Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Program (2022)

Last Updated on September 15, 2022

This guide provides useful information that will help with your decision to become a Navy Medical Service Corps Officer.

A Medical Service Corps Officer is a Staff Corps Officer in the Navy who is a member of the most diversified Corps within Navy Medicine, serving either in healthcare administration, healthcare science, or clinical healthcare. The Navy Officer designator code for Medical Service Corps is 2300.

As you will see, there are many aspects to becoming a Medical Service Corps Officer.

After reading this guide, you will have more understanding of this Navy commissioning program and the large community behind it.

Let us go straight into the details.

Navy Medical Service Corps

The Medical Service Corps (MSC) is the most diverse corps within Navy Medicine.

The MSC is an essential component of the Navy, comprising a diverse team of commissioned Naval Officers in clinical, scientific, and administrative health care sectors.

In this MSC, you can:

  • Receive unrivaled professional experience and Navy-funded advanced training
  • Earn excellent pay on a renowned team of experts
  • Work in exciting locations across the United States or around the world
  • Operate with the benefit of well-funded support
  • Distinguish yourself with pride and respect as a health-care leader and Navy Officer
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Navy Medicine divided the Medical Service Corps into 31 subspecialties, which are structured into three broad categories:

  1. Healthcare Administrators
  2. Clinicians
  3. Scientists

There are roughly 2,400 officers on Active Duty and 344 officers in the Reserve Component of the Medical Service Corps.

Navy MSC Manning Proportions

Healthcare Administrators42%
Healthcare Clinicians32%
Healthcare Scientists26%

MSC Officers are stationed in over 250 naval and medical commands across the world.

Approximately 65 percent work in direct patient care facilities, while the remaining 35 percent work in operational units, headquarters commands, material and logistic support commands, training and research commands, and occupational and preventive medicine units.

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With a community of Active Duty and Reserve Component professionals, the MSC actively supports the Navy and Marine Corps team, as well as Navy Medicine’s readiness and health benefits mandates.

A later section will list the individual qualifications for each MSC job.

Navy MSC Officer Duty Stations

MSC Officers support Navy Medicine’s readiness and health benefits missions in a variety of settings, including Expeditionary Medical Operations to support our war fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response missions in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Haiti.

Moreover, MSC Officers work in places that assist the care of the wounded, sick, and injured, such as the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment.

MSC assignments are as diverse as its members. Here are the typical duty stations available for MSC Officers:

  • Navy Medical Treatment Facilities
  • Naval Branch Clinics
  • Surface Ships
  • United States Marine Corps Battalions
  • Construction Battalion (Seabee) Detachments
  • Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) Kuwait and EMF Djibouti, Iraq, or Afghanistan
  • Research Centers and Laboratories

Likewise, here are the typical locations for these duty stations:

Stateside locations

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • Maryland
  • Hawaii

Overseas locations

  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Cuba
  • Guam
  • Europe

Navy Medical Service Corps Specialties

To become a Navy Medical Service Corps Officer, you must be an American citizen who is no older than 42 years of age with qualifying credentials as either a healthcare administrator, healthcare scientist, or healthcare clinical provider.

There are 31 available job types in the MSC, but the Healthcare Administrator specialty is further split into 10 more subspecialties.

With that being said, the Navy MSC offers 22 diverse healthcare-related specialties, which are:

Aerospace Experimental Psychologist

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Naval Aerospace Experimental Psychologists (AEPs) promote and assure the safe and effective performance of Navy and Marine Corps personnel in aviation systems.

AEPs provide professional and technical counsel and support to the Naval Service in the design and execution of new system research, testing, development, and evaluation.

They train with the Navy’s only human centrifuge, which is at NAS Lemoore in California, to educate all tactical–jet aircrew tactics for enhancing performance under high G-forces.

Likewise, they also deal with issues like staff selection, flying training, and operational safety.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a Ph.D. in psychology, preferably with a focus on industrial, experimental, cognitive organizational, and/or human factors.
  • Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in neuroscience, industrial engineering, or an interdisciplinary degree with a focus on human factors or behavioral science.
  • Applicants with a master’s degree in the field and four years of commissioned service will be considered.
  • It is necessary that applicants be physically fit for aviation.
  • Reserve component applicants must have completed the six-month Naval Aerospace Psychologist training course at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, have successfully completed the prescribed flight training syllabus, and have served an active-duty utilization tour as a Naval Aerospace Psychologist.
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Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • A Ph.D. in psychology, neurology, or human factors, as well as advanced statistics, quantitative analysis, and research methodologies courses.
  • Research, publication, and consultation experience in applied psychology, particularly with military and aviation systems.
  • Extensive knowledge in all elements of aviation, including flight operations, aircraft maintenance, air traffic control, and flight-line operations.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Pensacola & Orlando, Florida
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Patuxent River, Maryland
  • San Diego & Monterey, California
  • Washington, District of Columbia

Aerospace and Operational Physiologist

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Navy Aerospace and Operational Physiologists teach all U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircrew in aviation physiology, acceleration physiology, sensory physiology, ejection/egress, life support equipment, parachute operations, and water survival.

This training lowers the likelihood of disasters occurring and improves survival changes when catastrophes occur.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a master’s or Doctoral Degree in Physiology (e.g., pulmonary, cardiovascular, exercise or occupational, neurological). If adequate cardio/pulmonary physiology and anatomy courses are completed, applicants with relevant degrees (biomedical engineering, exercise physiology, kinesiology, biology, zoology, or other biological sciences) will be considered.
  • Applicants must have a background in organic chemistry, a second-level chemistry course (e.g., biochemistry or organic), physics, college mathematics (algebra, pre-calculus, or above), and statistics are compulsory courses. The following courses (undergraduate or graduate level) are strongly recommended: biochemistry, biomechanics, comparative anatomy, histology, microbiology, and calculus.
  • Applicants with extensive military aviation experience, a bachelor’s degree in an acceptable field of study, and a background in biological sciences will be considered.
  • For each of their degrees, applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicants must be physically fit for aviation.
  • Reserve component applicants must have completed the 6-month Naval Aerospace Psychologist training course at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, have successfully completed the prescribed flight training syllabus, and have served an active-duty utilization tour as a Naval Aerospace Psychologist.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Previous experience as an instructor/teacher is preferred.
  • Strong personal recommendations in the areas of initiative and collaboration are desired.
  • Military or general aviation experience

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Pensacola & Orlando, Florida
  • Annapolis, Maryland
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • San Diego, California

Audiologist

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Navy Audiologists provide a wide variety of clinical support services to a varied populace in medical treatment facilities.

They also give rehabilitative, non-medical help at other locations to preserve and develop communicative skills.

While working as consultant supervisors of Navy/Marine Corps Hearing Conservation Programs, Navy Audiologists assure the auditory combat preparedness of our fleet and Marine Forces.

Navy Audiologists have expertise providing industrial audiology assistance to the aviation, shipboard, and artillery communities.

They take advantage of international possibilities as educational audiologists supporting the Department of Defense Dependent Schools and assist special-needs youngsters.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants for Audiology must have a master’s or doctorate degree in Audiology, as well as a valid state license to practice and board certification from either the American Board of Audiology (ABA) or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Extensive professional experience in the field.
  • Interested in clinical, industrial (laboratory), or educational audiology.
  • Able to work in a range of medical settings with a diverse demographic.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Bremerton, Washington
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia
  • San Diego, California
  • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Sigonella and Naples, Italy
  • Rota, Spain
  • Guam, Mariana Islands
  • Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan

Biochemist and Toxicologist

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Officers in this position experience working in Navy and joint-service research institutes, acting as a part of a research team, and aiding in medical personnel training.

They also assist in the deployment of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Environmental (CBRE) Training Team to strengthen our nation’s defense against biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons.

Biochemistry

Navy research biochemists perform and oversee fundamental and application research on biochemical problems of relevance to the Navy.

This may comprise study design, data analysis, research study execution, and technique creation.

Toxicologists and research biochemists have similar career options and work in many of the same places.

Toxicology

Forensic toxicologists in the Navy monitor and direct the activities of military forensic laboratories.

This work typically entails detecting drugs of abuse in bodily fluids using innovative technology.

Furthermore, forensic toxicologists also create methods for identifying substances of interest, procedures for maintaining a chain of custody, and strategies for presenting forensic evidence to attorneys, military judges, and court-martial members.

Toxicologists may conduct research on the impact of harmful chemicals on normal life processes, test and manufacture protective equipment for military activities, and analyze chemical compound exposure limits.

In addition, toxicologists may work at a forensic laboratory, a Navy research laboratory, or an Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit, or they may lecture at the Naval Academy and other institutions.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants for the Biochemistry and Toxicology programs must have a master’s degree in biochemistry, toxicology, or a related life science, as well as a strong research history.

A master’s degree applicant must have completed a research thesis, publications published in nationally recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals, and at least one extra (post master’s) year of study in biochemistry, toxicology, or allied life sciences.

Most jobs require a doctorate in biochemistry, toxicology, or a related life science.

Competitive Profile

Applicants with graduate training or job experience in biochemical and analytical chemistry laboratory procedures are competitive for selection.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Annapolis, Maryland
  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Great Lakes, Illinois

Clinical Psychologist

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There are roughly 140 active-duty clinical psychologists in the Navy, working at military hospitals and clinics in the United States (California, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii), overseas (Italy, Spain, and Japan), on aircraft carriers, and with special operational units.

There are teaching possibilities at the Naval Academy, as well as chances to supervise training at the Navy’s APA-approved internship programs in San Diego, CA and Bethesda, MD.

Navy psychologists have access to excellent continuing education opportunities.

They become eligible for fellowships in pediatrics and neuropsychology at top institutions, as well as student loan payback and acceptance/retention bonuses.

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Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must have completed all prerequisites for a Doctorate in Clinical or Counseling Psychology from an American Psychological Association-accredited institution or professional school program (APA). A full-time, one-year clinical internship or its equivalent is also necessary. The clinical internship must be accredited by the APA.
  • For exceptionally qualified applicants, waivers for the APA recognized internship requirement may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants with a Ph.D. Degree in another specialty of psychology will be accepted, provided they have properly enrolled as a re-specialization student in an APA recognized doctoral program in Clinical or Counseling Psychology and have completed all practicum and internship requirements.
  • All applicants must have a current license in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Both outpatient and Inpatient experience.
  • Knowledge of crisis intervention and traumatic stress treatment.
  • Professional references showing exceptional clinical knowledge and supervisory/leadership abilities.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • San Diego, California
  • Naples and Sigonella, Italy
  • Okinawa and Sasebo, Japan

Dietitian—Food Manager

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There are roughly 30 Navy Dietitians on active duty. Most Navy Dietitians’ duty assignments are in hospitals.

Navy Dietitians have the clinical skills required to function as entry-level clinical dietitians, such as patient assessment, medical record documentation, medical nutrition therapy counseling, and the ability to organize and conduct weight control, diabetic diet, and cardiovascular risk reduction classes.

Furthermore, they help patients with Medical Nutrition Therapy, outpatient nutrition counseling, and food service operations.

They are also involved in general nutrition education and wellness initiatives for military members and their families, besides hospital dietetic tasks.

When deployed to a deployable platform, Navy dietitians can assist in field and shipboard patient care and food service operations.

Following first clinical postings, Navy Dietitians often proceed to Administrative/Food Service positions.

Dietitians may work clinically on one tour, administratively the next, and may do field or shipboard operations.

Navy Dietetics is an intriguing and difficult career option since it offers new experiences.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree in dietetics, nutrition, exercise and sports nutrition, food service administration, public health, or a program intricately connected to these fields.
  • Candidates must have completed a dietetic internship or pre-professional practice program, or other qualifying profession experience recognized by the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
  • Applicants must hold the ADA’s “Registered Dietitian” accreditation and have at least one year of experience working in dietetics.
  • Applicants without a graduate degree who have over two years of experience or national board certification may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • 3.0 out of 4.0 GPA in dietetics, nutrition, exercise and sports nutrition, food service administration, public health, or a closely related program.
  • Two or more years of clinical dietitian experience, preferably with managerial duties. Professional references showing exceptional clinical knowledge and supervisory/leadership abilities.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
  • San Diego, California
  • Naples and Sigonella, Italy
  • Yokosuka, Japan

Entomologist

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Navy Entomologists handle a variety of intriguing tasks, most of which are aimed at avoiding vector-borne illnesses in the Navy and Marine Corps’ operating troops.

Navy medical entomologists organize, direct, and engage in operational, consultative, training, quarantine, and research activities aimed at preventing and controlling arthropod pests and disease vectors.

They train military and civilian professionals from the Navy’s medical and other commands.

On the staffs of preventive medicine operations in the continental United States and various overseas locations, Navy Entomologists perform operational and consultative tasks.

In addition, they collaborate with government and non-government groups to develop and test new pesticides, pesticide application equipment, and pesticide application procedures.

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Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must hold a master’s or doctoral degree in Entomology or a closely related subject with a concentration on Entomology.
  • Applicants must have completed graduate studies GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and Entomology course work GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Applicants must have at least 30 hours of entomology coursework (graduate and undergraduate) should be completed, including courses in medical entomology, pest management, insect taxonomy, insect morphology, immature insects, insect ecology, insect toxicology, insect physiology, mosquito biology, and medical-veterinary entomology.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • A minimum of 3-5 hours in each of the following disciplines is strongly desired: acarology, parasitology, invertebrate zoology, insect virology, computer science, statistics, epidemiology, and environmental health.
  • Expertise in disease vector surveillance and management, as well as medically relevant insects, is highly requested.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • San Diego, California
  • Jacksonville & Gainesville, Florida
  •  Norfolk & Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Lima, Peru

Environmental Health

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Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) handle disease prevention and control in Navy and Marine Corps active duty and civilian populations, identifying health concerns, formulating plans of action, and advising commanders on risks and countermeasures to safeguard our personnel.

EHOs are taught to identify effective methods of assessing health concerns, to perform disease and environmental surveillance, and to create countermeasures to meet prospective and current dangers.

Furthermore, EHOs provide direction on food safety, water/wastewater safety, communicable disease prevention/control, disease outbreak investigations, and environmental risks to operational commanders, commanding officers, officers in charge, joint forces, US Embassy staff, and the United Nations.

Many EHOs hold a nationally recognized accreditation as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) from the National Environmental Health Association or Registered Sanitarian from a local or state agency.

Basic Qualifications

  • Navy EHO applicants must have a baccalaureate or master’s degree in Environmental Health from a National Environmental Health Science and Accreditation Council (EHAC) accredited program, or a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in environmental health from a College of Public Health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
  • Coursework in environmental health, epidemiology, food safety, water quality, air quality, solid waste and wastewater management, communicable disease, public health sanitation, vector control, toxicology, risk assessment, risk communication, biostatistics, and microbiology should be included in degrees.
  • Applicants with master’s degrees should have a background in environmental health, biology, chemistry, or physics.

Competitive Profile

Environmental health field experience and certification as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) or Registered Sanitarian (RS) from the National Environmental Health Association or a state agency are strongly desired for selection.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Norfolk Virginia
  • San Diego, California
  • Okinawa and Yokosuka, Japan
  • Rota Spain
  • Naples and Sigonella, Italy

Healthcare Administrator

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Healthcare Administrators (HCAs) serve in administrative and managerial capacities in a variety of medical and dental treatment institutions, as well as other healthcare organizations across the world.

The Navy HCA subspecialties include:

  • Patient Administration
  • Plans Operations Medical Intelligence
  • Financial Management
  • Operations Research
  • Medical Data Services
  • Medical Logistics
  • Education and Training
  • Information Systems Management
  • Personnel Management
  • Medical Construction Liaison Manpower

HCAs in the Navy can pick from several specialized careers, and they serve at top Navy Medical Centers across the world.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants for Navy HCA must have a master’s degree with a major in Health Care, Hospital or Health Service Administration, Health Policy, or a master’s in business administration with a specialization in Health Care Administration and a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Programs must be certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), or the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Master’s degrees in public administration, with a focus on healthcare administration from schools recognized by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) are also acceptable.

Candidates with master’s programs that are not accredited as described above may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Access to “exceptionally qualified” applicants with a master’s degree in Business Administration or Public Health with an emphasis in health management or health administration disciplines may be granted.

These schools must have a special emphasis in health care, and candidates must have work experience in a health care related sector.

Applicants must also complete a residency program and have work experience in health care administration.

“Exceptionally qualified” applicants with a Baccalaureate Degree in Health Care, Hospital or Health Service Administration, Health Policy, or Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Administration will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

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Programs approved by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) are a top priority.

Online degrees do not fulfill these criteria.

Applicants for MSC HCA Active Component with a baccalaureate degree must submit a GRE or GMAT score, with a minimum GMAT score of 525 and a minimum GRE score of 1050.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • San Diego, California
  • Naples and Sigonella, Italy
  • Okinawa and Yokosuka, Japan

Industrial Hygiene

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Navy Industrial Hygiene Officers (IHOs) safeguard people, facilities, and equipment by controlling risk in working, living, and operating environments to maintain mission capability.

The IHO is in charge of the professional oversight of a diverse and continuously increasing range of environmental and occupational control initiatives.

Navy IHOs conduct technical duties, such as respiratory and personal protection equipment; ergonomic risk assessments; hazardous material evaluation and disposal; biohazards evaluation; safety assurance; and detection, monitoring, and assessment of chemical and biological agents in warfare and natural disaster scenarios.

They give guidance to the Department of Navy’s (DON) Environmental and Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene, and Safety Programs across the world.

In addition, IHOs act as an advisor to Headquarters and Operating Force Commanders on environmental and occupational health issues, reducing the risk of avoidable injuries and illnesses among Navy and Marine Corps troops.

Basic Qualification

Applicants for Navy IHO must have at least a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health, or an engineering degree related to Industrial Hygiene.

Competitive Profile

• IHO candidates with a Master of Science or Public Health degree with an emphasis in industrial hygiene, engineering, or a related discipline, such as toxicology, chemistry, biology, or environmental sciences, are preferred.

• Ideal candidates have earned a Master of Science or Master of Public Health in industrial hygiene from an institution certified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABE), or a degree from a school with a strong industrial hygiene or occupational health program. Applicants without a degree must have relevant job experience and at least one year of mathematics and biology, two academic years of chemistry, including inorganic and organic with laboratories, and at least 40 semester hours of pure science courses.

• Competitive applicants have industrial hygiene field experience and certification by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) or a Doctorate in Industrial Hygiene.

• Most qualified applicants have knowledge of and/or expertise in Emergency Management Systems, Consequence Management, and Safety and Occupational Health Assessments.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • San Diego, California
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Sigonella, Italy
  • Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan

Medical Technologist

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Navy Medical Technologists are essential members of the medical team who oversee and supervise innovative clinical laboratories and blood banks at Navy hospitals throughout the United States and many other countries.

They are qualified for subsequent assignments as educators at DoD training institutions and are eligible for appointment as a staff officer with policy and practice control.

Likewise, Navy Med Techs conduct and manage a wide range of laboratory services with precision and under the industry’s highest standards.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a Baccalaureate or Master of Science degree from an accredited college or university, proof of completion of a one-year course of study in Medical Technology or Clinical Laboratory Science from a school or program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), and two years of clinical laboratory experience. If the candidate has at least four years of verified clinical laboratory training and/or experience, the NAACLS program completion requirement may be waived.
  • Applicants must have passed a national certification test in Medical Technology or Clinical Laboratory Science (American Society of Clinical Pathologist).
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Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Supervisory and leadership experience is strongly preferred.
  • Previous blood banking experience is highly desirable.
  • Proof of continuous education, such as course work, seminars, workshops, and participation at professional meetings.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • San Diego, California
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Bremerton, Washington
  • Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
  • Sigonella, Italy
  • Rota, Spain
  • Yokosuka, Japan

Microbiologist

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Navy Microbiologists are currently stationed in 20 locations, performing a variety of interesting duties such as research and development (both medical and non-medical) overseas in Egypt, Peru, Cambodia, and Singapore.

They also serve within the Continental United States, such as the Washington DC metro area, Norfolk VA, and San Diego CA; or the Environmental Preventive Medicine Units in Pearl Harbor, HI, Norfolk VA, and San Diego, CA; or clinical microbiology at our three large teaching medical centers in Bethesda, MD, San Diego, CA, or Portsmouth, VA.

Navy microbiologists advise, train, and undertake infectious disease research, as well as engage in operational deployments. Conduct defense research, including the creation of vaccines.

Senior members may serve as department heads, program managers, and research directors, or as senior scientist liaisons to Officers in Charge, Executive Officers, and Commanding Officers in Navy Executive Medicine.

Their major focus is on preventing, detecting, diagnosing, and treating infectious disease risks to our military forces.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants for Navy Microbiology must have a master’s degree (MS/MPH) or a Doctoral degree (Ph.D., DrPH, DSc) in microbiology or a closely related field, such as bacteriology, epidemiology, immunology, virology, mycology, parasitology, food microbiology, veterinary microbiology, Biology, or Molecular Biology, from a U.S. accredited institution.
  • Graduate students must have a GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and microbiological coursework must have a GPA of 3.5 or above. If the candidate plans to major in Biology, Molecular Biology, or Epidemiology, he or she must take several upper (300/400+) level microbiology courses (16 hours or more) that include laboratory work.
  • Applicants at the master’s level must have completed a research thesis, have published in nationally recognized peer-reviewed scientific publications, and have completed at least one more year (post- Master’s) of research in microbiology.
  • Both Master’s and Doctoral level applicants are eligible for first assignment to clinical and preventive medicine billets; however, only doctoral level applicants will be allocated to research billets initially.

Competitive Profile

Candidates who have a doctorate degree and experience in clinical microbiology, infectious disease monitoring, or biowarfare defense are competitive for selection.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • San Diego, California
  • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Lima, Peru
  • Cairo, Egypt

Occupational Therapist

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Navy Occupational Therapists (OTs) work in a range of therapeutic settings across the United States and Japan.

The primary clinical practice areas include:

  • neuromusculoskeletal screenings as physician extenders
  • upper extremity upper extremity and hand rehabilitation
  • acute inpatient rehabilitation
  • lymph edema management
  • pediatric/school-based therapy
  • ergonomic and injury prevention
  • post-traumatic stress disorders
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • substance abuse in the behavioral health arenas

The therapeutic treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, which focuses on visual rehabilitation, driving simulation, and return to duty/community transitional care, has seen significant expansion. Navy Occupational Therapists are now serving in Afghanistan in a combat zone.

Navy OTs are critical in the orthopedic, neurological, and behavioral health models for our nation’s injured military men’ rehabilitation and retraining.

They study to become a physician extender with advanced clinical qualifications as a neuromusculoskeletal evaluator (direct access evaluations, order x-rays, prescribe NSAIDs, write duty status chits).

Their job assignments might include outpatient rehabilitation in a military treatment facility/satellite clinic, a DoD school (abroad), the Navy Medical Training Center (OT assistant program instructor), or as a full-time graduate student if they are selected for Duty Under Instruction.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from a university or college accredited by the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), have passed the national registration exam, and have been certified by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
  • Applicants must be licensed in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.
  • Applicants who hold a baccalaureate degree will be evaluated individually.

Competitive Profile

Applicants with work experience in acute rehabilitation services, as well as evaluation and intervention methodologies, are expected to be competitive for selection.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Bremerton, Washington
  • San Diego and Camp Pendleton, California
  • Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
  • Guam, Mariana Islands
  • Iwakuni and Sasebo, Japan
  • Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan

Optometrist

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Navy Optometrists are stationed in military medical centers across the world, providing full eye examinations, including ocular health evaluations and prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses.

They take advantage of possibilities to treat submariners and pilots and may also qualify for roles in vision research and laboratory administration.

Similarly, they may work as an aeronautical optometrist.

Medical certification is required for aeronautical optometry, as well as completion of a 6-month training course at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Florida.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a Doctor of Optometry degree from a college or institution that is approved by the American Optometric Association’s Council on Optometric Education.
  • Applicants must be licensed in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia to practice optometry.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • GPA in graduate school of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Licensed and experienced optometrists
  • Membership in national professional groups
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Typical Assignment Locations

  • Great Lakes, Illinois
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • San Diego, California
  • Guam, Mariana Islands
  • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan

Pharmacist

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Navy Pharmacists work in a wide range of hospitals and clinics, from big teaching hospitals and tiny clinics to working on a 1,000-bed hospital ship when it is deployed.

They manage effective pharmaceutical regimens with the utmost safety and efficiency and further develop clinical and administrative abilities.

Pharmacists can get expertise in a variety of areas, including drug information services, drug use evaluations, sterile goods, unit dosage distribution, interventions, patient counseling, administration, and much more.

Moreover, Pharmacists in the Navy take advantage of two American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP) recognized residency programs that are available each year.

They can be qualified for full-time out-of-service training programs for master’s and Post-BS Pharmaceutical Degrees.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants for Navy Pharmacy must have a baccalaureate or Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited college or university, as well as a current license in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.
  • Applicants may also have a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) Certificate, as well as a current license in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.
  • Active Component Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP) graduates must take the licensing test prior to attending Officer Development School and must be licensed within one year of entering active duty. All others must be licensed before they commission.

Competitive Profile

Applicants who have two or more years of hospital experience or who have completed a residency in Pharmacy Practice are competitive for selection.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • San Diego, California
  • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Rota, Spain
  • Guam, Mariana Islands

Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist-Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Image 704X396

Navy Physical Therapists’ (PT) primary responsibilities include providing comprehensive orthopedic care to Sailors and Marines in a variety of scenarios.

Naval Hospitals and clinics in the United States and abroad, aircraft carriers, and Navy and Marine Corps Special Operations Unit are examples of practice environments.

They are experts in orthopedics, sports medicine, electromyography, and manual therapy.

Furthermore, they work in clinical and managerial roles across the world and collaborate with top-tier health-care experts, such as doctors and occupational therapists.

Navy PTs seek further degrees in physical therapy or similar professions limitedly.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree in physical therapy from a school approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • Applicants must have a valid physical therapist license or registration in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Previous Physical Therapy experience (constructive credit for work experience now offered to Physical Therapists).
  • A referral letter from an active-duty Physical Therapist.
  • Professional and personal references (letters of reference from professors) for fresh graduates and letters of reference from physical therapy supervisors for workforce candidates.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Great Lakes, Illinois
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • San Diego, California
  • Bremerton, Washington
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Rota, Spain
  • Sigonella, Italy

Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant-Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Image 704X396

Navy Physician Assistants (PA) function as a vital element of the Navy’s health care delivery team while practicing medicine under the supervision of a supervising physician.

Physician Assistants use their abilities, knowledge, and experience to gather complete medical histories, do extensive examinations, order and initially interpret diagnostic laboratory and X-ray findings, and plan and begin comprehensive treatment regimens in all areas of primary care medicine.

They may be deployed to a variety of medical treatment centers in the United States, abroad, and on a variety of operational units

Sea tours of duty are part of the PA career progression and are typically two years.

Navy PAs are eligible to apply for postgraduate specialist training under established requirements for Medical Service Corps Officers.

Not to mention, they can get financial support for continuing medical education and recertification examinations.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from a university or college that is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARCPA), have passed the Physician Assistant National Certification examination (PANCE), and be currently certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
  • Applicants with a Baccalaureate degree in Physician Assistant studies who are exceptionally competent and PANCE/NCCPA certified will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • High recommendations, both professional and personal
  • Previous experience as a physician assistant

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
  • Great Lakes, Illinois
  • Camp Pendleton, California
  • Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
  • Guam, Mariana Islands
  • Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan

Physiologist

Physiology-Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Image 704X396

Navy physiologists use innovative physiology and medicine technology to conduct fundamental and applied research on the physiological issues that Navy and Marine Corps personnel face.

These fields include, but are not limited to, military-related stressors (e.g., temperature, altitude, pressure, and acceleration) in both human and animal models.

Navy Physiologists are important members of research and development teams because they create, perform, and manage research initiatives, as well as teach and train medical staff.

They can oversee large-scale medical research and development activities, and they receive acquisition or project management training.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants must hold a doctorate degree in physiology and have a solid research experience.

Those with PhD degrees in allied subjects such as pharmacology or biomedical engineering who have emphasized systems physiology in their research or graduate studies will be given consideration.

The emphasis is on cardiovascular, respiratory, hyperbaric, and neurophysiology research, with some exercise physiological research.

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Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • A concentration in physical sciences or mathematics at the undergraduate level is preferred.
  • One or two years of postdoctoral research experience in physiology.
  • The ability to operate autonomously.
  • A track record of successful publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong professional endorsements
  • Professional adaptability, including the willingness and ability to refocus research aims every three to four years.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Groton, Connecticut
  • San Diego, California
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • Panama City, Florida

Podiatrist

Podiatry-Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Image 704X396

Naval Podiatrists are part of the medical team devoted to keeping our combat forces operationally ready while also treating service men and their families.

Podiatrists in the United States Navy can practice within the entire medical and surgical limits of the profession and have access to therapy at their individual treatment centers.

Podiatrists are assigned with leadership duties as Naval Officers, both within their field of medical specialty and within the Navy medical community.

Major treatment centers, branch clinics, Navy and Marine Corps recruit depots, and worldwide deployment are also possible assignments.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must be graduates of a podiatry college approved by the American Podiatry Association’s Council on Education.
  • Applicants for Active Duty require current licensure in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.
  • Applicants must have a two-year surgical residency allowed by the American Podiatric Medical Association is necessary.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Three-year surgical residency allowed by the American Podiatric Medical Association is highly sought.
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale (undergraduate).
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale (Podiatric Medical School).
  • Hospital personnel having current privileges and certifications.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Mayport, Florida
  • San Diego, California
  • Beaufort, South Carolina
  • Great Lakes, Illinois
  • Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Sigonella, Italy

Radiation Health

Radiology Health-Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Image 704X396

Navy Radiation Health Officers (RHOs) handle the safe operation of radiation-producing equipment and radioactive materials.

Increasing degrees of responsibility and leadership are required for advancement in the administration of radiation protection programs, basic/applied research, clinical medical physics, and industrial/environmental oversight.

They hone the technical managerial abilities required for positions of leadership in Navy Medicine or the private sector.

Not only that, but RHOs also complete the experience requirements for board certification while being mentored by experienced RHOs.

They look for career opportunities in shore-based commands, forward-deployed ships, and foreign hospitals.

RHOs also teach in a variety of training programs for technicians, physicians, and medical students.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in radiation health, radiobiology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, nuclear engineering, or biology is required (which must include acceptable course work in physics or calculus).
  • Radiation protection program experience and extra courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Competitive Profile

Applicants who hold a science degree with a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale or master’s degree in health sciences or medical physics are highly desirable for selection.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • San Diego, California
  • Everett, Washington
  • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Yokosuka, Japan
  • Naples, Italy

Research Psychologist

Research Psychology-Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Image 704X396

There are about 24 Navy Research Psychologists on Active Duty.

Research Psychologists are critical members of research and development teams that create operational products that have a significant influence on the health, safety, and operational performance of Navy Fleet and Marine Corps units.

While there are other career paths available, former roles frequently entail laboratory and field research on factors affecting elements of human performance in military systems.

They eventually qualify for jobs in policy creation, research administration and oversight, and program assessment.

Not to mention, Navy Research Psychologists manage extensive research and development projects in laboratories and aid employees with human performance, training, and people challenges.

They seize senior officer opportunities for medical department leadership roles, such as the head of the Navy Medical Research and Development Laboratories.

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Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in psychology, preferably in cognitive, experimental, social, industrial/organizational, human factors engineering, personnel, neuroscience, physiological, or a related field. Applicants who have finished their degree requirements and have successfully completed their dissertation last defense will be considered.
  • Applicants with a Psy.D. in cognitive, experimental, social, industrial/ organizational, human factors engineering, personnel, neuroscience, physiological, or a related field of psychology will be considered.
  • Applicants with a master’s degree in one of these disciplines and four years of commissioned duty as a Research Psychologist may be eligible for the Reserve Component.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Evidence of professional adaptability, flexibility, and a broad range of interests in psychology.
  • Expertise in study design, method, execution, and statistical analysis.
  • Outstanding professional references, as well as a solid academic record and past record of publishing in peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Typical Assignment Locations

  • Bethesda, Maryland
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • San Diego, California
  • Washington, District of Columbia

Social Worker

Social Worker-Navy Medical Service Corps Officer Image 704X396

Navy Social Workers are employed at both Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF) and Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC).

Within an MTF, the focus of Social Work ranges between medical surgery, counseling services, and administrative roles, such as department management.

Within an FFSC, social work practice is limited to delivering behavioral health treatments.

All Active Duty Navy Social Workers are licensed independent providers who must be granted privileges in line with Commander, Navy Installations Command and Bureau of Medicine and Surgery rules.

They may further their studies through post-clinical master’s fellowships.

Basic Qualifications

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from a social work graduate institution approved by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  • Applicants must have a minimum of two years of full-time supervised clinical social work experience following a master’s degree.
  • Applicants must hold the highest level of clinical social worker licensure/certification available in the jurisdiction where they operate. This license must allow the social worker to practice independently.

Competitive Profile

The following factors make an applicant more competitive for selection:

  • Mental health experience with a solid foundation in clinical diagnosis and therapy intervention.
  • A candidate should have direct experience dealing with evidence-based therapeutic methods, such as extended exposure and cognitive process therapy. These interventions are essential for working with the Wounded, Ill, and Injured populations, as well as their families.
  • Broad awareness of family violence and prior experience working with it.
  • Experience in supervisory program management or other forms of leadership.
  • Expertise, knowledge, and comfort dealing with diverse groups from varied cultural backgrounds.

Medical Service Corps Officer Service Obligation

Officers in the Medical Service Corps must serve for a minimum of three years on active duty.

Depending on the professional expertise, the Naval Officer career path may involve shore, abroad, and operational (sea) tours.

 Sea duty provides options for global travel. Most shore tours do not require officers to travel to sea, and most sea tours spend less than half of their time at sea.

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Active Duty

Most selectees are required to serve for three years from the date of appointment.

The remaining years to complete eight years of service may be performed in either inactive ready reserve (IRR) or active chosen reserve status.

Reserves

Chosen individuals are subject to an eight-year ready reserve requirement, and a three-year selected reserve (SELRES) duty. The service obligation takes effect upon commissioning.

Initial Training for Navy MSC Officers

Officer Development School (ODS) is a training facility where the Navy teaches medical professionals, attorneys, chaplains, and other Staff Corps Officers on the duties of being a Naval Officer and leader.

Trainees will undergo a 5-week indoctrination program at the Officer Training Command in Newport, Rhode Island, to prepare for this additional duty.

ODS is a strict military training facility. The school values collaboration, self-sacrifice, integrity, and character strength in the spirit of lifelong learning in an environment of mutual respect for everyone.

Navy MSC Officer Salary

Comparisons differ by job, but after salary, housing and other allowances, benefits, and education are factored in, the income is commensurate with civilian wages.

In contrast to typical civilian work arrangements, you will earn yearly and gradual raises and promotions throughout your career.

Members of the Navy Medical Service Corps are eligible for a variety of special pay packages based on their specialty, years of service, and intent to continue Active Duty.

Medical special pay examples:

  • Health Professions Loan Repayment (HPLRP) is offered for accessions to specific medical professional subspecialties each year.
  • Board Certified Pay
  • Pharmacy Accession Bonus
  • Pharmacy Officer Special Pay
  • Optometry Special Pay
  • Optometry Retention Special Pay
  • Health Profession Officer (HPO) Special Pay for Clinical Psychologists and Physician Assistants encompasses an accession bonus, incentive pay & retention bonus.

Navy MSC Officer Post Service Opportunities

Your degree, combined with your Navy experience, provides you with an unrivaled resume.

Your technical and leadership abilities, as well as your military training and experience, are valued and sought after by civilian employers.

Naval Officers can find civilian work in a variety of fields.

As an officer, you will be accountable for guiding others from the outset.

Your duties will rise in tandem with your leadership/management abilities.

You will be well prepared for your future profession by the time you leave (if you so choose).

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More Information

If you want more information about becoming a Navy Medical Service Corps Officer, the next logical step is to contact your local Medical Officer Recruiter.

Your recruiter will help you determine if this Navy Officer job is even right for you.

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Hope you find this helpful in your career planning.

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