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Why Join

Officer Candidate School (OCS) is the Coast Guard's general officer commissioning program, open to civilians, prior service members, and Coast Guard enlisted members. The OCS application process is one of the most competitive of any Coast Guard officer program. Candidates must demonstrate leadership skills, project management experience, and strong academic credentials.

Career Paths

When you join through OCS, every Coast Guard officer specialty is open to you.


OCS is an intensive 17-week course of instruction in leadership and military subjects to prepare you for any Coast Guard officer career. The course convenes twice a year, beginning in late summer and mid-winter, and is held at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.