Do I qualify as enlisted or as an officer?Back to Top
There are several ways to become an officer in the Coast Guard: By successfully graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, successfully completing Officer Candidate School (OCS), or through one of several Direct Commissioning Programs. You must have normal color vision for all officer programs.
Officer Candidate School (OCS) is 17 weeks of training in New London, CT. Studies include nautical science, law enforcement, seamanship, and leadership. When you graduate, you will be commissioned as an ensign (O1) with a three-year, initial active-duty obligation. Upon completion of your initial three years of active duty, you and the Coast Guard will decide if you can extend on active duty.
If you have a four-year college degree from an accredited college and meet the age, physical, and moral requirements, you may apply for OCS. Upon completion of your officer package, you will have an interview with three Coast Guard officers. The completed package will be submitted to a board who will select the top candidates from the packages they receive. For more information, please visit the OCS Home Page or visit your local recruiter.