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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 27, 2024

U.S. Naval Community College propels Coast Guard member to reach goals

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Laticia Sims, Recruiting Command Incident Management Team

OS2 Merrill Magowan, with Sector San Francisco Command Center, recently became the first Coast Guard member – and first servicemember ever — to graduate from United States Naval Community College (USNCC). Magowan earned his Associate of Arts in Military Studies through fully funded online classes at USNCC partner institution Arizona State University.  

USNCC works with active-duty enlisted Navy, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen (including Coast Guard Reservists) to apply credits earned from military training and prior education toward their associate degree. USNCC provides a five-course Naval Studies Certification that counts as 15 of the 60 credits required for associate degrees.  

Degree in hand, Petty Officer Magowan was selected for Officer Candidate School and will be off to New London this summer!  

“OS2 Magowan achievements shows dedication and excellence, highlighting the importance of learning alongside service,” said Command Master Chief Daniel Morales from Coast Guard Force Readiness Command. “We encourage members to consider the opportunities presented by USNCC and to take proactive steps toward their personal and professional growth.” 

How can you jump in on this USNCC opportunity? 

Apply by June 2 for the fall semester. The application is straightforward, with no need for high school transcripts or ACT/SAT scores. USNCC is fully funded and, though it’s not through the Coast Guard’s Tuition Assistance program, you will need command approval to apply.  

More than 3,500 enlisted members the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are currently pursuing a degree with USNCC and its partners. As a fully online school, USNCC makes it easy for you to pursue your education. Areas of study include organizational leadership, military studies, nuclear engineering technology, logistics, aviation maintenance technology, uncrewed systems, cybersecurity, and data analytics. USNCC is also developing several degree programs that are coming soon, including engineering, emergency management, and health sciences. 

“The USNCC definitely did a great job to balance the course load between being academically rigorous and being manageable for active-duty members,” said Magowan. “The Naval Studies Certificate was a good foundation to understand how my education integrates with my job, my career, and the Coast Guard.”  


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