Former Coastie looking into maritime academies

Hi folks,

My four year enlistment in the US Coast Guard has recently ended, and I’m looking to get into a maritime academy and, eventually, working in the field. While I was in the CG, I wasn’t stationed on a cutter, but I do have plenty of experience on small boats, search and rescue, law enforcement etc.

Right now, I’ve been leaning toward going to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (deck officer program). Is there any advice you guys would pass along to someone like me?

Buy Leonard Lamberts book…The New Hawsepipe.

He’s an ex coastie and the book ,along with this forum will really help you decide which way to go…

Consider Kings Point. It’s free. You get a bachelor’s degree and a license. As prior Coast Guard I think you would definitely get accepted, as long as you meet the minimum admissions requirements.

If your not into the rigid militaristic structure anymore, go Great Lakes Maritime.

Very relaxed here, and fun.

The only real rule here is wear some sort of a uniform.

let me know if you have any specific questions.

joshua.woodrow at gmail dot com

Think about going to the Coast Guard Academy. (And I don’t say this because I’m a grad, I was a mustang). Your four years will count towards your pay and will acutally make your academy time count as well. The work on your license during your payback committment. After that you can decide to leave to transition to the Merchant Marine or stay.

Robert makes a good point, especially in this economy…

Graduating from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy will (at present) qualify you for a 3rd Mate license, but it is not approved for STCW. You may find you need both to find work.
James D. Cavo

Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division

USCG National Maritime Center

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Re-up, or go to work for DHS ICE and make the most of your Federal time for retirement.

One of the benefits of GLMA is you get a First Class Pilot license for the Great Lakes along with your Third Mate license and bachelor’s degree, assuming you are interested in a deck department track. However, if you do not intend to sail on the lakes, then that’s a hell of a lot of extra studying!

Just a tip if you’re going to apply for KP. If possible, change your residency to a small state or one in the midwest. That way you won’t be competing with a lot of others from the state to get in. At this point in the year it’s too late to apply for this year anyway so it shouldn’t be that hard to change residency in time to apply next year. I grew up in Wisconsin and it was much easier to get in compared to guys from N.Y. or similar states as I only had to compete with the other’s from my state that applied and met the minimum requirements.

Having said that, KP may or may not be for you. If I had it to do over again I’d have just been a hawsepiper. I’d have made $$$$ while I worked towards my license instead of getting the degree. Anyway, good luck.