Posted on Aug 12, 2015
SGT Robert Zuniga
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I am currently weighing some options on joining the coast guard reserves. I am a federally employed worker but there is still a sense of duty missing. I have recently obtained my bachelors degree and can go direct commission. The main concerns that I have are being deployed again. I deployed to OEF3 and 6 for almost 2 years. What does everyone think? Should I try to balance 2 careers or be greatful for the one I have now.
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Responses: 14
SCPO David Lockwood
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It'a all about what you want to do with your life and what your plans are. What do you expect to get out of the reserves and what are the benifits. Good luck!
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SSgt Alex Robinson
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The coasties dona great job. I applaud you for considering country over self!
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CPO Jon Campbell
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There is always a chance of being deployed when you are in the reserve, but there are certain specialties where people are deployed more often and those where people never get deployed. If you get assigned to a PSU (and that is quite likely given your qualifications) you would likely have to deploy at some point. The Coast Guard activated over 100% of its reservists (How do you do that?!) in the past decade, though. Most of that was through repeat deployments for Hurricane Katrina and Deep Water Horizon. Many people were deployed mutiple times and a lot of people volunteered for multiple deployments. I think I understand your trepidation, but deploying in the Coast Guard is a vastly different thing than deploying to a combat situation. Coast Guard reservists stand in line to get a chance to deploy. There are always a few that don't want to go or the timing isn't right, but for the most part, you almost have to push your way to the front of the line to get a chance to go. The exception would be PSU's, but they deploy on a somewhat regular basis.
My advice would be to enlist and see how you like it before applying for a commission. Newly commissioned officers (especially former Army) would likely have a greater chance of being assigned to a PSU. If you enlist, your rating will likely have a lot to do with whether or not you have or get to deploy. If you are thinking about a particular rating, let me know. I would be glad to give you feedback and an honest assessment of it.
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SCPO Carl Wayne Boss
SCPO Carl Wayne Boss
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I can help you with that too, and Chief Campbell is quite right, Going to OCS and becoming a paper pushin' desk jocky (Officer's I worked with, characterization of themselves, not mine) may not be as fulfilling as being a "working" Enlisted Man.

I spent the last of my 37 years of service, in Recruiting and the evaluation of those who wanted to apply for OCS. The Officers I worked for and with, on one hand offered me the opportunity on a number of different occasions, but on the other hand, also warned me that I would not have the freedom of function, thought and action that I did as a Senior Non-Com. So for those reasons I chose to remain on the "Enlisted" side of the house.

Prior to that I was XPOIC, Admin Officer and Team Leader of a Reserve manned U.S. Coast Guard Small Boat Unit called the "U.S. Coast Guard Colorado River Patrol" on Arizona's West Coast, as a Coast Guard Reserve Senior Enlisted Man.

Many of my crew came to me and asked for letters of recommendation for OCS, which I provided to a dozen or more of 'em, along with the admonishment that there may come a day when they regretted the decision... to date virtually all of them have admitted that they regretted the decision to go to OCS... that being an Officer wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Especially when and if you for some "obscure" reason you get passed over for promotion too many times... because some "evaluation board" doesn't cotton to yer way of being an "Officer" and they toss yer butt out!
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