Advance your medical career with cutting-edge technologies Microbiology

U.S. Navy personnel are specially trained to defend our country and those across the globe who cannot defend themselves. And when it comes to threats of the microscopic variety, Navy Microbiologists are the first line of defense.

You’ll combat unique and exotic microorganisms that are found wherever Navy personnel are called to serve. Conducting medical research and development. Creating a culture of innovation and sustainability on the clinical level at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). Or examining wound cultures aboard the USNS Comfort during a humanitarian mission, providing medical care to patients in a dozen countries.

As a Navy Microbiologist, your job is to conduct surveillance of organisms, trace the most elemental sources of infectious disease, and remain at the forefront of pivotal research. Pioneering progress in the field each day. With the benefit of unrivaled, hands-on training, educational opportunities and some of the most advanced technology in the world.

Job Description

With a minimum of a master’s degree, you’ll trace microscopic threats in a wide variety of settings. Serving Active Duty members, retirees and those in need around the world.

As a Navy Microbiologist and Officer in the Medical Service Corps, you may screen environmental samples for biological warfare agents in Kuwait, conduct both medical and nonmedical research and development in Washington, D.C., or Jakarta, Indonesia, or practice clinical microbiology at a large teaching medical center in San Diego, California.

Wherever your call and duties take you, it’s your responsibility to alleviate real-world biological threats. Employing cutting-edge technologies to investigate emerging infectious diseases at the molecular level.

Specific Responsibilities

As a Navy Microbiologist, your primary focus will be to prevent, diagnose and/or treat infectious diseases.

You may also be called upon to:

  • Consult and conduct infectious disease research
  • Participate in operational deployments
  • Conduct defensive research, including vaccine development
  • Supervise clinical/public health microbiology laboratories, with the opportunity to serve as department head, program manager or research director

Senior members may even serve as senior scientists or in Navy Executive Medicine as liaisons, Officers in Charge, Executive Officers or Commanding Officers.

Work Environment

You could serve in any of 20 global locations, performing a wide range of duties, including:

  • Research and development centers (both medical and nonmedical) overseas in Cairo, Egypt; Lima, Peru; and Jakarta, Indonesia; and within the continental U.S. (Washington, D.C., metro area and San Diego, California)
  • Environmental preventive medicine in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and within the continental U.S. (Virginia and California)
  • Clinical microbiology at any of three large teaching medical centers in Bethesda, Maryland; Portsmouth, Virginia; and San Diego, California.

Education Opportunities

Wherever you are in your professional career, the Navy can help ease your financial burdens and advance your career with generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs.

There's an alternative to spending years paying down the cost of your graduate education. If you're currently a practicing professional, you could potentially be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). Talk to a Navy Officer Recruiter for more information.

Offers have many variables. To get information and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.


To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration as a Microbiologist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S. (contact a
    Navy Medical Recruiter for details)
  • Master's degree (M.S./M.A./M.Ph.) or doctoral degree (Ph.D., Dr.PH, D.Sc.) in microbiology or a closely related field, (e.g., bacteriology, biology, botany, epidemiology, immunology, molecular biology, mycology, parasitology, public health or virology)
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate studies
  • For biology/botany/epidemiology/public health majors, several upper-level (300-plus) microbiology courses (eight hours or more), including laboratory, must be part of the candidate's curriculum
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:

  • Candidates with a doctoral degree have an advantage over M.S./M.A. candidates, since many research job openings require doctorate-level training
  • Author or coauthor of peer-reviewed research in scientific journals
  • Clinical microbiology, infectious disease surveillance or biowarfare defense experience


After the Navy

“In many ways, the Navy offers a situation that you don’t normally see in the civilian world. If you want to experience and learn about infectious diseases, you have to go where they are.” – LCDR David Rockabrand, Navy Microbiologist

In the Navy, you’ll find unrivaled training and educational opportunities. Incomparable benefits and experience. Deeper pride and purpose. And superior career advancement opportunities that will pay off when you return to the civilian world.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.