Coast Guard Direct Entry Petty Officer Training

Welcome Coast Guard DEPOT Recruits

If you are going to be attending Coast Guard DEPOT (Direct Entry Petty Officer Training) then you've come to the right place! Welcome to your DEPOT success plan. First of all, congratulations on being accepted into the Coast Guard Direct Entry Petty Officer Training Program. If you are reading this and have not yet been accepted into DEPOT, but are interested in learning more, you can learn more about the program here:

For those of you with a DEPOT ship date, that page is also useful for you too. It has the requirements, grooming standards and other basic info that you need to know to be successful in DEPOT. With that said, here is my own take on the Coast Guard DEPOT program.

First the good news:

  1. It’s only 3 weeks! Compared to 8 weeks, that’s less than half the length of regular Coast Guard Boot Camp.
  2. You don’t have Indoc Weekend but more like Indoc Night. It’s still rough, but one night  of getting your @$$ kicked is a lot better than a whole weekend worth of beatdowns.
  3. You graduate as an E-4, that’s Petty Officer Third Class for those of you who’ve been studying your USCG rates and ranks. A normal 8-week recruit graduates as an E-3 or Seaman.
  4. Since DEPOT recruits are generally older, they take it a little bit easier on you physically. Don’t read into that statement and think it will be easy. It’s not easy, just easier, and even then it depends on who you are. Some Company Commanders have a tendency to enjoy “beating-up” people who work in law enforcement and/or are prior service. If that’s you, and you win the Company Commander lottery, then it may not be “easier” at all. 
  5. You don’t have to do Manual of Arms, which means you also don’t have to do the incentive training where they make you raise your rifle up and aim for like 45 minutes straight.

Now the bad news:

  1. It’s only 3 weeks! That means that all the information the 8-week recruits have 8-weeks to learn, you have to jam into your brain in only 3 weeks. The 8-week recruits might have 2-3 days to learn an entire topic, whereas you’ll have one morning to learn the same exact topic. Oh, and once you learn a topic, you are responsible for knowing it. In other words when you get called on, any topic that’s been covered is fair game for the Company Commanders.

Clearly there are more benefits to Coast Guard DEPOT than disadvantages. Like I said, congrats on being accepted. Having said that, those 3 weeks will feel a lot longer than 3 weeks of your normal everyday life will. Being awake for 18-20 hours a day and having to constantly absorb information while exercising in between, amounts to a VERY long 3 weeks. I emphasize learning as much as humanly possible before you head out to Cape May, but for DEPOT recruits this is even more important. Being that you only have 3 weeks to complete the program and that you are older, the Company Commanders will somewhat expect you to show up knowing your stuff. Yes, there will be classes, but it’s damn near impossible to absorb that much information under normal circumstances, never mind being in a state of permanent sleep deprivation.

SO, it’s time to learn DEPOT recruit. READ every article on this website. They are free. The only thing they will cost you is your time. I think you’ll find them worth your time. You can find links to them in the menu at the top of this page. Aside from that, you should also watch the videos I put together on the youtube channel. Among other things, there is a video of me demonstrating the workout you will be doing almost every single morning of your 3 week stay at the Cape May Training Center. There is also a video study guide to help you memorize USCG Rates and Ranks. The channel is here:

Aside from that, the 3 things you absolutely have to know are your 11 General Orders, the aforementioned USCG Rates and Ranks, and your Chain of Command. I talk more about that here

Last Note from Martin

My goal is to give back and to “pay it forward”. I had people who helped me along the way and I want to do the same for others. It’s my hope that this article has helped you in some way. I wish you the best of luck in your Coast Guard DEPOT preparation and if there is anything I can do to help you on your journey, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My e-mail address is:

Happy Training To All Of You.


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