33 U.S. Code § 3021 - Original appointments and reappointments

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(a) Original appointments
(1) Grades
(A) In generalExcept as provided in subparagraph (B), an original appointment of an officer may be made in such grades as may be appropriate for—
(i)
the qualification, experience, and length of service of the appointee; and
(ii)
the commissioned officer corps of the Administration.
(B) Appointment of officer candidates
(i) Limitation on grade

An original appointment of an officer candidate, upon graduation from the basic officer training program of the commissioned officer corps of the Administration, may not be made in any other grade than ensign.

(ii) Rank

Officer candidates receiving appointments as ensigns upon graduation from the basic officer training program shall take rank according to their proficiency as shown by the order of their merit at date of graduation.

(2) Source of appointmentsAn original appointment may be made from among the following:
(A)
Graduates of the basic officer training program of the commissioned officer corps of the Administration.
(B)
Subject to the approval of the Secretary of Defense, graduates of the military service academies of the United States who otherwise meet the academic standards for enrollment in the training program described in subparagraph (A).
(C) Graduates of the State maritime academies who—
(i)
otherwise meet the academic standards for enrollment in the training program described in subparagraph (A);
(ii)
completed at least three years of regimented training while at a State maritime academy; and
(iii)
obtained an unlimited tonnage or unlimited horsepower Merchant Mariner Credential from the United States Coast Guard.
(D)
Licensed officers of the United States merchant marine who have served two or more years aboard a vessel of the United States in the capacity of a licensed officer, who otherwise meet the academic standards for enrollment in the training program described in subparagraph (A).
(3) DefinitionsIn this subsection:
(A) Military service academies of the United StatesThe term “military service academies of the United States” means the following:
(i)
The United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.
(ii)
The United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
(iii)
The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
(iv)
The United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut.
(v)
The United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York.
(B) State maritime academy

The term “State maritime academy” has the meaning given the term in section 51102 of title 46.

(b) Reappointment
(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), an individual who previously served in the commissioned officer corps of the Administration may be appointed by the Secretary to the grade the individual held prior to separation.

(2) Reappointments to higher grades

An appointment under paragraph (1) to a position of importance and responsibility designated under section 3028 of this title may only be made by the President.

(c) Qualifications

An appointment under subsection (a) or (b) may not be given to an individual until the individual’s mental, moral, physical, and professional fitness to perform the duties of an officer has been established under such regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe.

(d) Order of precedence

Appointees under this section shall take precedence in the grade to which appointed in accordance with the dates of their commissions as commissioned officers in such grade. The order of precedence of appointees whose dates of commission are the same shall be determined by the Secretary.

(e) Inter-service transfersFor inter-service transfers (as described in Department of Defense Directive 1300.4 (dated December 27, 2006)) the Secretary shall—
(1)
coordinate with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating to promote and streamline inter-service transfers;
(2)
give preference to such inter-service transfers for recruitment purposes as determined appropriate by the Secretary; and
(3)
reappoint such inter-service transfers to the equivalent grade in the commissioned officer corps of the Administration.
Editorial Notes
Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 853t of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 107–372.

Amendments

2020—Pub. L. 116–259 substituted “Original appointments and reappointments” for “Original appointments” in section catchline and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text related to original appointments in the grades of ensign, lieutenant (junior grade), and lieutenant.

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