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Operations Specialist (OS)

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  • City/county/state emergency operations coordination

Operations specialists (OS) perform a central role in the execution of nearly all Coast Guard operations as the eyes, ears and voice of the Coast Guard for the maritime community. The OS is the tactical, command, control and communications rating. OSs perform functions ranging from search and rescue or law enforcement case execution, to combat information center operations or intelligence gathering. OSs operate the most advanced tactical computer systems the Coast Guard has, to include satellite communications, global positions navigation, electronic charting, shipboard navigation systems, and real-time target acquisition tracking and identification systems. An OS will perform advanced operational planning applications, intelligence coordination and case management functions.

Types of Duty:

Operations specialists have assignments throughout the Coast Guard, serving primarily at command centers and aboard large cutters around the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The most common OS entry-level positions are assigned to (NSC, 378’, 270’ and 210’ cutters), communications stations and sector command centers. An OS enhances and utilizes all skill sets aboard cutters, and apply their specialty knowledge in operational communication centers. OSs can expect to stand a majority of their career as a watch stander. Throughout their career, both afloat and ashore, an OS will participate in all aspects of operational planning and execution, working with decision makers and operators to accomplish Coast Guard missions 24 hours a day.

Training Available:

To become an OS, you will attend 16 weeks of 'A' School training in Petaluma, CA. While in OS 'A' School, you will receive training in communications systems, software applications used for planning search and rescue missions, navigation and performing tactical operations.


You should have the ability to work in a stressful and high-paced environment, interest and aptitudes for working with computer-based applications, exceptional attention to detail and above average ability in solving mathematical problems.  You must have normal color vision, normal hearing, be a U.S. citizen and be eligible to obtain a secret security clearance.