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You can earn a commission as an officer in the Coast Guard through the Coast Guard Academy, Officer Candidate School, direct commissioning, and the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI).
Applicants for all programs must be physically qualified, U.S. citizens and possess high moral character.
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, located in New London, Connecticut, accepts about 250 young men and women each year. The four-year academic program leads to a bachelor of science degree in a variety of majors. Approximately 75 percent of the academy graduates earn degrees in technical areas such as engineering, sciences and mathematics. Each major provides a sound undergraduate education in a field of interest to the Coast Guard and prepares the cadet to assume initial duty as a junior officer. Upon graduation, the cadet is commissioned as an ensign in the Coast Guard. Appointment as a cadet is based solely on an annual nationwide competition. It is not necessary to obtain a nomination from a Senator or Representative. The competition includes either the College Board Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing Assessment (ACT), high school rank in class, community service and leadership qualities. Interested students should apply during the fall of their senior year in high school.
Officer Candidate School
The Officer Candidate School is precommissioning training for college graduates who want to become Coast Guard officers. Candidates attend a 17-week officer training course at Yorktown, Virginia. The physical and academic curriculum is demanding. In addition to physical training, candidates study navigation, ships operations, seamanship, Coast Guard orientation and leadership. Upon completion, candidates are commissioned as ensigns in the Coast Guard Reserve.
You can study to prepare for the ASVAB. Degree would be purely up to you, since your college career would fall under new GI bill and will allow you to have funding for you school.