Prioritizing advancement over your “dream” rate…

I have a question for the community. Long post ahead: I am a recent college graduate with a degree in International Security Policy with minor in Russian language and lit. I will be meeting with a recruiter any day now (have submitted a medical/background questionnaire that my city requires beforehand) and I have decided I will not be seeking an officer's commission but rather enlisting. This is mostly because I feel as if my GPA + Resume/Volunteer history do not make me terribly competitive and I don't know if I want to take the extra time to apply only if it is likely I will fail. That being said, I would very much like to become an officer in the Coast Guard and I will be seeking to advance and apply as an E-5 enlisted person. edit: I am realizing that E-5 (plus 4 years of active duty service) is the CUTOFF for OCS-R not the minimum requirement. I am not sure if my question now makes sense, I will be asking recruiter. Whoops.

My Question: Are non-rates stunted in their advancement? MST looks the most interesting to me with IS following as a close second, but does waiting 1 and a half to 2 years to go to A-school slow down your advancement by just that much? The reason I am conflicted here is because, although those 2 rates appeal to me, some honest introspection tells me I would be very happy in most any role in the coast guard…the organization appeals to me that much.

So …would signing up for BM A-school for the purpose of making rank be a silly idea in your opinions? I know very little about advancement and what you can do as a non-rate so I am compilling a pros and cons list.

Thank you very much!

TLDR: is going BM to make rank worth it if it means eschewing a slight preference for rate with longer wait time?


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