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Inter-service Transfer Information
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NOAA Corps is not accepting Aviation IST applications at this time.

NOAA Corps is not accepting Mariner IST OOD/SWO applications at this time.

If you wish to be contacted when an application cycle is open, 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 platforms (P-3, King Air, Gulfstream-IV, Class I & II research vessel).

Active duty commissioned officers 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. Please note that IST applicants must receive medical clearance from NOAA's Director, Office of Health Services to complete the application process.

To begin the application process, click the link below to enter 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 information updates pertinent to your application.

Hard copies of the following application materials must be submitted as part of the IST application package.

Application materials numbered 1-6 should be mailed to:

NOAA Corps Officer Recruiting Branch
Commissioned Personnel Center
8403 Colesville Road, Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Medical records should be submitted directly to the Chief, Medical Administration Branch at the following address:

Commissioned Personnel Center
Attn: Chief, Medical Administration Branch
8403 Colesville Road, Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Note: Please do not email application documents as they may contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

  1. NOAA Form 56-42 - Application for Appointment in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. Complete this form using the E-Recruit System. After digitally submitting your information, be certain to print, sign, and date the form. Mail the signed hard copy(with original Signature) to the Officer Recruiting Branch. Although not required, sending a professional resume along with your NOAA Form 56-42 is recommended.
  2. IST Summary Cover Sheet - Summary of Active duty service and qualifications.
  3. NOAA Forms 56-42A – Letters of Recommendation are required from at least three references listed on your NOAA Form 56-42. You may have up to five Letters of Recommendation. NOAA Form 56-42A must be submitted, but a formal letter may also be attached. References should be knowledgeable of your character, professional work or training, and leadership potential. Only one reference may be of a personal nature.

    Before providing references with NOAA Form 56-42A, be certain to complete all fillable fields on page 1 and enter your name in the "Applicant's Name" field at the top of page 2. References may complete this form electronically, but they must mail a hard copy (with original signature) directly to the NOAA Officer Recruiting Branch.

  4. Official Transcripts – Official transcripts must be submitted from each college or university you have attended, including those from which you have transferred credits. Transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to the Officer Recruiting Branch.
  5. Service Evaluation Reports - Copies of prior service evaluation reports (e.g., FITREPs, OERs) covering the applicant's most recent five years of service.
  6. 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.
  7. Other - Other resumes, training certificates, or awards may be submitted at the applicant's discretion.
  8. 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: NOAA Corps does not reimburse applicants for travel associated with the interview. Efforts are made to find an interviewer in close proximity to the applicant, but locations may become very limited as the application deadline approaches.

  9. Inter-Service Transfer applicants selected for a NOAA Corps commission must remain medically qualified for duty. Physical exams must have been performed within one year of the transfer date.
    You may request a list of the required medical forms and documentation from the recruiting office. Medical clearance for an IST cannot be obtained without prior medical clearance.

    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.

    For further information, please contact the NOAA Corps Officer Recruiting Branch. Call 800-299-6622 or email

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