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Declining OCS slot and later applying for DCA?

troth

New Member
#1
I'm in a position where I'd like to apply to both Navy and Coast Guard OCS. I have decided that the Navy would be my first choice because they can guarantee me a flight seat before I sign 8 years of my life away. Also it seems there are more options for career advancement opportunities like getting a grad degree and pipe dreams like jets/test pilot school.

I still want to apply to Coast Guard OCS in case I am not accepted into the Navy. I'd really like to fly Jayhawks, but I don't really want to run the risk of going to Coast Guard OCS and then not getting a flight seat. I would like to keep the Coast Guard application in as a backup plan in case I am not accepted into the Navy. I understand the Coast Guard doesn't want to be seen as a backup plan, but that's what it is due to the chance of ending up strapped to a tin can floating around the arctic.

Bottom line is I see two possible scenarios playing out in both services:
Coast Guard - Could end up in Jayhawks (good), or could end up on tin can (very, very bad)
Navy- Could end up as part of the 42% (good), or end up in rotary wanting to switch to flying pretty much the same bird for the Coast Guard

What if I am accepted to both and decide to go Navy? If I am not part of the 42% that ends up in jets, I think my next choice would be to fly the MH-60. If I wanted to apply DCA with MH-60 experience after turning down an OCS slot years before, would my chances be significantly impacted? Would there be opportunities for a conditional release to transfer to the Coast Guard before my time in the Navy is up? Are there any shore tour billets for Navy rotary guys to work with the Coast Guard? Being stuck on a carrier only seems worth it to me if I can be flying jets.

I guess what I am trying to figure out here is if there are ways into the Coast Guard from the Navy if I don't end up in jets, and how having already applied to Coast Guard OCS would affect those opportunities. I am trying to choose the path that keeps as many doors open as possible for me. Should I just not submit an application for Coast Guard OCS at this time? I graduate in May and don't want to be sitting twiddling my thumbs for months waiting on the next Coast Guard board after not getting into the Navy.

Sorry for the rambling. These are just some questions I've been pondering for awhile and would like some experienced input to see if my concerns are valid at all, or if anyone has some career guidance.
 

picklesuit

Living the GeoBachelor dream...
pilot
Contributor
#2
Is this a “what percent go SWO” question? Because that answer is also 42%.

If you want to try and fly with zero chance of going to the boat, go AF.

Many qualified potential aviators have found themselves haze grey and underway because they attrited. They generally were not happy people.

Pick whatever branch of the military suits you, or you can join the coast guard, but don’t pin all your hopes on one platform.
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
#4
Just pick a branch and go with it. There's tons of information you can find here, on AWs, as well as Google about the various services and platforms. Talk to a Recruiter to learn more about the selection criteria, how competitive you are, etc. If you don't get selected from one service branch (say Coast Guard), go with another (say Navy).
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#5
That's not really what he's asking.

If you apply to both, get selected for Navy and then later apply for DCA, no one is going to care whether you applied to another service that (very) many years later.

The bigger question that no one can answer is will the the CG still need to grab bodies through the DCA program by the time you're eligible. You'll have to tackle that hurdle when and if you get to that point.
 

troth

New Member
#6
That's not really what he's asking.

If you apply to both, get selected for Navy and then later apply for DCA, no one is going to care whether you applied to another service that (very) many years later.

The bigger question that no one can answer is will the the CG still need to grab bodies through the DCA program by the time you're eligible. You'll have to tackle that hurdle when and if you get to that point.
That's not really what he's asking.

If you apply to both, get selected for Navy and then later apply for DCA, no one is going to care whether you applied to another service that (very) many years later.

The bigger question that no one can answer is will the the CG still need to grab bodies through the DCA program by the time you're eligible. You'll have to tackle that hurdle when and if you get to that point.
This is really what I'm looking for. I guess my post was a very round about way of asking whether or not I should apply to both (risk shooting myself in the foot 12 years down the road) or just pick one now (risk losing a few months of my life waiting for future boards if not accepted first try).

Sorry for being a little long winded. I just wanted to get all my thoughts into writing.
 
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