I think it varies a lot on how they were commissioned. My first roommate at school ended up going to the CGA after our 4/C year, and he had a pretty good grasp on the whole ship thing before he reported to his first command. Granted, its probably similar to the USNA guys where they are receiving a decent amount of maritime training while in school. I know while he was a cadet there he spent pretty much every summer on a buoy tender or cutter. His degree was in naval arch though so that might have helped... I do know they sent him to school for his DIVO job (DCA) almost immediately after reporting though before starting their patrol. I know they put a decent amount of emphasis on basic sea going knowledge. I can't imagine a guy walking off the street into USCG OCS knows that much, but their OCS and direct commission programs are pretty competitive to get into.... guys at my school were always desperately trying to get into the MARGRAD program which only offered a handful of slots a year. I'll poke around though and see if I can find anything out about the training for their surface guys, now I'm more curious.I am hard pressed to think of any officer specialty in any branch of the US military that is given as little initial training as SWOs in the Navy, period. Especially a 'warfare' specialty. Makes me wonder, what training do Coast Guard 'SWOs' (Cuttermen?) go through before reporting to their ships?