Prior Trained Military Officer (PTMO)Back to Top
- Many of the below items reference the Officer Application Job Aid Kit (O-JAK).
Current or former military officers have the opportunity to apply for a direct commission in the United States Coast Guard. Applicants who are selected to this program will likely receive a duty assignment based on their experience.
Initial Assignments and Training:
PTMOs 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. PTMOs will then go TDY to the DCO course. The DCO course will be 4 weeks in duration. At DCO training, PTMOs 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, PTMOs will return to their unit.
PTMOs can anticipate broadening their experience within the community of their initial assignment, with increasing levels of leadership and management exposure with progression in rank. Likewise, PTMO officers have opportunities for special assignments and operational assignments.
PTMO Eligibility Requirements:
- Age: Have reached your 21st but not your 41st birthday as of 30 September of the fiscal year in which the selection panel convenes.
- Character Standards:
- All applicants must be of outstanding moral character, and must meet the requirements of Appendices 3 and 4 of the O-JAK.
- Applicants currently in the Coast Guard: Applicants are ineligible for commissioning if in the 36 months prior to the first DCO class panel 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 (CG Form 3307), or been involved in an alcohol-related incident.
- Citizenship: Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Clearance: Must be eligible for a Secret Clearance
- If single, may not have sole or primary custody of dependents.
- May not have more than 3 dependents (your spouse is considered your dependent, regardless of military status).
- Have a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited program.
- College Seniors: are eligible to apply if all of the below are met:
- Baccalaureate degree will be conferred prior to commissioning date, which will occur approximately 30 days prior to the first DCO course convening for which the panel is making selections.
- The applicant provides an official letter from their college registrar certifying their enrollment, degree, major, GPA, and anticipated date of graduation.
- 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).
- 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, 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 re-payment of those loans.
- Interview: PTMO applicants must receive the recommendation of a Coast Guard interview board, administered by 3 Coast Guard officers.
- Military Service:
- Have completed at least 2 years of commissioned active-duty or Reserve service in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard by the selection panel convening date.
- Have less than 10 years of non-Coast Guard active-duty military service as of commissioning date, which is equivalent to the date that the applicant, if selected, will take their oath of office.
- If not currently in the service, have a break of service of less than 4 years from date of discharge from active duty or Reserve service in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard.
- 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.
- 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 (14 Nov 16 or 24 Apr 17) 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 CGR-SMB-DD368@uscg.mil.
- 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.
- 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 M1020.8H
- Civilians and Members of Other Military Services: see Appendix 1 of the O-JAK
- Shall complete a structured physical fitness program while at DCO School.
- Test Score: There is no test score requirement for PTMO.
- Tattoos: Applicants may not have tattoos or body markings that are inconsistent with the CG tattoo, body marking, body piercing, and mutilation policy.
PTMO Appointment Grades and Term of Service:
- Selected applicants will receive a 3 year active duty obligation.
- The selection panel determines the appointment grade of each selectee, based on education, training, and work experience.
- Selectees will receive a commission as an Ensign (O-1 or O-1E) or Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2 or O-2E)
PTMO Frequently Asked Questions:
- Refer to page 127 of the OJAK for program FAQs
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, which includes downloading the application check list.