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 | Sept. 26, 2023

Calling all Enlisted, Officer, and Civilian Leaders: apply to CHDS now!

By MyCG Staff

One of the most pivotal steps in becoming a successful homeland security and public safety leader is developing critical skills through higher learning, so why not advance your skillset through the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)?  CHDS offers programs for officers, enlisted and civilian leaders interested in furthering their homeland security career and growing their network. With all associated costs covered by CHDS, the time to apply is now!  

The programs include the following: 

  1. Emergence Program (GS-9 -12, active duty officers, active duty enlisted E5 and above)  
  2. Master’s Degree Program (GS-11 -15, SES or equivalent, active duty officers. active duty enlisted E5 and above)  
  3. Executive Leader’s Program (GS-14 -15, SES or equivalent, active duty officers O5 and above, active duty enlisted E8-E9 

Participants work alongside their homeland security peers at the federal, state and local level through a mix of in-person and online study.  And the curriculum is tailored to the participants, so they can immediately apply what they’ve learned at their home agency or unit. 

The Emergence Program is the perfect start for developing leaders, giving them the opportunity to participate in forums and labs to hone their skills, identify emerging trends in homeland security, and develop strategies to influence change. 

“Emergence allowed me to meet and interact with others in fields and jurisdictions that I would never have met,” said Lt. Alexis Wilde, one of the 140 Coast Guard CHDS alumni. “I gained a real understanding of their role in protecting the homeland security enterprise.” 

While Emergence is a great steppingstone for up-and-coming leaders, senior-level leaders can apply for the Executive Leaders Program (ELP). This program accommodates busy executive schedules and does not require the workload of traditional graduate-level programs. 

Designed to advance one’s ability to understand complex homeland security policies and threats, the ELP helps participants acquire a deeper understanding of current and emerging issues and best practices. Participants will also strengthen their network across agencies, regions, jurisdictions and within the private sector. Many Coast Guard participants have gone on to senior leadership roles within the Service. 

Professionals in significant homeland security related positions are encouraged to apply for the CHDS Master’s Degree Program. Students will engage in critical inquiry into current and emerging threats and collaborative pursuit of strategies, plans and programs to reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience. 

“I knew CHDS was the very best way to build upon my operational expertise by interacting in intellectual discussions with other homeland security leaders from all aspects of homeland security,” said a former Coast Guard attendee. “Gaining a broad-based understanding of all facets of homeland security in the collaborative environment of CHDS has made me a better leader.” 

For more information, application due dates and eligibility requirements, please follow the associated links for each program: 


Sign up to stay up-to-date on leadership and professional development news from the Office of Leadership