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Active Duty Updates

The active duty component is a full time deployable uniformed service whose Public Health Service officers seek employment at government agencies. Please review the 8 Steps to Become an Active U.S. Public Health Service Officer for more information.

The following categories are open year-round: Physician, Dentist, and Veterinarian.

Currently we are also accepting applications for the following categories/disciplines:  

  • Dental Hygiene
  • Dietitian
  • Environmental Health
  • Engineer
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Scientist
  •       Clinical Psychologist
  • Therapist
  •   Audiologist
  •   Occupational Therapist
  •   Physical Therapist
  •   Respiratory Therapist
  •   Speech-Language Pathology
  •   Health Information Systems
  •   Health Informatics Specialist
  •   Health Information Management
  •   Health Records Administration
  •   Healthcare Administration
  •   Health Services - Master of Public Health (non-environmental health)
  •   Medical Technology
  •   Nurse
  •   Optometry
  •   Pharmacist
  •   Podiatry
  •   Physician Assistant
  

Please check our website periodically for updates on open application periods for all other categories.

PHSOS-CADQuestions@hhs.gov

PHERST

(Public Health Emergency Response Strike Team)

https://www.USPHS.gov/pherst

PHERST is an active duty deployment oriented team with high-level clinical skills and the flexibility to deploy within eight hours in response to national or public health emergencies.

Applicants are reviewed through the regular active duty application process and preference may be noted within your application.

Currently seeking applicants with strong clinical skills and experiences including:

Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Pharmacists, Behavioral Health Disciplines (Clinical Psychologist and LCSW), Environmental Health Officers.

PHSPHERST@hhs.gov

Ready Reserve Updates

https://www.USPHS.gov/Ready-Reserve

The US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Ready Reserve Corps allows individuals to serve in uniform part-time while maintaining civilian employment. Officers in the Ready Reserve Corps drill one weekend per month and two weeks per year and deploy in response to public health emergencies alongside Regular Corps officers.

Applications are open year-round for all professional categories.

Ready Reserve Q&A Information Sessions are held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 4:00pm EST.

USPHSReserveAffairs@hhs.gov

COSTEP

(Commissioned Officer Student Training and Externship Program)

https://www.USPHS.gov/students/

COSTEP is a highly competitive short-term program for students obtaining their qualifying degrees. Junior COSTEPs serve on active duty for 31-120 days during school breaks. Senior COSTEPs serve on active duty while attending their final year of academic study with a service obligation equal to twice the time sponsored upon graduation.

SRCOSTEP application acceptance period extended until September 30th, 2022.

Application acceptance June 1 – July 31 for the 2023 school year.

Limited number of complete applications accepted per program.

PHSCOSTEP@HHS.GOV

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

Ready to Apply 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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How To Apply

Phase one

Submit your application. A board of officers will review your application and decide whether to call you for an interview. You’ll also need to pass a medical exam.

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Phase two

Apply to job opportunities at one of our 20+ partner agencies. Complete your security clearance while you search and interview. Once you are offered and accept a position within an agency, you’ll begin your journey as an active duty officer.

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Last Updated: 6/1/2022
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