Direct Commission Programs

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The Direct Commission Officer programs represent one of the primary ways that the Coast Guard meets critical specialty needs. These programs are designed for highly motivated individuals with specialized education and experience ranging from engineering, law, and aviation, among other areas. Explore our Direct Commission programs below.

Direct Commission Aviator (DCA)

Coast Guard aviators are involved in almost every mission including drug interdiction, immigration, search and rescue, marine environmental protection, marine safety, fisheries and law enforcement in the maritime environment.

Direct Commission Physician Assistant (DCPA) Program​Are you a trained Physician Assistant? The Direct Commission Physician Assistant (DCPA) program is your opportunity to serve your country in the Coast Guard within your specialty!

Direct Commission Engineer (DCE)

The direct commission engineer (DCE) program provides engineers and technologists with leadership opportunities in program management, implementing systems that enable and support Coast Guard missions. Experienced C4IT engineers are needed to advance our systems infrastructure in a rapidly modernizing organization.

Direct Commission Intelligence Officer (DCIO)

Since 2001, when the Coast Guard became a member of Homeland Security and the U.S. Intelligence Community, the modern Coast Guard Intelligence Program has cultivated extensive partnerships with other elements of the national intelligence community to provide timely, tailored support for a wide range of Coast Guard and national missions.

Direct Commission Selected School (DCSS) Program

College graduates and college seniors who have proven their character and leadership through a reserve officer training corps (ROTC) program, corps of cadets membership, or attendance at one of the federal military academies may apply to receive a direct commission as a leader in the Coast Guard.

Maritime Academy Graduate (MARGRAD)

Maritime Academy Graduates have education and training that enhances the Coast Guard's ability to carry out its operational missions. Individuals selected will serve as a Coast Guard Reserve officer on full-time active duty.

Prior Trained Military Officer (PTMO)

Current or former military officers with training or degrees in critically needed areas have the opportunity to apply for a direct commission in the Coast Guard.