Employment question

Military Sealift Command,ConocoPhillips, or Seafarers union ship? Which one of these three would be best to Pursue employment? Transitioning from USN 20 Years.

Thank You



do you have a merchant mariner’s document? if so what endorsements do you hold?

Just your basic entry level wiper, steward ordinary Seaman. I have been a Culinary Specialist for 16 years. I have everything I need to ship out. I’m just wondering if anyone knows about working for ConocoPhillips ?

do you have stcw ‘basic training’? you definately need that for most if not all employers.

by saying conoco you are referring to polar tankers? i have known some guys in the past that sailed with them, never heard anything bad.
it’s a tough job market right now so i would say try anywhere and everywhere. not only ships but some tug and osv companies hire cooks.

i saw a job posting recently for foss looking for a cook/steward for the delta mariner…so you never know where a good opportunity may pop up.

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Yes I have both of those. Thank you Ctony for the reply’s. VR Gregg

Depends how motivated you are to be working as soon as possible. If you want to get started asap pursue all three and boats as CTony suggests. Then go with the first one to offer you a job. They are all good choices. If you are in no rush you can pick one and wait. But…you may be waiting for a very long time or simply not offered a position.

It is very tough to get started, takes persistence and patience. Good luck and thank you for your service.

Culinary Specialist for 16 years in the Navy? You would be eligible as a Chief Cook with MSC. But…there are no openings. I attended MSC’s New Employee Orientation with two retired Navy Culinary Specialist. One was from the Submariner side. The both started as Chief Cooks.

Keep up with MSC employment site. They do announce openings for Supply Utilities (SU) at least once a year. But…announcements are only open for 1 week, usually. From SU it is an easy step up to Cook are Chief Cook. Contact MSC by phone and maybe someone can give you a heads up on upcoming Cook announcements. My last MSO started with MSC without an announcement. So it doesn’t hurt to just call and ask.

If you are on the West coast you’ll have to contact the Union SUP for ConocoPhillips.

And I said all that just to say this…back in 2013 I interviewed with one of those seemly evil (my opinion) Gulf companies that currently has an open letter out. They herded us all into one room just to tell everyone there were no openings. Until they discovered that two of the candidates were also cooks, All of a sudden two positions opened. Those hypocritical b@#$ers. But as a cook I think you have a leg up. I am employed now, but still get Cook and Mess men announcements from ConocoPhillips. Been a couple of months since the last one, but the work is out there.

Actually all the OSV companies are like that with cooks fairly often. Even if they say they don’t have any spots on their website, give them a call anyway. There’s a pretty high cook turnover rate on some boats, so if nothing else, you’ll be in the system to be called.

Incorrect. I’m pretty sure Conoco Phillips aka PolarTankers are not union. I’m positive they are not SUP. Are they even still sailing?

I said on the West Coast. A few years ago there was a west cost announcement on their website. I answered their announcement (Called HR) and was directed to SUP. Had the same happen when I contacted Chevron over an announcement on their website. Even Hornbeck had an announcement out for months for an OS with a secret security clearance. Never knew of SUP before then. Never followed up on either but I did eventually join SUP.

Ok Xavier you win. Polar Tanks is an SUP contracted company but on the “West Coast”.

Thanks for straightening me out. 8 years in the SUP on the “west coast” and I’ve never seen a Polar job called or heard any sailor talk about it.

But when I go up on watch today I’ll be sure to pass along your info about Polar to my watch SUP watch partners. I’ll be sure to tell them applies only to “west coast”.

Well I am glade you see things straight now. What is that saying…“Until you walk a mile”. You were already with SUP. I was desparately looking for work. Two different perspectives. Later email Cut and Pasted from one their emails (Hope it is allowed). Personal data deleted…

January 5, 2012

To: xxxxx-xxxx@lxxx,com

Subject: Job Posting Notification

Dear Xavier:

A job opening matching your profile for the position of Mess Person-00OI0 has just been posted.

This position is located at :


If you would like to apply, please choose the appropriate avenue below:
Internal Applicants - Log into HR Express then navigate to “My Career” > "Job Opportunities"
External Applicants - Go to our external online system at careers.conocophillips.com.
Thank you for your interest in career opportunities at ConocoPhillips.

Best regards,

Human Resources Department

You have received this e-mail because you selected the job agent function during the job application process. If you no longer wish to receive these e-mail notifications, please log-in to your job profile and un-check the “Send Notifications” box. The receipt of this e-mail DOES NOT mean that you have been automatically applied to the position listed above. This e-mail is for informational purposes only.

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY DIRECTLY TO THIS MESSAGE - it is being sent from an unattended mailbox."

…and as I stated…I was instructed by their HR to CONTACT SUP. First time I ever heard of SUP.

Edited: Edited response because the wife remained me that my communications sometimes seems sarcastic. Sorry if it does/did. Not everyone gets my dry humor. Even I have a problem with it sometimes.

I wish you the best of luck in your job search. Really!

Thanks…but employed since early 15…

This is from Conoco website

Polar Tankers, Inc. employs 260 sea-going personnel. The
Houston-based Fleet Staffing Coordinators efficiently staff the tankers
with fully documented and trained professionals. Our Operations
Compliance Director is responsible for the training and development of
our mariners to meet the requirements of their current position and to
prepare them for future advancement.
The seagoing personnel are represented by two separate and
independent unions. The Atlantic Maritime Officers Association
represents the ships’ officers. The Atlantic Maritime Employees Union
represents the unlicensed seafarers.

These look like “company unions” or employee associations but that’s just an impression from searching the web. Sure doesn’t mention SUP. But maybe that’s because I’m searching from the East Coast.

That specifically addresses the Houston crewing office. They don’t crew the West coast ships.

Oh it seemed to me the Conoco coordinators office was in Houston but they were crewing the 5 or 6 tankers in the Alaska trade. The little info about those unions I could find had California and I think Washington State based addresses.

I imagined it to be like the old oil co unions. Where you got hired by the company but then became members of that union. Which served only the one shipping company anyway.

I belonged to one myself way back when. There was no union hall. They functioned as an employee association that provided the grievance procedure and bargaining mechanism every 3 years or so. Dues were minimal, no full time staff. Officers were guys sailing on the ships. And of course they had a lawyer to consult with.

Sounded like that what might be going on with these Polar Tankers. Maybe someone sailing on them will enlighten us. SUP or this other company union idea or something else altogether.

KPChief is on the right track. Polar’s vessels are crewed solely by ConocoPhillips employees, who are members of what is essentially a pair of in-house unions (licensed and unlicensed). Staffing for all 5 ships is done through the company headquarters in Houston, applications are only done online at careers.conocophillips.com . There is an office in Washington but it has nothing to do with staffing.