As part of the US Coast Guard’s First District, brave men and women, both civilian and enlisted, serve in 10 stations spread across the coastline of Maine. When not conducting search and rescue missions or responding to reports passengers in the water from crash-landed aircraft, Coast Guard personnel from the First District have also been known to make drug busts on the high seas. Last year units based in the state logged nearly 900 search and rescue missions and provided 654 aids to navigation.
Learning about Coast Guard requirements is a good starting point to prepare for what could be a long and fulfilling career. Last year there were 670 personnel working across the state employed in the following job classifications:
- 525 active-duty officers and non officers
- 96 reservist officers and non officers
- 50 civilians
Preparing for a Coast Guard Career in Maine
One of the first choices candidates need to make when considering Coast Guard jobs in Maine is how to join. Candidates can enlist full or part time (reserve), making at least a four-year commitment, or may join as civilians.
Job positions are determined by a candidate’s demonstrated skills, with a clear distinction being made for those with and without a bachelor degree for both civilian and enlisted employment.
Enlistees with a four-year degree are eligible to start with the 17-week Officer Candidate School before moving on to more career-focused Coast Guard training related to their field:
- Graduates in mathematics, science or technology may become Intelligence Officers
- Those with degrees in Computer Science, IT, or Information Systems can play a vital role as:
- Computer Engineering Officers
- Network Engineering Officers
- Systems Engineering Officers
- Officers with a degree in the humanities field can become legal and communications experts
- A degree in Business Administration can lead to a career as a member of the Command Staff
- Biology, Chemistry and other science degrees lend themselves to Marine Biologist Officers and Toxicologists
Enlisted non-officers also play an essential role, who after completing eight weeks of basic training will begin training for jobs like:
- Avionics Technician
- Operations Specialist
- Electronics Technician
Civilian Coast Guard job requirements are also distinguished for those with and without a four-year degree. However instead of attending basic training or Officer Candidate School, civilians will have some form of job-related orientation.
Coast Guard Activity in Maine
When not conducting training exercises internally or with emergency responders and law enforcement, Maine-based Coast Guard units will be taking actions similar to those which made these headlines:
- A 47-foot Coast Guard boat was recently launched from the South Portland Station in response to an explosion and fire that occurred on a charter ship 28 miles out at sea. Coast Guard medics and firefighters from the Portland Fire Department were aboard to provide assistance to the injured victims.
- Coast Guard Rockland Station launched a response when it was recently notified of a four-passenger airplane which had crash landed in the ocean near Matinicus Island. Nearby fishing vessels were able to recover those aboard who were quickly transported to the Penobscot Bay Hospital. Coast Guard Marine Biologists collected water samples to test for environmental contamination.
- Although not typical, Coast Guard units based in Maine’s First District recently interdicted an illegal drug shipment aboard a sailboat. The fact that there were only two passengers and the vessel was low in the water was the first clue, which eventually resulted in a boarding party and the discovery of 636 kilos of cocaine, worth an estimated $20 million.