Why USCGA?

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by S.J43, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. S.J43

    S.J43 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hello,

    Just a curious high school junior who has only ever thought about applying to the USMA, USNA, or USAFA before...

    What makes the Coast Guard Academy unique following graduation? Basically, why Coast Guard?
     
  2. Hoping2021

    Hoping2021 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2016
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    66
    My DD was the opposite of you. We visited other academies too, but my DD was ONLY interested in the USCGA, none of the other ones. She was not even remotely interested in the other SA's. Many people around her kept encouraging her to apply to the other ones too for the name and the "brag factor," but that wears off quickly. No one from high school would care in a year or two where you went to college. You have to really like what you'll be doing AFTER graduation. She was pretty certain of USCG job satisfaction compared to the other branches. USCG is the only branch that allows women to hold every position that a man can hold. There are no limitations for CG women. As a girl, this was important for DD.

    DD was also not interested in a branch that had to deal with taking the lives of others (combat). CG saves lives-it's the direct opposite of taking lives away with its search & rescue mission. Even with drug or migrant interdiction, we heard that they are trained not to shoot the people but to aim at the boat's engine. CG's mission also included protecting the marine environment. She liked how humanitarian CG was. She also likes the idea of protecting her own homeland rather than going out to fight people in other countries. AND, let's face it. If possible, we don't want our children going off to war and getting killed either. Although USCG may participate in a war, their missions will be very different from the other branches, and there's less of a chance for them to get killed.

    From a totally practical aspect, we also heard that she'd always be stationed near water and many are big cities, which meant she'd be near good food! (New York, LA, Florida, San Diego, Hawaii...) This is not something we were originally concerned about, but one of the officers told us about how important food becomes when you realize you're stuck with horrible food day after day. His army friends were envious of the CG for always being near good food. Lol In fact, so many CG officers told us that officers in other branches always come up to them saying they just weren't too familiar with the USCGA when they were applying to colleges, they were only interested in the big names and prestige, etc. etc. etc. and if they had known what they know now,they'd go coast guard instead. So...... it really pays off to do your homework, lots of it, before you apply to the academies and know what you're getting into.

    When visiting the academies, we all felt that USCGA had more of a family feel than the others, and we were told it's the same once you get out too. Everyone knows someone who knows someone. We know that military as a whole has a bond, but USCG really felt like a tight family. Other academies gave us sterile or depressing feel. The admissions just didn't seem interested in the individuals. (Won't say which was which) of course, everyone's experience may be different, so we can't speak for others. I think the best thing to do is to do some research on each of the branch, but also to actually visit the academies too. Being impressed and feeling like you belong there are two separate things.
     
    MuniMan24, StPaulDad, vmi9d3 and 7 others like this.
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    215
    I recommend visiting. See for yourself, talk to some cadets and get a feel for the place.
     
    AEB1968 and S.J43 like this.
  4. S.J43

    S.J43 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you very much for your replies and for taking the time to create such a thoughtful response @Hoping2021! I have heard the Coast Guard and USCGA has a very family feel like you said, so it's interesting to compare to the other academies/branches. I'll definitely be doing more research!
     
    Hoping2021 likes this.
  5. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    217
    What hoping said about the family feel is true. When my son was 2/C at CGA is got a chance to speak with a midshipman USNA and cadet USAFA. Both said they got the family feel. Even though he is not out of the Academy yet he (we) have run into the someone who knows someone. My other son is enlisted, and that has really shown up with him out in the fleet. He is back in Yorktown training and has visited his old ship and shipmates.

    But way more importantly, please check out the 11 statutory missions of the Coast Guard. If you can see yourself involved in one or more of them for a career, then you should follow up on that. And of those 11 missions, they all stop for SAR, because that's what we do.
     
    S.J43, Hoping2021, AEB1968 and 4 others like this.
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    9,194
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Just for a little clarification, Coast Guardsmen are taught to kill, too. It rarely happens but they aren't carrying firearms to maim.

    What was referred to in a prior post is disabling fire. That doesn't mean there isn't a chance of destructive fire.

    For the most part the Coast Guard is known for its life saving mission, true.
     
    S.J43, Hoping2021 and AEB1968 like this.
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    9,194
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    I'll go into my decision process when I'm on a computer (can only write so much on the mobile app before passing out).
     
  8. AEB1968

    AEB1968 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    17
    This has been our experience as well.

     
    S.J43 likes this.
  9. sailsleeper

    sailsleeper New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    6
    Every first semester there are about ~10 exchangers from different academies. We had a USAFA cadet and he loved it here. He said it's more like family and with only 8 companies, everyone knows each other. My close friend is a midshipman at Navy and he hardly knows most of the people in his own company - by comparison, Navy has about 30+ companies with a student population of 4,000, as do most of the other service academies. The USAFA cadet was very sad to go, and he was very happy he got placed here rather than other academies. We are the smallest service academy, and every day I am so glad I came here than anywhere else -- everyone is family here.
     
  10. Idlewild

    Idlewild Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    96
    We are not there yet, but I can give you my take on why our daughter only applied to the CGA. Her Godfather who is an AFA grad and still serving said that if he could do it over again he would chose the CG because of the family feel, the smaller numbers really make the difference.
     
    S.J43 and Hoping2021 like this.
  11. S.J43

    S.J43 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    3
    Haven't been participating on this forum for very long, but I have to say I'm amazed at how compelling these responses are and the people that take the time out of their day to help out a total stranger seeking information for the future! Highschool juniors like me especially appreciate your insight!
     
  12. Elmtwigs

    Elmtwigs Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    58
    Hoping2021 is spot-on. My daughter is class of 2021, went to a Bear's Day, AIM 3 and AEP. Each visit she came away more committed to the humanitarian mission of the Coast Guard with more respect for what is and will be expected of her. I'm so very proud of her commitment to serve and confident that she will receive the best training and support to succeed there in a smaller community where everyone watches out for everyone else. As Chaps said at AEP "You carry your load. And you carry your neighbor's load." Good luck to you in your decision making!
     
    Alaskan likes this.