The Direct Commission Officer (DCO) program selects individuals from the Coast Guard Enlisted or Warrant Officer ranks, prior officers from other U.S. military services, Public Health Service (PHS) officers, Maritime Academy graduates and prior civilians with professional degrees on an "as needed" basis to satisfy the needs of the service. The mission of the DCO course is to prepare these newly commissioned officers to serve effectively in the United States Coast Guard. The DCO course is four or five weeks in duration, depending on each member's prior experience, and provides a basic foundation on which to build successful careers as Coast Guard officers. Topics covered include time management, teamwork, professional writing, CG business practices, Leadership and Management (LAMS) and Officer Evaluation Reports. Generally PHS officers, prior trained military officers and Direct Commission Aviators will attend the four-week course. Unless otherwise indicated on their orders to the course, all other members will attend the five-week course which includes a brief military indoctrination period to enhance the understanding of military culture, customs and courtesies.
If you have been selected for the DCO program, consult the Pre-Reporting Guide for specific information to prepare you for the course.
DCO Pre-Reporting Guide
More information on the Coast Guard's Direct Commissioning Program
American Council on Education (A.C.E.) Accreditation
Course #: 340190
Location: Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut
Length: 4-5 weeks (150-214 hours)
Exhibit Dates: 1/11–Present
Credits: In the lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category, if student took 5-week course, 2 semester hours in military science and 3 in supervision; or if student took 4-week course, 1 semester hour in military science, and 3 in supervision (2/11)