Known as “Mike’s”, the machinist mate rating in the Coast Guard is at once both a mechanic type position and yet much more. They are trained not only as technicians, but also as leaders and managers. Students attending Class A school in Yorktown to become a Machinist Mate rating receives state of the art training on a wide variety of mechanical systems. Mk’s learn and are trained on internal combustion engines such as gas turbine, diesel, and gasoline engines. They learn about HVAC and ventilations, heating and air conditioning systems, basic electricity, and hydraulics. Many Mk’s also serve as trained small boat crewmen and sometimes qualified Boat Coxswains. In these positions they are also able to act as federal law enforcement officials.
Mk personnel can serve as supervisor of a shop on board ship, or on shore. They manage personnel, and equipment, and can be the Engineering Petty Officer or serve in the EPO billet both on board ship or shore based.
You can apply and if accepted you can train for Mk rating “on the job”. Called striking, this is where you study material and perform tasks as you train at a unit, station or other group. While this is one way to advance most Mk’s attend class A school training in Yorktown, VA.
You should possess an ability to solve mathematics problems and have mechanical aptitude. Normal vision and hearing is required to become an Mk. If you have previous practical experience as a machinist, mechanic, or power plant operations then it will be very valuable for you. The Class A school teaches courses during the Class A school including mathematics, electricity and electric theory, mechanics, small engine operation and repair, machine shop, and other mechanical courses.
Enlisting and choosing to be a mechanics Mate will open the door to a lot of benefits that most people starting in a new career don’t have. Paid meal allowances, free medical, eye and dental care, thirty days paid vacation annually, college tuition, these are just a few of the items that you can partake in and access as an enlisted U.S. Coast Guardsperson. Full time active duty enlisted Coast Guard personnel make about fifteen thousand dollars their first year, plus there are other pay and allowances sometimes available. Despite not being in the Department of Defense, there are a multitude of benefits that are made available. Most if not all of the benefits afforded an enlisted person of another branch are available to a person enlisting in the United States Coast Guard.