There are over 2,000 Coast Guard personnel serving across 15 locations up and down the New Jersey coastline. Units respond to environmental accidents, medical emergencies, and enforce the law with 13 cutters and 51 boats at their disposal.
Air Station Atlantic City is home to 10 MH-65D Dolphin Helicopters which in addition to vectoring and search and rescue missions are also responsible for protecting the White House 24 hours a day if so directed by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
In New Jersey, Coast Guard jobs are held by servicemen and women serving in the following job classifications:
- Active enlisted: 1,873
- Reserve enlisted: 175
- Civilian: 151
- Auxiliary: 1,903
Coast Guard Training and Recruitment Requirements
Beyond civilian positions, Coast Guard careers in New Jersey can be categorized as enlisted or officer:
Enlisted – Candidates can qualify for entry-level positions by being between the ages of 17-27 with no significant criminal history. New cadets must complete eight weeks of boot camp before they are assigned to a unit where they will continue their Coast Guard training in their career field.
Officer – The Coast Guard’s job requirements for those interested in entering at the officer level include having a bachelor’s degree in any subject. Before new officers are admitted as ensigns, they must first complete a 17-week Officer Candidate School.
Officer positions make use of a range of skills and are assigned based on the candidate’s field of expertise:
- Intelligence Officers may benefit from a degree in Mathematics or Science
- Systems Analysis Officers may study Computer Science, Information Systems, or IT
- Medical Officers come from a medical sciences background
- Engineers can have degrees in Civil Engineering or Marine Engineering
- Communications Officers may come from a Communications and Technology background
- Business Administration and Management degrees may lend themselves to employment as Command Staff
- Coast Guard Lawyers come from a background in Law
New Jersey Coast Guard Missions
Coast Guard units stationed in their home ports participate in vital local training exercises and missions which need to be accomplished in order to keep the residents of New Jersey and the nation safe:
- Recently a helicopter crew on patrol from Air Station Atlantic City and a Coast Guard Rescue Boat crew from Sandy Hook were dispatched to the scene a boat fire four miles east of Sandy Hook. Upon arrival the units inspected the 30-foot recreational vessel to ensure its passengers had safely extinguished the fire and that there was no environmental contamination.
- In another recent operation aimed at fighting pollution, Coast Guard units involved in Operation Clean Sheen went to popular fishing ports along the New Jersey coast to educate merchant fishing vessel crew and captains about the policies and procedures for reporting oil slicks, which are a significant source of pollution near the state’s shoreline, costing an average of $100,000 to cleanup each year.
- Coast Guard crew stationed at New Jersey bases are also at times deployed with their units abroad. This recently happened to a cutter based out of Bayonne which was deployed to the Great Lakes region to assist with ice breaking missions, and another cutter based in Cape May which was deployed to the northern Caribbean to participate in homeland security and law enforcement missions.