In 1941, Buddy Ebsen decided to apply for a Navy commission but was turned down even though he was spending time teaching seamanship to Naval Reserve OCS candidates. Ebsen applied for a commission in the Coast Guard. He was accepted and commissioned a Lieutenant (jg) in the Coast Guard. He served on the Navy frigate USS Pocatello, a weather ship that served on Station Able. He was honorably discharged a Lieutenant in 1946.