Another Military Sealift Command thread


While in training they will sometimes have you come in on a Saturday. Other than that, one class does give out OT and thats the officer type rating for JHSV. They are usually pretty generous with OT for that class.


Marinr218, Congrats! A day after I posted on here I got a call to do my physical and drug screen as soon as I got off the boat working for my current company. I don’t think they would have me doing it again if they were not placing abs now.


Congratulations SeaMonkey! I’ve read your story and I know this has been a long time coming. Shouldn’t be too long after you have your medical and drug screening. Really happy for you!


Check MSC’s website, entry level positions are opening again very soon.


I’m going to throw my hat in that ring when they do open up.

Side note: I rejected a job from them two years ago. I applied a year earlier from when they called me and at the time they called I was comfortable where I was at.

Now I regret rejecting it, but now I have a lot of STCW credentials on my document (like VSO, Advanced Firefighting, and Medical Care Provider) compared to when I originally applied (as an OS with only BST). I’m hoping that makes me look better as an applicant now than it did then and they don’t hold my rejecting then against me.


None of those other documents (VSO, Advanced Firefighting, and Medical Care Provider) are required for hire as an OS. Only the basic MMD. They only look to see if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. That is all that is needed. MSC provides the training they want you to have. Even If you have a current STCW for BST, you will have to retake it at their training facilities. You can argue with them until you are blue in the face…suck it up…you will retake BST or be invited to depart the area.

First thing though…get past the first day English test (Some fail) and the more frightening security screening and interview process (even more fail). You will lose people during the first week of NEO and others even during training or once out in the fleet due to the English Test, Security Screening, disciplinary actions, or some other nonsense caused by the new employee.

You will one day realize that MSC isn’t the dream Job you’ve always thought it would be.


This; but go OS or some other rate that will work towards providing actual skills, straight deck seaman means potentially going to a carrier and being a slave.
QM, OS, uh, ET might be good, they hire straight ETs for MSC at like 70k a year.
Or USCG and go on an ice breaker or cutter…


I took the security clearance 2 years ago and had no problems. Nothing has changed in the past two years, but did get some bad debts off my credit report and raised my score so I dont think that will be a problem at NEO. I have no not have any problem reading or writing so thats a non issue. Not sure what could go wrong at NEO. Marinr218 keep us posted on how things go for you in Feb. Good luck.


I’m not having any illusions on it being a dream gig, but I’m trying to clock as much seatime as I can (I’m 25 for what it’s worth and have been sailing since 2014) as to grab a bigger license sooner so I can avoid one of the droves of miserable 35+ year old deckhands complaining about how they should be in the wheelhouse or chief by now.

My end goal is to become a pilot somewhere by the time I’m 40 and I figure unlimited time and tonnage would be beneficial earlier in my career as opposed to later.

Hindsight is 20/20, I should have taken the job then but I didn’t have quite the drive then as I do now.


Taking or completing the EQuip/Security Clearance those not clear you. Just means you’ve completed the EQuip. You still need to be vetted which isn’t completed until after hire.

The Security Clearance interviews with Federal Investigators (Though methinks they use contractors too) is a big doo-doo sandwich, and we all must take a bite. I mentioned Security Clearance and English test because they appear to be the biggest reason we lose people during the first week. Though, you will lose even more the following weeks due to Security Clearance. If you hide “Anything”…Goodbye.

Funny, MSC mentions it several times daily while in NEO and training that they can release you anytime for any reason. And you will see it happen. Realy does keeps you in line, and helps to keep opinionated/complaining/discourteous mouths shut and unhealthy/poor work ethics in check during the first year of employment.


Thanks Xavier,

The crazy thing is they don’t want you to quit your job but your not officially hired until you complete NEO training. And let’s face it, how many people can take that much time off and still have a job to come back to. I’m lucky though, I’m fairly confident my company will take me back. They even make it hard for you to give your company any notice that you are leaving. I talked to them today to let them know when I get off the boat and need to return to work. The lady tells me you need 30 - 60 days off to complete every thing. They will tell you don’t quit your job but basically be available at all times. It is a huge catch 22. Last time I did the equip, physical, and drug screen they did file for an extension so I could get it done in two different periods off the boat. I work 3 on and 3 off, and definitely don’t want to burn a bridge with this company because I have to keep the option of coming back to work for them open. The way things are done there can be very frustrating. I’m still going to give it a shot and do my best. I’ll just have to take deep breaths and maybe start doing some yoga to keep calm. Haha. Thanks again for the info Xavier.


The security clearance is done by contractors, and will take up to a year to complete. It is not done during NEO. They will talk about it, but not complete by any means.

Make sure you have enough money for food, for several weeks. You won’t get any pay or S&Q for awhile, and food is your responsibility. If you can, take your car, you’ll want it up in Jersey. There are places in Norfolk where you can store it when you ship out.


Greetings just giving an update on my experiences with MSC thus. From what I’ve read and understood everyones experience can differ vastly.
-Applied Sept/Oct 2016 (rough estimate) OS entry level
-Called for a phone interview Aug 2017 (very unexpected)
-Hired Sept 2017 and start the lengthy pre employment process (Incl. drug test, physical, both paid and scheduled by CSC, Eqip, various copies of documents emailed to them and all mandatory before they can schedule you for NEO)
-Called Jan 2018 for NEO date which is next week
-sent a second email recently to complete a “refreshed eqip” basically to update any changes to my knowledge

I’ll keep you folks posted on what I will experience. As excited as I am, anything can happen at NEO and people do get set home for various reason. Any questions. Don’t hesitate to let me know. Some questions can be answered from previous post which iVe learned eventually but answers can differ.


Oh another helping hint would be to check out their CSC website which is in addition to their hiring webpage. The former contains much more valuable info in terms of benefits, training, and what i found the most valuable was the fiscal calendar (FY) for their training locations, some even had the NEO weeks posted so you can get an idea as to when you can possible get called in for it or check in with a few phone calls leading up to the date.



Is there OT on a ship on a regular basis or is it on or off? How steady is the pay?


Contractors/Investigators did talk to several people while I was still in NEO. People were told in front of us all who and when…that week and following week while in training, they were scheduled for clearance interviews. Those were the problem people. Some didn’t come back.

I have never heard of anyone getting S&Q after several weeks. That is a serious pay dispute. S&Qs were paid the following week (Next Friday) after work started. The same one week gap one finds after reporting back to the pool after an assignment. I can believe, accept or understand a two-week delay. But several weeks? One would have an assignment by then.

Rules covering the rules for payment or notification covered in the Financial Management Regulation…but I can’t recall which volume…especially since all the volumes cover… a few thousand very dull pages. IIRC volume 5 is the shortest at 485 pages…took me over a week to get through it…


Pay is every two weeks, even while home on vacation. OT and other payments are dependent on ship type, location, and what you are assigned to do, the condition of the ship, and the Captain/First Mate/Chief Eng. For Deck Unlicensed, Boatswains and BMs, do the most, work the most OT, and therefore make the most. Carpeterners and Fire Marshals work quite a few OT hours. I make a killing when I worked as a Carpeterner. Miss those days.

Due to available OT or operations, Tanker pays the least. Special Operation, Working Dry Cargo, and Tugs pay the most. I work on a Tanker. My last paycheck for the two weeks ending 01/05/2018 was only $4805 (first check for 2018). Some made less…but not the Carpeterner and Fire Marshal and especially the BMs.

Some people love tankers and will homestead of beg to stay on them. I could care less. I prefer what I made when I was on Dry Cargo/Ammo ships.


$4805 for 2 weeks? That’s not bad at all. What’s your position if you don’t mind me asking?


Regular AB Deck. But I do get some of the best work assignments. Carpeterner on the last ship.


That’s great. What do you think are the chances I can sail as a temp AB (hired as OS but with Able Seafarer endorsement) on a decent ship? Also, do you recommend west or east coast?