Military or Commercial?

Another dumb question from this lowly MUG. (sorry)

If you were fresh out of a Maritime Academy with a newly minted 3rd Mate license and had the option of going for a commission in the Navy, CG, MSC; or sailing commercial, which would you choose and why?

Getting conflicting messages here at school. If I choose Navy, they’ll give $8k/yr towards college but I don’t want to make a committment for that reason alone. I’m wrapping up my first year and need to come up with a decision before returning in fall.

Any other ‘just getting started’ advice would also be appreciated. Someone mentioned getting DP certified in another thread. If I go commercial, that’s prob makes sense.

The USCG will put you in a marine safety office doing inspections. That is far from been a mariner. If you want to sail and make some
Good money go commercial. If you do desire to make a military career then go joint the Navy. The military background will only help you if you do decide to go commercial later in your career companies love ex military personnel.

Good Luck!!

Are you signing up for active duty or for the Reserve SSO program?

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SSO is the program being pushed.

$8/k/yr while at school and Ready Reserve after that.

Active Duty is also an option. That’s my problem - lots of options. I just elected Deck license track 2 months ago and have been too swamped with school work, regimental bs and other stuff to give much thought to long term decisions.

$8k/yr for a commitment that easily mixes with a civilian job … Easy choice if you ask me. are you sure you have to sign up for active duty now or. An you always do that later? You should be able to.

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While they might do that for your initial tour after commissioning, if you to desire a career at sea and do well in your first tour, you can usually short tour after 18 months and get a sea billet.

From what I understand, SSO only requires Ready Reserve. Active Duty is up to you.

SSO does require participation in NROTC which is another layer of regimental BS.

Navy. (the benefits are endless)

If I were you, I’d do the SSO. 8k a year is pretty good for only doing a 2 week ADT every year. I have met some great people doing ADTs, it provides a decent networking opportunity as well. Best of luck to you!

[QUOTE=KPEngineer;69291]Sent from my Sound Powered Phone[/QUOTE]

That’s FUNNY!

If you go the USCG, you can alternate between ashore and afloat billets and you get most of the benefits of being in the Navy without deploying for 8 months at a time. In the USCG as an officer your ashore billets MAY be afloat related or could be Inspection (port OPS) related. Marine Inspection which is where you want to end up when you retire so you are snatched up by a large organization (ABS, DNV, Lloyds, etc…) so you are not underway until you die. Additionally, you get a retirement check every month for the rest of your life and most of your medical paid for. Try getting that on the commercial side.

The USCG’s old unofficial motte was “You HAVE to go out, but you don’t have to come back.” The motto of Marine Inspectors is ; “You HAVE to go to lunch, but you don’t have to come back”.

Me, I am retired and doing what I love, driving large OSV’s and putting my retirement check in an IRA or something. My wife handles the money.

My 2 cents…


If you took the time to go to a maritime academy, go right to commercial. If you go to the military, you will be forfeiting years of higher pay and benefits that you will not receive in the military. If you do twenty years, you can retire but will have to pursue another career as the retirement is only ok. I was military and now I am working commercial due to the above stated reason. I love my work, but I could have been fully retired had I done 20 years commercial. I have a good friend on his 25th year in the USCG as CWO4 and he makes a quarter of the pay I make per month. It’s shameful what our government pays our military members. When I was serving my family qualified for government cheese and milk my income was so low. Shameful!
I will retire well now, however. Go commercial, son. And get a DP certificate at your earliest opportunity.

I enjoyed my USCG time, and feel that every young man should serve their country in some capacity, but the commercial route should be taken if you want to retire at a decent age. I also received government food back in the mid 80’s for my family while serving my country. It’s unbelievable what this country pays our military. Not only shameful, disgraceful.

Good stuff here. Sounds like the consensus is go commercial.

I have heard from others that the plumb positions in the Navy and CG go to graduates of Annapolis or New London.

Would like to hear from anyone with mil experiece who went to a State Academy. Are you on the water or just piloting a desk through a maze of beauacracy?

Reread the reply’s and looks like there is no consensus.

My gut tells me that if I want to sail (I do) then commercial might be the better choice. Still, the SSO program will chip in $24k towards school and I could get good commercial pay job plus the benefits of Navy reserve.


Would like to hear from anyone with mil experiece who went to a State Academy. Are you on the water or just piloting a desk through a maze of beauacracy?[/QUOTE]

I am on the water AND piloting a desk through a maze - while watching forward out my office window, which is behind me when I sit at my desk… I have a swivel on my chair, that helps…