U.S. Coast Guard – Horrific 8-Week Training Program

U.S. Coast Guard – Horrific 8-Week Training Program

Recruit training for the U.S. Coast Guard is held at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May in Cape May, New Jersey. The training lasts eight weeks. The U.S. Coast Guard is unique in that it fires the Sig Sauer P229R pistol during the training. The training also covers basic seamanship, drill, military bearing and firefighting. The Coast Guard base on Government Island (now known as Coast Guard Island) Alameda, California was also used as a second major recruit training center until it was closed in 1982 and converted into the base for the USCG Pacific Area Command, the Eleventh Coast Guard District, the Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, the USCG Maintenance & Logistics Command Pacific and the Integrated Support Command Center – Alameda.

Although the Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, rather than the Department of Defense, it is by law and tradition a branch of the United States Armed Forces. As with all military members, Coast Guard personnel are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Due to the Coast Guard’s unique mission set – including CONUS and OCONUS defense operations, search and rescue and maritime law enforcement – there are added requirements to maintain high physical fitness standards and intense military bearing. Due to its extremely unique, diverse and difficult mission, the U. S. Coast Guard is the most selective in recruiting and training standards. (As an example, the Coast Guard Academy is the only service academy that uses competitive admissions for prospective officer candidates).

During their time at Cape May, recruits are subjected to the usual “boot camp” atmosphere of direct instruction and intense motivation. The recruits are designated as Seaman Recruits (SR; E-1) and, uniquely to the Coast Guard among the services, advanced to the rank of Seaman Apprentice/Airman Apprentice/Fireman Apprentice (SA/AA/FA; E-2) upon graduation. They must adhere to strict rules such as hygiene and uniform regulations and obey all lawful orders. Coast Guard drill instructors are called “company commanders” and hold a rank ranging from Petty Officer 2nd Class (E-5) up to Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8). Coast Guard companies have approximately two or three company commanders and anywhere from 20 to over 100 recruits.

After completing boot camp, recruits can select their rate and then attend an “A” school. Not all graduates go straight to “A” school, many spend time in the fleet as “non-rates”. “A” school is a long-term technical school providing specific instruction about a rate. The “A” schools last two to six months and usually occurs at TRACEN Yorktown, Yorktown, Virginia or TRACEN Petaluma, Petaluma, California. Some rates have an available apprenticeship training option instead of attending an “A” school, known as “striking”.

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49 comments

  1. I served ’64-’68. Boot camp Cape May was 12 weeks. They broke you then
    built you back up their way. Spent 2 years at sea. Ocean Station duty. ( in
    port a month-at sea a month) Then spent 2 years on a patrol boat in N Y
    Harbor. It was tough but worthwihile. Spent 30 years after that in the C.
    G. Aux. Semper Paratus !

  2. Is the Coast Guard a good place to go if I am looking for a hardcore
    challenge and wanted to be treated kindly and with mutual respect after the
    beginning?

  3. i have a question for anyone who has coast guard experience. I want to join
    but I have disclocated my right shoulder over 5 times and had to get
    surgery 2 years ago. I am a good swimmer and can hold my breath for a long
    time but I’m afraid my shoulder will be a problem. Anyone have any advice

  4. I was in the USAF and this looks a lot tougher then AF BMT, althought I
    went through in 2008 when it was 6.5 weeks so I dont know how much harder
    the new 8 week BMT is, but it appears that of the 5 branches of US Armed
    Forces, the Basic/boot camp component is, from hardest and longest to
    easiest:

    1) US Marines
    2) US Army
    3) US Navy
    4) US Coast Guard
    5) US Air Force

  5. I’m thinking of joining the coast guard is a high school diploma OK or am I
    required to have college degree’s?

  6. the coast guard lmfao, female instructers, wtf she think she yelling at ha
    ha ha. go make me a sandwich honey

  7. What a bunch of pussies !! when i went through boot camp we didnt have
    STRESS CARDS !! OMF’ING GOD !!! GET A GRIP !!!! NO WONDER WE HAVE PROBLEMS
    IN THE U.S . !!!

  8. Horrific? Getting paid to eat, sleep, and exercise horrific? It was the
    best 10 weeks I had. And we had to do our own laundry to boot! The food
    was industrialized slop, the DI’s had seen not 1, but 2 or 3 wars and were
    in no mood for B.S., It was fantastic! Early morning runs in steel toed
    boondockers, cranking and worming until you puked up your
    industrialized spaghetti. Lumps of oatmeal and fake eggs for breakfast…
    ran EVERYWHERE in boondocker. No movies, recreational time, non of that
    crap! It was harder then. We were in the Hard Guard. This stuff looks
    almost catered. When I graduated boot camp I could to pull ups until the
    sun went down, and crank for days.

  9. OK I have to say it. 10 years ago basic was cake. I cant imagine how easy
    it must be today. The job itself is very hard but basic is nothing.

  10. Remember, the CG’s mission is 24/7. It isn’t just preparing for the next
    armed conflict or even fighting in it. War for the CG is just another
    natural disaster. When deployed into a war zone, a Coastie just says "Wehh,
    u, now I don’t have to go out after an idiot fisherman." (I.e. some one who
    went out with full gale warnings and is calling in for help.)

  11. I served in the United States Air Force I was a combat control technician
    and I would do it all over again and take nothing back.

  12. does anyone know if it is possible to be vegan in the coast guard? please
    no hate, just answer the question if you know.

  13. I went through this in 2012, USCG boot camp is all about mental stress.
    Every day there’s a giant new list you have to remember and they can quiz
    you on it randomly all day. Plus they make you memorize so many other
    things and always have 2-3 people yelling at you. Eating in the galley is
    so hard there’s 500 rules and a specific way to carry your dishes on your
    tray, specific steps and paths to take everywhere. If you mess up on one
    thing you get lit up! It wasn’t hard physically. VERY hard mentally.

  14. I do have to respect the Coast Guard as being the world’s *second* hardest
    basic training. A very distant second, mind you.

  15. I was in Bravo 160 and the first 4 weeks I hated being there. Then by week
    8 I didn’t want to leave. Chief Rucksher and Chief Dolly rocked my world
    for a while. Also the life cycles suuuuccckkkeeeddddd!

  16. The great thing is that everyone of these recruits could out smart you in
    just about every aspect. The coast guard is small so it has the ability to
    select the smartest and strongest individuals across the united states.
    Don’t fuck with them

  17. i am an american airman and i was wondering if i wanted to join the coast
    guard to be a rescue swimmer do i have to go basic training in the coast
    guard

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