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Utility Navigation

NOAA Corps

Inter-Service Transfers

Head-on view of a NOAA Lockheed WP-3D Orion in flight

Head-on view of a NOAA Lockheed WP-3D Orion "hurricane hunter" aircraft in flight.


  • The NOAA Corps is now accepting Aviator IST applications! IST Application Cycle 10012 is now open through 17 March 2023.
  • The NOAA Corps is not accepting Mariner IST OOD/ SWO applications at this time.

If you have questions, please send an email to 

Procedures for performing an inter-service transfer (IST) to or from the NOAA Corps are prescribed by Title 10, Section 716 of U.S. Code, and Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 1300.4.

In addition to the basic eligibility requirements for appointment in the NOAA Corps, inter-service transfer applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The losing service must approve the transfer
  • Rank within the losing service must be no higher than O-4 at the time of transfer
  • Total creditable service time must be less than 12 years at the time of transfer

Requests for inter-service transfer to the NOAA Corps are evaluated individually. The decision to accept or deny an IST request is based on the immediate needs of the NOAA Corps and the rank, skills, and experience of the applicant. IST applicants may be considered for direct placement in NOAA Corps if their area of expertise would meet an urgent operational need for one of NOAA's ship or aircraft platforms.

As of June 2022, IST may incur up to a four year service time agreement if the require and complete Heavy Aircraft Flight Training. 

IST Application Process

Active duty commissioned officers withing the O-1 to O-4 ranks who are interested in transferring to the NOAA Corps and meet the minimum eligibility requirements for an IST, must submit a complete application package for consideration. 

IST applicants may start the application process by logging into the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System. You will be required to enter preliminary information to determine eligibility and create an E-Recruit account. After logging into your account, E-Recruit will guide you through the application process, allow you to track your submissions, and provide updates pertinent to your application.

NOAA Corps E-Recruit. Start application.

Required Application Materials

NOAA Form 56-42

Application for appointment in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. Complete this form using the E-Recruit System. 

IST Summary Cover Sheet

Summary of active duty service and qualifications listed on your IST Summary Cover Sheet.

NOAA Forms 56-42A

Three to five letters of Recommendation are required. The form must be signed and submitted directly by the reference. A formal letter may also be attached. References should be knowledgeable of your character, professional work or training, and leadership potential. Professional references include professors, employment supervisors, clergyman, etc.
This form is emailed to your contacts by the eRecruit once you complete the application.

Only one reference may be of a personal nature. Family members are not acceptable references.

References may submit this signed document via hard copy or electronic format. Electronic submissions must be sent to (link sends e-mail) directly from the reference.

Official Transcripts

Certified official transcripts must be submitted from each college or university attended. This includes transcripts from any transfer credits applied towards a bachelor degree. Certified official transcripts must come directly from the institution.
Please remamber you must meet a 48 STEM credit reqirement to qualify for transfer.

Service Evaluation Reports

Copies of Fitness Report/Officer Evaluation Report (FITREPs/OERs) covering applicant’s most recent three reporting periods. 

Service Discharges

Official or certified (notarized) copies of DD214's (Member-4 Copy), or service equivalent forms, issued upon release from any periods of active duty prior to current commission and/or separation from another service. A separate DD214 must be included to cover each individual period of active duty.


Other resumes, training certificates, or awards may be submitted at the applicant's discretion.

Interview Evaluation

All applicants must be interviewed by a NOAA Corps officer. Once the application materials listed above have been received and reviewed by the Officer Recruiting Branch, an interview will be scheduled with an appropriately ranked and experienced NOAA Corps officer. The interviewing officer will submit an evaluation directly to the Officer Recruiting Branch.

Note: Interviews are conducted virtually. 

Once a complete application package has been received by the Officer Recruiting Branch, and a need determined for the rank, skills, and experience of the applicant, an Officer Personnel Board will be convened to consider the application for transfer.

Additional guidance on electronic document submission can be found within the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System.

The NOAA Corps is committed to equal opportunity for all persons.

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Reviewed: September 20, 2022. Contact us with page issues.

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