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Posted: 3/6/2002 3:17:58 PM EDT
I went to see a CG recruiter today, but would like any observations or opinions. I am 24 yrs old and about to graduate in May with a 4-year engineering degree. The recent lack of jobs is pretty disturbing. My entire graduating class is scrambling for the same few employers, none of who are hiring "at this time". Things have changed alot in the last year and a half. I have been toying with the idea of joining the military while I'm still young, and found that the Coast Guard is willing to offer me a direct commission as an officer with only a 3 year commitment. At this point in my life I am no longer interested in being a career soldier, but I'd like to say I did some type of service. It seems much more interesting then being placed in a cubicle somewhere, and by the time I'm done I'll be a much more attractive hire, but the pay is less, quite a bit at first. My biggest concern is the time I will lose paying into a 401k or similar at a 'regular' job. I want to compare the advantages and disadvantages of joining the CG. What types of things can convince me to take less money and become govt. property for the next few years? I need to collect as much info as I can over the next few months to try to make an informed decision, the deadline for applications is in Oct. I respect the opinion of the board members here so any input you may have would be much appreciated. TIA
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 3:28:16 PM EDT
Well, for starters, you can retain a reserve commission and continue to accrue benefits even after you leave active duty. I know a guy who stayed in for years as a coastie reservist, he had a blast and was able to shop at the PX, commisary, etc.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 3:35:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 4:44:06 PM EDT
Don't just look at Base Pay, there are allowances also. Housing/food/sea pay/haz duty pay etc. Allowances aren't taxable either, I'm an active duty Navy E-6. Talking to my neighbors it seems to me that I'm on the same pay scale and they all have degrees. I don't believe the Coast Guard will take you if your under six feet though, I believe if your ship sinks they require you to be able to walk ashore or something.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 12:49:32 PM EDT
CitadelGrad is right. If possible, stay in the Reserves even though you have a regular job. Finish out your 20 in the Reserves, and you are eligible for retirement benefits. That's in ADDITION to any civilian retirement. I'm in the CG reserve right now, and it's a great way to supplement income and get lots of valuable experience.
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