COAST GUARD

BASIC TRAINING

Frequently Asked Questions

COAST GUARD

BASIC TRAINING

Frequently

Asked

Questions

Click On Any USCG Boot Camp FAQ For The Answer

Click On Any

USCG

Boot Camp

FAQ

For The Answer

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about USCG Boot Camp that Coast Guard recruits –– or those interested in joining the Coast Guard –– have prior to shipping out to Coast Guard Basic Training.

(Alternatively Asked As)

Quick Answer: Although this is ultimately a subjective opinion, when taking into account several key components of boot camp, it can be reasonably determined that USCG Basic Training is not the hardest boot camp. That doesn’t mean it’s not challenging, it’s just not the most difficult boot camp. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: It depends on a few factors. Generally speaking though, Coast Guard Boot Camp is not a walk in the park. Even for recruits who prepare, it can still be quite challenging. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: It depends on who you ask and more importantly, what the person being asked is looking for in regards to criteria. A case could be made for either / or. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

How hard is it to get into the coast guard?

(Alternatively Asked As)

Is the coast guard the hardest to get into?

Quick Answer: 10 years ago, less than 4 percent of applicants were selected for enlisted service in the United States Coast Guard. That number probably hasn’t drastically changed.


Apart from the Specials Forces and Officer Candidate Schools, the USCG Basic Training Program is arguably the most competitive to get into from all of the branches of the military.

(Alternatively Asked As)

Quick Answer: Standard Coast Guard Basic Training for enlisted recruits lasts for 8 weeks. This can vary though. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: Despite some misinformation floating around in pockets of the internet, the real answer is that you absolutely have to be in great physical shape to make it through Coast Guard Basic Training. Since you need to be able to pass basic training in order to join the Coast Guard, the answer to the question is “yes”. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

What are requirements to join the coast guard?

Quick Answer: To get into the USCG, you need to meet the pre-boot-camp criteria to even be allowed to attend basic training. Then from there you need to make it through Coast Guard Boot Camp successfully, which has its own set of requirements.


Therefore, the answer to this is really a two-part answer. First you need to meet the applicant requirements to become a recruit, and then you need to meet the recruit requirements to join the Coast Guard and become “a member of the fleet”.

Quick Answer: For all enlisted USCG personnel, their journey begins at TRACEN Cape May in Cape May, New Jersey. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: This is a bit more complicated than you might first think because it’s not just what you should bring, but also about what you are allowed to bring. There are items that are allowed and recommended, but there are also items that are not recommended but allowed. Then there are items that will be issued to you when you are there. In addition, there are items that you will be forced to put into storage until you leave Cape May, but they are allowed in the sense that they won’t be completely confiscated from you. That leaves the last category, which is strictly forbidden items that are not only not allowed, but will probably get you into trouble if you bring them. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: There are 5 knots you should learn prior to going to Coast Guard Basic Training. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: Reveille in USCG Boot Camp is at 0530 or 5:30 AM. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: Any personal cell phones are confiscated and put in storage until you leave TRACEN Cape May. Limited phone use is conditionally allowed in later weeks. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

Quick Answer: Technically, yes, but it’s not exactly an easy process. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

What happens after coast guard boot camp?

Quick Answer: You graduate and then you serve as a non-rate until you go to A-School to be trained to do your job. Once you finish A-School, then you work in your actual rate (job function). Wait lists for A-School vary depending on the popularity of the rate and the needs of the service.

Quick Answer: Yes, you do get paid while in Coast Guard Basic Training. Click the link above for a more detailed answer.

How much does the coast guard pay per month?

Quick Answer: This is completely dependent upon that individual’s rank and years of service, plus a multitude of other factors. You have to remember that in the USCG, there is “base pay” but then there are all sorts of other “allowances” for housing and other things. Plus there are bonuses for knowing a foreign language or if you are serving in a combat zone. Simply put, the answer to this question is high specific to the individual. With that said, two helpful pages to at least get an idea, would be this one, which shows the base pay rates, and this one, which dives deep into the various allowances like housing, etc.

Coast Guard Basic Training Orange Banner Image

Please note that although I’ve done my best to provide the most accurate answers possible to each of these questions, I can’t fully guarantee their accuracy because at any given moment, some aspect of Coast Guard Boot Camp or the Coast Guard in general could change. That means that there exists the possibility of you checking an answer before I have a chance to update it with whatever the latest information available is.


For this reason, I want to add that the most up-to-date, accurate information will come from a Coast Guard recruiter and / or other official USCG personnel. Always listen to what they have to say over what you find on any website, including this one.


In the meantime, there are all sorts of topics to read about on this website, ranging from swimming in Coast Guard Basic Training to understanding what failing in Coast Guard Boot Camp really means. Make sure to read them all so you show up ready on day ZERO ONE.

Learn More

Show Up With The Knowledge

Of A Week 08 Recruit

Show Up

With The Knowledge

Of A Week 08 Recruit

Survive Coast Guard Boot Camp (C) 2013 – 2023

Survive Coast Guard Boot Camp (C) 2013 – 2022