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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
  • 49 years of the annual USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium, a mission-related conference bringing together Federal, state, local, and tribal health leaders

Latest Stories

Acting Surgeon General Lushniak Testified on Ebola Response
Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak

11/19/2014 - On November 18, 2014, Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. RADM Lushniak provided an overview of the Commissioned Corps and its role in the government response to Ebola both domestically and internationally. He was joined on the panel by Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC, and Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. C-SPAN has a recording of the hearing posted online.
Surgeon General Lushniak's Written Testimony

The President of the United States Publicly Praises the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps for its Response to the Ebola Outbreak

11/04/2014 - For the third time in recent weeks, the President of the United States has publicly praised the U.S. Public Health Services Commissioned Corps and its response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In a widely publicized ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, October 29, the President thanked the PHS and singled out two PHS officers, CAPT Calvin Edwards and CDR Daniel Chertow, for special mention. Captain Edwards is still in Liberia, but CDR Chertow has returned. He is seen here, accepting the President's congratulations. RADM Boris Lushniak, U.S. Surgeon General (acting), was at the White House as well. He described the experience in a morale-boosting communication sent to all active-duty PHS officers on Friday, Oct. 31.
Message From Acting U.S. Surgeon General RADM Lushniak to Fellow Officers

PHS Ebola Team in the News (at last!)
RADM Giberson - Langley AFB

10/28/2014 - In its lead story over the weekend, The Washington Post described the role of the PHS Commissioned Corps in Liberia. Post reporters interviewed RADM Scott Giberson and other PHS officers in Monrovia, and included some PHS history. The story, a detailed look at the total American response to the epidemic in West Africa, occupied what is prime real estate in the newspaper business: front page, upper right-hand corner, above the fold, and published on Sunday for maximum readership. RADM Giberson was also interviewed by The New York Times for a story published on Monday, Oct. 27. Below are links to the Post story and to the Times story:

Click Here for The Washington Post Article

Click Here for the New York Times Article

PHS Ebola Deployment, Washington Post Oct. 25, 2014 (PDF,reformatted)

More association news



We have now partnered with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, allowing COA members to receive a $7,500 scholarship when they enroll in the online, accredited Master of Public Health program or the online Executive Master of Health Administration.


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



The November Frontline is available for viewing on the COA Members Only website.
The November 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 Frontline@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 11/19/2014