How To Become A Coast Guard Pilot

Coast Guard Aviation is a great career opportunity for those looking to serve in the United States Armed Forces. There are many jobs available including piloting helicopters and airplanes. 

A person must be eligible to join the armed forces before being accepted into the Coast Guard. Once accepted, they must go through rigorous training and education.

How To Become A Coast Guard Pilot

Being a member of the Coast Guard means you’ll get paid well and have a lucrative career path.


In the 1960s, Coast Guardsmen were trained by the Army at Hunter AFB. To accommodate the increased demand for helicopters, the Coast Guard built an air station in Savannah, Georgia. 

The Coast Guard officially commissioned the Aviation Training Center on June 27, 1966, on the 232-acre site located at the north side of Mobile Regional Airport. This was done by the United States Coast Guard.

Training And Assignments 

A USCG officer needs to be commissioned before he/she can be trained as an aviator. In order to get commissioned, you need to go to school and take classes.

After getting your commission, you will be sent to a base like Pensacola, Florida, where you will learn how to fly. You will also be given your flight gear and uniforms. 

Candidates who wish to become aviators must first attend basic training at Pensacola Naval air station. After this, they move to the Whiting field for advanced training on the T-6 Texon II.

Those who want to fly helicopters will be sent to Corpus Christi Naval air station to learn how to fly the Sea ranger.

Those who want to learn about fixed-wing aircraft will go back to Pensacola Naval air base to learn how to fly a t-44a Pegasus. 

Those who want to become pilots of the HC-130 Hercules must go to Little Rock Air force base in Arkansas. A pilot earns his or her wings by completing all training and passing an exam.

A DCA works closely with an assignment officer who reviews the candidate’s education, experience, qualification, and interest in a particular field.

The assignment officer issues orders to find a coast guard unit that best matches the candidate’s talent and potential. 

Once commissioned, the candidate reports directly to that specific unit for a short period before going to the DCA course.

Upon completing the DCA course, the candidate returns to their original station. DCAs eventually fly CG planes and train at ATC.

DCAs will receive assignments within the industry, as well as assignments that support aviation training and management as well as specific assignments and assignments within the sub-specialities.

DCAs will also be given opportunities for special assignments and assignments within sub-specialities.


  • Age: 21-35 years old.
  • Citizenship: US citizen.
  • Clearance: Top Secret/SCI.
  • Status: Single, no children. No dependents.
  • Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or higher. Students who take the ACE recommended score on 5 General CLEP Exams or complete 1 year of college math courses and have a debt to income ratio below 80%, may apply for up to $10,000 per year in scholarships

If students have been bankrupt in the last 10 years this should be disclosed. Applicants should disclose their student loan payments to recruiters.

Recruiters should ask about the status of their student loans before recommending them to the Coast Guard. 

Candidates who have more than 10 years of active duty service shouldn’t be considered because they may be ineligible for Coast Guard service

A pilot who has served two years of active duty must submit a DD-368 form to be released from active duty. This form must be submitted when applying for a commission

A member of the military must request permission to apply for a release before submitting an application. The release shall be valid until the end of the project.

A commissioned officer is someone who has been promoted to a higher rank than he/she was before being promoted. 

Commissioned officers must take a physical exam to make sure they are healthy enough to serve. They also need to complete a physical fitness program. Ejection seats limit how tall an officer can be.

A graduate of a U. S. MFTP and must be a member of the U. S. Armed Forces.

He/she must have served on active duty as a pilot in the United States Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force, for a minimum of 2 years, but not exceeding 10 years. 

He/She must have at least 500 hours of flying time accompanied in an aircraft. Hours flown in training, UAs or simulators will not contribute towards this total.

He/She must also have had main employment as a Pilot (Military or Civilian) within the last two years before the selection process.

Applicants must be free of tattoos and body markings consistent with the CG tattoo, piercing, and mutilation policies.


A lot of people apply to be accepted into the Coast Guard Academy. However, only a few people get in.

Those who get in must pass the physical exam, the mental test, and then take classes. After passing these tests, applicants can apply to go to flight school.

Officer Candidate School

A Coast Guard officer candidate school is 17 weeks long and provides training for future officers. At the end of the course, individuals will compete for positions in available areas.

Successful completion of the course will allow them to join the aviation program later. 

Wilks Flight Initiative 

Students applying for the Wilks Flight Initiative must be part of the CSPI program. CSPI students receive a guaranteed flight school position.

Individuals taking the direct OCS route must compete for positions. There is a three-year active duty requirement before they can become officers.

Applicants must take an online course before attending OCS. Requirements include taking an online course, and passing the ASET (Airline Security Threat) exam.

After completion of OCS, candidates must pass the FAA physical fitness test, the FAA medical examination, and meet additional requirements.


Entering the aviation industry is a fascinating and worthwhile career with unique prospects. Happy flying! 

Jacob Stern
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