Another Military Sealift Command thread


#341

MSC now has me in their system as fit for duty. Would I be correct in assuming at this point I have the job? I was fit for duty on about Feb 29th. When I call them I can not get a lot of information. They say just wait for them to begin maning, and they will set up my NEO training. Has anyone recently gone through this? If they have would you mind me sending you a message? I have a ton of questions and when I call the people in the office just dont have the time to give me any information but just to wait. How long does the NEO training last, what do they pay you when in training, do you have a choice to go to the west or the east coast, do they pay for your food and lodging? See I am just really in the dark right now and it would be great to talk to someone who has gone through the process in the past year. Any help would be great.


#342

To add another question to this thread, does anyone have any information on the Mixed Work Schedule jobs that I’ve seen posted for First officer and First Engineer? Are they only to cover reliefs or is it part time or what?


#343

@ SeaMonkey6969,

  1. I wouldn’t quit your current job until they contact you with a set in stone NEO date. I personally talked to someone beyond the first line of defense of the CSC, and she gave me the next three NEO dates. April 18th, May 2nd, and May 16th. She did not stress if these dates were licensed, unlicensed, or mixture.

  2. NEO last about a week covering A TON of information, mostly pertaining to benefits and health care. I highly recommend bringing a note pad as a lot of info and paperwork will be covered and may seem at a fast pace. After NEO (4-5 days), then you’re off to training in New Jersey. Depending on your job title, will determine how long your training/time will be in New Jersey. Entry level training can last anywhere from 3-4 weeks I believe.

  3. Your pay during training and any time waiting in the pool will be base salary. A simple search on MSC’s website will provide those figures.

  4. ALL new hires start off on the East Coast. You have to submit a transfer request if you wish to transfer to the west coast. Also, be aware that you and everyone else want the West Coast so be patient, as this may take between months to year(s).

  5. If you live more than 50 miles from Norfolk, VA they provide lodging at one of the hotels contracted to MSC. Food is reimbursed at per diem rate. NOTE: Don’t expect a rate of Shrimp N Lobsters everyday.

Stick around, I’m sure other will chime in with answers to your questions. . .

What position did you apply for/accept?


#344

I applied as an AB unlimited. No I definitely will not quit my job until I have a date to go to NEO. I just hope when the call they will give me time to give my current job at least 2 weeks notice. I enjoy the company I am working for and they have always treated me good. It is a bridge I would never want to burn. I live in Chicago so I guess Ill be staying in a hotel. Thanks for the help. I read this whole thread and there is a lot of good info on here.


#345

In spite of all the negative posts about MSC, if I was looking, it would look pretty good in this job market, and rightly so. If you have half a brain and some common sense, you can make your way past the deadbeats, find your niche and do very well.


#346

I just don’t understand how the MSC management doesn’t see how that would be a really cool job that people would flock to in any job market if they just changed a few things here and there. Just going to even time would do wonders for their turnover rate! Never mind the other BS. Just a simple 60/60 for the more nearby stuff or 90/90 for the farther away stuff would make MSC a really desirable place to work. How do they not see that!?


#347

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;183327]I just don’t understand how the MSC management doesn’t see how that would be a really cool job that people would flock to in any job market if they just changed a few things here and there. Just going to even time would do wonders for their turnover rate! Never mind the other BS. Just a simple 60/60 for the more nearby stuff or 90/90 for the farther away stuff would make MSC a really desirable place to work. How do they not see that!?[/QUOTE]

That’s one the reasons I moved on. My wife told me if I went back out for a 4 month hitch which in reality always turned out closer to 5 or even 6, she would be gone. To answer your question with a question, when was the last time any federal government entity did anything that wasn’t mindbogglingly pathetically wasteful and stupid. The mismanagement of people’s talents and the catering to the deadbeats as a result of political correctness is enough to turn your stomach. Just gotta look past it to maintain sanity.


#348

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;183327]I just don’t understand how the MSC management doesn’t see how that would be a really cool job that people would flock to in any job market if they just changed a few things here and there. Just going to even time would do wonders for their turnover rate! Never mind the other BS. Just a simple 60/60 for the more nearby stuff or 90/90 for the farther away stuff would make MSC a really desirable place to work. How do they not see that!?[/QUOTE]

This is just my opinion, lol, so the value of it is worthless haha but being that MSC is government, you have to understand it is ran differently than a private company. A private company sets out to make as much profit as it can. The government PRINTS the money, so when it comes to changing, the government is reactive instead of proactive. I believe it is a strategy that MSC uses and it’s probably working for them, in the long run. Because of the, not so favorable rotation, I can only imagine the actual rate of personnel retiring, putting in the 30+ years. For the most part, most people come to MSC to bank coin, get all the free training and license upgrades, then leave and go to a private company. Every time someone leaves MSC, thats a retirement check they don’t have to cut every month and a spot for the next “aspiring” officer/engineer thats trying to make a name for themselves.

WARNING: Stirring off topic. I know a lot of people who come to MSC as a way to start their own business back home. Sail for 5-10 years, bank the coin, and come back home and start a franchise or buy rental property. But who knows, maybe one day MSC will offer even time rotation. . .one day lol

@SeaMonkey6969, if you go to the website below, there are currently no coastal transfers being offered at this time across all departments. https://civmar.sealiftcommand.com/coastal-tranfers/

New Employee Training (broken down into how long you’ll be in New Jersey after your one week in NEO)

https://sealiftcommand.com/maritime-resources/msc-training-opportunities/


#349

So on my com cruise the admiral whatshisface came to the ship and said they were trying to improve time off but it would be more like a 2 for 1 situation and that 1 for 1 was unlikely to ever happen. WIIfit whats their cost of training a new 3rd. If every 3 years or less you have to replace every single third mate it has to add up


#350

[QUOTE=cali deckie;183336]So on my com cruise the admiral whatshisface came to the ship and said they were trying to improve time off but it would be more like a 2 for 1 situation and that 1 for 1 was unlikely to ever happen. WIIfit whats their cost of training a new 3rd. If every 3 years or less you have to replace every single third mate it has to add up[/QUOTE]

I remember hearing the same song and dance about improving rotations 15 years ago so don’t hold your breath. Also don’t be surprised at the end of your hitch if you’re told “Well your 4 months are up but you have to wait for a replacement.” like they’ve just started the business and forgot to hire dispatchers who know how to use a calendar.


#351

[QUOTE=cali deckie;183336]So on my com cruise the admiral whatshisface came to the ship and said they were trying to improve time off but it would be more like a 2 for 1 situation and that 1 for 1 was unlikely to ever happen. WIIfit whats their cost of training a new 3rd. If every 3 years or less you have to replace every single third mate it has to add up[/QUOTE]

@ Cali Deckie, I’m not even going to pretend like I know the answer to that question because I don’t. lol But from listening to recruiters in the past, MSC largely recruits their 3rds fresh out of school, which naturally cuts their training cost. I’m not saying no one wants to work their way up from the bottom, but from a business point of view, it makes more sense to hire newly grads with license in hand, than to spend “X” amount of dollars/per person in training a new 3rd. And looking at their job fair calendar, as soon as a semester is coming to an end they are flocking to the maritime academies to recruit new 3rds, to replace those that get trained/licensed and leave to go private. By no means am I hating on those that go that route or any other route to accomplish their goal. I knew a First Mate who literally got on just to knock out 2 years so he could use his military time and retire.

WARNING: Steering off topic. A lot of MSC employees are former military (Captn Obvious)lol who are used to being deployed 7-9+ months at a time, so when a recruiter throws dollars signs in their face plus show them the schedule of 4 months on/1 month home, a lot of them take it and run. Getting back on topic, it’ll be great “whenever” MSC goes to a “2 for 1 situation”, but I also say the government is reactive not proactive. They know the scheduling sucks, but so does the job market/security, and one of MSC’s selling points is job security. It also doesn’t help that maritime schools are pushing entry level mariners out every few weeks and academies pushing licensed out every semester, I personally feel the supply is so large, there isn’t a huge demand to change the scheduling “tomorrow”.


#352

Obviously they are hiring from the academies but i was referring to the 4-8 weeks of training we have to do after NEO which if you factor in the fact we are being paid our base wage plus the per Diem which is 35 a day plus hotel. I’m just saying that must add up. People just have to know what to expect when they are signing up. Seeing as it has been 2 years since the admiral said that i do not see it happening. Its more that they know its a huge problem and they just refuse to do anything about that


#353

[QUOTE=cali deckie;183347]Obviously they are hiring from the academies but i was referring to the 4-8 weeks of training we have to do after NEO which if you factor in the fact we are being paid our base wage plus the per Diem which is 35 a day plus hotel. I’m just saying that must add up. [/QUOTE]

It’s simple. MSC “management” just doesn’t care. They have a budget, and as long as they don’t go over it, all is well in the .gov bureaucratic world. Besides, if they saved a bit and had money left over at the end of they year, their budget for next year will just get cut…so they gotta spend spend spend!

Also, bureaucrats (to include .mil) don’t get bonuses or stuff like that. Their only bragging point is to A) have a bigger budget and brag that "I run 10000 million $ budget each year, B) increase the size of the staff they manage (I’m so special, I oversee 50000 slaves), and/or C) “I am SERVING the country”.

Amazon has based its business model on heavy employee turnover as well. Some places just want to use and abuse, then change out for new ones. And just like the feudal times and industrial revolution, we currently have too many warm bodies and not enough work, so they can do it.


#354

Most of you forget that being a federal entity means following federal rules. So as long as congress says you only get 4 hours of vacation for every 2 weeks worked, then you only get 4 hours of vacation. Fortunately, somewhere in the past some caveats were made for mariners, so we do earn shore leave, and can earn comp time, which is better than the people in the office get. Captains and Ch. Engineers get screwed on pay too, due to federal pay cap rules.

Any real change will have to come from your Senator and Congressman, and we know how well that branch of government get things done.


#355

In my experience, no matter what training and/or credentials you may already have, everyone will do all the initial training in New Jersey based on your position.


#356

Howdy, was kind of curious about MSC. Long story short, I did the whole thing with Norwegian Cruise lines back in the day and Im a pretty badass cook/trained chef. Stopped working on Cruise ships and went to work for Foss for a couple years. 2008 everyone was layed off and took that time to go back to College. Graduated culinary school and College, and I decided to re certify. Got my MMC, TWIC and Stcw all good to go and was looking for a company to work for. Durring my time at Sea I always heard mega horror stories about MSC, they have the highest turnover rate out of any other group and most people hate working for them, I also heard they have a terrible reputation for Rotations. I want to save up enough money to open up my own small restaurant and If I could get a back to back 6 months at Sea that would be bloody badass. So not being forced to get off and go back to shore for me is a seriously good thing. Was wondering if their bad reputation was justified and if they really are as bad as people say? It seems like one of the easiest companies to get into for someone who just wants to work and to work for a long time since their rotations are so Notoriously bad. And im just now doing my research on the market as it seems rather healthy at the moment for people in my line of work. The SIU hall even had positions for C level cooks which was surprising. Anyways, Advise Wisdom and insight would be greatly appreciated.


#357

I have found it depends on who you ask. I work with a guy that worked for MSC and loved it until he had his son. If it wasn’t for the long trips and time away from his son he would still be working for them.


#358

[QUOTE=quihgon;183404]Howdy, was kind of curious about MSC. Long story short, I did the whole thing with Norwegian Cruise lines back in the day and Im a pretty badass cook/trained chef. Stopped working on Cruise ships and went to work for Foss for a couple years. 2008 everyone was layed off and took that time to go back to College. Graduated culinary school and College, and I decided to re certify. Got my MMC, TWIC and Stcw all good to go and was looking for a company to work for. Durring my time at Sea I always heard mega horror stories about MSC, they have the highest turnover rate out of any other group and most people hate working for them, I also heard they have a terrible reputation for Rotations. I want to save up enough money to open up my own small restaurant and If I could get a back to back 6 months at Sea that would be bloody badass. So not being forced to get off and go back to shore for me is a seriously good thing. Was wondering if their bad reputation was justified and if they really are as bad as people say? It seems like one of the easiest companies to get into for someone who just wants to work and to work for a long time since their rotations are so Notoriously bad. And im just now doing my research on the market as it seems rather healthy at the moment for people in my line of work. The SIU hall even had positions for C level cooks which was surprising. Anyways, Advise Wisdom and insight would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]

@quihgon, this is just my two cent (so you know it’s not worth anything), wherever you go, wherever you work, there will be people that hate the job, love the job, and in between. MSC has a high turnover rate based upon the lengthy time spent out at sea. A lot of people just cant handle the away time from the their families, which may give them the ultimatum; Come home for good or don’t come back. Based upon your situation, MSC sounds like a great fit for you. Glassdoor.com has numerous reviews/inside look on MSC, but since we live in the world of instant gratification, ill provide Cliffnotes Pros & Cons :slight_smile:

PROs
-MSC falls under DOD/Dept of Navy so you have access to the base with your CAC card. Don’t quote me on this next part, but I THINK your children can obtain a CAC card as well as long as you are actively working with MSC & they are at least 10 years of age.
-Paid Training
-Hotel & Per Diem (*During training if you live 50 miles outside of Norfolk)
-Federal Benefits, Healthcare, & Retirement (5% matching Thrift Savings Plan)
-Easy to accumulate sea time. If you don’t want relief, don’t request it. (Staple Easy Button)
-IF YOU DONT GET RELIEVED ON TIME, from day 1-30 its an extra $25/day added to your check. Day 31+, it’s $50/day added.
-Job security. As long as you keep your eyes open and mouth shut for one whole year (aka pass probation) and don’t fight anyone, you’ll always have a job.
-PAID base pay while on vacation
-Good/Great money if you’re clocking a lot of OT hours
-Weekends/holidays automatically overtime pay. Any hours worked over 8 in a single day is automatically overtime. None of that “waiting until you hit 40 hours”
-Great travel opportunities
-Up grade potential on credentials
-Incentive pay (ammo pay, hazardous pay, etc)
-Oh, PAID base pay while sitting in the “pool” waiting for ship assignment.

CONs
-Current rotation (120-150 days on, varying IF relieved on time/ abt 30 days off) *But that shouldn’t be an issue for you
-May get stuck with lazy co workers. Here’s a little secret. . .(leans in and whispers) "That’s EVERYWHERE! lol
-May experience favoritism and politics on ships
-Restricted internet onboard
-OT hours vary ship to ship

By no means, am I trying to sell you on applying to MSC. You have to make that choice for yourself. If a lot of away time is what you’re looking for, then MSC may be a great fit for you. Don’t go in blind. Have a plan, map it out, bank the coin, grab your ankles, and enjoy the ride! lol


#359

I’m three weeks overdue for a relief. But at ~$6500 per month for “Entry Level” I ain’t crying about it.


#360

What do you mean by restricted internet and abt 30 days off. That after you trip you can usually take off 30 days? Another question, if you don’t have the time saved up would they ever be willing to give you 30 days off if you request it without pay. Just curious. Right now I am just waiting for the NEO call like a lot of other people. Right now the answers to my questions will never change my mind about working for MSC. At this point I am comited and just going to make the best out of every situation as it comes.