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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 17, 2020

New: Coast Guard offers two-year enlistments

By PA2 Brian McCrum

The Coast Guard is now offering a two-year active duty enlistment option for fiscal year 2021.

The new enlistment contract is designed for candidates interested in serving, but reluctant to commit to a longer contract. It is also intended to help grow the Reserve Corps. 

“As today’s young people enter the job market, they will likely favor greater career mobility than previous generations,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Phil Payne, assistant commandant for Human Resources’ (CG-1) Command Master Chief.  “With that in mind, this program gives our recruiters a powerful tool that helps the Coast Guard maintain a competitive edge as an employer of choice.”

In addition to the newMembers of the Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) crew stand next to approximately 23,000 pounds of cocaine and 8,800 pounds of marijuana Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 aboard the cutter at Port Everglades Cruise Port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The crew of the cutter James offloaded the cocaine in Port Everglades worth an estimated $411.3 million wholesale value. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Villa Rodriguez. two-year contracts, the Coast Guard continues to offers three-year and four-year enlistment contracts. 

This new option still has the standard eight-year military service obligation, broken down like this: two years active duty, followed by four years reserve, and finally two years as individual ready reserve.  Previously, the standard enlistment contract was four years in active duty and four years in the ready reserve. 

“For some applicants who may be on the fence, this option provides the flexibility to see if the Coast Guard is right for them, while also ensuring a return on our training investment,” said Payne.

Members who choose to remain on active duty beyond the two-year enlistment can extend their contract, but will need to be on an “A” School waiting list. 

Applicants who commit to a two-year enlistment may be eligible for enlistment bonuses. And after 24 months of service, members will be entitled to 80% of the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s maximum benefit.

“Coast Guard Recruiting Command is aggressively working one of the largest accession targets in more than a decade,” said Capt. Richter Tipton, commanding officer of Coast Guard Recruiting Command. “This effort, along with several others - like a rejuvenated ‘Everyone is a Recruiter' program - are tools we needed to help meet the needs of our service during a worldwide pandemic.” 

“I encourage any member of the Coast Guard family who has a potential Coastie in their personal circle to click the referral tab at and help us build the world's best Coast Guard.”