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Three female NOAA Corps officer candidates aboard a NOAA ship

Ready to serve your country? The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps is now accepting applications!

There are two Basic Officer Training Classes (BOTC) per year for new recruits. One class begins in January and the other in July. Application cycles open approximately a year before BOTC begins, with submission deadlines eight months prior to the start of BOTC.

BOTC 146 

  • Begin Application Period - TBD
  • Application Deadline - TBD
  • Interviews - TBD
  • Selection Board - TBD
  • Medical (MEPS) - TBD
  • BOTC Start - TBD


We are currently accepting applications for BOTC 146 through TBD.  

Additionally, there is one Inter-Service Transfer (IST) cycle per year. The IST application period is currently open. To learn more about the IST application process, visit the Inter-Service Transfer page.

Required Application Materials for New Recruits

NOAA Form 56-42

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

NOAA Form 56-42A

Three letters of recommendation are required. NOAA Form 56-42A (which will be provided by NOAA Corps recruiters) 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.

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 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.

An official Letter of Intent indicating graduation status and date is required for any applicant that will not graduate before the application deadline. A degree must be awarded at least two months before the BOTC start date. If selected for appointment in the NOAA Corps, these officer candidates must provide a final transcript showing the degree has been awarded.

Additional Items

If an applicant has prior enlisted or commissioned service, the following items are required:

  • Official or notarized copies of all DD214s (Member-4 Copy), or service equivalent forms, issued upon release from periods of active duty and/or separation from service. A separate DD214 must be included to cover each individual period of active duty.
  • Copies of Fitness Report/Officer Evaluation Report (FITREPs/OERs) covering applicant’s previous three reporting periods. 
  • DD Form 368, Request for Conditional Release. Every applicant with Active, Reserve, Guard or Inactive Reserve (IRR) commitment will need to initiate the process in accordance with the releasing services requirements. Individuals without appropriate authorization to apply will not be considered for selection.


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: In an effort to normalize interview evaluation scores and more effectively select the most qualified candidates to attend BOTC, interviews will be conducted virtually.

The deadline for completing an application package is typically six months prior to the start of the next scheduled BOTC. Applications are subject to a final administrative screening to ensure all eligibility requirements have been met. If, at any time, it is found that an applicant does not meet these requirements, they will not be considered for an appointment in the NOAA Corps.

Complete application packages will be forwarded to an Officer Personnel Board (OPB) for review. The OPB will recommend Primary and Alternate officer candidates to the NOAA Corps Director. Once the NOAA Corps Director reviews and signs the recommended Primary and Alternate candidate list, applicants will be notified of their status (Primary, Alternate, or Non-Select) via a formal letter. Primary and Alternate candidates will be provided with further instructions regarding administrative processing and physical examinations at that time.

Note: Pre-commissioning physical examinations consist of standard procedures, and are funded by NOAA Corps. If further information is necessary to determine a candidate's medical qualification, any costs incurred obtaining that information is the responsibility of the officer candidate. Failure to acquire medical qualification will result in withdrawal from the upcoming BOTC. Depending upon the nature of the disqualification, a candidate MAY be deferred to the next class without reapplication.


Candidates will be offered a temporary appointment in the NOAA Corps, contingent upon final administrative screening, passing a medical examination as prescribed in the NOAA Corps Directives, passing a preliminary background screening for a Secret level security clearance, and receiving negative test results for illegal drug use.


Candidates will be ranked by the OPB and offered a temporary appointment in the NOAA Corps if an opening becomes available. Such openings occur if a Primary candidate declines the commission, does not pass background check, or is medically disqualified. Alternates will also be required to pass a medical examination, pass a preliminary background screening, and receive negative test results for illegal drug use. The highest ranked Alternate will transfer to a Primary candidate if a position becomes available.


Applicants will not be offered an appointment in the NOAA Corps. Non-Selects are welcome to re-apply for commission.

If you have questions, please send an email to

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

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