US Coast Guard Job Requirements in Ohio

Last year US Coast Guard units based in Ohio rescued around 2,000 people in distress. Performing search and rescue missions is just one of the services provided by the dedicated personnel of the Coast Guard. With bases in nine locations and headquartered in Cleveland; civilians, volunteers, and enlisted members utilize a CG cutter and numerous boats to conduct support, environmental protection, and law enforcement operations.

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Coast Guard units based in Ohio may also travel thousands of miles to conduct large-scale joint training exercises or to provide support in times of war or disaster. Candidates interested in peacetime maritime operations that promote life, and wartime operations that promote security, can benefit by finding out more about Coast Guard career requirements in Ohio.

Requirements and Training for Joining the Coast Guard

In addition to the 790 Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer members, there are approximately 688 enlisted and 135 civilian employees holding Coast Guard jobs in Ohio.

Civilian – Civilian employees serve in mostly the same capacity as their enlisted counterparts and must meet similar prerequisites, although their employment contract has more of a resemblance to that of the private sector and does not require a four-year commitment.

Officer – Coast Guard job requirements to enlist as an officer state that candidates must have a bachelor degree. Before starting specific Coast Guard career training, prospective officers will need to first complete 17 weeks of Officer Candidate School. Because there is a diverse range of officer positions, supporting degrees can be equally diverse, with an occupational and educational convergence that may resemble the following:

  • Medical Officer with a degree in Biology, Medicine, or Medial Science
  • Pilot with a degree in Aviation and Science
  • Engineering Officer with a degree in Marine Engineering or Civil Engineering
  • Intelligence Officer with a degree in Science, Mathematics, or Engineering
  • Command Staff with a degree in Business Administration

Mission Support – There are two levels to enlist at for both active-duty and reserve: basic mission support and officer. The Coast Guard requirements for basic support enlistment stipulate that candidates must be able to demonstrate a good moral character while being between the ages of 17-27. After finishing eight weeks of boot camp new recruits will begin training with their assigned unit in an occupational field that supports one of these basic mission elements:

  • Hull and engineering
  • Aviation
  • Scientific and administration
  • Deck and ordinance


Ohio Coast Guard Missions at Home and Abroad

Although based in Ohio, Coast Guard units can also be deployed to other states for training and emergency assistance or abroad to support national interests. Recently these have included:

Local Coast Guard operations from Fairport recently terminated the voyage of a four-passenger vessel when upon boarding, officers discovered an insufficient number of life jackets and that the boat did not have a required fire extinguisher. Because of inconsistent responses, three of the passengers were suspected of being illegal aliens and turned over to CBP Agents.

Marblehead Coast Guard units were recently dispatched to the eastern seaboard to assist in the response and recovery from Hurricane Sandy. In total the Ninth Coast Guard District deployed units to the Delaware Bay from four separate units, including four airboats.

Returning from the Kuwait Naval Base after performing missions supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, a Port Clinton-based Coast Guard unit recently made its homecoming after protecting strategic waterways, seaward approaches, and ports in the Persian Gulf.

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