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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Nov. 13, 2023

Prior Coast Guard officers can apply to re-enter service

By MyCG Team

In a previous article, we introduced you to the Return2Service Team (R2ST) - the Coast Guard’s special team to help Coast Guard members who separated due to the Coast Guard’s former COVID-19 vaccination mandate.  

R2ST has served as the single point of contact for enlisted members who separated - either voluntarily or involuntarily – and want to return. 

As the word has spread, officers who resigned their commissions have reached out to ask if they can also return to service.  

The answer is “YES!” 

Every year, Coast Guard Recruiting Command holds two panels to bring Prior Trained Military Officers (PTMOs) into the Coast Guard as direct commissioned officers. While many individuals think of this as solely a method to bring in officers from other services, that’s not the case. Coast Guard officers who previously served are also eligible to apply!  

Who’s Eligible?  

Eligible members are prior Coast Guard officers who resigned their commissions between Aug. 26, 2021, and Jan. 11, 2023, and who meet the Coast Guard’s PTMO program and accessions eligibility requirements. Officers who previously served as commissioned officers in the Regular or Reserve Component of any military Service and were separated or removed as a result of a force reduction or due to non-selection for promotion, extension, or integration are ineligible for Coast Guard commissioning programs.  

How does it work? 

Eligible members may apply through the process outlined in ALCGRECRUITING 005/23, and must meet the requirements found in the Coast Guard Recruiting Manual. The projected timeline for the PTMO panel is below. 

PTMO Panel Applications Due NLT Feb. 12, 2024
PTMO Records Review NLT April 19, 2024
PTMO Selection Panel Convenes April 29, 2024
EAD Contracts Begin December 2024


What happens if I am selected? Will I have to start over? 

Coast Guard policy allows appointments up to the grade of O-5 for under the PTMO program. Selected members will receive a Reserve commission and Extended Active Duty (EAD) orders for three years. Officers who are selected to promote on a ‘best qualified’ promotion board can request integration and continue to serve on active duty.  

Coast Guard servicemembers are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This update keeps us aligned with the Department of Defense, which was required by law to repeal its own COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

Who can I talk to? 

PTMO panels are conducted by Coast Guard Recruiting Command. Your primary contact will be your local recruiter. Commands with known members who separated due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate should direct those interested members to their local recruiters to initiate the application process.  


In the News 

DOD Rescinds COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate > U.S. Department of Defense > Release  

Return to Service Team Initative  


Coast Guard Recruiting 

ALCOAST 291/23  

ALCOAST 440/23  


Return2Service Website/FAQs