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My Coast Guard
Commentary | June 15, 2023

Boost your competitive edge with an Emergency Management Credential

By Steven Maynard

Did you know the Coast Guard Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Response (CG-OEM) has a professional emergency management credential available to all Coast Guard service members, civilians, and now DHS employees? The Coast Guard Emergency Management Credential (CGEMC) program rolled out in the spring of 2021 to build on the diverse emergency-management experience of members throughout the service. The CGEMC program is part of a larger Coast Guard-wide expansion of its emergency management capacity. Consider applying for your EM credential to not only enhance force readiness but your professional readiness too. 

About the CGEMC program 

The CGEMC program has successfully advanced the emergency management (EM) profession within the Coast Guard, which led to the program’s recent expansion to DHS headquarters staff.  

Credential criteria consists of mandatory and optional training courses, which are largely available through FEMA, and documented EM experience showing evidence of participation in full-scale exercises, real-world disaster or planned events, or special events.  

The program is recognized by the International Association of Emergency Managers. For USCG members applying for their Certified Emergency Manager® and Associate Emergency Manager® certifications, the credential is considered a creditable professional contribution under the category of “Certification Related to Emergency Management.” 

CGEMC bench strength continues to deepen. The inaugural CGEMC Board in Spring 2021 reviewed 53 applications, resulting in 50 credentials awarded; 39 of the applicants were currently certified emergency managers or previously certified through a state emergency-management agency. The boards, which meet twice per year to review applications and award credentials, have convened four times since the program’s inception and have credentialed a total of 121 emergency managers. The CGEMC program is part of a larger Coast Guard-wide push to expand its emergency management discipline. Seeking your credential is the perfect way to supplement not only force readiness but your professional readiness.  

Applying for the credential 

The following groups may apply: 

  • Coast Guard active duty, reserve, or auxiliary members.  
  • Active duty and reserve members (officer or enlisted). 
  • Coast Guard civilian employees. 
  • New! DHS headquarters employees with an email. 

Important considerations while applying include:  

  • Due dates. Credential applications are due annually by Sept. 15 for the fall board and March 15 for the Spring board. 
  • Requirements. Applicants must be able to prove they meet the program’s requirements, which are specified in CG-OEM’s Emergency Management Credential Application Guide. This guide contains all information and resources needed to provide a successful application, including frequently asked questions as well as templates modeled after successful applications. 
  • Work history. Applicants’ work history must provide clear evidence that their work experience in EM encompasses at least four of the five mission areas in FEMA’s National Preparedness Goal:  prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.  
  • Professional contributions. Professional contributions to the EM field, as well as education, professional references, and successful test scores are required. The proctored test is based on required FEMA independent study courses. You must score 75% or better to pass.  

Qualified applicants seeking to apply for the credential, or anyone requiring application  
guidance, please visit the CGEMC SharePoint page for more information.  

For comments or questions, please contact COMDT (CG-OEM-1): CDR Laura Miller at (202) 372-2143 or

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