Videos: Today's Military
    Coast Guard

    Joining the Coast Guard(02:20)

    High-school student Riley Dreaney visits the office of Petty Officer 1st Class Addae Morgan, a Coast Guard recruiter. Morgan answers Dreaney's questions about serving in the Coast Guard, and then Morgan and Petty Officer Virgilio Garcia take Dreaney on a tour of response boats at Coast Guard Station Seattle.

    To join the Coast Guard, a person must be between the ages of 17 and 27 and have a high school diploma, although GEDs are sometimes accepted. A potential recruit must also take a medical exam and pass other background checks.

    A high-school student can join so long as the student is 17 and has parental consent. High-school students may also participate in the Coast Guard's Delayed Entry Program (DEP), in which a student enlists but waits until after graduation to attend Recruit Training.

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Riley Dreaney: I'm Riley Dreaney, and I'll be entering the United States Coast Guard. I think it was about the end of my junior year in high school, I looked at the military, and I saw the Coast Guard, and it seemed like a fun thing to do, so I just made the phone call, and here I am now.

Petty Officer 1st Class Addae Morgan: Hey, Riley, how you doing? Come on in. We get started. Have a seat.

Petty Officer 1st Class Addae Morgan: The Coast Guard has a lot to offer. We're a small service, so depending on the unit, you may be small boat-qualified in doing law enforcement boardings, or doing search and rescue. That sense of accomplishment, I think, is big for somebody so young. We want the people who are as excited to come in, as we are to have them. We'll meet with them initially, after we received an application. They'll come in. We'll answer all their questions. We'll get them to sign their paperwork that they need to go down to the military entrance processing station to take the ASVAB, or Armed [Services] Vocational Aptitude Battery.

Once they're done with that, we can bring them in and start the paperwork that they need to do their Delayed Enlistment Program, or their DEP. Past that, we usually try to keep in touch with them, maybe depending on how much time they're going to be in the Delayed Enlistment Program. We might take them on a tour, or go meet up for lunch, and just keep tabs on them before they go ship out for boot camp.

Petty Officer Virgilio Garcia: Besides search-and-rescue, we do a lot of law enforcement missions, and homeland security missions, maritime homeland security missions, ports, waterways, and coastal security. So we're pretty diverse in what we do here at Station Seattle, as an operational unit.

Riley Dreaney: We're here in Coast Guard Station Seattle. We went around and we saw two boats. We saw the response boat medium, which the boat inside the shed over there was, a pretty good, pretty big boat. They do search and rescue on that, and he actually started that one up for us. We got to hear that one going, and show us how they'd start it up and everything, and to be inside the boat felt really cool. It felt like I get to know what it's like on the boat. I got to see everything. I mean, it was almost surreal to see everything, just to know [that] this is what I'll be doing.

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