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US Navy Clinical Psychology Licensed Direct Accession Program

 US Navy Clinical Psychology Licensed Direct Accession Program The

The Navy Clinical Psychology Licensed Direct Accession program was created to attract high-caliber civilian Clinical and Counseling Psychologists into the exciting and rewarding environment of active-duty Navy psychology. Selectees for this program receive commissions as Navy Lieutenants (O-3). Prior to reporting to their first assignment (typically at a Navy medical facility within the United States), they attend a five-week Navy indoctrination course at the Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, Rhode Island. Selectees also attend a 1-week “Navy Medicine 101” course in Bethesda, MD, which commences after the completion of ODS.

In addition to their regular salary and benefits, selectees are eligible to receive accession bonuses and loan repayments, the values of which vary from year to year. In previous years, selectees have been eligible for accession bonuses as high as $60,000, and retention bonuses of up to $30,000 a year for three years. The minimum service requirement for direct accessions is three years, although this could increase depending on the combination of incentives that one chooses to accept.

Why Choose Navy Psychology?

  • The Navy Clinical Psychology community is made up of approximately 260 licensed clinical psychologists who proudly serve as officers in the United States Navy. Navy Psychologists provide clinical care and assessment to Sailors, Marines, and their families. They also provide preventionrelated services, training and education, and consultation to military leaders. Their mission is to optimize the health and well-being of service members while increasing the operational readiness of Navy and Marine Corps units
  • The Navy Psychology community is growing rapidly. Psychologists are increasingly present in a variety of operational settings, including Navy ships, Marine Corps units, aviation communities, submarine squadrons, and a variety of Special Operations commands. Psychologists also serve at Navy hospitals and clinics throughout the United States and overseas.
  • Senior psychologists are also called upon to assume significant leadership roles. These include managing mental health services at a regional or national level, or serving as Commanding Officers of medical facilities on Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world.

Application Instructions

The application process starts by contacting a Navy Medical Programs Officer recruiter. Unfortunately, there is no master list of Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, so finding one can be challenging at times. There are two options for locating the Medical Programs Officer Recruiter nearest you:
  1. Go to the following website: U.S. Navy Clinical Psychology Careers | Navy.com, - Click on “Find a Recruiter” located at the bottom of the page, then type in your zip code. You can also call or use the chat feature to find a Medical Programs Officer Recruiter in your area. Not all recruiting stations have Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, but they should be able to easily direct you to the nearest one.
  2. Contact the Navy Clinical Psychology National Training Director (Dr. John Ralph), who can connect you with a recruiter in your local area. Dr. Ralph can be reached at john.a.ralph.civ@health.mil.  

Application Qualifications

  • All applicants must have a degree in clinical or counseling psychology from an APA-accredited doctoral program (Ph.D. or Psy.D.). Applicants must also have completed an APA-accredited doctoral internship. 
  • All applicants must be licensed to practice in one of the 50 states or in the District of Columbia.
  • U.S. Citizenship is required (dual citizens must agree to relinquish non-US citizenship)
  • Age Limit: No more than 41 years of age at the time of commissioning.
  • Applicants must meet medical and security qualifications for commissioning as a U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps officer. This part of the application is completed with the assistance of your Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter.
  • Given the predominantly “adult focus” of the Navy Psychology community, we specifically seek applicants with “generalist” experience in the clinical assessment and treatment of adults. While specialty expertise and experience with non-adult populations are considered valuable, applicants who have minimal experience with adults, or who have experience only in narrowly focused specialty areas such as neuropsychological assessment, would be at a significant disadvantage in many of our clinical settings.

Salary (Anticipated for Fiscal Year 2024):

Basic Pay for a Navy Lieutenant with less than two years of service is $5,102 per month. However, activeduty members also receive non-taxable allowances to supplement their base pay. This includes a Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) of approximately $265 per month, and a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) that varies by geographic area. For example, in Portsmouth, Virginia the BAH is $2,121 per month for an O-3 without dependents, and $2,232 per month for an O-3 with dependents. The monthly salary (Base Pay + BAS + BAH) of a single O-3 in Portsmouth would therefore be $7,488 per month, or $89,856 per year. This annual income would increase in areas with higher costs of living. For additional information about military pay and allowances, please visit https://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/PayTables.html.

Additional Benefits

Navy psychologists receive all the benefits and allowances commensurate with serving on active duty as officers in the Navy. These include health and dental coverage for oneself and one’s family, retirement benefits including the military’s Thrift Savings Plan, life insurance, access to Commissaries and Navy Exchange department stores, paid moving expenses, and the use of world-class gymnasiums and other recreational facilities.

For additional information please contact:

John A. Ralph, Ph.D., ABPP
National Director, Navy Psychology Training & Recruitment Programs
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland
Phone - (301) 295-2476
Email – john.a.ralph.civ@health.mil

Additional Information


John A. Ralph, Ph.D., ABPP
CAPT, MSC, USN (ret)
National Director
Navy Psychology Training Programs
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Bethesda, MD 20889


(301) 295-2476



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