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U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps



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The Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service (COA) is dedicated to improving and protecting the public health of the United States by advocating for the Commissioned Corps and its officers.

COA protects the interests of the Commissioned Corps officers of the U.S. Public Health Service, uniformed service professionals in public health and global health.

Recent COA achievements include:

  • Whistleblower protections
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill transferability for PHS officers
  • Congressional passage of all COA-backed health care reform proposals
  • 48 years of the annual USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium, a mission-related conference bringing together Federal, state, local, and tribal health leaders

Latest Stories

2014 COA Board of Directors Election is Now Open

03/21/2014 - The 2014 COA Board of Directors election is now open. Click the link below to view the nominee's profiles and cast your vote. In many cases, contested vacancies are won by a mere handful of votes. Your vote does count. Please use it! Vote today for the PHS officers who will help guide your COA for the next three years. The deadline for voting is May 2, 2014.
Click here to cast your vote for the 2014 COA Board of Directors Election

COA Branch Market Place

03/20/2014 -
COA Branch Marketplace

COA/COF Name New Executive Director

03/18/2014 - The Commissioned Officers Association and PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health are pleased to announce the engagement of James Tyson Currie as executive director for the combined enterprise. Currie holds a doctoral degree in history from the University of Virginia and is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Dr. Currie was a professor of Political Science/National Security Studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University for 18 years. More recently he has worked as legislative director for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the largest trade association representing the recreational boat building industry, with 1500 members; and prior to that as the director of federal relations at the National Association of State Treasurers. Colonel Currie also worked as a staff member in the U.S. Senate. He is the author of three books and 25 articles.

Colonel Currie was the unanimous choice of the search committee after an exhaustive review of some fifty applicants for the position. He is one of the few applicants meeting all three of the most important criteria identified by the association and foundation boards: uniformed service experience, demonstrated leadership, and success in managing organizations. He has a rich background of accomplishment and possesses the skills necessary to lead COA and COF to continued success in the years ahead.

Currie said that he is honored by his selection to become the executive director for the association and foundation. "It will be the culmination of my career," he said. "I am excited about the opportunity to represent the incredible officers of the U.S. Public Health Service--active and retired--and to furthering the goals of the association and the foundation. Jerry Farrell will be an extremely tough act to follow, as he has been everything you would want in an executive director."

Colonel Currie will replace Farrell who has served as COA/COF executive director since 2001. Colonel Currie will begin work on 1 April. He is COA's fourth executive director since the association was incorporated in 1951.

National COA is Seeking Nominations for Branch of the Year

01/13/2014 - 12/26/2013 - National COA is seeking nominations for Branch of the Year Award. Click below for full details and criteria. The deadline to submit a nomination is April 18, 2014.
Branch of the Year Nominations

COA Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors

12/26/2013 - COA is seeking nominations for the Board of Directors. For full details and criteria, please click the link below. Deadline is March 14, 2014.
COA Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors

More association news



$500,000 was set aside for COA members to earn the completely online, accredited Master of Public Health degree from the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services. COA members can get a $7500 scholarship for enrolling. For more information, click here.


Below is a 1936 film that includes the history of the USPHS.

April 7-13, 2014 National Public Health Week

The April Frontline is available for viewing on the COA Members Only website.
The April Frontline is available for viewing on the COA Members Only website. Interested in submitting an article for Frontline? See GUIDELINES for submissions (located @ Members Only/Frontline). Then email submission to Malissa Spalding at mspalding@coausphs.org.

Click here to login to the COA Members Only website!

Go to the COA Members Only Website, and click on the PenFed link to join Pentagon Federal Credit Union!


Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability

Huge victory for USPHS Commissioned Corps officers who serve their country with honor. Want to take advantage of this great benefit but don’t know where to start? The Cincinnati COA Branch developed “Notes from the Road." Below it is guidance prepared by GI Bill experts at PHS.

©2013 Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS Inc
Revised 03/21/2014