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Joining the Coast Guard
Joining the Coast Guard

US Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat in Morro Bay, 2009.

You could consider the United States Coast Guard as the little brother of the U.S. Navy or you could think of the Coast Guard as the best damn branch of the Armed Forces there is. Probably better to think of the latter rather than the former. But one thing is certain, the United States Coast Guard is a “breed apart” in every sense of the term: because the Coast Guard is not owned and operated by the Department of Defense. It is actually run by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime. As such that gives the United States Coast Guard a truly unique mission protecting the shores and shipping lanes of the United States.

That doesn’t mean that Coast Guard Basic Training is any less of a challenge than that of the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps. In fact, sometimes I wonder if the powers-that-be don’t go out of their way to make Coast Guard Basic Training even more physically and mentally challenging just in case CG raw recruits were entertaining any thoughts that Basic Training was going to be a walk in the park.

Don’t even think about it. In many respects the Coast Guard is a cut above the other services. And it all starts the minute you arrive at Camp May, New Jersey. The Coast Guard’s only location for enlisted boot camp and where male and female recruits will call home for the next 7½ weeks.