From 2nd Unlimited to Chief Mate Question


I am considering trying to get my Chief Mate License in the somewhat near future. I currently hold a 2nd Mate Unlimited and a 1600 Master. My OS seatime started back in 2010. Even though the current USCG Checklist says that these classes are “Additional training if sea service started after March 24, 2014” I believe I will be required to take them since it is after Jan 1, 2017 ( May be mistaken on this but I am about 90% sure).

When looking up the requirements for the Chief Mate I noticed that the Domestic or National Chief Mate does not call for the classes that the STCW would call for (Adv. Ship Handling, Adv. Stability, Adv. Meteorology, Search and Rescue, Management of Medical Care).

With this being the case, could I go about this by not taking the classes at this point and simply submitting for the Domestic Chief Mate, taking the exam and then if I pass, take the courses at a later date to obtain the STCW endorsement of Chief Mate? If I were to go about it this way, would I be required to take any additional exams for the STCW Endorsements or would I just be able to submit the certificates and be good to go?

I just do not want to pay for the classes as they are fairly expensive just to find out that I need to study a lot more then my certificates expire or I just never pass the exam haha.

Sorry if this was covered but I couldn’t find it after doing a little search.

Thanks everyone!


I didn’t think there was anything advanced about my CMM Stability but it was a good license prep, in case you’re worried about passing. What would you do with a license that was no good beyond the boundary line on anything over 200 GT?


You are correct. The exams are for the domestic license and the classes and assessments are for the STCW. You can get the domestic Chief Mate without the classes and take them later.


I wasn’t concerned about passing the courses, just the exams at the REC. I may have weirded that vaguely in the first post.

Mainly, I just don’t want to pay for those required courses, then go fail the exams at the REC and never get the license, just wasting the 12k to 15k that those classes cost. I think what I’d like to do is pass the exams at REC first and then go take the courses to gain the STCW that way I’m not running the risk of losing that cash…

I guess I’m just trying to hedge the odds of spending money if I don’t pass at the REC, at the expense of paying an additional application fee if I do pass…


I believe STCW only transactions are still completely free.


That is true as well! So no loss! Thanks guys!


You are right about the STCW classes, they are now required for everyone as the grandfathering deadline has passed. It no longer matters, but you misinterpreted eligibility for grandfathering, it was if your service began before March 24, 2014. That means service for the endorsement you are applying for, not the start of your career. Since Chief Mate requires one year while holding 2nd Mate, you began your service for Chief Mate on the first day of service as a mate after getting your 2nd Mate endorsement.

You can apply for the national endorsement (license) only, and add STCW later.

James D. Cavo
U.S. Coast Guard
Mariner Credentialing Program
Policy Division (CG-MMC-2)


Thanks jdcavo for clarifying!