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Why is the USCG Looked Down on by Vets of other Branches?


stratasfan
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JBFloyd

Anyone who has served alongside another service has a lifetime of stories about the other services -- how screwed up/squared away they are, how easy/hard their jobs are, how they never/always deploy; how they live, etc, etc.

 

While regular Air Force. I spent 7 years deploying with the Army at the Corps level (always close to the general, so physical danger was not an issue) and even had some at-sea time with the Navy. All of those experiences made me really appreciate my initial career choice.  My experience with the Coast Guard was limited. At Udorn Air Force Base, in northern Thailand, we had two Coasties who ran the LORAN station (critical to my functions in targeting and search and rescue support). In later years, they were sometimes involved in major exercise planning efforts. They were always squared away and technically skilled.  HOWEVER, that never impinged on our readiness to be obnoxious to them at the bar after work, and never slowed their responses.

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collectsmedals

There are always rivalries between services and even within services. I was in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1983, when I attended EM-A school at Great Lakes we had a number of Coast Guard personnel taking the same courses we did. (We even had one Petty Officer from the Saudi Arabian Navy with us.) There was always some good natured ribbing between us but never what I was would consider being looked down. I was on the U.S.S. Nimitz and we always had a Marine detachment on-board and there was similar ribbing between the Marines and Sailors, just like there was between the air wing personnel and ships company or between the engineering personnel and the deck personnel. It could get a little viscous at times but it was not a lack of respect, and if any outsider tried to say anything about any of the services they better watch out because when that happened we were all locked arm in arm on the same team.

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trenchbuff
On 6/29/2021 at 2:11 PM, stratasfan said:

 

Oh, I can understand some of it being simple rivalry between branches. :) However, I was more questioning why a veteran from another branch would clam up and be completely disinterested or condescending when you talk about a USCG or NG veteran's service.

Elizabeth, I think some people just have personal axes to grind or just have bad attitudes abut life in general and it just comes across no matter what the subject is.  I was Navy for 25 years and love the Coast Guard as well as all our services.  Those people probably hate ice cream too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's a heckling hierarchy. The active duty guys in all branches all heckle each other. But when the reserve component show up, all the active guys in different branches join forces to heckle the "weekend warriors". This goes on until the National Guard and Air National Guard show up, at which point active and reserve join forces to heckle the "water boys". Then in walks the Coast Guard, and the National Guard is quick to point out that they don't fall under the DoD...so we all unite to heckle the "shallow water Navy". Then the civilian GS employees show up, and everyone unites to harass the guys who "don't know how to let it go and are afraid of the civilian world". Then some contracted support services wander in, and the GS remind us that they are trying to "serve by proximity", and we all harass them until they either a) run to HR and get us in trouble or b) remind us that there are plenty of civilians out there who are selfish and lazy, and we all run to call civilians disgusting fat bodies, until the civilians point out that there are people out there who AREN'T EVEN AMERICAN!!!!! So we get on our boats and planes and go overseas to libo ports and create international incidents.

 

I'm fairly certain Space Force started because some non-Americans reminded us at port that there may be some people out there who aren't even Earthlings, so we started a branch with the purpose of going out and conducting some intergalactic heckling.

 

To be honest, as the war dies down, a lot of military guys have found a newfound respect for the Coasties, since it's much more likely they're going to do some crazy cool cr@p and get in a fun fight than we are for awhile...drug interdiction and Antarctic ice cutting come to mind....

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General Apathy
On 6/26/2021 at 7:14 PM, stratasfan said:

Curious question here! :) Why is it that when you talk to vets or currently serving people in any of the other four military branches do they kind of "look down" on the Coast Guard? Why is it said with a 'sneer', when someone mentions the USCG or that a child or grandchild is thinking of serving in the USCG or you discuss something that is USCG, etc.? What's wrong with serving in the USCG? 

 

Just last night, talked with someone who served 8 years in one of the other four branches and his Dad was Army and his Grampa USMC . . . and his youngest son is thinking of serving in the 'sneer' Coast Guard . . . -gulp- (OK, so I'm typing this out blatantly so you get the picture, but it was a sneer and a pause and this is something often seen when USCG is mentioned, so I wanted to ask!

 

I think Sis and I have a warped view of the Coast Guard, but I'm super interested to know why it is like a sub-human service kind of thing when refered to by most Vets of other services. :) 

 

Thanks for any thoughts! I'm totally wondering and curious as to why!

Elizabeth

.

Hi Elizabeth.

 

I often remind people that we only make fun of one-another if we have an affinity, liking, or love for them . . . . . . . these people are our friends, we never bother joshing or making fun of people we don't like or get along with.

 

A couple of years back Jane and I were out for a meal with a married couple that we are friends with.  During the meal a discussion started on a recent newspaper article about a British policeman who had been attacked by a terrorist with a machete, he had defended himself with a stun-gun ( British police are still mainly unarmed ).  My friend said that his wife wouldn't have needed a stun-gun she would have simply shouted at them.  I said that health & safety wouldn't have allowed that as there is a recognised recovery time from a stun-gun but not from his wife, all four of us roared with laughter, these are our friends.

 

regards lewis.

 

..

 

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Dad was in an national guard army division in the central Pacific during the war. They were the target of unending merciless insults from the Marines. 30 years after the war he still hated the Marines because of it.  

Mikie

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2 hours ago, mikie said:

Dad was in an national guard army division in the central Pacific during the war. They were the target of unending merciless insults from the Marines. 30 years after the war he still hated the Marines because of it.  

Mikie

    Well, not to change the topic, the 32nd Division (Michigan and Wisconsin) National Guard had 654 days of combat in WWII. More than any Marine Division, here is a list of some "firsts".

Division Credits

First U.S. Division to fight an offensive action against the Japanese in the Southwest Pacific (Papuan Campaign).

In the vernacular of the War Dept. during WWII, the Guadalcanal Campaign was a strategic defensive victory, plus victory at Guadalcanal was officially declared on 21 Feb. ’43, while victory at Papua was officially declared on 23 Jan. ’43.

First U.S. Division to be airborne into combat (Papuan Campaign).

The term ‘airborne’ had a different meaning in 1942 than it does today. Today ‘airborne’ implies parachuting out of airplanes directly onto the battlefield. As of 15 September 1942 it meant being flown on combat aircraft to an improvised airfield in the combat zone, disembarking the aircraft, and marching the rest of the way to the battlefield. Prior to 15 September 1942, all U.S. combat forces had been transported to the combat zone by ship.

First U.S. Division to make a beach landing in New Guinea Campaign (Saidor).

First to employ General MacArthur's by-pass strategy.

First U.S. Division to embark for overseas service in one convoy after 7 Dec. 1941.

First to simultaneously supply 11 battalions in combat in one action completely by airdrop (Aitape).

First to supply four infantry battalions for two days from artillery liaison “Cub” planes (Leyte).

First to publish an American servicemen's letterpress newspaper in the Southwest Pacific.

First to go into action at the foot of “the road back,” was still fighting when the “cease fire” order came on 15 August 1945.

Elements of the 32D Division were also among the first American occupation troops to land in Japan.

 

Scott

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buff086

I served in the USAF (SAC) for 4 years as a B-52 Maintenance Crew Chief, complete with a Combat Tour at U-Tapao RTNAF Thailand in 1969.

 

We had a USCG detachment at U-Tapao who Operated and Maintained one of the LORAN Stations out in the Gulf of Siam which was vital to the Air Missions in SEA.

 

Later in life I resided in a home on the western basin of Lake Erie and watched the USCG crews from Station Toledo, Station Detroit or the Air Station at Selfridge ANGB go out and bring in some 'Dumb rump Boater" who didn't heed the "Small Craft Warning" notices that were put out by the National Weather Service or the Ice Fisherman who ventured out after being warned and ended up on an ice flow. More than once we witnessed from shore the "Rescue Swimmer' deploy from the helicopter and retrieve the remains of some soul who went overboard and was missing. There are 2 EXCELLENT US. Coast Guard Movies out, "The Guardian" about the Rescue Swimmers and "Finest Hours" (True Story) about the rescue of a tanker crew that broke in half off Cape Cod in the 50's. Anyone who talks down about the Coast Guard needs to watch these movies.  

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As a USAF vet, I took a bit of ribbing on occasion during the 80s. What, the cable TV is out? The hardships! Then we had Desert Storm, and all the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan since. Close air support success will mend any inter-service animosities in a heartbeat. In the end, we are all on the same team. Something I know those that serve are aware of, regardless of the heckling that goes on.

 

Randy

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Not all of us feel that way about the USCG. As for the Vets who look down on their fellow brothers and sisters...well, contrary to what everyone thinks, not all Vets are "Heroes". Sometimes they're just @$$h01es.

 

Mark sends

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On 7/16/2021 at 10:03 PM, mvmhm said:

Not all of us feel that way about the USCG. As for the Vets who look down on their fellow brothers and sisters...well, contrary to what everyone thinks, not all Vets are "Heroes". Sometimes they're just @$$h01es.

 

Mark sends

  Well said Mark! Another note on the National Guard and it would apply to the Reserves as well, and I will preface this by saying that I was active, reserve and guard in my career. When I was sent to Iraq in 03, we were called forward early to relieve a regular army battalion out of Germany that could not perform their mission... The battalion commander was relieved of command and the entire battalion was sent back to Germany and relieved by the guard. One of the main reasons we were able to do this is training. You simply have to understand that as a reservist or guard member, you basically have 2 days a month to do what the regular component has all month to do. That means 30 days a year to do what they have all year to do. The standards are the same, the schools are the same and basically the mission is the same, though the guard must also perform state duties and in addition to mos training must also complete crowd control training, riot training and many humanitarian mission training courses that most in the regular components will never do. As mentioned by so many here, most is just good natured ribbing but there are some who like to think they are "more veteran" than others.     Scott

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Manchu Warrior

Just my 2 cents on the National Guard. When I was in basic down on Sand Hill the soldiers going  National Guard were called Nasty Girls and ridiculed to no end. I had also heard very unflattering stories of the weekend warrior's to avoid service in Vietnam. I was just talking to a Vietnam Vet at the flea market the other day and to this day he still despises soldiers in the Guard. With that said. My opinion is that I would have put the Infantry unit I served with in the Guard up against any of the active units I served in. I was only in the Guard for a few years but what folks forget is that many of those guard soldiers served together in the same unit for, in some cases decades, and it was obvious in how they worked together and it was an absolute Honor to have served with them. 

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digi-shots

There probably are some folks that look down on the Coast Guard… maybe that’s not the right term but they just don’t think of the Coast Guard in the same way as some of the other services.  There are many, many movies that have been made over the years - movies such as, The Longest Day, From Hell and Back, Guadalcanal Diary, Band of Brothers, The Fighting Seabees, Battle of Midway, Sands of Iwo Jima, etc. etc. that show the heroics of the various service…. and one of my favorites - The Frogmen (based on WWII UDT’s).  
 

In one of the previous posts, the movie, The Guardian, was mentioned… very good movie regarding USCG rescue swimmers… a friend of mine served with The USCG as a rescue swimmer… not an easy task.


For those of you who would like to read  something I found very interesting on some of the Coast Guard’s involvement during WWII, check out this topic.. it’s  easy to google.  Another friend of mine served with the Coast Guard during WWII and told me he was never aware of this unit or the Coasties’ involvement.
Guardian Spies:  The Story of Coast Guard Intelligence in World War II

 

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Sometimes one's dislike for another service is based solely off one's experience with a single unit or two. Unfortunately, one is reflective of all. This is why when a few individuals act poorly and end up on the news, the reputation of the entire organization is tarnished. We saw this with the entire military when a few individuals committed war crimes, much as we're seeing it now towards the entire police institution after a few individuals abused their power. Is it right? No, but it's human nature. In my younger years, I had a long grudge against the Army-especially the National Guard- due to a friendly fire incident in Iraq. Took me a long time and some inter-service cooperation to accept that sometimes sh*t just happens.

 

Truth is, all branches foster inter-service rivalry among the lower ranks to some extent. Type-A personalities are attracted to the military, and are driven by competition, so it's a beneficial tool. We just sometimes forget to remind them that it has a time and place as they grow through the ranks.

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