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Are You Ready to Join?

The U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps active duty component is a full time, deployable, uniformed service. Officer candidates have an exciting opportunity to secure a position with qualifying federal agencies that meets the needs of the USPHS Commissioned Corps. This can be accomplished through direct agency hire, applying to positions that provide direct clinical care, and/or agencies that meet the needs of underserved populations. Explore job opportunities.

Officer candidates must secure a position within one (1) year post appointment board recommendation or their application will be closed. After six (6) months, if an officer candidate has not secured a position, they will be referred to a mission priority agency including, but not limited to, Indian Health Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Immigration Customs Enforcement Health Service Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Defense Health Agency for potential selection.


Requirements to Join

For more application process information please review the 8 steps to Become an Active Duty U.S. Public Health Service Officer and the Disqualifying Medical and Dental Conditions.


Opportunities To Join

PhysicianDentist, and Veterinarian applications are accepted year-round.

We are accepting active duty applications for all eligible categories/disciplines.

The Reserve Commissioned Corps is not accepting new applications at this time.
Applications will open in the future pending additional funding and vacant positions.

For additional opportunities to serve, please visit the PHERST and Ready Reserve webpages.

Also check out our Officer and Student Training Program opportunities.

Open application periods are subject to change, please check our website periodically for updates.


COSTEP

(Commissioned Officer Student Training and Externship Program)

COSTEPs are highly competitive, active-duty uniformed service programs for full time students pursuing their qualifying degrees. Please visit Officer and Student Training Programs for information on COSTEP eligibility and requirements.

Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 grading scale in his/her qualifying degree.

Limited number of complete applications accepted per program.

JRCOSTEP

Junior COSTEPs serve on active duty for 31-120 days during school breaks. Within three months after the date of completion of the JRCOSTEP assignment, applicants must be scheduled to return to college or university as a full-time student; or enter a postgraduate degree program. Please review the policy before you apply.

Please refer to the policy and FAQs for more details.

SRCOSTEP

Senior COSTEPs serve on active duty while attending their final year of academic study and incur a service obligation equal to twice the time sponsored upon graduation. Please review the policy before you apply.

Please refer to the policy and FAQs for more details.

SRCOSTEP participants are also subject to the Commissioned Service Obligation upon fulfillment of training obligation. Please review the CSO CCMIS FAQs.

PHSCOSTEP@HHS.GOV

Thank you for expressing an interest in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.


Click Here for Application Guidance/Instructions:

Before initiating the preliminary screening questionnaire, please read this page in its entirety. This page contains information to assist you in applying. 

Applicants interested in applying to the U.S. Public Health Service will need at least 3 persons (including current supervisor) they can ensure will provide timely references. Please review the Applicant Completion Checklist here prior to starting your application.  Please note that the documents below are a sample of required documents.

  1. Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  2. Identity documents listed here:  Application Identity Document
  3. Naturalization Certificate or other proof of U.S. Citizenship if you were NOT born a United States citizen/NOT born in the United States
  4. ALL professional licenses (Active and Expired)
  5. NURSES ONLY – a copy of NCLEX results showing you passed (in addition to your license)

You may be required to provide additional documentation below based on your preliminary screening questionnaire responses.

This information is provided to you in advance to identify additional information that may be required. 

PRIOR SERVICE:

Interested applicants who have prior uniform service will be required to have the following documentation available. It is recommended that you have the documents prior to initiating the preliminary screening questionnaire:  

IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY:

It is recommended that you gather the following documentation prior to initiating your preliminary screening:

  • The last five (5) officer or enlisted evaluations
  • Copy of all DD 214s (Member-4 Copy REQUIRED) and/or all NGB 22s (The Current Tour DD-214 MUST be submitted once available after USPHS Call to Duty effective date)
  • Request a PHS 6134 Statement of Service from your respective service
  • Copy of all point sheets for current and/or prior service (if applicable)
  • Oath or other Appointment Documents and any Call to Active Duty Orders
  • Copy of Request for Inter-Service Transfer to the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (please refer to DOD Instruction 1300.04 and PHS Policy CCPM 23.3.5 for IST request)
  • MUST submit signed and dated Inter-service transfer statement of understanding (page 15 of PHS inter-service transfer policy – Appendix D)
  • Final approval of Inter-service Transfer MUST be received before orders for U.S. Public Health Service can be issued
  • Statement indicating intent to separate from active duty prior to obtaining a commission in the Corps OR Separation Orders
  • Report of security clearance held by officer
  • Official documentation that includes:
    • Full name, social security number and home of record
    • Current grade and date of promotion or appointment in current grade
    • Current duty assignment, duty station, branch (Medical, etc.)
    • Promotion history report/records
    • Copies of disciplinary record and derogatory information if applicable

IF YOU HAVE PRIOR UNIFORMED SERVICE (ACTIVE OR INACTIVE):

Upload the following documents to your Applicant Enrollment System (AES) account:

  • The last five (5) officer or enlisted evaluations
  • Copy of all DD 214s (Member-4 Copy REQUIRED) and/or all NGB 22s Request a PHS 6134 Statement of Service from your respective service
  • Request a PHS 6134 Statement of Service from your respective service
  • Copy of all point sheets for current and/or prior service
  • Oath or other Appointment Documents and any Call to Active Duty Orders
    DD 368 Request for Conditional Release OR Proof of Discharge if your DD-214 indicates transfer into any component in block 9, you MUST provide this, whether your Reserve Obligation Term Date has passed or not. A Reserve Obligation Term Date is NOT a guarantee of discharge
  • Discharge Orders or Discharge Certificate
  • Report of security clearance held
  • Official documentation that includes
    • Full name, social security number and home of record
    • Current grade and date of promotion or appointment in current grade
    • Current duty assignment, duty station, branch (Medical, etc.)
    • Promotion history report/records
    • Copies of disciplinary record and derogatory information if applicable

Note: If you have more than 8 years but less than 15 years of prior active duty military service in another uniform service or will reach over 8 years of active duty service prior to becoming a Public Health Service officer, you will require an additional Time In Service (TIS) waiver approval.

Your TIS waiver request will be provided to the Surgeon General for a final review and decision. It may take between 2-4 months before you will be notified of the final decision.

AGE REQUIREMENTS:

Interested applicants who have prior uniform service will be required to have the following documentation available. It is recommended that you have the documents prior to initiating the preliminary screening questionnaire:  

  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. Provide any supporting documentation to support your age waiver request (Written justification, proof of civil service or prior active duty military service that may offset your age).
  3. Include your current age and your date of birth in the mm/dd/yyyy format in your supporting documentation

PRIOR PHS:

Prior PHS officers interested in reapplying to the Corps will be required to Upload a current CV/resume containing their PHS SERNO.

TATTOOS/BODY ART/BRANDING/PIERCING OR DENTAL ORNAMENTATION:

Tattoos on the head, face, neck above the collar bone, scalp or exposed skin are not permitted. Tattoos elsewhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order, discipline, and morale or are of a nature to bring discredit upon the Corps are prohibited.

Tattoo (s), body art, branding, piercing(s) or dental ornamentation on exposed and non-exposed skin must be reported. If you have a tattoo(s), body art, branding, piercing, or dental ornamentation, on exposed or non-exposed skin, please submit two color photographs (one close up view; one full body view) of all such tattoo(s), body art, brand, piercing or dental ornamentation. A detailed description of the meaning and/or significance of all tattoos on exposed and non-exposed skin must be included with the photographs.

While wearing an appropriately sized white crew neck t-shirt, provide additional views. For all tattoo(s), body art or branding exposed beyond the limits of the t-shirt or exposed skin below the knee (s), use a dollar bill and place on top of each tattoo(s), to reflect the size.

Note that the falsification or other nondisclosure of information may result in the immediate close out of your application and forfeits your ability to apply to the U.S. Public Health Service.

Applicants needing a waiver are required to upload and submit all supporting waiver documentation within 15 days of receiving the “Next Steps” email.  Note:  Waiver documentation not received within 15 days will result in closure of your waiver request(s). 

All applicants are required to submit their PHS-50 and supporting documentation within 30 days of receiving the congratulatory email. 

Please ensure your application is COMPLETE. Incomplete applications will be CLOSED. Applicants with CLOSED applications can re-apply when their category/discipline reopens.


8 Steps to Become an Active Duty U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Public Health Service Officer
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Commissioning Process

Phase one

Submit application and supporting documents. Applications are reviewed for compliance with general and category- specific standards. Qualified applicants are moved to the next steps of the process.

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Phase two

Apply to job opportunities at one of our 20+ partner Agencies. Once you are offered and accept a position within an agency you will complete your security clearance. You will begin your journey as an active duty officer when all requirements for commission are complete.

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Last Updated: 10/19/2023
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