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.