GAP Closure Training and Licensing Delay Issues


Hell yeah. I just renewed mine…wasn’t going to expire till october but did it early out of paranoia. It was about a 10 day turn around (not including weekends) from submission till I received in my mailbox.


Dump #4 for starters, those folks bring less to the table than whatever homeless shelter supplied the current crop.

#5 and #7 might work.

Dump #8 for sure, the UK has more silly little tickets than the US does. What makes the MCA system particularly bad is they use the same STCW code for a yacht captain as they do an unlimited master.

If we have to have limited licenses then keep the basic limited structure than exists now but eliminate all the OSV style workarounds and other loopholes purchased by and for the oil industry.


I agree that there should be fewer exams that cover more licenses, with less repetition of retaking exams on the same material. As it stands now, the USCG draws questions for most exams from the same question pool and there is not all that much difference between the level of difficulty of the exams.

However, I do not think that Master 1600 and Master OSV should require the same high level of knowledge and ability as Master Unlimited.

And going back to your point in an earlier post, which I also agree with, Master 1600 and Master OSV should require more knowledge, ability, and experience, than is now the case for the 2nd Mate to Master 1600 crossover exam.

Mate and Master 500 GT should have vessel size, region, and trade appropriate exams.

Master and Chief Mate 3000 GT should require the standard 3rd Mate exam, plus vessel size appropriate Master and Chief Mate topics. A 2nd Mate Unlimited should be able to crossover to Chief Mate 3000 GT with an exam on the Chief Mate and Master Topics.

It should not be possible for 2nd Mate to crossover to Master 3000 GT without 180 days of seatime as Chief Mate 3000 GT.

Master 3000 GT should come automatically with Chief Mate Unlimited.

3rd Mate Unlimited (it’s an entry level license) should come automatically with Master 3000 GT.

Anyone that holds Master 500 and has a 360 days sailing as Master should be able to examine for Chief Mate 3000. Anyone that holds Master 3000 and has a year of seatime sailing Master should be able to crossover to Chief Mate Unlimited.

There should be no crossover from Master OSV, or Master Fishing, or Master Inland, to Master Unlimited, only a crossover to Chief Mate Unlimited.


I can understand not having a direct phone number to an evaluator. Half the time you’re at work with no access so the inevitable phone tag would happen. Why can’t we have a direct email to our evaluator? How hard can that be? The rule should be that you get a response within 72 hours each time you reply to an exchange.

Another idea is the REC’s could be used as liaison between us and The NMC. Earlier this year I went into REC NOLA for testing. Two guys behind the test desk moderately busy. Two other random guys wondering around playing phones or nose deep in a laptop. I’m sure there was work being done but the amount banter between them lead me to believe they weren’t slammed all day. The app is submitted to your local REC if it’s not right they contact you and get it straight before forwarding to NMC. Why can’t the NMC evaluator kick it back to the REC for more info with detailed description of what’s wrong and what’s needed? Then you can get an actual person on the phone or if necessary go down there for a face to face to plead your case.


Yeah, I agreed with everything until you got to this. Now that the Chief Mate and Master Unlimited tests are merged, I have a problem with Limited Master “getting a walk” to CM Unlimited. In effect you’re still giving all of them the crossover to Master Unlimited by doing this. Unless you want to change the CM portion of the sea time requirement to “CM on vessels over 3000 Tons on articles,” that’s a change I’d fight tooth and nail. That “on articles” would take care of a lot of other issues beyond just licensing too.


From this ad I’d say someone must be listening back east.


All I know is that my license renewal has been waiting to be evaluated at the NMC for over a month now.


No more accumulating time on sailboats or fishing boats and getting an AB then using that for a 3rd Mate. After one year an OSV getting a 2nd Mate then crossing over to Master 1600. Its too damn easy!

And No more academy to 3rd Mate. Actually spend a year on a training vessel you actually have to maneuver and drive, not just be some errand boy getting the Captain’s coffee and getting signed off for your on board training.

If you really want to lower the accidents then have training vessels. A 90 foot crew boat…surround it with tires and have potential Mates or Master candidates have to actually show how to twin screw or drop an anchor, or even pull away and moor to a dock. Have a practical examination in basic ship handling even if it is on a small boat under 100GT.


doesn’t cma have a 50 ft crewboat they train with?
I agree with you, best way to cut one’s teeth is on a crewboat. utility boats are even better…heavy and underpowered, requires some thinking ahead.
Before cma got the crewboat I think they had a 110 ft graham boat, but I may be mistaken…


so sailboat and fishing boat time doesn’t count? to be fair we can’t exclude them. Thats almost like saying engineer time unlicensed on a crewboat or tugboat shouldn’t count towards a chief’s ticket…or it would be ok for a dde not a chief?

where do we draw the line? no matter what rating or license, when it comes down to it all that ticket really gives you is a chance. its up to the company whether your experience with the ticket meets the job description.


Get your congress critter to light a fire under their asses.


Even the DDE is too great a stretch for someone whose entire career has been as a solo player. It is just plain stupid and wrong to hand a chief’s ticket to someone who has never worked under the supervision and observation of an experienced mentor.

The concept of a single individual essentially freelancing a job with no formal training or even on the job training or tutelage suddenly becoming a “chief engineer” in charge of other engineers is absurd. The one man band engine department is nothing but a place to learn bad habits and voodoo engineering practices.

There should be no route to a chief’s ticket that does not include formal training and time spent in a junior position in an engineering department made up of more than 2 people at the very least.


Ladies (If there are any posting) and Gentlemen (and I use that term very loosely), almost everything you are talking about will take ANOTHER campaign like I did myself, two to three years of back and forth with Congress and Organization comprised of Mariners like you to fund and follow up with letters and involve somebody going to DC to grease the skids, slap some representatives and senators (lower case on purpose BTW) and testify in front of Congress. Much as I would love to do all of this, I can’t afford it nor have the time. Aren’t some of you Union? Get on your reps. Otherwise fund me. I damn sure won’t be sucking industry pen!s behind your backs.

I just did this by myself for two reasons; Safety and I don’t like the Coast Guard (Senior Leadership) treating us like sh!t. The things I was going after can be handled internally by the Coast Guard in most cases. Most of these changes require action by Congress. Are you willing to put forth the effort to make this happen? I am willing to do the legwork but I can’t do it by myself.

I just got a job that makes me untouchable by .industry but I need people applying for these jobs in licensing and at HQ. They won’t take me because I have a reputation now for not playing nice with others (i.e. sucking the government pen!s) I have the knowledge and experience but not a degree unlike some of you. I can work this but I need y’all’s help.

I am also looking at starting a political to destroy the republicans and the democrats. However, I will work for Mariners but we are all part of one big disfunctional family and prefer working for you. BTW, I have tried to get certain news organizations to cover this but they won’t touch it. I can’t figure out why because you are all a pretty sympathetic group overall.

As far as a disfunctional family goes, stop touching your cousin like that, it is inappropriate except in West Virginia which may be part of the problem since Martinsburg and NMC are there.

If anyone wants to see my letter with recommendations to my Congressman, let me know.
I will post it. - Senior


not all dde licenses got their time running solo. plenty worked as oilers/wipers under an assistant or chief, and many could and probably work as assistants.
which adds to my point we shouldnt generalize and this isnt all black and white.


I am working on it. It is not easy my friend


I’d like to see your letter.


27 July 2017

Subject: Recommendations for Solution of Coast Guard Training and National Maritime Center (NMC) Issues

Dear Chief of Staff,

I want to personally thank you, your staff and Congressman Hoohah for supporting my inquiries. Per our phone call yesterday, this is a complicated issue and you solicited recommendations for solution. Mismanagement by the previous Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO) and CG-MMC have gravely damaged important national interests, the economy and needs mending.

100 fellow Mariners contributed to these recommendations. I had national interest shoved in my face by the Coast Guard repeatedly during my inquiries and I will use national interest to support these recommendations
These are no or low-cost recommendations and solutions: Further explanation is available upon request. Each section lists a specific recommendation or accountable official:

  1. Nobody monitored this program effectively otherwise why was there a six to nine-month delay issuing credentials for over three years? Maritime industry and the Mariners performing these tasks are an important national resource and support our economy more than most citizens and the DCO understand. They were ignored. My questions are only the tip of this iceberg. Congressional Hearings or a special task force should be appointed to investigate the Coast Guard licensing program and implement solutions.

  2. “The Coast Guard uses MERPAC (NOTE: Not blaming MERPAC because I now know there are a member or tow on this site) as the forum and venue to report on the status of and implementation and obtain industry (including mariner) feedback.” The Coast Guard needs to vet the members of this important committee better because if this was where they were getting their information as they maintain, it was undeniably incorrect.

  3. The previous DCO, Vice Admiral Charles Ray should be held accountable for his lack of supervision and leadership. This is THAT important. A full accounting of his performance should be examined so this situation never happens again.

  4. The head of CG-MMC, Ms. Mayte Medina, should be removed from her position and retire or submit to demotion due to her lack of positive control and monitoring of this program. In any other job, if you were six to nine months behind in meeting published goals and expectations you would be summarily dismissed.

  5. The Coast Guard protected non-compliant foreign mariners during a six-month “non-enforcement period” and scofflaw American Mariners for an additional 90 days. Their explanation for favoring shirkers and scofflaws; national interests and the economy. Fair enough, thousands of Mariners complied at higher prices before the extension. I repeat my demand for a credential extension for compliant Mariners. Congress protected communication companies after they illegally submitted millions of private citizens’ communications to the government after 9/11 in the interest of national interest. Mariners deserve special treatment too.

NMC cites they cannot extend credentials. What was the six month “non-enforcement period” for foreigners and 9 months for scofflaws and shirkers? Compliant Mariners deserve better. DCO and NMC figured it out once, they can figure it out again.

  1. The 37 positions billeted to NMC that are being partially filled will remedy the backlog. The evaluator position should be filled by Mariners with a 500 ton or greater Masters license with the final decision made by a subject matter specialist at NMC. These Mariners could telecommute and receive a half day of sea time to maintain their license for every 40 hours worked. This would give you evaluators with maritime knowledge making decisions that may take days with the present evaluators.

  2. To relieve some of the pressure on NMC, licenses that are 200 tons or less and inside the boundary line (Inland) should be approve at the Regional Exam Center (REC) a temporary credential issued locally and the approved package sent on to NMC for issuance of the required MMC. This would lower the work load on NMC and improve service for lower level licenses.

With national interest at stake and more STCW requirements looming, NMC should be ready for that and the impending new evaluations required otherwise NMC, going by past performance, will inevitably fall behind again as they have for the last three years.
It is disheartening initiating a Congressional Inquiry was required and the pushback so earnest. Mariners saw this coming as did the Coast Guard according to their own communications. I initially approached the Coast Guard to avoid embarrassment, exposure to outside influences and keep it in the “Maritime Family” but was summarily denied by VADM Ray.

It distresses me I had to go to this extent to protect what I KNEW were national interests. Does that sound personal? It is, because my obvious concerns about an important national resource (Mariners) and the economy were disregarded without even a phone consultation discuss legitimate concerns.

I love my Coast Guard and the Maritime family. I hope the next time I bring up important, pertinent issues as an expert they are addressed more professionally. I am a conscientious Coast Guardsman and a skilled Mariner and expected better dealings with senior leadership.

I want to be kept informed on the Coast Guard’s progress so I can inform fellow Mariners and shareholders their interests are being protected and our industry safe and strong.
Again, I appreciate the support of my efforts by yourself, Congressman Dunn and your staff on Capitol Hill in this matter and hope I will not need your assistance again but I know you are there.



I thought that was made very obvious in my opening statement:

“Even the DDE is too great a stretch for someone whose entire career has been as a solo player.


CMA has two single screw T-Boats w/bow thrusters, a single screw tug and small training barge, a twin-screw crew boat, two single screw wooden stick boats and a couple of single screw navy launches. Also oared whaleboats for lifeboatman classes.

We got a pretty good amount of time on the water and with the fast currents through the Carquinez Straits its good training.


Maritime Academies provide us officers with all the book knowledge. I don’t have a problem with that or having one fresh out of school. Am I going to leave them alone up there? No, not initially and not in every situation until they prove his or herself, same with an Academy Engineer.

First thing I tell them is you got the knowledge, I got the experience, let’s work together. If you are EVER coming up on a situation where you are going to be overwhelmed or you think you need to call me, you better be on that damn phone. I will never be angry because you call me.

It has not failed me or them yet…