Author Topic: Canadian Forces vs Canadian Coast Guard  (Read 2468 times)

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Offline bwalker2@

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Canadian Forces vs Canadian Coast Guard
« on: May 25, 2017, 16:17:27 »
Hello all, feel free to re-direct me if I'm posting in the wrong section of this forum but this one felt appropriate based on what I could find. I could not find Canadian coast guard forums anywhere online. 

To begin I'll explain my situation; I'm half way through a BSc majoring in Biology and minoring in Environmental Science at a civilian university. I've decided that the typical civilian careers associated as well as the state of government funding these types of jobs do not appeal to me ( I know i should have thought about this before I started, but its never to late to get yourself organized eh). I have done the research and spoken with recruiters to learn that my BSc can be used towards several officer positions including Maritime Surface and Subsurface Officer (which i believe is referred to in military lingo as MARS officer), which I would be interested in making this a long term career.

The other career I would be interested in is a Navigation Officer with the Canadian Coast Guard and from what i can tell the academic portion of the training for the two are very similar (obviously does not contain the military component).

As far as I'm aware, the Americans operate their coast guard through their military where here its done as a branch of DFO which makes it hard to find good sources of information online about Canadian experience in the coast guard. So this leaves me with two options once I (hopefully) graduate in 2019. I can either join the forces and hope things go my way and become a MARS officer OR I can join Canadian Coast Guard College to become a Navigation Officer.

I would appreciate if anyone could educate me better about what the differences are between the lifestyle and career of each so that I can form a more educated opinion on which route is best for me. I am looking for a career that will allow me to travel, create new experiences, meet all types of people, while still allowing me to do my civil duty and carry on the family tradition. The "sitting in an office 9-5" does not appeal to me now while I'm still young but I'm sure I would appreciate it later in my career ( maybe 20 years down the road) , for this reason I have also considered a couple NCM positions as I was told there is less of the office type work involved.
Let me know what you guys think,

On a side note I come from a large military family in all branches (Navy, Army, Air force). I had an uncle who was an army radio operator in the 80s for four or five years and then joined the coast guard where they counted his army days towards his pension. Just wondering if this is still something they do.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Canadian Forces vs Canadian Coast Guard
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 17:05:49 »
Welcome to Army.ca, bwalker2@

I would suggest that you begin exploring pertinent existing threads here. You'll learn a lot more that way, without people duplicating information and thereby increasing Site clutter, as you'll likely stumble across answers to questions that have not even occurred to you yet.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Canadian Forces vs Canadian Coast Guard
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 17:11:41 »
The Coast Guard is a Civil Service organization, your choice is to work your way from the deck to the wheelhouse or go through the college, both have their advantages and disadvantages. The bigger ships are more formal, but nothing like naval ship. The small vessels or lifeboat stations are quite laid back. One advantage for most CCG over Navy is that your time off and on is more scheduled, generally the big ships work a 28 day on and off cycle. However you won't see as much of the world as a Navy career would.

I went up from the deck and then sidetracked to ashore and there are many CCG jobs that are not ship based and you can apply to internal job posting throughout government. Here is the college website http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/College-and-Careers/college 

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: MARS Officer in the CF vs Navigation Officer in the CCG
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 23:48:47 »
Hello all, feel free to re-direct me if I'm posting in the wrong section of this forum but this one felt appropriate based on what I could find. I could not find Canadian coast guard forums anywhere online. 

To begin I'll explain my situation; I'm half way through a BSc majoring in Biology and minoring in Environmental Science at a civilian university. I've decided that the typical civilian careers associated as well as the state of government funding these types of jobs do not appeal to me ( I know i should have thought about this before I started, but its never to late to get yourself organized eh). I have done the research and spoken with recruiters to learn that my BSc can be used towards several officer positions including Maritime Surface and Subsurface Officer (which i believe is referred to in military lingo as MARS officer), which I would be interested in making this a long term career.

The other career I would be interested in is a Navigation Officer with the Canadian Coast Guard and from what i can tell the academic portion of the training for the two are very similar (obviously does not contain the military component).

As far as I'm aware, the Americans operate their coast guard through their military where here its done as a branch of DFO which makes it hard to find good sources of information online about Canadian experience in the coast guard. So this leaves me with two options once I (hopefully) graduate in 2019. I can either join the forces and hope things go my way and become a MARS officer OR I can join Canadian Coast Guard College to become a Navigation Officer.

I would appreciate if anyone could educate me better about what the differences are between the lifestyle and career of each so that I can form a more educated opinion on which route is best for me. I am looking for a career that will allow me to travel, create new experiences, meet all types of people, while still allowing me to do my civil duty and carry on the family tradition. The "sitting in an office 9-5" does not appeal to me now while I'm still young but I'm sure I would appreciate it later in my career ( maybe 20 years down the road) , for this reason I have also considered a couple NCM positions as I was told there is less of the office type work involved.
Let me know what you guys think,

On a side note I come from a large military family in all branches (Navy, Army, Air force). I had an uncle who was an army radio operator in the 80s for four or five years and then joined the coast guard where they counted his army days towards his pension. Just wondering if this is still something they do.

To start with, unless I'm mistaken, the CCG is unionized while the RCAF is not (although they act like it sometimes  ;D).

The terms of service play out accordingly, I would think, with one end of the continuum being an unlimited commitment up to and including giving your life for your mates/country in some of the most distressing circumstances imaginable. I'll let you guess which 'end' that might relate to.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline mariomike

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Re: Canadian Forces vs Canadian Coast Guard
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 08:07:16 »
I had an uncle who was an army radio operator in the 80s for four or five years and then joined the coast guard where they counted his army days towards his pension. Just wondering if this is still something they do.

Release—Regular Force enrolled on or after March 1, 2007
"If you leave the Canadian Armed Forces and go to work for the Federal Public Service or for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and begin to contribute to their pension plan, you can get credit for your service under the Regular Force Pension Plan by transferring your pension credits. Contact your Human Resources administrator at the Federal Public Service or at the RCMP for more information."
https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/fac-caf/act/apr-aft/lib-rel-eng.html

« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 08:46:18 by mariomike »