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Become a Ready Reserve Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service

The Ready Reserve Corps offers a unique opportunity for its officers to serve their local community as well as their country in times of public health emergencies or in underserved areas.

Officer in operational dress uniform and face mask stands with arms folded.

The Ready Reserve Corps is a part of an elite group of Commissioned Corps' “America’s Health Responders” who promote, protect and advance the health and safety of the Nation.  

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020 provides both the authority and funding for the establishment of the Ready Reserve Corps. The USPHS Commissioned Corps will accept Ready Reserve Corps applications online beginning in Fall 2020, and will commission its first officers in Spring 2021.

The Ready Reserve Corps will provide trained and ready personnel to fill critical public health needs and will:

Support capacity

Support the USPHS Commissioned Corps’ capacity to respond to regional, national, and global health emergencies and improve access to health services

Preserve care positions

Preserve clinical care positions by maintaining a surge capacity of health professionals available for deployment without jeopardizing the service of clinicians in hard-to-fill roles

Offer flexible commitment

Offer an opportunity to serve for mission-driven clinical and public health professionals who cannot commit to a full-time active duty position in the Corps

Enable access to skill sets

Enable access to highly specialized skill sets that would be impractical in full-time active duty positions

The USPHS Commissioned Corps is looking for service-driven individuals who desire to work in public health programs and clinical settings. The USPHS Commissioned Corps is an all-officer uniformed service of public health professionals from various public health and medical disciplines. The USPHS Commissioned Corps is comprised of officers from 11 distinct professional categories: Dietitian, Health Service Officer, Environmental Health Officer, Pharmacist, Scientist, Engineer, Therapist, Veterinarian, Physician, Dentist, and Nurse.

USERRA is a federal statute that protects servicemembers’ and veterans’ civilian employment rights. Among other things, under certain conditions, USERRA requires employers to put individuals back to work in their civilian jobs after military service. USERRA also protects servicemembers from discrimination in the workplace based on their military service or affiliation. To find out more information on USERRA, please visit:


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