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About USCG Lateral Enlistment Program

The United States Coast Guard and the Northeast Maritime Institute – College of Maritime Science entered a historic partnership agreement in 2023. This agreement provides NMI graduates the opportunity to enter a Lateral Enlistment Program into the Coast Guard as junior petty officers upon graduation from NMI’s Associate in Applied Science in Nautical Science Degree Program and completion of the USCG boot camp. NMI graduates will have the option to enlist as third-class or second-class Boatswains Mates, enlisting either full time into the Coast Guard or into the Coast Guard Reserve while serving in the United States Merchant Marine.

Students graduating from high school and enrolling into NMI’s Associate in Applied Science in Nautical Science Degree Program may also have the option to enroll as Reservists and attend U.S. Coast Guard boot camp during the summer months between high school graduation and their fall semester. Students who choose this option will receive a bonus and pay to offset their college tuition expenses.

The Boatswain’s Mate Petty Officer rating stands as the backbone of every Coast Guard mission, dedicated to the noble task of saving lives, protecting our homeland and serving as the gatekeepers of our nation’s maritime trade and commerce. These Petty Officers are the guardians of sea through their enhanced skill sets in deck seamanship and navigation, providing the safety and confidence of all who venture out to sea. Their expertise is intertwined with the very fabric of all Coast Guard maritime operations, with hardly a moment passing with a Boatswain’s Mate not being involved or leading the charge. Boatswain’s Mates amass a wealth of experience that is not only deep but also far-reaching, allowing them to save lives in a myriad of situations. Operating complex maritime systems and navigating all types of vessels become second nature to Boatswain’s Mates through their rigorous skill sets, credentialing, and relevant training, enabling them to respond swiftly and effectively to any crisis at sea.  Boatswain’s Mates are truly the “guardians of the sea.”

As a Northeast Maritime Institute – College of Maritime Science Associate of Applied Science in Nautical Science Degree graduate, you can laterally enlist into the Coast Guard as a Boatswain’s Mate.  NMI “Lateral Enlistment Graduates” will tackle an array of unique and demanding challenges, armed with some of the nation’s most comprehensive, top-notch lifesaving, nautical operations, and professional law enforcement education. You will possess an unwavering commitment to solving extraordinary problems and are constantly guided by the urgency of preserving safety of life at sea, maritime security and environmental protection at the highest levels of operations. Every decision a Boatswain’s Mate makes involves thoughtful risk and threat assessments, where the paramount goal is to choose the safest and most efficient course of action for a successful outcome. The daily life of a Boatswain’s Mate is a tapestry of excitement and fulfillment, knowing that their actions directly impact the survival and well-being of those in distress.

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