Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to many frequently asked questions the United States Coast Guard has received in response to information provided on We hope you find the additional information below helpful.

About Our Website

Help Navigating the New US Coast Guard Web Site
Please see this link for help Finding Your Way In the New Navigation
What does the "Search Current Unit" checkbox do?
If you check the "Search Current Unit" box the Search results returned will be limited to web pages within the current web directory of the page. For example if you are at the page the search results will be limited to content within the 'OSC' folder.
Why do I get "Error - unable to process. Your form information couldn't be processed. Unable to send email: The server rejected the sender address." when trying to use the CONTACT US mailform?
This error means that the E-mail Address you entered was invalid. Please verify that your e-mail address has been entered correctly. If you continue to have problems please e-mail
How may I obtain official Coast Guard photographs for personal or commercial use?
Upon request, the Coast Guard may supply official photographs for use in approved promotions. Official photographs are available on the Coast Guard Imagery database, accessible through the World Wide Web at
May I advertise on Coast Guard Internet sites?
Official Coast Guard Internet sites may not include any advertisements.
May I link my Internet page to and from Coast Guard Internet sites?
Official Coast Guard Internet sites often provide hyperlinks to sites outside the public sector provided that there is no perception of implied endorsement of any product or service. Links from official Coast Guard Internet sites to external Internet sites are decided on an individual case basis by the Coast Guard office having responsibility for the Internet site making the link. Decisions to link to external sites are made after assessing relevance to the office mission and maintenance factors. Links to external sites may not be used to endorse a particular non-governmental product or service or provide preferential treatment. Please see the USCG Community Relations site for more information.
What is the best screen resolution for viewing the USCG website?
The USCG website is designed for a screen resolution of 1024x768.
Which web browser software should I use to view the USCG web site?
The USCG website has been tested in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox and will properly display web page content in either software.

Coast Guard Careers

Where can I find more information on enlisting in the Coast Guard?
The USCG Recruiting website,, has information on joining the Coast Guard.
What are the qualifications to join the Coast Guard?
  • You must be a US citizen or a Resident Alien.
  • Be between the ages of 17-27 for Active Duty. (If you are 17, you'll need parental consent.)
  • Reservists must be between 17-39. Prior service personnel should contact their local recruiter for specific programs.
  • Have a high school diploma. GEDs are accepted in special circumstances.
  • Have no more than two dependents.
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
  • Pass a military entrance medical exam.
  • Be the type of person who wants to serve the public on or around the water

  • Please contact your local Coast Guard Recruiter if you have additional questions.
    Where can I find information about Civilian Job Listings?
    The Civilian Career Opportunities website,, provides information on Civilian Jobs.

    About the Coast Guard

    What is the United States Coast Guard?
    The U.S. Coast Guard is one of five branches of the US Armed Forces, and falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. For more information on the Coast Guard see our "About Us" content.
    USCG Civilians - Who Are We?
    We are a vital part of the United States Coast Guard, which serves and protects America’s coastlines and waterways. Every day, we, the civilians in the Coast Guard, work together with military personnel to save lives, enforce the law, operate ports and waterways, and protect the environment. We number over 6,000 civilian positions in over 200 different types of jobs throughout the Coast Guard. We work in over 100 locations across America. We have dynamic careers with flexibility, great pay, outstanding benefits, and the satisfaction of serving our country.