Overview on the Public Health System - Commissioned Corps
Who joins the Corps?
The Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,000 well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the Nation's public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. Driven by a passion for public service, these men and women serve on the frontlines in the Nation's fight against disease and poor health conditions.
Who is the leader of the Commissioned Corps?
The Surgeon General is the leader of the Commissioned Corps. The Surgeon General reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health and in turn the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Who is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services?
Please visit the Secretary's page at http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/.
Do I meet the entry criteria for joining the Commissioned Corps?
To be accepted as an applicant for the Commissioned Corps, you must:
What does "medically qualified" mean?
All applicants to the Commissioned Corps must undergo a physical examination and be found medically qualified prior to an appointment. It is not sufficient that the officer be "qualified" for a particular assignment at a particular geographical location. The commissioned officer is expected to be physically qualified to perform the duties of his/her rank and category in various climates and work assignments without endangering his/her health or the health of others. For career service, the officer must be physically capable of assuming any assignment in his/her professional category whether such an assignment is likely to occur in the foreseeable future.
Health conditions that place an individual at an increased risk use sick leave and medical services excessively, and/or at increased for early death or disability may be cause for either rejection or limitation of tour of duty. The following is disqualifying for an unrestrictive active duty service:
The following will be considered for a restricted (limited) tour of duty:
Prior to the end of the limited tour period, officers wishing to remain on active duty will be reevaluated to determine their eligibility for an unlimited tour of duty.
If medical information is incomplete or omitted, the applicant will be notified and the necessary additional information will be requested. Failure to submit requested information will result in termination of processing the application. Additionally, if there is any change in the applicant's health status (i.e., medical or psychiatric) after the entrance history and physical examination, but before call to active duty, the applicant must notify the Office of Commissioned Corps Operations (OCCO) immediately. The change in the applicant's health status may be grounds for delay in call to active duty, for medical limited tour restriction, or even for medical disqualification. Failure to report significant change in health status may result in separation from service without benefits after reporting to duty.
The falsification or other nondisclosure of material information on the part of the applicant may result in the immediate closeout of the application or separation of the officer from active duty without benefits. The determination of material nondisclosure is made by the director of OCCO, and this decision is final.
In which professional fields do Corps officers serve?
As one of America's seven uniformed services, Commissioned Corps officers fill essential public health leadership and service roles within the Nation's Federal Government agencies and programs. The Corps has officers in the following professions:
To learn where commissioned officers in your discipline/category work, click the hyperlink to your profession.
In which Federal agencies and programs do Commissioned Corps officers serve?
Officers in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps work in a variety of settings. They work in various positions throughout of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and certain non-HHS Federal agencies/programs that offer exciting professional opportunities in the areas of disease control and prevention; biomedical research; regulation of food, drugs, and medical devices; mental health and drug abuse; health care delivery; and international health.
HHS Offices and Agencies in Which Commissioned Corps Officers Serve
Non-HHS Agencies/Programs in Which Commissioned Corps Officers Serve
For further information on where commissioned officers work and the liaisons for each agency/program, go to Agencies and Programs.
In what locations could I serve as a Commissioned Corps officer?
A U.S. map will be available online soon that will allow applicants/officers to learn the various locations of each agency and program throughout the country. The Commissioned Corps also offers many opportunities for its officers to serve in international locations as part of its mission to promote global public health.
Would I have to change locations as a Commissioned Corps?
There are no specific requirements about the frequency of moves that an officer must make during his/her career. Mobility is important for promotion but it is not required on a specific schedule.
MilitaryConnection.com is a portal of all things military. One of our main areas of focus is to connect members of military and veteran communities and their family members with outstanding jobs. We handle all occupational areas across the board including healthcare, transportation, law enforcement, trades, security high tech and much more. You will find excellent jobs for military and veterans in both the civilian and government sectors on our site. MilitaryConnection.com is proud to present a multitude of resources for those seeking employment opportunities. We provide all types of articles and job tips to assist you. We also have many valuable resources including but not limited to our Virtual Job Fair, our Directory of Employers and of course the MilitaryConnection Job Board with thousands of nationwide jobs. MilitaryConnection.com recognizes the wonderful contributions of Transition Officers and Veteran Service Officers. We value their hard work and work with them. When the next tours is back home, it's on MilitaryConnection.com