INITIAL TRAININGEvery officer candidate in the Coast Guard must go through Initial Training, which is essentially Basic Training for officers. This tough program is designed to prepare you to make split-second decisions and take charge in any situation.
As a prospective officer, you may enter the Coast Guard through the Officer Candidate School (OCS) at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. Here you'll go through a rigorous 17-week course of instruction that prepares you to serve effectively as an officer in the United States Coast Guard. In addition to indoctrinating you into a military lifestyle, OCS also provides a wide range of highly technical information necessary for performing the duties of a Coast Guard officer.
When you graduate from the program you'll receive a commission in the Coast Guard at the rank of Ensign, and we'll require you to serve a minimum of three years of active duty. You may be assigned to a ship, flight training, to a staff job, or to an operations billet ashore.
However, first assignments are based on the needs of the US Coast Guard. Personal desires and performance at OCS are considered. All graduates must be available for worldwide assignment.
If you're going in as a Direct Commission Officer, the Coast Guard's Direct Commission Officer course is administered by the Officer Candidate School staff. Depending on the specific program and background of the individual, the course is three, four or five weeks long.