The Coast Guard's search for 4,000

Mark Brooky • Aug 1, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Do you or someone you know have what it takes to be a Coastie?

The U.S. Coast Guard has a goal of recruiting 4,000 enlisted personnel in 2018.

In the Compass, the Coast Guard’s official blog, Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Barney writes about the recruitment process. It’s not easy to get in!

“In order to recruit 4,000 enlisted personnel, the recruiting offices have to interview 40,000 applicants,” said Chief Petty Officer Benjamin Harris, recruiter in charge of the Los Angeles office. “Only 80 percent of those applicants processed by the recruiting offices will complete boot camp at Cape May.”

While Barney’s post focuses on the Southern California recruiting offices, it is the same process in Coast Guard recruiting centers across the country. The closest ones to Grand Haven are in Chicago and Detroit.


“Recruiters are primarily responsible for outreach to schools and colleges and for screening applicants over the phone,” Barney wrote. “The recruiters use the basic requirements for entry into the service, such as age, health, education, tattoos, drug use, criminal record and credit history during the screening process. Applicants who meet these minimum standards are scheduled for in-person interviews at the recruiting office.

“Those passing the in-person interview are scheduled for an appointment at the Military Entrance Processing Service (MEPS), where the applicants take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, receive a physical, choose a specialty and, if successful, are sworn in as members of the Coast Guard.”

The Coast Guard uses both active and passive recruiting to carry out its mission, Harris said.

“Some interested applicants contact the recruiting office after viewing our website or reading our Facebook page,” he told Barney. “Recruiters in the office follow up on the online inquiries, handle phone calls, answer applicant questions and encourage qualified callers to complete an application package.”

Read the complete blog post: “The search for 4,000.”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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