* Updated July 2019
The United States Coast Guard is a very selective service. With only 38,000 active duty and 12,000 reserve personnel, the U.S. Coast Guard does more with less than any other service. The U.S. Coast Guard performs more missions than all the other services which requires all members to be versatile and hardworking.
The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. Since 1790 the Coast Guard has safeguarded our nations maritime interests and environment around the world.
Requirements to Join the Coast Guard
- You must be a U.S. citizen or a Resident Alien.
- Age – Be between the ages of 17-31 for active duty and 17 to 40 for reserve duty. 17 year old recruits require parental consent. Prior-service personnel should contact their local recruiter for specific programs.
- Have no more than three dependents.
- Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
- Education – High School Diploma is required, however, sometimes a GED is accepted. There are also ASVAB minimum scores that must be met.
- Back Ground Check – Security, Financial checks must be passed.
- Personal Evaluation – The “whole person” evaluation considers your attitude, professionalism, honesty, respect, language proficiency, weight/physical abilities and work ethic.
- Physical Fitness Requirements – Recruits must be in good health and pass a physical fitness test at basic training. All recruits must know how to swim before completing basic training.
- Height and Weight Requirements – Members of the Coast Guard must remain fit for full duty by maintaining their Maximum Allowable Weight (MAW) according to specific guidelines.
- Pass a military entrance medical exam.
You can review the Coast Guard application, and it will assist you in accessing your qualifications as well as give your recruiter a chance to learn more about you and be prepared before your meeting. Think of your meeting with your recruiter as a job interview that will be an evaluation of your attitude, professionalism, honesty, respect, communication skills, work ethic, and volunteer spirit. Fill out the application in its entirety, print, sign, and mail, fax, or hand deliver the completed package to the recruiting office in your area. It is important that you DO NOT EMAIL the application back as it will contain your personal information. Once completed, please call the nearest recruiting station to schedule an interview with a recruiter.