Decision...

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by SwimXC2008, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. SwimXC2008

    SwimXC2008 New Member

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    Hello to all of you. I am new to the bored, so forgive me if I do not yet understand the etiquette around here!

    I got my appointment to the USCGA class of 2013 a few days ago, I am very excited! I got one last year, but turned it down instead to stay in my home state of Virginia. I attended the College of WIlliam and Mary, which is where I am now.

    I reapplied, and got another appointment. Now I am having a difficult time deciding if I should accept it, being that I am in a good school now, and would have to start all over, or if I should decline and go through OCS post civillian grad.

    Any thoughts and advice are welcome, especially from anyone with experience with William & Mary or the Coast Guard Academy! Thanks, and have a great night.
     
  2. Sandbar

    Sandbar Member

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    Decide

    You have a tough decision to make. You are presently situated in a great institution. However, your prior and present actions indicate that you have
    an interest in the Academy, and a possible career as a Coast Guard Officer.

    You really must do some soul searching as the Academy is not an institution to approach casually. Your life will, shall we say, be more orderly, and fast paced.
    It will also be more restricted.

    I have been to William and Mary College, it is a beautiful school. I am sure you enjoy it as well. Both institutions will provide you with exceptional academic opportunities, but only one will provide you with the level of adventure and
    responsibility that comes with attending the Academy.

    There are many roads that one can take to earn a Commission as a Coast Guard
    Officer. The Academy is one of those roads. Good luck on your decision.
     
  3. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    No experience with either W&M or CGA, but here goes anyway.

    I would wonder what has changed since last year when you declined? If nothing significant, decline. It's just too big a change to take on without a one hundred percent commitment and desire to attend.

    Good luck. I'd say once you really look deep inside, you'll find the answer.
     
  4. officer

    officer Member

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    SwimX,

    If you can, I know the CG has a program where you can "shadow" a cadet that is supposed to be very good. We know about The College of William and Mary because of "The Well Trained Mind" book written by Susan Bauer. She teaches Lit at your school I believe. She was homeschooled like my son is. Very good school. But just to put your mind at ease, go to the USCGA and talk with some of the people there, at the very least, read some of the journal posts on the website from the cadets. -officer
     
  5. BruceRTalbot

    BruceRTalbot Member

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    You want to be a Coast Guard Officer because you talked about Officer Candidate School (OCS). There are many advantages to USCGA over OCS: your academy time counts as service time, you are being PAID to go to college, and the education is free.

    What is the downside to the USCGA? Do you think you will get a better education at William & Mary? Yes, it's a great school but so is the academy. US News and World Report rank it as #2 for northeast colleges that offer a bachelor degree. I think it's ranked #21 in engineering -- a very good placement!

    Are you fearful about "loosing a year?" My daughter did a "bean sprout" 24-hour shadow last month and we met a female cadet who did a year at Northwestern University in Chicago (a high ranked college) and then transferred to USCGA. Yes, she had to start over, but the academy allows you to test-out of classes you have already taken at another college which can lower your class load or allow you to take specialty classes at Connecticut College across the street.

    My advise: if you want to be a Coast Guard Officer, I would pick the academy over OCS. Good luck with your choice.
     
  6. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

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    Congrats on your appointment!! That is awesome!

    Your time at college would not count towards CGA, so yes you will still have to go to school for 4 years at CGA. Its a tough call, listen to your head and heart.... not much of an answer, but only you can do that.. Make up a PROS and CONS list... that is always the best way!

    PS...
    I do not think the 4 yrs at the Academy goes towards "time in Service" ??
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Why did you turn it down the first time? Does that reason still apply to the second time around?

    Bruce, CGA time does not count towards retirement, just wanted to make sure people understood that (although you would find that out well before retiring time).

    There are some advantages to a CGA education, one tangible one right out is the "network" you already find yourself in. With a commission from CGA, you will have a regular commission, which can be "helpful".

    I've worked with CGA grads and OCS grads, and besides a ring on a finger, they all wear the same uniform and do the same jobs.

    So, why did you turn it down in the first place?
     
  8. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    LITS, are you sure about academy time not counting? i was under the impression that you couldnt use the 4 years to get to 20 (i.e. do 16 years after graduation), but if you did 20 years after graduation you recieved benefits for 24 years.
     
  9. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    I see people on the board are asking why did you turn down CGA the first time. I would ask why did you reapply? I think you can make list upon list, but you should really follow your heart. Best of Luck with your decision.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The 4 years does not count to retirement, and does not count even after you reach 20. I don't like it, don't agree with it....but that's the way it is. Sadness! :frown:
     
  11. zaatarmonster

    zaatarmonster Member

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    So while we're talking about service time, is there any way to convert federal civilian service time into military service time? I know you can buy back military service with FERS but I sort of doubt you can go the other way. Does anybody know?
     
  12. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

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    I do not think so.... ...
     
  13. beatkp

    beatkp Member

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    Although your academy time may not count towards military retirement, it does count towards US Civil Service retirement. Under the US civil service FERS retirement system rules you must pay a required deposit to receive credit for all service academy & military time served.

    All US Service Academy alumni (except US Merchant Marine Academy) qualify for military service time while at school, under OPM civil service rules.

    Nice to know if you decide to make FBI, CIA, DOD etc. a career after you finish your military career.
     

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