Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A question from a reader about crossing over from the NG to the CG.

My husband is considering transferring from the National Guard to the Coast Guard for his next four years of duty. He hasn't finished college so he won't be eligible for the officer program. Instead he has his eyes set on being a rescue swimmer, although I doubt he fully understands what that entails and how hard it is to get in.Beyond that, my main question revolves around home life. In active duty he can be assigned anywhere. Even as a rescue swimmer he would be on call 24/7. In my head I see this as horrifying, he'll always be gone and even when he's home we'll never be able to relax (or go anywhere!) because he might be called away. He's convinced that it'll actually give him more time at home than if he continued in the National Guard.I'm just looking for answers from people who are married and have been through this. What are the possibilities, what has your experience been, what is most likely to happen ... or is this really as it seems - as bad as him being deployed, which he currently is. I just need a realistic view.

Thank you very much!

So, does anyone have any advice for this reader? Any wives have experience in this area? Thoughts?

I would like to respect the posters privacy, so I haven't posted her name/email, but if you want to post comments, please post here and in case she doesn't regularly on here, I can pass it along to her.



(A Little) Gris Gris said...

Not married to a swimmer, but my husband works with them. Our lives are pretty stable, rotating approximately every 4 years. Duty and deployment schedules differ unit to unit. But, I wouldn't worry about being tied to the house all day every day when he's off. And, deployments range from 2 weeks to a few months. I know that's kind of vague. Hope it helps!

Just a Girl in a Port said...

First I want to say good for you guys for looking at options. Has he checked out this link? http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-your-fit/enlisted-opportunities/prior-service-process

Is he currently in school? If so, he "MIGHT" (don't quote me) be eligible for pre-commissioning. I have no idea how this works, but it might be worth asking a recruiter about.

I can't answer you about rescue swimming either. I wish I could offer more assistance there. Has he talked to anyone about this?

As far as home life, it varies. You are wise to consider this aspect of life. Of course, you may be already more accustomed to the fluctuation of schedules than you think. I've found that when my husband is attached to a ship, we usually have a specific schedule. I have an idea of how long he will be gone and how long he will be home for. Aside from days he has to stand duty, when he's inport, he's home every night (that's been my experience though). Of course, I will add that it depends on the billet though. He's been known to work late or overnight because a specific billet called for it.

I know some guys are on duty, but I don't think it's ever 24/7. I suspect that they get a break somewhere. Remember, if he's on leave he's more safe to be "free" than perhaps if he were just on liberty. You know how that goes. Still, I've seen guys called off of leave for emergencies. Alright, I'm not helping am I?

I want to recommend a great site to you where there are some ladies in your position. You can join and ask a gazillion questions. The folks there are very helpful www.coastiechicks.net. It's a forum and it's private (you have to login).There are some swimmer's wives on there who can offer you some good info.

Anyway, I hope that helps a bit.