Application Process to
Active Duty Military
Judge Advocate General (JAG) Attorney
Thank you for your interest in applying to the
Coast Guard Direct Commission Lawyer (DCL) Program!
The DCL program accepts applications throughout the year, via a local Coast Guard recruiter. The recruiting cycle runs with the federal fiscal year, starting 01 October until the following 30 September. Between one and three deadlines for application and their subsequent selection panels occur in the first half (October- March) of the fiscal year, with accession and training in the last half of the same fiscal year (July or August). To find a recruiter and updated information regarding panel deadlines go to www.gocoastguard.com.
To complete an application you will need to do the following:
Download and complete the
forms from the Coast
Guard Recruiting Command (CGRC) website. Please be aware that some forms are not
available online. You must get them from your local recruiter.
Coast Guard recruiter
or chat with a CG recruiter by visiting the gocoastguard.com website and clicking "chat now.
Your recruiter will facilitate:
(1) assembly of the required paperwork,
(2) scheduling of the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) physical, and
(3) scheduling a formal interview.
Your recruiter must receive all three parts of your package by the “RO” deadline posted on the website. The recruiter manages and controls the entire process, but you should be persistent and proactive.
year the Coast Guard hires 5 to 12 new DCLs from a pool of 60 to 160 completed
and fully qualified applications out of hundreds of interested candidates
(numbers are approximate based on averaging historical data). If selected for a
commission, you can expect one of the following schedules:
After completing DCO School all DCLs will spend approximately two weeks completing various types of operational orientation training. While this training may include time onboard a Coast Guard Cutter, it may also include time at a Coast Guard Sector, District Office, Small Boat Station or Air Station.
All DCLs should make every effort to report to their units before any training begins. This will vary depending on personal circumstances. If not already reported aboard your unit, you will report after operational training but before Naval Justice School (NJS).
Each NJS Class is ten weeks long and is conducted with the newly accessed Navy and Marine Corps Judge Advocates. The NJS curriculum includes break-out sessions for each service to focus on service-specific legal training as well as specific training on the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Military Legal Assistance, as appropriate.
Yes, you are very likely move; that is an expectation of the position to which
you are applying. In the Coast Guard Legal Program possible duty stations
include: Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Washington, DC; Norfolk, VA; Miami, FL; New
Orleans, LA; Alameda, CA, Juneau, AK; or Honolulu, HI.
However, you are not guaranteed any of them. While not every office will have an
opening each year, one can usually, but not always, expect billet vacancies in
Washington DC (CG Headquarters), Norfolk, VA, or Alameda, CA, simply because
they are our larger offices. All
other openings will depend on yearly rotations.
If selected, you will be provided with a list of vacancies (we call them “billets”); shortly after your selection and notification. After receiving the list of available billets, you will be asked to rank-order them, based on your personal preferences, and return the form to the officer in charge of making assignments, also known as the “detailer”. Your detailer will talk with you about your selections. Every effort will be made to place you into one of your top choices but keep in mind that due to limited slots, needs of the service, or other external factors, your top choice may not be available. You will, however, know where you are going prior to signing your contract.
If you are assigned to Washington DC, you can expect to “rotate” between two different offices during your first four-year tour. For example, you may work two years in the Office of Environmental Law and then pack your office and go down the hall to the Office of Military Justice for your next two years. You will serve four years in the same city. If your assignment is to Norfolk, VA, or Alameda, CA, (our Legal Service Command and Detachment, respectively) you can expect to rotate between at least three different offices during your tour (again four years). Finally, if you are assigned to a District Legal office, you will not rotate between offices because the district staffs do a little bit of everything--every day.
This is a snapshot of what you can expect during the application/selection process. Below you will find contact information for the DCL Program Manager (for any/all questions regarding the legal program) and the Coast Guard Recruiting Command DCL Coordinator (for issues regarding the application process that your recruiter can not answer).
LT Kate Grossman, JAG,
Direct Commission Lawyer Program Manager
- (202) 372-3822 or 1-866-664-6245 x 23822
Fax - (202) 372-3966
LT Ashly Thomas or LTjg
U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting Command
2300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600
Office - (202) 578-7642
E-mail - Ashly.L.Thomas@uscg.mil
Office - (703) 872-6899
E-mail - Luke.T.D'Lima@uscg.mil