Master At Chouest offshore


I did a very quick scan of the job requirements. I think it said Chief Mate or equivalent.


You’re right, my mistake. (Though they are very specific amount what kind of service applies and I don’t know exactly if he meets that.)

Doesn’t an XO need to be an actual officer?

“Applicant must hold or have held a U.S. Merchant Mariner credential in the grade of Chief Mate, Any Gross Tons or higher or the equivalent military experience as Executive Officer or higher and as a qualified Officer of the Deck (OOD) on vessels of at least 1600 Gross Tons.


In the Navy and CG the CPOs have more authority then the typical unlicensed merchant mariner. Just like a newly minted 3 mate won’t get too far ordering a crusty old bsn about, a brand new ensign in the Navy can’t really get away with too much with a CWO or CPO.

When I was a lowly seaman on WHEC-721 we jumped when CWO4 Wilson spoke.


Yes, the Mother of All Enemas!

None of this should really be too surprising, though. The USA is a mature (if not doddering) bureaucracy at this point so the rot and ineptitude runs pretty wide and deep.

Crappy merchant marine licensing, though annoying to me personally, is pretty low on the list of what’s ailing this republic.

There are a number of USCG functions, including our licensing / certification, that might be handled better by a civilian-run agency that specialized only in that function, but there’s no guarantee of it. With the occasional exception here and there, any function of government will generally only be as good as it has to be to get by. We get the government we deserve.


No, I was enlisted but worked for an officer. When he went on leave I fulfilled his duties. The licensing branch were being jerks. I applied, but never tested for Unlimited Master because of you, “serve in the capacity of Commanding Officer, you can test for Unlimited Master.”. I appealed to headquarters and they said I was correct, even though I was enlisted.

I did not feel like studying so I blew it off. I can still do it but the new required schools are $30,000 conservatively including meals and lodging and I am fine the level I am.

I just enjoy poking the tiger so to speak.


As usual, you get IT, Kennebec_Captain. You hit the nail right on the head.


All of my dealings with the NMC when I’ve done upgrades over the last few years have been painful. I think we can all agree that they are looking for reasons to not approve, not looking for reasons for the opposite…hence their interpretation and lack of consistency amongst themselves. The old days when you could go into your rec and talk face to face was way better.

Anytime I have tried to get a hold of an evaluator by phone, I figure you have a 50/50 chance of them calling me back. If they did, chances were I missed the call because it was 3 days later and I was bilge diving.

Email transactions are just as annoying. They don’t give their personal emails out so then you have to wait a few days for the nmc to process. Do you really call this efficient by any means?

I jumped on the consultant band wagon because they guy I used, who unfortunately has passed away, was ex-navy and ex-rec center. He had the connections and alternate routes, personal emails of lots of evaluators at the nmc to expedite things way more efficiently. It was money well spent to not peg my bullshit meter.
If you honestly say you haven’t had any problems and resolved everything on your own with your nmc transactions I’d say you are an exception and not the rule.


Honestly, the only issue I’ve had so far was with combining my gap closing with my application to test for C/M Unlimited… they didn’t send stickers for my MMC because they were under the impression that they would just do that when I tested. Two emails later, and I had a new MMC on it’s way (and they managed to get the STCW GMDSS endorsement finally added after 10 years… which was my fault for not taking care of that sooner, I didn’t realize there was an endorsement that went with them removing the “Not valid on GMDSS equipped vessels”).

All in all, I hate the NMC and want the REC’s back in power, but I’ve been relatively headache free, so I can’t complain too much.


For an academy grad starting out with an Unlimited tonnage license, the system is totally biased in their favor and the upgrade process is relatively easy with only three NMC applications and one more exam to reach Unlimited Master.

No matter what the regulations allow or require, NMC is biased against hawespipers and limited tonnage mariners, and the USCG does everything it can (often by simply doing what they do best — nothing at all) to screw us. That’s before the inexperienced and incompetent NMC evaluators even start making mistakes.

Of course the OSV mariners are a special exception. The bayou mafia boat companies have bought so many Congressmen and hired so many former USCG officers, that OSV mariners get their own special licenses, and get give-away after give-away from the USCG for the convenience of the bayou mafia. Like the poster on this thread who claims that the NMC gave him an upgrade from Master OSV to Unlimited without any exam, just for the asking.


I don’t think they are biased, they just don’t have a clue what they are looking at, ergo the delays. Hell, the civilian in charge of licensing knows regulations but her only seatime is sailing on a foreign cruise ship on a vacation.

BTW, she needs to be fired for mismanagement of the licensing program. If I was 6 to 9 months backlogged in my job for almost three years, I would be taken behind the office and shot and quite rightly.

Her name is Mayte Medina.


They’re hasn’t been a backlog for anywhere near that long and it will pass once they get caught up with all the gap closing applications that waited until the last minute (or after it).


The backlog can be more than 9 months. I know.

I took the GAP Closing courses In June 2016 and submitted them promptly, but did not get the stickers until March 2017.

My license consultant is in frequent contact with NMC and my evaluator about various applications. He says NMC is very very understaffed, and he’s never seen it so bad before.

Simple applications (such as a recent academy grad upgrading from 3rd Mate to 2nd Mate with one seatime letter with over 365 days from one vessel over 1600GRT) may not take nine months, but I hear about them taking four months.

If an application is for an unlimited license with a tonnage restriction, or includes combined tug & barge tonnage seatime, it will take a very very long time.

The problems at NMC run a lot deeper than last minute Gap Closing courses. That’s just a convenient excuse to cover up gross incompetence and neglect from the top down.


I submitted my gap closing certificates at the end of September and the stickers were issued mid November.

My objection want how long the delays can be but that it hasn’t been for 3 years as claimed. I had multiple transactions in 2015 and the times were measured in days as opposed to weeks or months. (There weren’t significant complaints about wait time back then either.)


EXACTLY! That is why I am going after DCO and CG-MMC. It is their program and now they are going to have to explain their decisions to my Congressman and others. I am amazed nobody else has got it to the Congressional Inquiry level. I am pushing for Congressional hearings and have my testimony ready to go.

I did not give 22 years of my life to that great organization and see my peers treated like this. BTW, this is just me, nobody else.


Officially, you are correct Captain. Unofficially, the delays have been hamstringing service to us as Mariners prior to the GAP Closure implementation. I have documents from Coast Guard Headquarters documenting my statements, not accusations, statements. Additionally I have documents stating senior management had numerous reports about the failures in their projections and the briefings of senior management (both military and civilian) and these facts were ignored.


You should have had to take a test. However, the CFRs are all for interpretation at the evaluators expense. You should be held to the same standard of testing as everyone else that has moved up to unlimited master, mainly because of the content you are required to know for an Master AGT Oceans. The lower level licenses don’t have the same content. But thats just may opinion. You may be very knowledgable.

You continue to live up to your reputation as an idiot. I think its fair to say that you are the “miserable wanker” considering all sectors of industry that you failed to succeed in. Get over yourself.

I would have to agree here. Also keep in mind, every time you file out a USCG application on 719b are taking an oath to obey all of the federal regulations, blah blah blah, etc. You are required to know what you are and aren’t allowed to do. Even thought the evaluator gave it to you, it doesn’t make it right and it sounds to me you know that.