Ex-Soldier hoping to become a sailor


#1

Hey guys.

Was doing some Googling and came across this website, which seems to be exactly the type of forum I’ve been looking for, so I figured why not register and pop you guys my questions and see what I find out.

I just recently got out of the Army, did four years in (11B, Infantryman), and while I was preparing to get out and trying to rush to figure out what I wanted to do with my life all in a hurry, I found out about the merchant seaman’s profession.

Immediately fell in love with the idea, I mean, I can work my way up from the bottom like a man, work with my hands, the long stretches away from home wouldn’t bother me, just like a deployment except the money is better and your not getting shot at, and I love the ocean, always have.
I remember growing up here in Charleston watching the big container ships come in like big floating monsters, and the idea that I could work on one of those blows me away.

That said, actually finding my way to finding my way to getting on one of those ships is proving to be a bit harder than I thought.

I’ve been digging for information on where to go, what I need to do, etc, and have just come out confused.
Gotta get certification card “A” then go get background security check “B” before going to get something else and something else and so on…

…and I’m just…well…confused.

I figured I’d take the direct, Infantry-approach to it yesterday and just walk on down to the docks and ask somebody, but when I went downtown to where a big green and white ship was parked, I couldn’t even get close to it, it was all fenced off, and while walking around the fence to find the gate a cop pulled up and told me I wasn’t allowed there, and I didn’t feel like trying to explain to him what I was looking for so I just split.

So anyway, I guess my question is, what do I need to do to get started to do what you guys do?

It cant be impossible, because, well, you guys do it. :slight_smile:

Much appreciate any help.
Thanks :slight_smile:


#2

get a z card, and a twic card, thats a start


#3

Gotcha. Where do I go to get those?
(I dont need an address obviously, just an idea of who to go through)


#4

V, these links will get you started…Once you get this card, then you will be eligible to apply for a Merchant Mariner Credential through the National Maritme Center,in Virgina…There are some schools after that, that you may want to take that will make you more attractive to potential employers and the VA may cover some of those costs…You will need to investigate that…

http://twicinformation.tsa.dhs.gov/twicinfo/

http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/


#5

[QUOTE=Shellback;28992]V, this link will get you started…Once you get this card, then you will be eligible to apply for a Merchant Mariner Credential through the National Maritme Center,in Virgina…

http://twicinformation.tsa.dhs.gov/twicinfo/[/QUOTE]

Much appreciated man, this is what I was looking for.


#6

Hah! you were too fast for me, I just added the other link, but you are more than welcome, good luck…


#7

[QUOTE=Shellback;28992]the VA may cover some of those costs…[/QUOTE]

I’m still sitting on my my GI Bill, any school thats accredited I’m good for.


#8

[QUOTE=Shellback;28994]Hah! you were too fast for me, I just added the other link, but you are more than welcome, good luck…[/QUOTE]

Yeah, just sitting here hitting refresh, figured there’s more info here than what I’ve been finding by way of Google.


#9

Welcome aboard:)

Like the others said- get your mmc/twic

As a veteran you have hiring preference with MSC sealiftcommand.com or
NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers, National Parks Service, etc.- usajobs.com

MSC- Military Sealift Command- supply arm of the Navy long hitches- but lots of training/travel/overtime. Entry level is available.

NOAA- Government Research Vessels- smaller/less pay. More mellow.

Corp of Engineers- mainly inland work (rivers) Pays pretty well- home more.

National Parks Service- numerous seasonal jobs.

You may also be able to use GI/government/grant money to get training. The first thing to get is Basic Safety Training (BST)

It is- First Aid, CPR, Firefighting, water survival, etc.

There are a few programs where you combine school/work to get a ship’s officer license in a few years- I’m in such a program myself.

Here’s a link workboatacademy.com

There are a lot of good people here- feel free to ask more questions:)

Good luck-Anthony


#10

Dude, you have an edge. You are an Army guy and time as Federal employee, right? Why not use it to your advantage. I’m thinking Army Corp of Engineers or NOAA here:
http://www.usajobs.gov/

or the Naval arm of the Army here:
https://www.krsjv.com/default.aspx

or possibly MSC here:
http://www.msc.navy.mil/

Regards,


#11

You have chosen wisely grasshopper…


#12

[quote=Vehemence;28986]Hey guys.

Was doing some Googling and came across this website, which seems to be exactly the type of forum I’ve been looking for, so I figured why not register and pop you guys my questions and see what I find out.

I just recently got out of the Army, did four years in (11B, Infantryman), and while I was preparing to get out and trying to rush to figure out what I wanted to do with my life all in a hurry, I found out about the merchant seaman’s profession.

Immediately fell in love with the idea, I mean, I can work my way up from the bottom like a man, work with my hands, the long stretches away from home wouldn’t bother me, just like a deployment except the money is better and your not getting shot at, and I love the ocean, always have.
I remember growing up here in Charleston watching the big container ships come in like big floating monsters, and the idea that I could work on one of those blows me away.

That said, actually finding my way to finding my way to getting on one of those ships is proving to be a bit harder than I thought.

I’ve been digging for information on where to go, what I need to do, etc, and have just come out confused.
Gotta get certification card “A” then go get background security check “B” before going to get something else and something else and so on…

…and I’m just…well…confused.

I figured I’d take the direct, Infantry-approach to it yesterday and just walk on down to the docks and ask somebody, but when I went downtown to where a big green and white ship was parked, I couldn’t even get close to it, it was all fenced off, and while walking around the fence to find the gate a cop pulled up and told me I wasn’t allowed there, and I didn’t feel like trying to explain to him what I was looking for so I just split.

So anyway, I guess my question is, what do I need to do to get started to do what you guys do?

It cant be impossible, because, well, you guys do it. :slight_smile:

Much appreciate any help.
Thanks :)[/quote]

Vehemence,

I encourage you to research the state maritime academies in the US to see if what we all have to offer meets your interests.

Fuji


#13

Few more questions while I’m here:

Well…how is it being out there on a ship?
Is it a decent job?

Is the pay as good as everyone keeps making it sound everywhere I look on Google? Gotta be a catch there.

I’ve got 9 more years to use my GI Bill, should I go to school first?
If so, I’m a long ways away from a Maritime Academy, anything I could take down here at a tech school that would translate?

And any other pros/cons to getting into this line of work that you guys can see, having been at it for a while?

Much appreciated


#14

Why don’t you look at going back into the ARNG. Besides having more planes then the Airforce, the Army has more boats then the Navy.

Sign up for the try 1 program, change your MOS to 88K, it is the feeder MOS for 880A.which is the Warrant Officer position. go to the Army school get the free training do your one weekend a month and network with the guys for a civilian job. Or if you like it go the Warrant Officer program and get all your training and licenses,get your 20, your retirement,free medical and then go civilian. There is nothing better then retiring in your 40’s and then just working at things you love.


#15

[QUOTE=skycowboy;29400]Why don’t you look at going back into the ARNG. Besides having more planes then the Airforce, the Army has more boats then the Navy.

Sign up for the try 1 program, change your MOS to 88K, it is the feeder MOS for 880A.which is the Warrant Officer position. go to the Army school get the free training do your one weekend a month and network with the guys for a civilian job. Or if you like it go the Warrant Officer program and get all your training and licenses,get your 20, your retirement,free medical and then go civilian. There is nothing better then retiring in your 40’s and then just working at things you love.[/QUOTE]

I dont wanna go back in. I want to get on a ship as a civilian.


#16

I do believe Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle is VA approved. There are surely others. You could get some of you basic safety training and what not done.