In case you want to leave the USCGA

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by Davona892, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Davona892

    Davona892 New Member

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    Hi, I'm going to try the USCGA this year (woo hoo!), and I'm just wondering- what happens if we want to quit (like after swab-summer). I heard it's very rigorous and I just want to give it a try. (I just want to be prepared in case things go woah, since I heard like a small amount actually graduate, lol).

    In order to quit (just in-case) what are the forms you have to go through- and do you have to do anything? I'm from a small area in Virginia- so this stuff is a bit different.:frown:
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You can check-out any time you want, but you can never leave.

    On a more serious note, if you're just there to try it out, don't. Most who attend any academy without a commitment to commission into that service do not make it. It's a lot to endure without the commitment.
     
  3. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    First of, as Kinnem has said, don't go to just "try in out". Swab Summer is very rigorous and you really have to have the desire to be there to succeed. This applies to the academic year beyond Swab Summer as well. Typically the CGA looses about 10% give or take. The Admiral recently referred to the Class of 2018 as the class that persevered as they lost the fewest swabs this summer as compared to many recent years.

    Swab Summer disenrollments include a few for medical reasons, (missed too many training days, etc) and a few that chose to go home on their own deciding it wasn't for them.

    I would caution you against "trying it out". If you are fortunate enough to get an Appointment and you actually accept it, you are taking a slot away from a candidate that will be turned down. Many simply because there just isn't anymore slots available. Many that may have really wanted to attend but didn't get the opportunity.

    All that to say, if you do indeed get an Appointment, I am certain you deserved it and you have the potential to do well there. Just make sure it is what you want to do, and that you aren't being pressured by anyone (i.e. parents) to attend. It seems most of the time, it is those kids that have the hardest time and many end of leaving.

    To answer your question, if you ask to leave, they will let you. They will do everything they can to make sure that is your final decision and that you are making an informed decision.

    Best of luck to you!
     
    gtmike likes this.
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Haha, there may be other theories about why a class would lose such a small number. To the OP, keep this in mind, Swab Summer is only a small portion of a cadet's experience. It's a very uncomfortable portion, but over the many many weeks of life as a cadet, Swab Summer is only seven, and one of those is on USCGC EAGLE. Well, 4/c year is also not the best of times. You get through that summer and that first year because of two things; you have a reason to keep trying, and you have great classmates there to help you. This isn't a "I'll give it a whirl" kind of situation. You'll waste your time, you'll waste your classmates' time and you'll waste the Coast Guard's time (and money). If you apply just to give it a whirl, save your energy. My class, from July 1, 2002, to May 17, 2006, lost btween 30-50% of our class.

    Swab Summer is a shocking time. Some swabs lose hope immediately. Most don't. More cadets make it through than drop out. Over the years you will see people leave for many many reasons. But if your choice to leave was that your decision to attend was a joke.... you will not make friends and you will not leave there with friends. Wish such low acceptance rates, the odds of even having the option to be dead weight are very slim.

    I agree and I don't. Candidates who were turned away have no one to blame for that fact except themselves. Want to be selected? Be the best. Be better than the guy who's going just to try it out. There are no freebies.

    Let me be perfectly clear, I HATED my first summer and first year at CGA. I hated it. I made it for a number of reasons, most ingrained in me, and because of classmates who did not give up on me, when I wanted to give up the most (those classmates know who they are). If you have no REAL reason to be there, you will find those dark moments very difficult to get through. It's not impossible... but it's not easy.

    You luckily aren't in the position to make a decision like this. First, you have to be selected, which is the easiest part of becoming a Coast Guard officer from CGA, but is difficult, none the less. Then you have to get through it. You have time to really think about this... if even trying is a waste given your goals, and how far back "trying it out" will put you in the education department of life.
     
  5. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    So LITS is the word of the Lord in rubric?
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    For some reason I thought it needed to be in read… but once I hit "submit reply" I realized it was very clear where my comments were.
     
  7. Davona892

    Davona892 New Member

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    Ahh, I okay, I do kind of sound a bit soft, but I am really into serving my country and trying out for USCGA. I understand it is rigorous and I am a part of some advanced academic classes, I've been wanting to go for a long time- but my parents just wanted me to double check on the possibilities. :) Also, if you leave, is it an honorable discharge? Or does it look bad on your transcript? But thank you for your concern and advice!
     
  8. Davona892

    Davona892 New Member

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    Thanks all for the replies, it really did help!

    Just want to make a note that I really do want to attend and I've been wanting to join for a long time :smile:- I tend to sound a bit soft and using the phrase 'trying out' wasn't right. So don't worry about the enthusiasm, endurance, and commitment part- it's built up over the years. But I will always try to prepare :)
     
  9. Davona892

    Davona892 New Member

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    Thank you very much for your help! I will always strive to do my best! It was very helpful and kind of you to tell me that :)
     
  10. CessnaMan

    CessnaMan Member

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    If you are a Junior try AIM

    AIM is a week where you will get a good taste of what the summer will be like. My stepson did it and knew he wanted to attend but did not get accepted (hint, like the others said, don't go to TRY, go to succeed knowing that being a officer in the CG is your ultimate goal).
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    No problem at all "trying out" doesn't sounds great, but a lot can be lost in translation over the internet.

    It will help fo you to go into it thinking "I deserve to be here, it won't be easy but I can make it through it."

    Is it hard? Sure. Will you hate life (sometimes)? Yep! Is that abnormal? No way, Jose!

    During Swab Summer I would go to my room and be ready to break. I can think of at least one time where I was on the brink. My roommate gave me a great pep talk. He told me what I needed to hear. He told me to keep going. And I did. He knows what his words meant, I've told him (and I told my Swabs).

    Swab Summer will certainly test you. It will make you question your worthiness. It will make you question your desire to serve. It will make you question how great CGA really is and if they're doing things right. And the end ofthe day, knowing you're worthy, that you can do it, that you do want to serve, and that CGA has a plan.... will be the difference between staying weeks or four years.

    It won't end after those seven weeks. New stresses, such as school work and time management, and personal relationships, and a district lack of freedom will constantly eat away at you.

    But eventuall you adapt, and eventually it DOES get better.

    Be confident you, like the many thousands before you (one of my classmates was graduate number 10,000), can succeed at CGA.

    Good luck! :thumb:
     
  12. Davona892

    Davona892 New Member

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    Payment?

    Wait, another question- is there a fee you have to pay if you do choose to leave?
     
  13. johnmac42

    johnmac42 Member

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    This must be a joke! but the answer is no not out of your pocket, out of the pockets of the hard working tax paying citizens of this country.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It may have changed, but for a time, if you left after the start of your 2/c (junior) year you owed time (Reserve typically) or money. I would guess this was to stop people from riding a free education for three years, transfering and only having to pay for a year of college.
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Honestly, from what I've read here, you may want to just drop the whole CGA idea. Your entirely line of questioning has been about leaving, so your natural inclination is, you won't make it. And frankly, based on that mindset, I don't know if you would make it.

    Knowing it's hard and understanding the challenges is one thing, but constantly hitting on how likely it is you'll leave is something completely different.
     
  16. MJP

    MJP Member

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    +1
    It sounds to me like a total troll question was asked but I could be wrong.

    That said, if I was ever in a life or death situation where I needed the assistance of the USCG, I certainly would want to know that the person coming to get me was dedicated to the mission, was motivated to be there, and had an overwhelming desire to serve others-even at the risk of self.

    Why waste everyone's time and taxpayer money if you just want to "try it out"- that's what you do with a new bike or a mattress-not an SA.

    I'd suggest you Go "try out" a public university for four or five years and if you want to serve after that, go to OCS and keep that slot open for someone that truly has the dream and desire to be there.

    Just my two pennies worth.
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'm going to give the OP the benefit of the doubt on this one, he did title this thread "In case you want to leave the USCGA" While his choice of words "Trying it out" was sure to bring the typical comments, there is nothing wrong with asking what the procedures are to leave.

    My two sons were not CG, they are Army, both had 4 year scholarships. When we went through this process with our older son none of us had any idea how the program worked so there were a lot of questions.

    When my older son went to his interview, I was asked to come with him. After he completed his interview we both met with the Lt. Col. During that meeting my son had a lot of questions, a group of those questions concerned What happens if you drop the program, he asked many of the same questions the OP has asked:

    What is the latest you can leave without an obligation?
    How do you drop the program?
    When does pay back of the scholarship kick in?
    If you leave during the first year do you owe any money such as book money or monthly stipend back to the Army?
    If you leave does it have a negative effect on joining later?
    How long does it take to drop the program?

    The Lt. Col. answered every question and never once questioned his commitment. Actually he commended him on reading the contract and wanting to be well informed.

    In essence every cadet is "trying it out" no matter what level of commitment they display before the enter either a SA or a ROTC program. I'm sure LITS would agree that even some of the most Gung Ho applicants don't make it.

    Seems to me this person just came to ask questions about what happens if you decide it's not for you and you decide to leave. There is nothing wrong with getting as much information about a program before you commit. Maybe we should give the kid bit of a break on this one.
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I think it's the approach one takes mentally. It's in your mind that you'll retreat to, to decide where you want to go in life.

    I agree, not all gung ho applicants make it. But that's not because they're gung ho, it's because of where they're drawing their strength from. I had a classmate who was "hard for the Guard." He had been a big shot in JROTC. His father has been a senior enlisted member of, either the Coast Guard or Air Force, I think Coast Guard (they all look the same.... right?)

    Anyway, as they beat into him, they would ask "Swab John Doe, why do you want to be here?" and Swab John Doe's response was typically "Swab Doe's father was a master chief in the U.S. Coast Guard, and Swab Doe wants to be exactly like his father!"

    We heard this EVERY day. Swab John Doe was a nice guy and I roomed with Swab John Doe during swab summer. He instruced me to some kind of sponge, to "shine" my leathers.... but in the end the sponge ruined my shine.

    At the end of the day Swab Doe didn't make it through the first year. Being there to be like someone else, or to impress friends and family, or to "try out" will only get you so far. At some point the REAL reason your there will confront you... and you'll make a decision, then and there.

    I think it's prudent to understand your commitment requirements, if you owe time and money, and how hard it's going to be. I'm not sure if that should be your PRIMARY concern. You would be better served understanding how the school works and what you'll have to do AFTER graduation. The primary questions that you have posed here, should, in the long run, be footnotes to a bigger theme, how to go to CGA and graduate.

    "Trying out" is getting a $50 guitar, strumming it a few times, and putting it behind the door, never to touch it again. "Committing" is getting a $3,500 banjo, paying for lessons, and working at it every week. At the end of the day, both are try outs, but one displays a real commitment to the endevour. And it should also be noted, the five-string banjo is far superior to the guitar, but that's another lesson for another day. :thumb:
     
  19. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    LITS, can you try out a tuba?
     
  20. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    +1 Lits...well said!
     

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