Older Army Vet, Considering Fall 2017 MT


#1

Hello Everyone,

First of all, let me say “thanks” to all of you that have contributed to this forum throughout the years. Reviewing all of the sincere questions, genuine answers, and brutally honest opinions has been informative, encouraging, and entertaining to me.

I’m interested in hearing what cadets and alumni have to say about older students attending CSUM.

I’m a 37 year old active duty Army Officer, and am preparing to be medically retired this summer under honorable conditions after 9 years of service. I hold two bachelor’s degrees and have an exemplary academic record, although it’s been 12 years since I graduated from college. Despite having only minimal, recreational experience at sea, I am exploring the possibility of starting a maritime career and have applied for the CSUM MT program in Fall 2017.

I’m used to working with young Soldiers, and am comfortable with the fact that the majority of my classmates would be 15+ years younger than me. I’m confident in my ability to succeed academically in the program, and I’m also not concerned about adjusting to life as a cadet as I’m no stranger to uniforms, standards, inspections, and basic discipline, etc.

My questions are as follows:

Have you seen cadets my age, or with my background gain acceptance to the academy?

If so, how would you describe the interaction between older cadets and their first-time freshman counterparts? Older cadets and seniors? Older cadets and faculty/staff?

How do you think a 40+ year-old Third Mate would be treated by the industry?

Lastly, I see that the admission requirements stipulate that my last college math course cannot be older than five years, and I clearly do not meet this requirement. Do you think this is a complete show-stopper, or have you seen CSUM admissions offer some flexibility or special consideration to military Veterans?

Thanks in advance if you can offer any insight or guidance.


#2

[QUOTE=junglefunk;192722]Hello Everyone,

First of all, let me say “thanks” to all of you that have contributed to this forum throughout the years. Reviewing all of the sincere questions, genuine answers, and brutally honest opinions has been informative, encouraging, and entertaining to me.

I’m interested in hearing what cadets and alumni have to say about older students attending CSUM.

I’m a 37 year old active duty Army Officer, and am preparing to be medically retired this summer under honorable conditions after 9 years of service. I hold two bachelor’s degrees and have an exemplary academic record, although it’s been 12 years since I graduated from college. Despite having only minimal, recreational experience at sea, I am exploring the possibility of starting a maritime career and have applied for the CSUM MT program in Fall 2017.

I’m used to working with young Soldiers, and am comfortable with the fact that the majority of my classmates would be 15+ years younger than me. I’m confident in my ability to succeed academically in the program, and I’m also not concerned about adjusting to life as a cadet as I’m no stranger to uniforms, standards, inspections, and basic discipline, etc.

My questions are as follows:

Have you seen cadets my age, or with my background gain acceptance to the academy?

If so, how would you describe the interaction between older cadets and their first-time freshman counterparts? Older cadets and seniors? Older cadets and faculty/staff?

How do you think a 40+ year-old Third Mate would be treated by the industry?

Lastly, I see that the admission requirements stipulate that my last college math course cannot be older than five years, and I clearly do not meet this requirement. Do you think this is a complete show-stopper, or have you seen CSUM admissions offer some flexibility or special consideration to military Veterans?

Thanks in advance if you can offer any insight or guidance.[/QUOTE]

well, again, apparently the only way to reply to this thread is to use “reply with quote”: I wouldn’t worry about the young competition, you’ll probably be one of the more respected graduates… re: the math course… i’m sure there is a ‘qualifier’, work around, challenge or something. Your issue is going to be maintaining physical standards. You may end up having to take rigorous physical exams every 2 years to maintain competency? (thus ending up on the ‘watch’ list) If this isn’t the case then I’d get in class and get it over with.

      • Updated - - -

[QUOTE=junglefunk;192722]Hello Everyone,

First of all, let me say “thanks” to all of you that have contributed to this forum throughout the years. Reviewing all of the sincere questions, genuine answers, and brutally honest opinions has been informative, encouraging, and entertaining to me.

I’m interested in hearing what cadets and alumni have to say about older students attending CSUM.

I’m a 37 year old active duty Army Officer, and am preparing to be medically retired this summer under honorable conditions after 9 years of service. I hold two bachelor’s degrees and have an exemplary academic record, although it’s been 12 years since I graduated from college. Despite having only minimal, recreational experience at sea, I am exploring the possibility of starting a maritime career and have applied for the CSUM MT program in Fall 2017.

I’m used to working with young Soldiers, and am comfortable with the fact that the majority of my classmates would be 15+ years younger than me. I’m confident in my ability to succeed academically in the program, and I’m also not concerned about adjusting to life as a cadet as I’m no stranger to uniforms, standards, inspections, and basic discipline, etc.

My questions are as follows:

Have you seen cadets my age, or with my background gain acceptance to the academy?

If so, how would you describe the interaction between older cadets and their first-time freshman counterparts? Older cadets and seniors? Older cadets and faculty/staff?

How do you think a 40+ year-old Third Mate would be treated by the industry?

Lastly, I see that the admission requirements stipulate that my last college math course cannot be older than five years, and I clearly do not meet this requirement. Do you think this is a complete show-stopper, or have you seen CSUM admissions offer some flexibility or special consideration to military Veterans?

Thanks in advance if you can offer any insight or guidance.[/QUOTE]

oh yea, if you’re going for a deck position school prob isn’t necessary…now if you wanted to be a engineer!!!


#3

If you’re being medically retired, you might want to make sure you’ll pass the USCG medical requirements to hold a license.


#4

There is a difference between your situation and the one I describe below but I think there’s enough commonality to make the comparison worthwhile.
I was sailing with MSC at the time of the 9/11 attacks and my wife had been begging me to find a different kind of job so I could spend more time at home. A few months later, when I found out US Customs was hiring, I filled out an application.
After a very long process, I was accepted. For several months I had been listening to people telling me that I was wasting my time because I was too old to be hired, that even if I was hired I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the physical training and that it had been too long since I had studied and passed exams to succeed at the academics.
As instructed, I reported in 2003 to the US Customs Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia. I was 57 years old and 20 years older than the next oldest candidate in my class. A few of my classmates and instructors didn’t bother to hide their skepticism but as the majority saw I could keep up, they treated me as an equal.
I not only kept up with the younger crowd in physical training, I always finished our 5 mile runs near the head of the pack. Academically, I was one of two students to graduate with honors in what was left of the original class of 48.
To answer your questions, I don’t see your background being anything but a huge asset, I would trust the judgment of a mate who has the life experience of a 40 year old ex army officer more than I would a 22 year old whose entire life experience was gained as a student.
As for the math course requirement, if it’s a sticking point, could you not make it up with a one semester night class at a junior college?
I succeeded when many predicted I would fail because I ignored their negative BS, kept my head down and stayed focused.
An Army disqualifying condition is not necessarily a problem with the CG but as LI_Domer suggests, get past the physical first. As long as you can pass the physical, you sound to me like the kind of guy who can do this without breaking a sweat.
Best of luck.


#5

Exactly what leeshore said. I didn’t mean to sound discouraging at all. You’d definitely be a good fit in the industry. As for the college part, I think it would be annoying to be going to school with a bunch of 18-21 year olds, especially if you have to be in the regiment. If you can put up with that though, and put your pride aside then power to you.


#6

You’ll be fine. Hell you’ll be welcomed on your first ship as opposed to just another green 20 something mate. Go for it. Maritime academy is going to be an annoyance to you but cadets your age are becoming increasingly common.


#7

Thanks to everyone for the great responses.

My medical discharge is somewhat of a technicality. I’m physically fit and am confident that I can stay healthy for another 15-20 years. How “rigorous” are the industry’s periodic medical examinations?

I have already secured a TWIC and MMC with entry level ratings and a STCW medical certificate in case I don’t get in to CSUM. So, I assume that I’ve at least met the minimum USCG physical requirements for now.

To jimrr, when you say that [SIZE=4]"[/SIZE][SIZE=4]if you’re going for a deck position school prob isn’t necessary", I assume that you mean I should hit the docks as an ordinary seaman and grind my way up?

It seems to me that taking the “hawespiper” route will take at least the same amount of time, if not longer to make Third Mate? I completely understand the benefits to being a hawespiper, but feel like I could run into many more barriers being a hawespiper as well.

[/SIZE]


#8

[QUOTE=junglefunk;192750]Thanks to everyone for the great responses.

My medical discharge is somewhat of a technicality. I’m physically fit and am confident that I can stay healthy for another 15-20 years. How “rigorous” are the industry’s periodic medical examinations?

I have already secured a TWIC and MMC with entry level ratings and a STCW medical certificate in case I don’t get in to CSUM. So, I assume that I’ve at least met the minimum USCG physical requirements for now.

To jimrr, when you say that [SIZE=4]"[/SIZE][SIZE=4]if you’re going for a deck position school prob isn’t necessary", I assume that you mean I should hit the docks as an ordinary seaman and grind my way up?

It seems to me that taking the “hawespiper” route will take at least the same amount of time, if not longer to make Third Mate? I completely understand the benefits to being a hawespiper, but feel like I could run into many more barriers being a hawespiper as well.

[/SIZE][/QUOTE]

The physical standard is lower for entry-level ratings, so having a medical certificate to go with just entry-level may not mean you were found to meet the higher standard applicable to other ratings and officers. The medical form is here: http://www.uscg.mil/forms/cg/cg_719k.pdf
If you can answer “No” to all the questions, you should be good.


#9

[QUOTE=junglefunk;192750]Thanks to everyone for the great responses.

My medical discharge is somewhat of a technicality. I’m physically fit and am confident that I can stay healthy for another 15-20 years. How “rigorous” are the industry’s periodic medical examinations?

I have already secured a TWIC and MMC with entry level ratings and a STCW medical certificate in case I don’t get in to CSUM. So, I assume that I’ve at least met the minimum USCG physical requirements for now.

To jimrr, when you say that [SIZE=4]"[/SIZE][SIZE=4]if you’re going for a deck position school prob isn’t necessary", I assume that you mean I should hit the docks as an ordinary seaman and grind my way up?

It seems to me that taking the “hawespiper” route will take at least the same amount of time, if not longer to make Third Mate? I completely understand the benefits to being a hawespiper, but feel like I could run into many more barriers being a hawespiper as well.

[/SIZE][/QUOTE]

HA HA! No, that was just mariner talk…most in the industry freely acknowledge one has to be minimal entry level genius to make it to CME!/// yes, make sure you can do the physical or you may end up like me, on their instant death watch list and have to take stress tests and crap every couple years. I’d thank who it was for that but the “thanks” option is not appearing on this damn thing and I also have to use “reply with quote” to submit a reply, I hope they are working on these problems?


#10

Hi, I’m curious if you decided to make this leap? I’m a vet as well (40 years old). I am from California but I applied and was accepted to the Maine enigineering program. I decided on Maine for a couple reasons: 1) This would be a 2nd degree for me and Maine indicated I may be able to complete in three years due to my previous credits. CSUM told me I will have to be there for 4 years no matter what. 2) The cost of living in northern California is just so high. I’m wondering how I will live for 4 years with wife and kids without going into extreme debt. I’m still on the fence though, Maine is beautiful but it is really remote. Wondering what you decided?


#11

Welcome @Sheparj2 - Hoping @junglefunk will see your message.


#12

Hey, this is the original poster (Junglefunk).
Long story… I had to make a new screen name to post.

I did get accepted to CSUM for this fall, and I was totally planning on attending.
However, I was medically retired from the Army and some of my medical conditions would have likely prevented me from having a smooth licensing experience, so I chose to take another path.

Best of luck to you, though!


#13

sleep apnea with CPAP requirement
mental health issues requiring heavy meds, etc.


#14

The first one is probably not that bad but the second one could possibly be a deal breaker, depending on how “heavy”. That sucks though, sorry to hear it.


#15

I probably could’ve doctored my medical records and told a few white lies to slip through, but I didn’t want to live with that secret or put anyone at risk at sea. It’s all good… I can probably find joy cutting bait on a fishing charter somewhere warm :wink:


#16

Have you looked up the meds you’re​ on on the USCG list to see if they’re banned for mariners?


#17

As already noted, sleep apnea is often given waivers, they will want to see reports showing usage. Regular usage will usually result in a waiver.

The medications are more problematic. You don’t indicate what they are, and it wouldn’t make mush sense to me as a non-medical type anyway. I would also suggest looking at NVIC 4-08 for the condition and medication and see what is indicated for them.

James D. Cavo
U.S. Coast Guard
Mariner Credentialing Program
Policy Division (CG-MMC-2)


#18

Thank you for responding. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself. Thanks again and take care.