The Officer in Charge (OIC) badge is a signal honor and major career milestone for enlisted personnel in the Coast Guard. There is a bevy of responsibilities and duties that come with being named Officer in Charge of even a small unit, so the vast majority of Coast Guard personnel tapped for the position are Chiefs or Senior Chiefs (although occasionally some outstanding First Class Petty Officers with two years spent in grade are chosen to serve as OICs).

Not all enlisted personnel serving as OICs are eligible to be awarded the OIC Badge, however. Coast Guard regulations make it clear that Guardsmen who have been appointed as acting OICs on an interim basis do not qualify for the badge, and in fact the time they spend in that acting role does not count toward the mandate of six continuous months of service as an OIC.

Specifically, enlisted personnel in the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve must be assigned by the Commander, Coast Guard Personnel Service Center, Enlisted Personnel Management Division as the designated OIC of either a floating or ashore unit with its own Operating Facility (OPFAC) number; what’s more, the billet they are filling must require OIC certification. As of April, 2016, OIC positions existed only in the Boatswain’s Mate and Electronics Technician ratings.

It’s entirely possible for Guardsmen to first earn the OIC Badge for an Ashore or Afloat assignment (or both) and then, either through promotion to Warrant Officer or by pursuing commissioned officer status, qualify for the Command Ashore / Afloat Badge. In those instances, they may continue to wear the OIC Afloat / Ashore Badge until they have qualified for the Command version, at which point the OIC device is no longer authorized for wear.

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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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