Overview
FAQs




What is the Commissioned Corps?
The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service is a team of more than 6,500 full-time, well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the Nation’s public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. As one of America’s seven uniformed services, the Commissioned Corps fills essential public health leadership and service roles within the Nation’s Federal Government agencies and programs. Officers serve their country in communities that are most in need by providing essential health care services to underserved and vulnerable populations.

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Who is the leader of the Commissioned Corps?
The Surgeon General is the leader of the Commissioned Corps. The Surgeon General reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health and in turn the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak is the Acting Surgeon General.

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In which professional fields do Corps officers serve?
As one of America's seven uniformed services, Commissioned Corps officers fill essential public health leadership and service roles within the Nation's Federal Government agencies and programs. A list of the professions that Corps officers serve can be found in the Career and Benefits section. To learn where officers in your discipline/category currently work, visit the Active Duty Station Map.

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In which Federal agencies and programs do Commissioned Corps officers serve?
Officers in the Commissioned Corps work in a variety of Federal agencies throughout the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including Indian Health Service (IHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as certain non-HHS Federal agencies/programs, such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BoP), Department of Defense (DoD), and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Health Service Corps (HSC). For further information on where commissioned officers work as well as a full list of the Federal agencies visit Where We Work.

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What types of positions do Commissioned Corps officers hold in the agencies where they serve?
Commissioned Corps officers hold positions in the areas of health care delivery; disease control and prevention; biomedical research; regulation of food, drugs, and medical devices; mental health and drug abuse. Refer to the Officer Video Profiles on the multimedia page to learn about life in the Corps.

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In what locations could I serve as a Commissioned Corps officer?
There are many opportunities to serve in the Commissioned Corps throughout the Nation. Refer to the Active Duty Station Map to learn more about the duty stations where Corps officers are currently serving.

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Would I have to change locations as a Commissioned Corps officer?
There are no specific requirements about the frequency of moves that an officer must make during his/her career. It is recommended for career development that an officer have at least 3 different programmatic or geographic experiences during their career.

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How does the Commissioned Corps differ from the military (armed forces)?
The mission of the Commissioned Corps differs from that of the armed forces (i.e., Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) in that the focus is on delivering the Nation's public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. The Commissioned Corps is a non-military uniformed service and Corps officers are not trained in arms. Officers have the flexibility and freedom to ensure they have a diverse and fulfilling career. As an officer in the Commissioned Corps, you may work throughout the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in other Federal agencies and programs. In addition, Corps officers have opportunities to participate in voluntary short-term efforts providing public health emergency response and disaster recovery support.

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Page Last Modified on 9/30/2013