An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 30, 2023

Do you qualify for an exemption for Basic Boarding Officer Course and/or Boarding Officer Practical Course?   

By Kyle Ford, MyCG Writer 

If you have previous law enforcement (LE) training experience, you may be able to apply that toward your Coast Guard career as a boarding officer. You may request an exemption for the Basic Boarding Officer Course (BBOC) or Boarding Officer Practical Course (BOPC) putting your LE experience and accredited courses to work for you in the Coast Guard.   

If you have graduated a peace officer standard of training (POST), or Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA) Academy, and if you also completed the Initial Law Enforcement Qualification Course, you may be eligible for the exemption.  

This practice takes advantage of the existing training and experiences of previous and current LE officers, according to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Lee Conroy, policy program manager for the Basic and Practical Boarding Officer Courses, assigned to the Office of Law Enforcement Policy and Standards, Commandant (CG-MLE-2).  

The experience that our members possess could grow the reserve boarding officer strength to a level that would take six years to achieve through the traditional school process, according to Conroy.   

“The practice will also reduce pressure on schools by eliminating the need for experienced individuals to attend,” he added.  

Boarding team members (BTMs) must also meet certain time requirements to include:  

  • Have been command certified as a BTM for a minimum of two years;  
  • Certified as a BTM in the last three years; 
  • Employed by an LE agency outside of the U.S. Coast Guard within the last five years; 
  • Employed by an LE agency outside of the U.S. Coast Guard for a minimum of three years; and 
  • If no longer employed by an LE agency outside of the U.S. Coast Guard, you must have separated in good standing. 

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee an automatic exemption from the courses. Your application will be adjudicated by CG-MLE-2. 

You can find the package submission form at MLE Training Exemption Requests. Once your command endorses your package, email it to COMDT (CG-MLE-2), with “Boarding Officer Academy Exemption Request” in the subject line. Packages will then be adjudicated by a board comprised of MLE subject matter experts.  

If you are approved for this exemption, your accredited academy will be an accepted substitute for any U.S. Coast Guard competency that requires completing BBOC/BOPC (for example attending the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy Law Enforcement Instructor Course). 


  • MLE Training Exemption Requests Sharepoint Site 
  • Exemption for Boarding Officer (BO) Qualification Eligibility Requirements Qualification Eligibility ALCOAST 116-23