International Maritime Officers School

The International Maritime Officers School resides within the International Resident Training Branch at Training Center Yorktown. The Schoolhouse provides an in-depth overview of U.S. Coast Guard organization, planning and management of its missions to mid-grade coast guard, navy, maritime police and civilian equivalent personnel from around the world. The school is staffed by a dedicated team who schedule and coordinate with over 80 instructors, each an expert within their field, to actively participate in the school instruction. For those that visit the Training Center, the school is located on the second deck of Hamilton Hall. You can contact the International Maritime Officers School at (757) 856-2236 (voice) or (757) 856-2316 (fax) for additional information.

IMOC students, staff and Embassy Representatives
pose for a class picture following the graduation ceremony.

Scheduling & General Information

All requests for training and assistance (military and civilian) must be submitted through the U.S. Embassy in the host nation concerned. The appropriate U.S. Embassy staff component (Security Cooperation Office (SCO)), U.S. Military Advisor, USCG Liaison Officer, Narcotics Affairs Section, etc.) will review the request and forward it to International Affairs (CG-DCO-I) at USCG Headquarters for processing. Security Assistance (SA) sponsored training requests will follow procedures identified in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM) and the Joint Security Assistance Training (JSAT) Regulation.

The U.S. Embassy and USCG Headquarters International Affairs staff can provide class convening schedules, quota availability and prerequisites. They are knowledgeable training experts who can also help develop a training plan for an individual student. A training plan equates an individual skill or organizational strategic mission requirements with the individual or unit skill level and experience. These objectives are developed into a training plan. The U.S. Embassy staff and the USCG Headquarters International Affairs (CG-DCO-I) staff will assist a host nation or agency to develop a training plan for an individual International Military Student (IMS), or a comprehensive and phased plan for an agency or organization geared toward the development of specific capabilities. Similarly, a long term plan may be designed to assist in the establishment of a maritime agency with missions similar to the USCG.

Recent IMOC Class visiting USCGC TANEY
Baltimore, Maryland

Funding Procedures

The host nation or agency requesting USCG training is responsible for arranging funding through a sponsoring U.S. agency or with host nation funds. Each course has a tuition cost that is adjusted annually and varies based on the fund source and applicable U.S. agreements with countries. A price estimate will be provided upon written request to schedule training.

Security Clearance

All USCG international resident training, attended by IMS’s, is available and provided on an unclassified basis.

Student Vetting

In general terms, the student vetting policies prohibit the use of foreign assistance funds to assist foreign security forces where there is credible evidence such forces have committed gross human rights violations. The State Department's Leahy "vetting process," which is also used by the Department of Defense, determines whether there is such evidence prior to providing assistance.


The IMS selected by their host nation for training is presumed to be in good physical and mental health, as well as being free from communicable diseases. If it is discovered that an IMS cannot qualify for training by reason of physical or mental condition and, in the opinion of medical authorities, will require treatment before entering training, the IMS will be returned to their home country immediately, or as soon thereafter as his or her condition will permit travel.

Adequate medical coverage for the duration of training must be provided for all IMS. The specific source of this coverage is dependent on the tuition funding source utilized and may be through any of a variety of sources, including commercial insurance, reimbursable health care agreements, program funding, NATO healthcare agreements,  or other sources approved by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

English Comprehension Level (ECL)

Resident training is provided in English only. Members are multi-tasked to perform the duties of their primary rating in a multi-mission environment. Accordingly, IMS’s will require strong English language skills. IMS’s may be tested upon arrival to determine current ECL. It is the responsibility of the Security Cooperation Office (SCO) or host nation program representative to ensure the IMS has the appropriate level ECL for the course(s) the IMS will attend. Additional information on ECL testing can be found on the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) website.

Invitational Travel Order

An Invitational Travel Order (ITO) is required for all IMS’s sponsored under Security Cooperation programs. The ITO is the controlling document for authorized training, conditions, and privileges, and is used to provide recognition of the military or equivalent civilian status of the IMS. A letter of introduction or travel orders from the sending agency must be presented for non-Security Cooperation IMS’s. Any subsequent change must be done by publishing an amendment to the ITO or to the travel orders for non-Security Cooperation IMS’s. The U.S. visa is the authority to travel to the U.S. during the valid period; it has no relation to the period of stay in the U.S. The U.S. visa, in conjunction with the ITO, form the documentation that governs the IMS’s status in the U.S. IMS’s must possess the appropriate A-2 visa. Additional information regarding Visa policy can be found at the Department of State website.

Shared missions, common interests

Schoolhouse Organization

The International Maritime Officers School is made up of a small staff who schedule, coordinate, and augment instruction for the course.

Student Administration

Once the training is approved for an IMS, details are coordinated and the receiving unit begins planning. An International Military Student Officer (IMSO) is assigned to each USCG training center and other commands to coordinate individual IMS administration and supervision. This responsibility includes coordination with USCG Headquarters International Affairs (CG-DCO-I) for program oversight, academic progress and disciplinary issues. The IMSO also coordinates proper documentation, arrival, transportation, and living accommodations, and sees to the IMS’s general well being. Time permitting and in addition to the training and military experience, the IMSO will provide opportunities to participate in off-duty activities to assist the IMS in acquiring a balanced understanding of U.S. society, institutions, and goals through the Field Studies Program (FSP). These FSP activities can include visits to historical points of interest, local industries, private homes, and civic activities.

Student Arrival / Departure Information

Airport: Newport News Airport (PHF) (travel time 15 minutes), Newport News, Virginia; alternate is Norfolk International Airport (ORF) (travel time 45-60 minutes), Norfolk, Virginia.

Transportation: Taxi fare from the Newport News Airport is approximately $25 one way. Taxi fare from Norfolk international is approximately $70-100 one way.

Recommend sending pre-arrival information so that IMS’s can be met at the airport. If flights are delayed for any reason, please call the Officer on Duty (OOD) and advise of the situation. If not advised of the change in flight status or delays, the IMS will not be met at the airport. As an alternative, the IMS must take a taxi or airport express which is available at both airports. The cost is approximately $24 from Newport News and $80-100 from Norfolk. IMS’s should get a receipt. IMS’s will be required to show their passport and ITO upon arrival at the Training Center.

Check-In: All IMS’s must check in with the Officer on Duty (OOD) at (757) 856-2354 or call the IMSO at (757) 342-6485. IMS’s should report no earlier than the report date as indicated on the ITO or quota confirmation correspondence provided.

Billeting: Civilians and officer personnel O-5 and below will be billeted in Cain Hall in 2-person rooms. Officer personnel O-6 and above will be in 1-person rooms. Billeting for IMS’s is at no cost. There are no phones in the rooms. International and local calling cards for telephone service are highly recommended. The use of government phones is for official business only, and may not be used for personal use.

Uniforms: IMS’s must bring appropriate seasonal uniforms, including a dress uniform, as well as authorized work uniforms and seasonal outerwear. IMS’s lacking adequate uniforms will be required to purchase necessary items upon arrival. Cold weather clothing is recommended during November – March.

Climate: Summer temperatures range from an average low of 69°F (21°C) to an average high of 90°F (32°C). In winter (November–March), the average low is 36°F (2°C), and the average high is 54°F (12°C). The average annual rainfall is 45 inches, with snow probable during the winter months.

Building relationships and lasting partnerships