Appointment of Commissioned Corps Eligibility

Federal statutes (42 U.S.C. § 206(b), “Assignment of officers”, 42 U.S.C. § 207(b), “Grades, ranks, and titles of commissioned corps”, 42 U.S.C. § 209(a), “Appointment of personnel”, 42 U.S.C. § 210b(a), “Professional categories”,  42 U.S.C. § 216, “Regulations” and Executive Order 11140, “Delegating certain functions of the President relating to the Public Health Service,” dated 30 January 1964 offer Commissioned Corps officers of the Public Health Service (including Commissioned Corps applicants that are professionally boarded) the ability to apply to federal government announcements and to be appointed non-competitively to a position. Your eligibility does not entitle you to a job within the Federal Government. If you are being considered through a courtesy referral or have applied to a vacancy announcement, you must still meet qualification standards, go through the selection process, and meet any additional requirements, such as a background investigation.

To Remain an Active Duty Commissioned Corps Officer

If you currently are and want to remain a Commissioned Corps officer, you are welcome to apply to NIH jobs directly and receive a courtesy referral. Note that a courtesy referral is not a competitive civil service position and does not provide civil service status. Below is a comparison chart of Commissioned Corps ranks to civil service, which advises you on potential billet rankings (officers may serve in rank equivalent or up to two grades higher).

Grade Rank Civilian Equivalent
O-2 Lieutenant Jr. Grade (LTJG) GS-7
O-3 Lieutenant (LT) GS-9/11
O-4 Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) GS-12
O-5 Commander (CDR) GS-13
O-6 Captain (CAPT) GS-14/15

Professional Categories and Positions

The following are the professional categories and types of positions of the Public Health Service.  Visit the Public Health Service Career Fields page for more information. 

Dentist Health Services Scientist
Dietician Medical Therapist
Engineer Nurse Veterinarian
Environmental Health Pharmacist

Required Documentation

  1. Eligibility Documentation: 
    • For Active Duty USPHS Commissioned Corps Officers: Submit your latest Personnel Order (PHS-7063) as an USPHS Active Duty Commissioned Corps Officer.
    • For USPHS Commissioned Corps Call-To-Active Duty (CAD) Candidates: In lieu of PHS Personnel Order (PHS-7063), submit an official copy of your USPHS CAD Medical and Professional Boarding notifications stating you are physically qualified and recommended for appointment.
  2. Professional Resume (not PHS Curriculum Vitae).
  3. Submit transcripts, licenses, or certification as requested in the announcement.
    • You may submit an unofficial transcript, or a list of college courses completed indicating course titles, credit hours, and grades received. An official transcript from an accredited educational institution is required if you are selected for the position.
  4. If you are selected, you may be required to submit additional documentation to verify eligibility.
    • A cover letter explaining how you are qualified for the position is recommend, but not required. 
    • You must submit all required documents by the closing date of the announcement with your application package. Not submitting any of the above-mentioned required documents may result in a loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents have been submitted.

Email the NIH Commissioned Corps Liaison Team if you need more information or have questions.