Well that , the Navy, & Airforce are the safer military choices.
Hubby is retired Navy, I felt a lot better with him in the Navy then being with a ground troop... although it does depend on what field you are in no matter the Branch of service, to how much 'safer" it is.
It's a great way for a kid to grow up, male or female.
My dad was career USCG, on track to Commander, when a debilitating injury, (NOT related to the Coast Guard) got him. He was even part of the trip to Europe to bring back the Eagle, the USCG tall ship. He graduated from the Academy in 1949.
My uncle was a Commander, got sent to do river patrols in Vietnam. That part wasn't fun, but the risk of that sort is pretty rare.
My nephew was a bit of a bad boy- dropped out of high school, got into trouble with the law, mostly because he was lazy. He was given the choice of jail or the military. He did his research and chose the Coasties as the safest, least likely to see action abroad. Wasn't as easy as he thought it would be! He did get his GED, grew into an admirable man. They straightened him out. It has been lovely watching him grow and learn. He was a Gunner's Mate for 8 years or so, got to fire the big guns across the bows of the drug runners, lol. Spent most of his time aboard the USCG Dallas, careening all over the Caribbean chasing drug importers.
Because of the GED he was not Academy, i.e. leadership, material. He has since left the USCG and is in college. It was by far the best thing he'd ever done, and he will be the first to tell you that.
Sheesh, I should really not type early in the day!
My DH is a former coastguardsman. First of all, we both applaud your son's desire to serve.
Second of all, Farmer Lew loved being in the Coast Guard. He served 4 years in the U.S. Navy when he was younger, then he was out of the navy when he was 22. A couple of years later, he went into the USCG. I love hearing his military stories of both the Navy and the USCG, but his Coast Guard stories are a little closer to home and involved a lot less gunfire. (He was a gunner's mate on a Navy ship right before the 1st Gulf war during Desert Shield and had to fire on some people.)
The hardest thing about the USCG, according to Farmer Lew, is the boats are smaller, and you're more apt to get seasick. Navy ships will be underway for several months at a time, whereas in the USCG, the longest you're ever out at sea is a couple of weeks. Farmer Lew also got very lucky in that he is from Louisiana, and when he was in the Coast Guard, he was fortunate enough to be stationed in New Orleans, only a couple of hours' drive from his parents and family.
Once he got into the Coast Guard, he was able to go to Medical Corpsman school and was a medic/EMT for the US Coast Guard for 3 years. He loved it and highly recommends it as a branch of service in which your son could serve his country and his fellow man.
And while the Coast Guard is considered military, they are not governed by the Department of Defense but, rather, the Department of Transportation. They have been known to be under the orders and auspices of the Defense Dept. during wartime, but as a general rule of thumb, they are there to protect domestic waters.
My little brother is in it...
He LOVES it. He took up airplane mechanic in it
Hes mostly been stationed in Florida where he lives, intercepting the drug runners boats from other countries,... etc..
but they are now sending him to Kodiak Alaska... he cant wait to go there!..
Hes gonna freeze his little southern boy tush off up there!
But he gets paid well.. hes only in his twenties and he was able to buy his own house..etc...
My kids are military mad, and I keep saying Coast Guard.
Their mission is mainly enforcement of US law in US waters. This means border enforcement, including smuggling; helping patrol commercial fishing and enforcement of those laws, and search and rescue. They also have the coolest training ship ever, the Eagle, a tall ship.
If your kid can get into the academy, it is a full ride scholarship at one of the best schools in the country. You pay it by a 5 year hitch in the CG. The down side is if your kid gets kicked out, you have to pay back the college tuition.
The one thing I like is that in the Coast Guard, your kid doesn't have to go fight in the war du jour, at some politician's whim.