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Life as a Non-rate in the military?

by tom44 on August 4, 2013

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Question by Tay: Life as a Non-rate in the military?
I am going into the coast guard as a non-rate because i want to see what all the jobs have to offer before i make my final decision. i have my eye on ME though.

So my question is, what will life as a non- rate be in the coast guard?

I was told you dont want to get put on a cutter as a non rate because it well not be fun. Is this true?

Where should i hope to be stationed as a non- rate in the coast guard for the best opportunities to see what all the jobs have to offer?

What base is the best coast guard base in your opinion?

Best answer:

Answer by jorge r
oh god- if you are offered a Guaranteed a school other than Fs TAKE IT.

my several reasons are:
– The higher pay as an E-4
-The wait list as a nonrate to even put your name on an a school list/ wait the list out.
– whether career or just 4 years it’s the better choice because you might be on a list so long you might have to extend
– and if you are doing this as a career- you can always serve out your 2-3 years as a P.o. in that rate and put your name on another list

Trust me, being a non-rate isn’t that great at all.
at stations you mow lawns/paint but I don’t know much more b/c I’m on a cutter.
at boats you paint,grind, chase rust and underway work depends on your command/boat.

and the wait so far for ME is over 2 years- and b/c of this they closed the list.

-as far as the best places to be stationed at- try to get anything in the west coast….trust me ;[

you can email me if you wanna know more/ ask anything ^^

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3 thoughts on “Life as a Non-rate in the military?

  1. jeeper_peeper321 says:

    Can you say,

    This is how we chip the paint, chip the paint, this is how we paint the ship, paint the ship.

    Lots and lots of work parties you will be doing.

  2. Buck Bronc Starr says:

    request the job of a mess or galley specialist!

  3. Malruhn says:

    Ignore jorge, he’s obviously gotten himself in trouble and is not doing everything he can be doing on a Cutter.

    As a SEAMAN:
    On a Cutter, it depends entirely upon what type of Cutter you are on. Black-hulled Cutters are our “work boats” and do things like maintaining buoys and navigation beacons to keep our channels properly marked. Non-rates will be doing things like steering the cutter – as well as crappy jobs like scraping barnacles off of buoys and repainting them (the buoys, not the barnacles!). On LE Cutters (white hulls), you will be steering the cutters, doing LE boardings, flight operations, and crappy jobs like scraping and painting and mess-cooking (doing dishes). On the Polar Class Ice Breakers, you’ll be steering, scraping, painting, helping scientists with experiments, and mess cooking.

    At a Station, you will be doing SAR, LE, fisheries boardings, safety inspections, scraping, painting, standing watch at the Communication Center and mess cooking.

    As a FIREMAN:
    On a cutter you will be doing engineering duties, checking fluid levels and temperature gauges and doing a LOT of grease-filled maintenance.

    At a station you will be doing SAR and LE and fisheries boardings and engineering duties on a small boat, general maintenance, and standing watch at the Communication Center and mess cooking.

    Fun is what you make. I was on a cutter as a non-rate and had a blast. Yeah, scraping and painting is a pain, but it made me appreciate going to A School that much more! Seeing all the jobs depends upon WHERE the Cutter or Station is located. We have a station near Boston that has about 20 people total and is 45 minutes from any other Coast Guard unit. They only see BM’s, MK’s, and FS’s (cooks). Here IN Boston, there are four Cutters, a Station, an Aids to Navigation Team, a Base Support Unit, a Sector, a Medical Clinic, an Armory and a bunch of stuff I STILL haven’t seen… and three blocks away is the District Office that has everything that the Base doesn’t have.

    What Base is best is a personal question. I liked it better down south while you may like it WAY up north in Alaska, you may like large units while I may like small. Being at any unit in/near a big city (NYC, LA/LB, New Orleans, Miami, Charleston, etc) will get you near enough Guardians to see all the ratings at work.

    And something that jorge didn’t mention… you can’t “transfer out” of a rating if it is short people – and FS is ALWAYS short handed. Getting approval to go on a new A School list requires the approval of the Rating Force Manager (the highest ranking E-9 in that Rating), and if they are short handed, the request WON’T be approved. Going FS just to make Rate is a sure recipe for disaster. Not only will you be doing something that you don’t WANT to do – it is something VERY important that impacts the morale of everybody on the crew. A disgruntled cook makes for a ticked off crew.

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