Coast Guard Office Career

Official emblem of the United States Coast Guard. Image courtesy of Wikimedia, WikiCommons image




The coast guard comes under one of the seven uniformed services. It’s known for its maritime law enforcement. It’s one of the oldest seagoing service. Till now Coast Guard has contributed in every U.S. war. The coast guard is considered as the world’s 12th largest naval force. The legal authority is different from the other armed forces.

The United States Coast guard operates under the U.S. defense department. Its various roles comprise of maritime safety, security and stewardship. For effectively carrying out the role it has 11 statutory missions comprising of U.S. law enforcement. Its motto is a Latin phrase, “semper paratus “which means Always ready.

The Role of Coast Guard Officer in Criminal Justice and Law

One of the unique branches of millatry responsible for maritime duties as well as conducting rescue operations in extream conditions is the Coast Guard. Number of men and women serving the coast guard in order to protect the American borders is nearly 42,000.

English: The U.S. Coast Guard VC-143 Challenge...
English: The U.S. Coast Guard VC-143 Challenger on short final to KDCA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The coast guard members are trained highly in order to tackle various projects like safety, investigation or marine science. Their role is wide spread like along the border within the country or international territory. Hence, coast guard offers the aspirants to protect and serve the country.

One of the five military services comprises of the Coast Guard. Devotion to duty, honor and respect being its motto. The main aim of becoming a coast guard officer is protecting the personal safety and security of the country men, protecting the marine transportation system and protecting its infrastructure. Protection of the territorial integrity is again an important duty. Safeguarding the inland waterways, the coasts along the international waters is another important duty.

Educational Requirements to Become a Coast Guard Officer

The age limit for active duty as a coast guard is between 17 to 27 years whereas for reserve duty its 17 to 39 years. One should not have more than two dependents. It’s mandatory to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. Whereas the educational requirements are High School Diploma and sometimes a GED is also acceptable.




The qualification requirement keep varying in for the position of coast guard. As for the entry level positions, GED or diploma in high school is acceptable. Whereas, those who wish to be leaders are the ones who are already coast guards and experienced. The coast guard happens to be the part of armed forces, hence the candidates have to be enlisted in the military.

Preparation for a Career as a Coast Guard Officer

The prospective aspirants for coast guard can also join the coast guard academy, which happens to be the institution for high school graduates. In the academy, the students get to serve as commissioned officers and even enables them to get a bachelor’s degree. The coast guard program happens to b a four year course. One can also complete the degree program within the Academy.

A boatswain’s mate watches from the side port ...
A boatswain’s mate watches from the side port door as Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf’s Over-The-Horizon small boat departs to receive personnel from Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is an option for the aspiring candidates to attend Officer Candidate School. This school runs a 17 week program which helps in training the future commissioned officers to get career options within the coast guard. There are various options available with the students to persue their studies in various fields like nautical science and seamanship, which enlists them for a minimum period of three years after the completion of their program.

Another option for the candidates is that they can enroll via direct commissioning programe.This program is designed for specialist in fields like-engineering, lawyers and scientists as well as military officers. The program gives the opportunity to professionals to enter the coast guard even if they don’t attend a training program. The age limit is between 21 and 34 including various other criteria for applying.

How to Apply for a Position as a Coast Guard Officer

In order to serve as a coast guard officer, the basic criteria or requirements include the age, residency as well as the education standards.

A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) fro...
A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of the U.S. Army’s First Division on the morning of June 6, 1944 (D-Day) at Omaha Beach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are four possible ways to apply for the post of a Coast Guard Officer. The first and the foremost way is to approach the nearest recruiting officer. Secondly, send an email to the recruiting officer. While sending the email one should be careful and should not send the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or any health related issues via email. Thirdly, the applicant needs to chat with a Coast Guard chat recruiter. Fourth and final step is to submit an application for screening.

If the applicant corresponds through an email, he should not send any Personally Identifiably Information. The PII does not include one’s name address, phone, email address, birth date, age, etc. The email should be related to general recruiting questions and not personal information.

The job of a coast guard officer is proved to be highly sensitive one which includes the nation’s security and military maritime law enforcement, hence it’s a highly selective service. This job’s selection comprises of a ‘Whole Person’, strengths and qualities. Only those are selected who are fully qualified for this position.

Additional Information Related to a Career as a Coast Guard Officer.

The main functions of the Coast Guard Officer is to patrol the waters surrounding the United States of America. In their duties, the Officers of the U.S. Coast Guard protect and serve, much as the police officers throughout the nation. They help victims of boating accidents and arrest criminals on the high seas. The career can be at once rewarding, often challenging, and even at times a little boring…it all depends on what lies in murky waters.

Average Salary of a Coast Guard Officer

Marines holding a sign thanking the Coast Guar...
Marines holding a sign thanking the Coast Guard during WWII. From http://www.uscg.mil/history/gifs/marines.jpg Category:Coast Guard images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United Coast guard happens to come under the department of Homeland Security which comes among the five branches of U.S. Armed Forces. This agency is huge comprises of more than 38000 employees as of now, including 8000 reservists and 35000 auxiliary employees. This coast guard staff has the responsibility of maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship for the United States of America.

The salary of the Coast Guard Officer depends upon the grade of the appointed officer. It comes to around $43,428- $234,804 per annum.

As far as salary statistics is concerned, the U.S. coast guard are paid differently, according to the number of job titles and duties. Along with the coast guard salary, this military agency provides healthy benefit packages, including everything from college tuition to giving free medical and dental care, survivor benefits and veterans administration home loans, etc. There are numerous opportunities with the employees to enhance their salaries.

Notes related to a career as a U.S. Coast Guard Officer

The main responsibilities of the Coast Guard Officers are Marine Law Enforcement (MLE), Search and Rescue (SAR), Aids to Navigation (ATON).



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