out of the Academy is extremely rare; never knew anyone during my career that pulled that off.
     
  12. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    It's actually pretty common now with guys that go to PATFORSWA, although that tour only lasts a year. My first CO actually did 4 tours afloat, HEALY-Navy Exchange-PATFORSWA CO-EDISTO
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Maybe afloat --> part of flight school --> afloat --> afloat

    Next tour won't be afloat, but he's already got a cutterman's pin.

    Only other folks I can think of that pull it off are cutter first tour, PATFORSWA cutter second tour, followed by CO of 87' or XO of 110' third tour.
     
  14. USCGA13STN

    USCGA13STN Member

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    My OPS told me a real easy way to do it is after your third tour VOLUNTEER to be WEPS on a 378'...

    Not sure why anyone would volunteer for that job, but there you go.
     
  15. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    I really hope that that career path doesn't happen to me. (hopefully Academy --> Flight School, but afloat --> flight school wouldn't be horrible)

    I met a commander in San Diego that went afloat --> TACLET --> flight school. Needless to say, he was packing some serious chest candy.
     
  16. SoonerSteve

    SoonerSteve Member

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    That may be the case with people going to Bahrain, but even a tour there is few and far between. I've been seperated for almost five years and I've heard it's even difficult for the enlisted folks to get back to back afloat tours.
     
  17. SoonerSteve

    SoonerSteve Member

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    Almost always, without exception, Academy grads go to a ship their first tour. I knew quite a few JOs I served with afloat that went to flight school after their first tour afloat. Best case scenario, count on at least one tour afloat.
     
  18. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    With my class starting to get orders for second tours I can't help but laugh at so many people who absolutely did not want to go afloat out of the Academy and swore it would be their only afloat tour post things on Facebook like "Got XO of <insert boat> in <insert city>!!! So excited!!!
     
  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    CGA class of 2004 was the first class where the Coast Guard shifted to grads going to non-afloat units. Yes, the vast majority went to cutters, but there were also sector folks and flight school folks.

    Bahrain isn't an easy billet to get, but at least 5 years ago, when I kind of cared, a good tour on a cutter our of Bahrain meant a good shot at getting something else afloat, if you wanted it.

    Then there are some sneaky billets, like going from an ice breaker to XO of a 140'. Some people who got a national security cutter pulled a mid-season transfer. I had some shipmates like that. New NSC? We need some second tour JOs... boom, back-to-back afloat tours.

    Since I graduated and eventually got out, it sounds like some additional afloat billets have opened up.

    Interesting times....
     
  20. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner

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    LITS, were you 2004? I ask because my (2nd) cousin was.
     

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