Foreign Flag Training Cruise

Can a cadet do a training cruise on a foreign flag ship? Assuming he can set one up on his own, will the sea time count?

Absolutely yes. And the sea time counts.

Foreign service does count. 46 CFR 10.232(f). Cadet time on a training ship counts as 1.5 days for every day of service. 46 CFR 10.232(h(5). You won’t get the extra credit you would on a training ship. You should also check with the school and confirm if they will count it towards your program. It is really up to them. The Coast Guard has been working with the academies to find alternatives.

If you set it up on your own, it doesn’t matter what flag the vessel is, it won’t count unless the academy signs off on it and provides you with the same training and study materials you’d get if they arranged the placement. The requirement is not to take classes at an academy and get a fixed amount of sea time, it is to complete a comprehensive program that includes a fixed period of shipboard training. If the academy doesn’t arrange it, and won’t sign off on it,. it’s not part of their program, and won’t count.

The above notwithstanding, there is no prohibition on foreign shipping, except at USMMA. If a state academy arranges for it, or if you do and they incorporate it into their program, it will count.


USMMA doesn’t have a “prohibition on foreign shipping” in past years many USMMA cadets sailed on foreign flagged lng/lpg vessels as cadets. Now USMMA only places cadets with companies that have a certain sexual harassment policy in place i guess in theory any company could do that and USMMA could place cadets with them.

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I know they canceled sea year for a while due to all the fracas regarding sexual harrassment issues. Were working hard to get those affected on vessels that had approved policies. Wasn’t aware they got some people on those type ships to complete their sea projects. Perhaps they had a policy in place that was signed off by USMMA. Sea project is part of the training, the cadets are responsible for most if not all of that.

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Yes. We had SUNY cadets out on Belgian flagged LNG vessels, I believe with Exmar. I think we also sent cadets out on a Russian training vessel in the early 90’s.

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Yup. TMA had an exchange of cadets one summer with the Russians in the 90’s (at least I think it was the 90’s) too.

The cadets were on those ships before a company policy was required. Prior to '16. Since then no cadet has shipped with a foreign flagged vessel that I know of. However, graduates are still employed on foreign flagged operators out of school in the lng/lpg/drilling sectors.

No problem there . Jobs are jobs. !6/17 was a rough year for shipping all the academy schools. Usmma did require upon graduation service in Jones Act (commercially) trade And /or military service or MSC. And participate in some type of Reserve program. Am I wrong here? My son is now a Lt in the Navy Resrves end of it. Honored his commitment. And continuing that commitment. Did Maersk and MSC sea projects.

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still do. its possible to get waivers for it though

46 CFR 310.58.

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Thanks JD. That pretty much lays it out. I don’t recall any USMMA guys doing foreign sea projects. We read the that particular CFR numerous times in 2011 before accepting the appointment. Wanted to make clear to my son what he would be committing to in exchange for a federally funded education. It was not a problem honoring those requirements. I guess the state schools had more leeway as you said.

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As far as service obligation, it’s essentially the same at the state academies if the cadet accepts subsidy payments, see 46 CFR 310.7(b)(3).

Rightfully so.

I would imagine that there have to be exceptions made these days. When I did my cadet shipping, we had an incredible amount of options for cadet shipping on US flag vessels. Hell, I was the only cadet on half of the ships I sailed on. I would imagine that is a rarity these days.

cmakin, it is not unusual to have 2-4 or more cadets on one ship nowadays. Sad but true. There just aren’t as many ships to get the time needed. The cadets/mids are just as bright as they have always been, but the billets are shrinking. Hopefully, Admiral Buzby is doing the best he can with what tools at his disposal to remedy that. He is starting with a short toolbox. I wish him well. He represents ALL the mariners of USA. Congress doesn’t give a rats ass where there Ipods or toilet paper comes from. It’s all about the shipping people. And the gas in your cars. Most of Congress does not have a clue what our mariners do.

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Absolutely. While watching the demise of our Merchant Marine was/is sad to experience, I am glad that I was able to sail in it when I did. Not always great times, but a lot of good memories. . .

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As was I. The memories were truth. I hope it turns araound, but not likely. Buzby and Chao are the best team in years, but have a hard path .

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