Another Military Sealift Command thread


#1

Hi all,

I did everything to avoid adding yet another MSC-related thread, but both of my replies to existing threads were rejected, so here I am!

I am entirely new to the industry - no sea time whatsoever. However, I decided a while back this is the career I want. I now have a TWIC, Medical Certificate, and my MMD (OS, WI, SD[FH]). My hope is to get hired by MSC as an entry-level employee. In spite of all the horror stories, I want to work for MSC and make a career out of it.

Unfortunately, there are no entry-level positions open right now. Now that I have my documents, however, I am curious if there is anything I can do in the interim to prepare myself for the application process or perhaps even get some sea time? I have come to terms with the fact that it may be a long time before I get a shot at applying for MSC; the last thing I want to do is just sit back and not use the time I have to better-prepare myself.

Also, I live in the Los Angeles area. Despite having the country’s busiest port right in my backyard, I am having difficulty finding any companies that have a base here. I am considering going down and doing the whole “knocking on doors” deal, but it would be nice to at least know what/who I need to be looking for.

Thank you for all your help.


#2

Are you looking to get into the engine room, deck, or galley?


#3

[QUOTE=MFOWelectrician;138227]Are you looking to get into the engine room, deck, or galley?[/QUOTE]

Deck, Engine, Galley, in that order of preference.


#4

There’s a tugboat outfit out of LA/LB called American Marine. Might get your foot in the door.
Good luck.


#5

Theres also Dann Ocean Towing out of Tampa. They hired green OS before I think.


#6

The mom and pop OSV thread seems like a good place for a greenhorn to consult. As someone said on there, the big companies like Chouest and Hornbeck have their pick of the talent but the little guys will take almost anyone.


#7

Thank you all! This all sounds like very good information. For all the “rough around the edges” reputation mariners have (one that is probably well-earned ;)), I have never run into a more helpful group of folks, especially to someone who knows little about the trade.

At the suggestion of another member, I am currently working on applying to the Paul Hall apprenticeship, ASAP. It seems like it the best way to get all the skills I need to become an Able Seaman, plus its all free! But I will check out those companies as well.


#8

2 ways u could go about it: SIU Apprenticeship program. Only thing with that is it takes awhile before u start making money. And u gotta go thru the initial quasi-military-wannabe-grunt work type stuff in the beginning. Realistically you’ll start seeing some actual money after about 7 months in on your phase IV. You come out with a B book for SIU which can get you jobs.

Or you could go to the gulf. There are a ton of companies, and it’s a sure bet you’ll get hired if you just keep showing up knocking on doors. It’s a little different over there than on the West Coast in my experience. Over in Cali, u go in and get shut down pretty quick unless you’ve got a bunch of experience. But in the Gulf, they’re more used to ppl doing “door knocking”. So they’re set up for it and have no problem letting you fill out an application and most all of them are polite regardless of whether they have a job. They’ll still shut u down (just not call) but they’re more receptive to applicants in my experience. Also, yeah you’ll see a lot of ppl recommend not going to the Chouest, Hornbeck, Harvey, etc. but to stay with the small mom n pop companies till u get experience. I disagree. I’d say shoot for those big ones. And also apply to the smaller ones. It’s a numbers game, eventually one will hire you. It’s hard to predict when the best time is, but one company or another will go through a whole hiring blitz one week, or may not hire for months. So it’s hit or miss. But I’ll tell you this, u damn sure won’t get hired somewhere you don’t put an application in for. So shoot high. And, kind of obvious, but really key - you have to be persistent. You will get a job down there in the Gulf if you’re persistent enough, fact.

Good luck.


#9

I would join the USN, tell the recruiter you want to go deck. Learn that area with the unreps and such then get out after 3 years if they still do that or 4 years if they dont. In the mean time you will mature more than you think, make friends for life, recieve VA benifits, see the world AND MAKE YOUR RESUME LOOK MORE ATTRACTIVE.

Before getting out get your AB and RFPNW from USCG. Your USN time will count towards retirement to boot.
If you listen to all the naysayers you will never be happy. The MSC is great for a young man or woman in my eyes, especially one that wants to make water their life. The USN will slso prep you for them long hitches.

Good luck.


#10

[QUOTE=Bayrunner;138420]Theres also Dann Ocean Towing out of Tampa. They hired green OS before I think.[/QUOTE]

Theres a kid on a Dann boat in the yard in my town literally getting his AB in the shipyard. The dude walked into the yard to get a laborer job and the owner of the yard had someone from Dann there and said hey got a warm body for ya. Boat still hasn’t left the yard and the kids getting an AB ticket watching kayak traffic all day. In other words give them a shot…they seem desperate.


#11

[QUOTE=AB Murph;138486]I would join the USN, tell the recruiter you want to go deck. Learn that area with the unreps and such then get out after 3 years if they still do that or 4 years if they dont. In the mean time you will mature more than you think, make friends for life, recieve VA benifits, see the world AND MAKE YOUR RESUME LOOK MORE ATTRACTIVE.

Before getting out get your AB and RFPNW from USCG. Your USN time will count towards retirement to boot.
If you listen to all the naysayers you will never be happy. The MSC is great for a young man or woman in my eyes, especially one that wants to make water their life. The USN will slso prep you for them long hitches.

Good luck.[/QUOTE]

:frowning:

My dream growing up was to join the Navy. Unfortunately, that did not work out, not least of which was due to my eyesight not meeting their highly stringent standards. They do meet MSC standards, however, so MSC is like the “next best thing” for me.

So as much as I would like to have followed your advice, it is not happening.


#12

That’s actually what I did, 4 year minimums these days. Starting CMA with the GI Bill here in a few months. The navy was “cool” but there was way more bull shit than I could have imagined (had to mess crank for 6 months once).
Are you sure about the eyesight thing? Are you medically diagnosed as being blind? I knew lots of people in the navy with glasses as thick as magnifying glasses.
If MSC works out it might be a better option, but for some reason I am pretty sure you could qualify to join as an undesignated deck seaman. You can even go into the navy as a BM now, don’t have to “strike” it as undes.


#13

Being unfamiliar with the term “mess cranking”, I looked it up and found the following gem of an explanation.

Enjoy:


#14

This guy was spot on, my “revenge” (Chief’s mess) was to take the forks, knives, and spoons, and prior to putting them out on the “line” (buffet style), I would submerge the handles in a 180F+ deep sink for several minutes. Chiefs would grab one, and immediately toss it down and yell “ouch!” Or “fuck!” Eventually, however, it just lead to more dishes to be done and we stopped.
Also, it’s pretty damn immature, but when you’re in a scullery for months on end, well, it kind of does something to your mental state!


#15

[QUOTE=MandolinGuy;138624]Are you sure about the eyesight thing? Are you medically diagnosed as being blind? I knew lots of people in the navy with glasses as thick as magnifying glasses.
If MSC works out it might be a better option, but for some reason I am pretty sure you could qualify to join as an undesignated deck seaman. You can even go into the navy as a BM now, don’t have to “strike” it as undes.[/QUOTE]

Very sure.

In order to be considered “blind,” you have to be able to see only 20/200, even with best possible correction. I am correctable to 20/20.

The problem for me is the refractive error. The military does not permit anything worse than +/-8 diopters. According to my last prescription, I am a -14/-12. And I was turned down by the USN, USMC, and USAF. When you get DQd by one service, especially for something like eyesight, you are practically screwed.

If I had a chance of being able to enlist, it would have been back in 2004 - 2008. My eyesight was not as bad back then (still bad), so a waiver may have been possible. But due to extenuating circumstances, I never took a shot.

Tough pill to swallow, but I am over it. It is in the past and time to move on.


#16

Im not familiar with such things even though I wear glasses, 20 years in the dark looking at radar will do that I guess.

Does MMC (USCG) not have the same standards?


#17

[QUOTE=AB Murph;138658]Im not familiar with such things even though I wear glasses, 20 years in the dark looking at radar will do that I guess.

Does MMC (USCG) not have the same standards?[/QUOTE]

I have done a lot of digging and no. Not even remotely close. 20/200 seems to be the cut-off point for uncorrected vision. And mind you, 20/200 is practically blindness.

USCG also does not have the whole +/-8 diopters requirement.


#18

[QUOTE=TheShipCantSink;138677]I have done a lot of digging and no. Not even remotely close. 20/200 seems to be the cut-off point for uncorrected vision. And mind you, 20/200 is practically blindness.

USCG also does not have the whole +/-8 diopters requirement.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, I’m going to ask about my diopters next eye exam.


#19

[QUOTE=AB Murph;138683]Thanks, I’m going to ask about my diopters next eye exam.[/QUOTE]

When they do your refraction, they should be able to tell you.


#20

I have a question for those who work(ed) for MSC. When you applied, how much work experience did you provide? I am getting two different answers from an MSC recruiter an from MSC’s Customer Support Center. The recruiter says I have to provide information on every single job I had for the past five years, while MSC’s CSC says I only have to list what I feel is most relevant to the position I am applying for.

The other part of the problem is that if I only provide relevant work experience, then it will look like I was unemployed for quite a while, which is not the case, since I have had a job for much of the past five years. The recruiter did say, however, that through e-Verify, MSC can see my complete work history.

I know these sound like silly questions, but this may be the only shot I have at joining MSC for quite a while and I want to put my best effort and face forward.