This may have been asked before ( and I hope this is the right forum to ask) but I wanted some clarifications. I know that USCGA graduates have five year service obligation upon graduation. (not too sure how many years for other academies, but assuming same or similar) If you decide to go to graduate school DURING those five obligatory years, does your five year clock stop ticking while you're in school? I feel like I've heard people say that you're still fulfilling your duties as a full-time student representing your branch, but I don't know if that's true. How many ADDITIONAL years do you need to serve? I overheard someone explaining this to someone else, but I was confused a bit, so I will use a concrete example. If someone graduated in 2016, his obligations should end in 2021. If this person decides to go to graduate school for two years starting 2018 and ending in 2020, when does his initial five years obligation end? When does the entire obligation end? If this same individual decides to take online classes or night classes instead while continuing to serve (but USCG still pays for the education,) do you still accrue extra service time? I'm also wondering, but are you able to start graduate school in any major of your choice, or do you need to wait until there's an opportunity in a certain area you're interested in? I've heard that you need to "compete" for graduate school, but does that mean not everyone is eligible to apply to graduate schools? If anyone's had experience already competing for or attending graduate school, I'd appreciate some insight and clarifications. Thank you!