Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Junior Officer Advisory Group

About Us

Who is JOAG?

JOAG is a vibrant group of junior officers of the United States Public Health Service who seek to enhance their professional experience by involvement in group activities that further JOAG's mission.

JOAG members are junior officers at the rank of LCDR/O4 and below. The JOAG members are from each of the PHS categories and are stationed throughout PHS agencies, and those non-PHS programs routinely staffed by Commissioned Corps officers. JOAG consists of knowledgeable junior officers who represent a cross section of the interests, concerns, and responsibilities of junior officers.


JOAG serves in a resource, advisory, and liaison capacity to assist in the development and coordination of activities related to junior officers in the Commissioned Corps with the following specific functions:

  • Identify and advocate on behalf of junior officers' issues and concerns;
  • Assist the Office of the Surgeon General, Division of Commissioned Personnel, Professional Advisory Committees and Chief Professional Officers in the assessment of personnel needs and recruitment, training, utilization, and recognition of junior officers;
  • Develop position papers, statistical reports, and/or guidelines where appropriate, to advise and comment on issues relating to staffing and utilization, professional practice, and personnel activities affecting junior officers;
  • Promote junior officer development and utilization;
  • Promote cooperation and communication between junior and senior officers throughout the USPHS;
  • Serve as a liaison between junior officers and other USPHS or external components; and
  • Serve as communication link and informational resource for junior officers.

Our History

In 1999, the Commissioned Corps leadership recognized the critical importance of developing a means for the Corps to obtain advice and consultation from junior officers in formulating policy and developing career related programs. RADM Michael Blackwell, Chief of Staff, convened a meeting of select junior officers and formalized the Junior Officer Ad-Hoc Advisory Group (JOAHAG).


JOAHAG was charged to develop and implement an advisory group for PHS junior officers. Their first priority was to assess the needs of junior officers and to develop an advisory group. Subsequently, they drafted a Charter and successfully formed and implemented the Junior Officer Advisory Group (JOAG). On December 7, 2001, VADM David Satcher, Surgeon General, officially chartered JOAG.

To see our governing documents click here.

Page Last Modified on 8/31/2023

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