How to Join CGIS

Created by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kevin Roe on 06 Apr 2021 @ 11:28am

Joining CGIS

Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agents come through multiple career options be it Active Duty, Reserves, or even the civilian route. This database is the official CGIS RP canon of methods to join CGIS as a Special Agent. For information on non-Special Agent positions please check with a member of staff on Discord before creating an application.

Full Time Reservists

The most popular route for CGIS members to become a Special Agent is through the US Coast Guard Reserves. These members are "Full-Time Reservists" in that while assigned through the Coast Guard Reserves they serve full time and have all of the benefits received by active-duty members of the USCG. The difference is that their assignment to duties does not change for career progression as an Active Duty member. (IE: Duty assignments changing by tour, etc.)

It should be noted that due to the nature of the agency CGIS members can be assigned to work cases or to offices worldwide

Full-Time Reservists must have three years of active full-time Law Enforcement experience and may or may not already have been a member of the USCG Reserves. Investigative work is preferred with experience but not necessary. Agents applying for CGIS Full-Time Reserve status not already in the Reserves attend Direct Entry Petty Officer Training (DEPOT) prior to their training as an agent.

Reservists who hold at least five years of full-time active law enforcement experience with at least three years of investigative work and supervision preferred may apply to enter CGIS as a Chief Warrant Officer. A Chief Warrant Officer must hold a bachelor's degree in a related field and be at least twenty-one years of age. Members who are entering CGIS as a CWO must attend Warrant Officer Candidate school prior to their Special Agent training.

Agents who are already serving as a Non-Commissioned Officer and obtain the rank/grade of Petty Officer Second Class (E-5) may apply for Warrant Officer Candidate School. These NCOs must also hold the education and age requirements to become a Chief Warrant Officer within the United States Coast Guard.

Active Duty

Members of the Active Duty Coast Guard wishing to transfer to an active duty Investigator position or to move into full-time reserve status may only serve in Chief Warrant Officer and Commissioned Officer positions within the agency. Active duty members comprise the lowest number of members to fill the agency under both Full Time Reservists (the primary method of employment) and Civilians. Active duty members may apply to Warrant Officer Candidate School and Special Agent training after reaching Petty Officer Second Class (E-5) in any rate but those holding law enforcement and intelligence backgrounds are strongly preferred. Other members of the USCG may be assigned to support CGIS while on active duty in non-investigative roles such as Yeoman, Information Technology Support, and K9 Handlers.


Civilians wishing to serve as a Special Agent within the CGIS must be twenty-one but be no older than thirty-seven years of age. They must have at least three years of active full-time law enforcement experience with investigative work preferred. All Civilian Agents must also hold a bachelor's degree in a related field. Agents must fill these same physical requirements as active duty and reservists serving as CGIS agents and attend the same training as all special agents joining the agency.

CGIS Agent Training

All special agents of the Coast Guard Investigative Service are required to fill their entry requirements based on the route of entry to the agency (Warrant Officer Candidate School, DEPOT, etc.). Upon completion of their training to be members of the US Coast Guard members attend Federal Law Enforcement training at Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Glynco, Georgia. All CGIS agents are trained as Special Agents with the same powers of arrest and investigation as an FBI agent. Additionally, CGIS Special Agents all receive basic Crime Scene Processing training as they mostly work without the support of Crime Scene Technicians or a CGIS Laboratory with support from official CGIS Crime Scene personnel at regional office locations.

Additionally, all members of the CGIS must maintain qualification on all weapons platforms, maintain a security clearance, and maintain all physical fitness training and standards through their employment.

Upon completing their training at a Federal Law Enforcement Center agents are designated a "Special Agent Trainee" for at least one year and up to eighteen months as a probationary member. During this time agents must operate under the supervision of a Senior or Supervisory Special Agent.

Categories: CGIS Canon