Enlisting With Prior Service In The USCG

Men and women who have been involved in the military before are able to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.  With prior service, it is possible to enlist with a higher position or rank than would be otherwise available.  The Coast Guard invites women and men who have served like this with other U.S. Armed forces to join up.  Sometimes it is possible to enlist and keep your old rank.

There are specific rules, which vary depending on the situation.  General restrictions are in place to set standards and be clear what is available.  General rules include:

-Enlistment of an individual from prior E-3 and below must be prior approved by recruiting command.

-Enlistment of prior service E-3 and below is limited to six years or less prior service.

-Enlistment of prior service E-4 and above is limited to fourteen years prior service.

-Prior Service Coast Guard personnel re enlisting within twenty-four hours of discharge are exempt from these considerations.

-Re enlistment of prior service will not normally result in a higher than previously held rank.

Open Rate List. This is a list of different ratings, which the Coast Guard has openings in immediately, or rate that there is a defined immediate need. Prior service personnel can apply to fill these positions. The Open rate list is kept up and updated by Coast Guard Command Personnel. It is a list that is date issues, as the official authority. If a rate is removed while in processing of re enlistment, the USCG Recruiting center will consider honoring the enlistment under good faith attempt exceptions. This is done however on a case-by-case basis and not a guarantee.

Active Duty.  Any Prior service active duty personnel may possibly enlist under the open rate list.  The rating or military occupational specialty that is being applied for must be the same or very similar that was held during the prior service enlistment.  If so, then the enlistment may be authorized and approved quickly by the Chief of Enlisted personnel management, Coast Guard Command.  If the applicant does not meet the open rate list requirements, then the re enlistment is at pay grade E-1 no matter what their rank/rating was at the time of prior enlistment separation.

Reserves.  If a reserve member has a continued six months or more of active service at E-3 or above, then they may be eligible for E-3 reenlistment.  With less than six months, enlistment will be at either E-1 or E-2 pay levels.  Former Petty Officers whose rate is on the Open Rate list may at times be able to keep their former pay rank, with designator.  Otherwise if their specialty or rating is not on the open rate list, they will be enlisting as an E-1 or E-2.

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4 Responses to “Enlisting With Prior Service In The USCG”


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military dot image Carami    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

My husband was set to go to MEPS on this thursday and was informed by the army that they are not taking any prior enlisted at this time. He was a E4 but sence then has a Bachelors degree form embry riddle and wanted to return to active duty. Can you tell me if ithe USCG is currently accepting prior enlisted at this time, and if so the name of a recruter here in Montana..

Thank you

carami gazy


military dot image Liam    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

As far as I know they are. I am just coming up to my 13 year point in the Navy and the CG wants me. Going to be talking to a recruiter the day after I get out in 2 weeks. He needs to check his DD-214 and look at his reenlistment code though. Certain codes wont let you reenlist, while others require a waiver. There are websites that will tell you what they mean. There is also a 3 letter code associated with it. Should be RE-1,2,3X,4 and then a letter code XXX. Mine is RE-3M KCC, and they want me. Just do a bing/google search for reenlistment code whatever and you should get the list and the requirements. As far as a recruiter, co to the CG website or bing/google CG recruiter Montana. Hope this helped.


military dot image ?????????    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I do consider all of the ideas you’ve offered in your post. They’re very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for novices. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.


military dot image hard to come by    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Excellent article. I definitely appreciate this website. Keep writing!


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