Will joining the Coast guard be helpful for future employment as a merchant Mariner?

So I was considering joining the Coast guard and going through their boatswains mate program. Its only 12 weeks long but it seems like you learn alot and you have the oportunity to adavance to coxswain. So I was wondering if anyone has worked with guys from the Coast Guard after enlistment or when they were still in reserve. Would an employer be more likely to hire people from The Coast Guard? How would a reserve member get by with being gone for a weekend a month and 2 weeks a year with the crazy schedules that tugboat companies have?

If you become a vessel inspector, it will help a great deal as far as knowing the regulations, and decent employers look for personnel with that background. There are a few good Captains that read here that were inspectors.

At the last GOM OSV company I worked for, on one of the boats all three guys upstairs had just got out of the Coast Guard. Seems like that company had a preference.

What about joining the Army? Their Mariner program will provide you with USCG & STCW certifications that you won’t get in either the Navy or the USCG. I don’t know if their 88k is available as a reserve position, however.


I believe it will help! Also most companies will work with their mariners to make sure they get the time needed for the two weeks.

Of course it would help with future employment. Veteran’s status on an application is always a plus. They also make deals with reservists whereby you can make up time if you can’t make a weekend drill. Good luck.

Depending on what your goals are it will not hurt in most cases. Remember that most schools you complete in the Coast Guard, with a few exceptions, are NOT Coast Guard approved so you will still have to complete most of the STCW classes. Your seatime will only be counted as 40% or less (i.e. 360 days on a cutter counts as 144 days) unless you can prove the vessel was underway more than that. If you want to get into more detail, PM me.