Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Inter-Service Transfers

The NOAA Corps accepts applications for inter-services transfers (IST) for active duty commissioned aviators in the rank of 0-1 to 0-4 with under 12 years of active duty time served. The NOAA Corps is not accepting Mariner IST OOD/SWO applications at this time. Inter-service Transfers may incur an Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) on a case by case basis. Required training dictates the extent of the ADSO.

Please note that selected candidates will transfer over at the rank they hold three months prior to their transfer date.  This is due to the length of time for a commissioning package to be signed off by the Secretary of Commerce. 

The IST application cycle is held on an annual basis. The IST 10013 application period is currently live with a deadline of March 22, 2024. 

IST 10013

Begin Application Period - September 2023
Application Deadline - March 22, 2024
Interviews - March to April 2024
IST Selection Board - April 24, 2024
Transfer to NOAA Corps - case by case

Please find our application portal here. Make sure to select Inter-Service Transfer.


Procedures for performing an inter-service transfer to or from the NOAA Corps are prescribed by Title 10, Section 716 of U.S. Code, and Department of Defense Directive 1300.4.

In addition to basic eligibility requirements for appointment in the NOAA Corps, inter-service transfer applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The losing service must approve the transfer
  • Rank within the losing service must be no higher than 0-4 at the time of the transfer
  • Total creditable service time must be less than 12 years at the time of transfer

Request for inter-service transfer to the NOAA Corps are evaluated individually. The decision to accept or deny an IST request is based on the immediate needs of the NOAA Corps and the rank, skills, and experience of the applicant. IST applicants may be considered for direct placement in the NOAA Corps if their area of expertise would meet an urgent operational need for one of NOAA's ship or aircraft platforms.

ISTs are subject to Active Duty Service Obligations under sections 998.22 and 998.24 of the NOAA Corps Reauthorization Act. An inter-service transfer that attends any portion of initial flight training, will incur a 6 year service obligation. Furthermore, any IST that attends any portion of heavy aircraft flight training will incur a 4 year service obligation. Please contact the NOAA Corps Recruiting Branch for further clarification.

Active duty commissioned officers within the O-1 to O-4 ranks who are interested in transferring to the NOAA Corps and meet the minimum eligibility requirements for an IST, must submit a complete application package for consideration.

IST applicants may start the application process by logging into the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System. You will be required to enter preliminary information to determine eligibility and create an E-Recruit account. After logging into your account, E-Recruit will guide you through the application process, allow you to track your submissions, and provide updates pertinent to your application.

Required Application Materials

NOAA Form 56-42

Application for appointment in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. Complete this form using the E-Recruit System.

IST Summary Cover Sheet

Summary of active duty service and qualifications listed on your Inter-Service Transfer Summary.

NOAA Forms 56-42A

Three to five letters of Recommendation are required. The form must be signed and submitted directly by the reference. A formal letter may also be attached. References should be knowledgeable of your character, professional work or training, and leadership potential. Professional references include professors, employment supervisors, clergyman, etc. This form is emailed to your contacts by the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System once you complete the application.

Only one reference may be of a personal nature. Family members are not acceptable references.

Before providing references with NOAA Forms 56-42A, be certain to complete all fillable fields on page 1 and enter your name in the "Applicant's Name" field at the top of page 2. References may submit this signed document via hard copy or electronic format. Electronic submissions must be sent to (link sends e-mail) directly from the reference.

Official Transcripts

Certified official transcripts must be submitted from each college or university attended. This includes transcripts from any transfer credits applied towards a bachelor degree. Certified official transcripts must come directly from the institution.

Please remember you must meet a 48 STEM credit requirement to qualify for transfer.

Service Evaluation Reports

Copies of Fitness Report/Officer Evaluation Report (FITREPs/OERs) covering applicant’s most recent three (3) years of service. 

Service Discharges

Official or certified (notarized) copies of DD214's (Member-4 Copy), or service equivalent forms, issued upon release from any periods of active duty prior to current commission and/or separation from another service. A separate DD214 must be included to cover each individual period of active duty.


All candidates will be requested to produce a class 1 flight physical in AERO if selected as a primary or alternate candidate. 


Other resumes, training certificates, or awards may be submitted at the applicant's discretion.

Interview Evaluation

All applicants must be interviewed by a NOAA Corps officer. Once the application materials listed above have been received and reviewed by the Officer Recruiting Branch, an interview will be scheduled with an appropriately ranked and experienced NOAA Corps officer. The interviewing officer will submit an evaluation directly to the Officer Recruiting Branch.

Note: NOAA Corps does not reimburse applicants for travel associated with the interview. Efforts are made to find an interviewer in close proximity to the applicant, but locations may become very limited as the application deadline approaches.

Once a complete application package has been received by the Officer Recruiting Branch, and a need determined for the rank, skills, and experience of the applicant, an Officer Personnel Board will be convened to consider the application for transfer.

Additional guidance on electronic document submission can be found within the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System.

The NOAA Corps is committed to equal opportunity for all persons.

Ready to apply? Click here