OSMS and YOU: Civil Engineer

This blog post is the 14th in a series of posts highlighting the various specialties and sub-specialties offered by the recently launched Officer Specialty Management System. Stay tuned as we share key information about each specialty/sub-specialty in the coming weeks!




Written by Lt. Jay Shirey

“Every mission starts and ends in a Coast Guard facility,” said Rear Adm. J.A. Kinghorn.

Coast Guard civil engineers are those officers who have achieved the CG-ENG13 sub-specialty and manage the entire shore facility asset portfolio for the Coast Guard. This portfolio includes everything from the building you are currently working in, to the piers our cutters moor up at, to the buoys that guide maritime transportation. In total, the Coast Guard owns nearly 30 million square feet of building space, leases another 3 million square feet, is the steward of over 65,000 acres of land, and operates at over 1,800 individual sites. With 140 ENG-13 positions, a lot is asked of each member of the civil engineering community.

Officers first entering a civil engineering billet are typically placed in a hands-on technical assignment at a Civil Engineering Unit, Facilities Design and Construction Center, or Facilities Engineering Office. More experienced officers’ transition to management focused roles as their career progresses. The ENG-13 sub-specialty is very flexible and officers are encouraged to pursue out of specialty tours and career broadening assignments. Obtainment of the ENG-13 sub-specialty designation is typically earned after one tour in an ENG-13 coded position. Specific requirements can be found at the OPM-3 website.

Civil Engineers have access to several postgraduate school opportunities. A Master of Science in Civil Engineering Degree is available to junior officers who have competitive professional experience and standardize test scores. This 12-17 month program routinely places selected officers in some of the highest ranked civil engineering programs in the U.S.

A 22-month Master of Science in Ocean Engineering is also available to junior officers who have demonstrated performance both professionally and academically. This program has both a technical and basic managerial focus preparing officers for entry level and managerial ocean engineering jobs. Ocean engineering is closely aligned with the civil engineering program, and ocean engineers may be assigned to civil engineer tours later in their careers.

More seasoned officers also have access to postgraduate programs including a 12-month Master of Science in Engineering Management and a 24-month combined Master of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Business Administration degree program. For more specific information regarding Civil Engineering postgraduate programs contact Lt. Jay Shirey at (202) 475-5618.


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