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Operations Specialist

Related Civilian Jobs:

The skills and knowledge Operations Specialists acquire make them highly desirable to federal, state, and local emergency planning, preparedness, and response organizations.

Civilian Positions:

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator – up to $60,000 annually
Homeland Security Officer – up to $70,000 annually
Emergency Management Specialist – up to $90,000 annually
Emergency Services Planning Director – up to $115,000 annually

Types of Duty:

Operations specialists have assignments throughout the Coast Guard, serving primarily at command centers and aboard large cutters around the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam.  The most common OS entry-level positions are assigned to 418’, 378’, 270’ and 210’ cutters, communications stations and sector command centers. OSs normally work in watch teams of two or more. These teams work in shifts to provide around the clock command, control, communications, planning, and response to emergent events including Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Pollution, and other serious maritime incidents. Throughout their career, both afloat and ashore, an OS will participate in all aspects of operational planning and execution, working with decision makers and operators to accomplish Coast Guard missions 24 hours a day.

Training Available:

To become an OS, you will attend 13 weeks of Coast Guard Operations Specialist 'A' School, in Petaluma, CA. While in OS 'A' School, you'll receive training in handling classified information, navigation, communications systems, and software applications used for planning search and rescue missions.

The USCG Operations Specialist School is ACE accredited, meaning credits will transfer to most colleges across the country.


You should have the ability to work in a stressful and high-paced environment, interest and aptitudes for working with computer-based applications, exceptional attention to detail and a selfless dedication to protecting the maritime public. You must have normal color vision, normal hearing, be a U.S. citizen and be eligible to obtain a secret security clearance.


The National Incident Management System (NIMS) guides all levels of our government, and private sector to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all threats and hazards regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity. NIMS applies to all incidents from traffic accidents to major disasters.

As an Operations Specialist you will have the opportunity to earn National Incident Management System operational certifications to include:

Communications Unit Leader (COML): Responsible for the effective use of communications equipment and facilities, including installing, testing, distribution, maintenance and repair of communications equipment for the incident and supervision of incident communications center.

Situation Unit Leader (SITL): Responsible for processing and organizing ongoing situation information, preparing situation summaries, and developing projection and forecasts of future events related to the incident. Responsible for managing the Situation Unit including Field Observers, Display Processors, GIS and other technical specialists.

The skills and knowledge Operations Specialists acquire make them highly desirable to federal, state, and local emergency planning, preparedness, and response organizations.

Signing Bonus

Check with your local recruiter about bonus availability. Qualified Operations Specialist applicants may receive a $10,000 sign-on bonus. A four-year commitment is required.

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