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Direct Commission Cyber Officer (DCCO)


The Direct Commission Cyber Officer (DCCO) program offers an opportunity for high performing cyber professionals and military members with cyber experience to employ their unique skill set as Coast Guard Cyber Officers. New Coast Guard Cyber Officers will immediately put their skills to use in vital operational cyber missions providing a secure and functional network upon which all other Coast Guard missions rely, and ensure the protection of the Marine Transportation System from malicious Cyber Actors. Selectees will have a chance to become key resources in what has become the Coast Guard's top emerging field, and will receive an initial assignment within the Coast Guard's Operational Cyberspace Workforce. Applicants must be proven cyber professionals with robust work experience.

Initial Assignments and Training

DCCO selectees work with a Coast Guard assignment officer following selection. The assignment officer will review the individual’s education, experience and qualifications, in addition to their expressed assignment interests, and assign orders to a position at a Coast Guard field unit that best aligns the selectee’s talents & potential with the needs of the Coast Guard. Following commissioning (which occurs approximately 30 days prior to attending the Direct Commission Officer (DCO) course in New London, Connecticut) new officers will execute permanent change of station (PCS) orders and report directly to their first unit for a brief period. DCCOs will then go TDY to the DCO course. The DCO course will be 4-5 weeks in duration. At DCO training, DCCOs receive initial indoctrination to the traditions and programs of the service, and training on service specific administration essentials needed for their success as a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard.  Following completion of DCO training, DCCOs will return to their unit.

Career Path

Following their initial assignment, DCCOs can anticipate broadening their experience within the Cyber community, with increasing levels of leadership and management exposure with progression in rank. Likewise, after completing their initial Cyber assignment, DCCOs are encouraged to compete for operational assignments to broaden their exposure to Coast Guard missions.

DCCO Eligibility Requirements

  1. Age: Have reached your 21st but not your 42nd birthday as of 30 September of the fiscal year in which the selection panel convenes.
  2. Character Standards:
    • Applicants currently in the Coast Guard: Applicants are ineligible for commissioning if in the 36 months prior to the first DCO class convening date in the selection cycle, they have been convicted by a court-martial, been awarded non-judicial punishment (NJP), received an “Unsatisfactory” conduct mark, received a mark of less than “4” in any performance dimension, received a negative Administrative Remarks, or been involved in an alcohol-related incident.
  3. Citizenship: Must be a U.S. Citizen
  4. Clearance: Must have a current Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) clearance. Applicants who received their TS/SCI from the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard may not have a break-in-service greater than 24 months from the date of separation to the expected date of commission.
  5. Dependency:
    • Cannot exceed 3 dependents (your spouse is considered your dependent, regardless of military status).
    • Coast Guard active duty applicants, E-5 and above, with a minimum of four years active military service (excluding active duty for training), at least two years of which must be Coast Guard active duty service may have sole or primary custody of dependents.
    • All eligible applicants must provide a dependent care plan with an indefinite general Power of Attorney
  6. Education:
    • Must have a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
    • Must have a baccalaureate degree or higher (associates or higher degree for applicants eligible for a Temporary Regular commission, see Coast Guard Member Stipulations below) in a C5I field. Examples of accepted degree fields are listed below:
      • Communications Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Command and Control, Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Information Systems, Network Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering.
    • Foreign Degrees: Applicants who have degrees conferred by a foreign school shall include in their application a course-by-course assessment from an organization such as Education Credential Evaluators, in addition to the inclusion of the translation of their degree (if in a language other than English).
    • Coast Guard Member Stipulations: Current active duty CG enlisted members E-5 and above in the AET, ET, IT, or EM ratings with at least an associate degree in a C5I discipline, and DoD cyber certification (IAT/IAM) are eligible. Other CG enlisted members E-5 and above with at least an A.S. degree in a C5I discipline, and practical work experience in C5I arenas, are eligible on a case-by-case basis. The associates degree must be conferred by the application deadline for all Coast Guard members applying with their A.S. Members must make E-5 by the panel date and be Coast Guard Commission TEMP eligible, and must also have at least 4 years of active duty service (2 of which must be in the USCG) by the panel convening date.
  7. Financial: Must meet all financial obligations, and not have a debt to income ratio in excess of 80% (ratio of debt to projected income at applicant’s highest accession level i.e. O-1 or O-2, O-3 as applicable).
    • May not have filed for bankruptcy in the last 10 years
    • Student Loans: applicants shall also disclose to their recruiter any student loan payments that are in deferment, and the anticipated date and amount of repayment of those loans.
  8. Interview: DCCO applicants must receive the recommendation of a Coast Guard interview board administered by three Coast Guard Officers.
  9. Military Service:
    • None required.
    • Other military service members: Any break in service must be 24 months or less from the date of separation from the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard unless their current employer maintains a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) clearance.
      • Max Active Duty Service: No more than ten years of non-Coast Guard active duty military service as of the date of accession.
      • Maximum Prior Military Service Credible toward Retirement: Prior-service applicants may not have more than 14 years of cumulative military service creditable toward retirement in the U.S. Armed Forces or their Reserve components. Creditable service will be calculated as of the prospective date of accession into the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve. This limit does not apply to members currently serving in the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve.
    • Coast Guard Officers:
      • ADPL Officers: Applicants currently holding a commission in the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve who are on the Active Duty Promotion List (ADPL) are not eligible to apply.  
      • IDPL Officers: If a Reserve Officer on the Inactive Duty Promotion List (IDPL) meets the eligibility criteria, he/she may apply for the program, provided a conditional resignation, approved by CG-PSC-rpm, is included in the application package.
    • Coast Guard Enlisted:
      • Enlisted Coast Guard applicants that meet the DCCO program standards are eligible to apply.
    • Commissioned Officers: who have been separated or removed from active duty from any Service as a result of non-selection for promotion, extension, or integration may not apply for any Coast Guard commissioning program.
    • Conditional Release: Members currently in another military service (or IRR) and CG Reservists must furnish an approved DD368 form (conditional release) in their application package.  
      • Release approval (validity) period: The release shall be valid, at a minimum, through the date of the panels for which the applicant is applying.  Ideally, the release should be valid through the projected accession date for that panel.
      • CG Reservists, CG IRR, and Other Military Service IRR: Recruiters shall submit the DD368 (with only Section I complete) to CGRC Accessions branch at
      • CG Active Duty Enlisted: do not need a conditional release
      • Members of Other Military Services (except IRR): The applicant shall submit the DD368 (with Section I complete) through their chain of command to their services’ authorizing official* (which is different for each service).  Once approved, the DD368 and any other approval documents (i.e. Service Memorandum) shall be submitted in the application package.
  10. Physical (Medical): Must pass a commissioning physical (including):
    • Normal Color Vision
    • Meet height/weight standards
    • CG members: Must meet MAW or Body Fat standards as per COMDTINST M1020.8 (series)
    • Shall complete a structured physical fitness program while at DCO School
  11. Test Score: There is no test score requirement for DCCO.
  12. Program Specific Requirements:
    • Experience: Applicants must have a minimum of 5 years of documented experience in a cyber-operational role. This experience may include:
      • Executing, managing, overseeing, or developing cyberspace operations within Cybersecurity, Information Assurance, Cyber Threat Intelligence, Cyber Risk Management, Computer Network Architect, Information Security Analysist, Network and Computer Systems Administrator, Computer and Information, Systems Manager, and Information Systems Manager.
    • Clearance:
      • All applicants must currently hold and be able to maintain Director or Central Intelligence Directive (DCID 6/4) Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) eligibility, i.e.  a “top secret clearance” and be able to provide evidence of this type of current clearance with their application.  If selected, applicants will be eligible for “reciprocity” wherein the CG honors the adjudication decision by the losing agency. 
      • Applicants who have separated from military service or the agency that granted the clearance within less than 24 months would be also be eligible for reciprocity and would be considered to have an “active” clearance for program eligibility purposes.
  13. Tattoos: Applicants may not have tattoos or body markings that are inconsistent with the CG tattoo, body marking, body piercing, and mutilation policy.
  14. DCO Pre-Reporting Guide: Applicants must have read and understood the DCO Pre-Reporting Guide.

DCCO Appointment Grades and Term of Service

  1. Selected applicants will receive a three-year Extended Active Duty (EAD) contract.
  2. The selection panel determines the appointment grade of each selectee, based on education, training, and work experience.
  3. Selectees may receive a commission as a(n):
    • Ensign (0-1), USCG or USCGR- Baccalaureate degree, with 5 years relevant work experience.
    • Lieutenant Junior Grade (0-2), USCG or USCGR- Master's degree with five years of relevant work experience.
    • Lieutenant (0-3), USCG or USCGR- Doctorate with five years of relevant work experience, or a master's degree with seven years of relevant work experience.

Application Process

If you are ready to apply, you must visit the Plan Your Next Move to become an Active Duty Coast Guard Officer” page and follow the application process.