About COMMIssioning

Students without prior qualifying officer service experience must complete their service specific orientation program before actually matriculating into the Psychology Programs.

During these orientation programs, administrative records are initiated for students entering active duty. Students are provided opportunities to purchase any required uniforms, and instructed in their proper wear. Students also learn basic information about the customs and courtesies of their Service, gain an understanding of one’s responsibilities as an officer, and begin to develop an ésprit de corps. Students who may not have been previously exposed to life in a uniformed service, typically find these orientation programs to be educational and challenging, while facilitating a smooth transition to military life.

Students report to USU after completing their service-specific orientations. The University’s Brigade provides a general orientation during the first two weeks of August. During this time, the administrative requirements for registering students with the university and with their respective services are completed.




Phone: (301) 295-1361

Email: commissioningcoordinator@usuhs.edu



US Army Student Representative

Email: amps@usuhs.edu


For general information about being an Army Clinical Psychologist contact:

LTC Patrice Shanahan 

Email: patrice.shanahan@usuhs.edu



US Navy Student Representative

Email: nmps@usuhs.edu

Contact for specific questions about the clinical psychology program for Navy students, what it's like to be enrolled in the USUHS program, and the program application process


National Director, Navy Psychology Training Programs

John A. Ralph, Ph.D., ABPP; CAPT (Ret) MSC USN

Email: John.A.Ralph.civ@mail.mil

Contact for broad questions related to the Navy psychology community and more specific questions about the application process for entering the Navy


Navy additional point of contact:

Chantal Meloscia, Ph.D.; LCDR MSC USN

Email: chantal.e.meloscia.mil@mail.mil

For the perspective of someone who completed the USUHS Clinical Psychology Program and is now serving as an active duty Navy psychologist



US Air Force Student Representative

Email: afmps@usuhs.edu

Abby N. Diehl, Ph.D, ABPP


Ph.D., Maj, USAF, BSC

Board Certified in Clinical Health Psychologist

Director of Military Psychology Studies

Assistant Professor


Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology

Department of Family Medicine

Office Location: B-4074

Office: 301-295-3591

Email:  abby.diehl@usuhs.edu


Contact for specific questions about the clinical psychology program for Air Force students, what it's like to be enrolled in the USUHS program, and the program application process

Air Force Personnel Center Biomedical Sciences Corps Education Manager

Dina C. Elefante, CIV, DAF

BSC Education Manager


TOTAL FORCE CENTER: 1-800-525-0102

Email: dina.elefante.2@us.af.mil


LINDSEY T. COLGAN, Maj, USAF, BSC (she/her/hers)

BSC Utilization Officer:  42P / 42S / 43P


Comm: (210) 565-4399

DSN: (312) 665-4399

Email: lindsey.colgan@us.af.mil

Contact for more information about specific steps that you need to take as an Active Duty service member. She can give you further guidance as to the time on station requirement, release from your functional at AFPC, and command approval.

Surgeon General Consultant, Clinical Psychology


AF/SG Psychology Consultant


Chief, Mental Health Integrated Operational Support

Office of the Air Force Surgeon General

7700 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042

Email: leigh.g.johnson2.mil@health.mil



Contact for general information about being an Air Force Clinical Psychologist and the Air Force Psychology community, not related to the USU application.


TA's contacts: 

Civilian TA (Arielle Pearlman): civ-mps@usuhs.edu 

Army TA (Erika Gray): amps@usuhs.edu

Navy TA (Shannon Exley): nmps@usuhs.edu

AF TA (Victoria De Hoyos): afmps@usuhs.edu



For questions concerning commissioning requirements, contact commissioningcoordinator@usuhs.edu.



Upon the receipt of an invitation to interview, applicants will be instructed to begin a background screening. Once applicants are invited for an interview, instructions will be sent via email for downloading and completing the electronic personnel security questionnaire. The applicant must complete the forms as instructed and submit them to the USU security office. Service members on active duty who have current security clearances must provide verification. When an applicant matriculates at the School, the security questionnaire is sent electronically to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to begin the investigation.

An individual is not eligible for a United States security clearance unless they renounce their dual citizenship, in writing, and sign a statement that they will destroy their foreign passport, if one exists. A potential student who refuses to renounce their dual citizenship, or otherwise fails (or refuses) to answer any pertinent questions in the course of the official investigation will not be eligible for commissioning.



Medical Screening

When applicants are invited to interview they are sent instructions on how to begin physical clearance process with the Department of Defense Medical Review Board (DoDMERB) where the Department of Defense screens for certain conditions that may be disqualifying for military commissioning. The medical review is generally completed within 4-6 weeks. Applicants should be vigilant for any further information (remedials) that may be requested by DoDMERB. All requests and status updates will be posted to your DoDMERB account.

In addition, all applicants must meet height and weight standards to be deemed eligible for commissioning. All interviewers must meet the height and weight
accession standards for the Army
, regardless of which service they will enter. If an applicant is not within standards at the time of their DoDMERB physical, a notification will be sent with instructions on how to proceed.

Disqualifying Conditions

Department of Defense Instruction 6130.03 provides medical accession standards for the military services and lists many potentially disqualifying conditions. Although all of the conditions listed in DoDI 6130.03 are disqualifying, many may be eligible for a waiver. If an applicant should be deemed medically disqualified after DoDMERB review, the Commissioning Coordinator will reach out to initiate the waiver process.

Age Requirements

Commissioned officers must be at least 18 years of age at the time of matriculation. Commissioned officers must be no older than 36 years of age as of June 30 of the year of matriculation. Applicants older than 36 years of age as of June 30th of the year of matriculation must receive an age waiver which our staff will coordinate and process as required.


It is every service member’s responsibility to maintain fitness standards, ensuring they are physically fit and able to contribute to the mission. Within the first week of reporting for officer training, trainees will be required to take an initial Fitness Assessment. While at officer training, trainees will exercise 5-6 days per week in a rigorous, full body fitness program. Additionally, trainees will be required to complete a 5K (3.1 mile) run as well as several obstacle courses, which may require climbing, low-crawling, jumping, etc. Fitness regimens should not begin at training; they should begin prior to acceptance and should include running, biking, or other aerobic activities. Additional information regarding service specific fitness is provided below:


Army | Navy | Air Force



After you have been unconditionally accepted, the Commissioning Coordinator will work with you and your branch of service to prepare for your commissioning, attendance at summer officer training, and to arrange your military relocation (PCS) to the Bethesda area. Once all required commissioning requirements have been met, incoming students will receive orders within 2 weeks of the start of officer training. Delays in processing could result in receiving your orders within days of the start of officer training.


Officer training for each service takes place during the summer and lasts 5-6 weeks. Detailed instructions for officer training will be included in your orders such as: travel, arrival times and dates, items to bring, etc. Incoming students who are not required to attend officer training will report directly to USU per their orders.



Army Direct Commission Course (DCC)

Fort Sill, Oklahoma

All civilian and enlisted incoming students



Navy Officer Development School (ODS)

Newport, RI

All civilian and enlisted incoming students



Commissioned Officer Training (COT)

Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, AL

All civilian and enlisted incoming students



Students commit to serving at least seven years in the uniformed services after graduation. Upon completion of the active duty service obligation, students who served on active duty for less than 10 years after graduation are placed on the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) roster (graduate medical education does not count toward the 10 years). While on the IRR roster, service members are in an inactive reserve status, with no weekends or annual active duty drill requirement; however, they are subject to recall by the President of the United States during times of emergency. The amount of time required on the IRR roster is as follows:

• Active duty service less than 8 years: 6 years on the IRR roster

• Active duty service of more than 8 years, but less than 9: 4 years on the IRR roster

• Active duty service of 9 years or more, but less than 10: 2 years on the IRR roster

• Active duty service of 10 years or more: no requirement to be listed on the IRR roster

Except as law or service policy otherwise prescribed, the IRR obligation is added after all other active duty obligations have been served, including time for USU, ROTC, or the service academies.


All current active duty and reserve service members must submit a Letter of Approval from their commanding officer at the time of application or shortly afterwards.

In addition to the submission of a Letter of Approval at the time of application, all current service members will be required to submit an approved conditional release or contingent resignation as it applies to their current status. This process should be initiated at the time of application or at the latest when an interview is offered.

The following forms will need to be completed:

1.  Fill out DD368, sections 1 through 4 only (Service Member/Recruiter or Admissions)

2.  Fill out DD1306 (personnel action form) for Command Endorsement (Service Member and Commander)

Once you receive the DD1306 command endorsement signed by your Commander and DD368 signed by your Recruiter or USU Director of Admissions, the two should be combined and sent to the designated branch separations office. The contact information for each branch of service is listed below.