Well I’ve been to the academy several times - last time was for a volleyball tournament. I did not, however, go as a cadet; I’m enlisted. I do share an office with an Academy grad Ensign, and we just got another one in my department from this last graduation. Here’s what I can tell you:
Increasing the chances of acceptance: I don’t know. I’ll ask the two Ensigns in my office tomorrow.
Where you go after graduation: Up until two years ago, every CGA grad went to a cutter in the fleet as an Ensign. Only cutters 210’ and up have Ensigns on board. Now, some Ensigns from the Academy get assigned shore units as a first unit, hence the two in my office. I believe that graduates will have a list of assignments to choose from, and make those choices in order based on some type of class ranking system.
The majority of assignments available to choose from will be larger cutters. Most cutters are homeported in the lower 48, with several in Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. Depending on type, they will deploy anywhere in the world - for up to 6 months at a time. Usually, the deployments are much less in duration. The largest of cutters, the polar ice breakers, will deploy 6 months at a time and travel to the Arctic for research or Antarctica to assist McMurdo station. Medium and High Endurance cutters will sometimes travel to the Middle East and SW Asia for support of ongoing operations. We have several smaller cutters stationed in Saudi Arabia right now.
Staying in: Most officers, and enlisted for that matter, stay in the CG after the first term or period of obligation. Getting people in the CG, and keeping them in, has never been a problem for us. Quite the opposite in fact.
Let me know if you have any other questions, and I’ll get them answered for ya.