Welcome to 2012 everyone works longer then 40 hours. My wife is USCG on a cutter here in Hawaii. They are underway every other week patrolling Mon-Saturday no going home just those days on a boat. Whenever she is off on the weekend or they are in port they still have to stand overnight duty as the ship has to be manned 24/7 even in port so yet again another day she has to stay overnight. While boat is in port they work a normal 40 hour work week. On top of that as she is the cook for the boat she grocery shops on Sundays before they get underway. Takes several hours to buy a weeks worth of groceries for 14 people.
She also gets paid a lot more and the retirement plan is much better.
My Dad is a Naval Commander, Ret. 23 years active duty. 2/3 of it ships... Oil Tanker followed by a Guided Missile Frigate followed by and Aircraft Carrier... then the War College and The Pentagon.
My cousin flew helicopters for the Coast Guard for many years (Pensacola---->Alaska--->Chesapeake Bay area) before going behind a desk.
This post was edited on 11/18 at 1:07 am