Frustration is building (again)

#1

I just got off the phone with my evaluator. I am trying to get OICNW on my 3/M NC AGT. I haven’t completed GMDSS yet and understand that there will be a clause to that effect in my MMC yet I want that OICNW. It has now become a quest . . . the time involved in wading through the process has made this my white whale.

When I was renewing this spring, I couldn’t locate my BRM or ARPA certs and finally settled for RFPNW/PSC on my AB card so at least I was marketable in the GOM. I wrote an INL/GL upgrade in June and found my BRM and ARPA certs soon after. I submitted them for OICNW as instructed by my evaluator. This week I had a pleasant letter from the NMC advising me I needed the following:

STCW assessment for OICNW
STCW training certificate for OICNW
First Aid training
Flashing light cert

Ok, here is my issue; I was told that since I began training before 1998 (I started the academy in '90 and wrote my original in '94), I only needed BST, BRM, ARPA, and GMDSS (for GMDSS vessels) to have OICNW placed on my license. With a 3/M NC AGT I had to pass flashing light to get the original license, first aid was covered in BST, and if I had the license already, didn’t I prove to the USCG that I can navigate, communicate, and manage a watch?

What, if anything, am I missing? Did the rules change again and I missed something? Frustration, confusion, etc abounds in my skull . . .

The saga continues, updates to follow . . .

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#2

[QUOTE=kzoo pilot;17101]I just got off the phone with my evaluator. I am trying to get OICNW on my 3/M NC AGT. I haven’t completed GMDSS yet and understand that there will be a clause to that effect in my MMC yet I want that OICNW. It has now become a quest . . . the time involved in wading through the process has made this my white whale.

When I was renewing this spring, I couldn’t locate my BRM or ARPA certs and finally settled for RFPNW/PSC on my AB card so at least I was marketable in the GOM. I wrote an INL/GL upgrade in June and found my BRM and ARPA certs soon after. I submitted them for OICNW as instructed by my evaluator. This week I had a pleasant letter from the NMC advising me I needed the following:

STCW assessment for OICNW
STCW training certificate for OICNW
First Aid training
Flashing light cert

Ok, here is my issue; I was told that since I began training before 1998 (I started the academy in '90 and wrote my original in '94), I only needed BST, BRM, ARPA, and GMDSS (for GMDSS vessels) to have OICNW placed on my license. With a 3/M NC AGT I had to pass flashing light to get the original license, first aid was covered in BST, and if I had the license already, didn’t I prove to the USCG that I can navigate, communicate, and manage a watch?

What, if anything, am I missing? Did the rules change again and I missed something? Frustration, confusion, etc abounds in my skull . . .

The saga continues, updates to follow . . .[/QUOTE]

They’re asking for all OICNW courses besides the ones you just listed? What the hell is going on with those people?

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#3

…“centralized for improved consistency and efficiency”…ya, sure, you betcha…

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#4

It gets better; I was just told that my license/MMC is good for AGT to 200nm EVEN THOUGH they clearly placed a tonnage restriction on it until I submitted BRM and ARPA. This gal clearly had no clue about her subject matter. I then questioned the NMC rationale for sending me a clearly defined set of requirements in March only to have those requirements become apparently meaningless five months later.

So, now they are digging through correspondence to/from me the NMC and REC Toledo in an attempt to figure out what I really need to do. I calmed down enough toward the end to apologize to her and make clear that she needed to let CAPT Stalfort now that until each department was on the same page, the NMC would continue to suffer from a piss poor reputation for consistency and service.

It was stated several times that I needed to only have the STCW assessment lists completed and that my license was not really proof that I was a trained and examined mariner. What the heck was all that time at school and the past fifteen years for then? Unbelievable. BRM/ARPA/BST/ GMDSS (If I work on a GMDSS boat) . . . that is what I have heard all along from them if I had an original license prior to '98. When and where did the rules change?

. . . even more frustrated now . . .

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#5

kzoo - I can relate with the frustration. My friend applied for 3rd Mate and was told all he needed to do was flashing light. I applied for 3rd Mate and was told I need to do all the OICNW STCW classes. He has the exact same license as me (1600 t Master NC - and received it after 1998). Amazing, two different requests from the same “office”. I have sent Capt. Stalfort a letter of appeal.

Good luck on yours!

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#6

KZOO and I graduated together with the same licenses. We are both looking to escape the “Lakes”. I just applied for the EXACT SAME thing, to have the 200t limit taken off my license. I sent them all my stuff (BRM,BST,ARPA,GMDSS,first aid) I was approved AND they removed the restriction, I am all set. KZOO is getting the nonskid fid up the ass! They truly have no consistency or credibility. They suck and we all need to send Capt. Stalfort a fury of blistering e-mails!!!

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#7

Join and tell it here too:

[B]Mariners Frustrated With The National Maritime Center[/B]

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#8

You guys won’t get any results unless you bitch to the right people such as your Congressman or the pinheads running the place. Remember, the squeaky bearing gets the grease. As I said before e-mail them to death until you get results!!!

david.c.stalfort@uscg.mil

Brian.k.eisentrout@uscg.mil Deputy Director

tina.m.bassett@uscg.mil number three

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#9

That’s what I found last time while getting my RFPNW. I called/e-mailed RADM Watson and RADM Salerno and their staffs. Magically things were finished in 48 hours. I wouldn’t be half as upset if I didn’t know people who got through the process in less than a month with the same training, license/certs, and sea time.

There is NO consistency in that place, each person you talk with has a different take on the regs OR absolutely no idea what they are talking about. I had to explain what BRM and ARPA meant! Let’s really think about that idea to require CG officers to renew their commissions every five years and let Merchant Officers be in charge of the process . . .

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#10

[B][I]To All,[/I][/B]

[B][I]for whatever good it will do…suggest those who are so inclined take the time to submit the online “satisfaction” survey that is on the homeport missions site!! [/I][/B]

[B][I]**believe/hope I’m done with my dealings with USCG until '12 renewal??[/I][/B]

[B][I]GOOD LUCK!![/I][/B]

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#11

As I recall, consistency is the very reason they moved the whole ball-of-wax the W.VA in the 1st place!:eek:

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#12

Yeah, consistently inconsistent.

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#13

Here is the letter being sent by someone that I work with. Critique is needed. This letter is going to the three email addresses above and copied to the evaluator.

I was recently evaluated to renew my 1,600 ton Master license as well as an upgrade to 3rd Mate. The result of my evaluation was disturbing in many aspects. First, the requirements that were stated for a 3rd Mate upgrade was not in-line with policy letter 01-02, although it was quoted to me. Second, my return email to my evaluator in which I stated I wanted a formal protest was not taken as such, and was advised that I would have to send in a “letter”, and that the process would take several months. It was then stated that this would hold-up my renewal process, and should not protest at this time due to these time constraints toward my renewal. Needless to say, I was shocked at the fact that I will have to open a new application, pay more money, redo requirements (physical, drug screen), and possibly be at this same point knowing that the entire application would be closed after the renewal was issued. I must also note that my evaluator stated that his supervisor was in 100% agreement.
This brings me back to the evaluation regarding the upgrade to 3rd Mate. My evaluator stated that I would have to fill all requirements in the “basic letter” which includes all OICNW requirements without regard to this being an upgrade which is covered in section 11. The requirements are very different when upgrading your license.
As you know, the applicability of policy letter 01-02 is for 500 ton “mates”, 1600 ton “mates”, and 3rd “Mates” of any tonnage. The reason the policy letter applies only to these licenses is because these are the (3) licenses a mariner can apply for as an original issue for which OICNW requirements will apply. Section 11 (Raise in Grade or Increase in Scope) is what applies to me. Many mariners that I work with, know, and have upgraded since NMC’s centralization, had Section 11 applied to them when upgrading, irrespective “if” their current STCW was endorsed as OICNM or RFPNW. That difference may be the cause of the current misinterpretation. What I tried to explain to my evaluator was the fact that if the whole basic letter applied to everybody applying for a 500 ton, 1600 ton, and 3rd Mates licenses, then section 11 would not apply to any applicant at all. That is simply not true and clearly defined. Not just in the policy letter, but also by most everyone that I work with that previously followed the same career path, before and after centralization.
It has become evident, based on this evaluation, that centralization will never work considering that all results of any applicant is based on the knowledge and understanding of policy. It really does not matter if all evaluators are in the same room or spread across the country in several Regional Exam Centers, proper understanding and training is the key to consistency, not location.
Once again, I request that my application be reviewed and/or considered for protest regarding my applied for upgrade to 3rd Mate.
I am sorry if this is taken as disrespectful, I don’t mean it that way. It’s hard to hide this level of aggravation as a mariner and customer when every result that comes out of West Virginia affects the kitchen table.

Respectfully,

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#14

Excellent! I sent a letter of similar scope as well as forwarding the recent string of e-mail between the NMC and myself in an attempt to illustrate the lack of “consistency” from one evaluator to another. The galling thing of this entire STCW thing is that a US license used to be the “gold standard” but now our license, regardless of tonnage or route is useless unless we comply with a seemingly arbitrary mess of STCW regulations; no RFPNW/OICNW, no work. What the heck happened?

My aggravation, and that of most you I am sure, is that we have held and worked on our original or upgraded license for years and now we need to prove we know what we are doing . . . unbelievable.

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#15

They haven’t screwed up the engineer’s licenses as bad…YET…But there’s still time.
I’m glad I got mine in less beaurocratic times.

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#16

[quote=injunear;17228]They haven’t screwed up the engineer’s licenses as bad…YET…But there’s still time.
I’m glad I got mine in less beaurocratic times.[/quote]

I’m just glad all I have to do in renew from here on out. What could possibly go wrong with that?:slight_smile: I’m mad because of what is happening to someone else…:mad:

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#17

[quote=kzoo pilot;17227]Excellent! I sent a letter of similar scope as well as forwarding the recent string of e-mail between the NMC and myself in an attempt to illustrate the lack of “consistency” from one evaluator to another. The galling thing of this entire STCW thing is that a US license used to be the “gold standard” but now our license, regardless of tonnage or route is useless unless we comply with a seemingly arbitrary mess of STCW regulations; no RFPNW/OICNW, no work. What the heck happened?

My aggravation, and that of most you I am sure, is that we have held and worked on our original or upgraded license for years and now we need to prove we know what we are doing . . . unbelievable.[/quote]

Let me know how that goes. Something has happened lately and I’m not sure what it is. A new boss possibly? Over the last 30 days, I’ve noticed the same thing is happening that wasn’t before regarding this particular issue. Obviously, someone here lately is telling someone something because several applicants that I know are getting the same thing from NMC. You, also. It’s too coincidental for it to happen all at the same time. Most everyone calls me with these issues because I went through all the rigamarole. I’m sure it will straighten itself out, hopefully. At least for a while like last time.

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#18

[I][quote=anchorman;17224]…Once again, I request that my application be reviewed and/or considered for protest …[/quote][/I]

What are you trying to do? In terms of NMC processes, there is no “protest.” It sounds like you’re talking about a request for reconsideration or an appeal. The first step is to request a reconsideration of the evaluator’s decision, this should go to the Commanding Officer of the NMC. If you disagree with the decision on this request, you can appeal that decision to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Although the appeal is reviewed and decided in Coast Guard HQ, it is sent to the NMC who forward it to HQ.

It sounds like you’re asking for a reconsideration.

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#19

[quote=jdcavo;17234]

What are you trying to do? In terms of NMC processes, there is no “protest.” It sounds like you’re talking about a request for reconsideration or an appeal. The first step is to request a reconsideration of the evalluator’s decision, this should go to the Commanding Officer of the NMC. If you disagree with the decision on this request, you can appeal that decision to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Although the appeal is reviewed and decided in Coast Guard HQ, it is sent to the NMC who forward it to HQ.

It sounds like you’re asking for a reconsideration.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply Jim. I guess some words need to be changed since there is an obvious difference between each, as far as the process goes. I was thinking that they were all in the same, certainly being a disagreement. Maybe I was thinking of your “test” questions.hehe. Just joking. Thanks for the critique and insight.
Hopefully, when he sends this today or tomorrow, it’s not considered “too Hot headed”.

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#20

[quote=jdcavo;17234]

What are you trying to do? In terms of NMC processes, there is no “protest.” It sounds like you’re talking about a request for reconsideration or an appeal. The first step is to request a reconsideration of the evalluator’s decision, this should go to the Commanding Officer of the NMC. If you disagree with the decision on this request, you can appeal that decision to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Although the appeal is reviewed and decided in Coast Guard HQ, it is sent to the NMC who forward it to HQ.

It sounds like you’re asking for a reconsideration.[/quote]

Mr. Cavo,

thanks for these clarifications…all this is very difficult to comprehend when the USCG keeps changing the “rules of engagement”…appeciate the time you expend on here!!

:smiley: “protest”…“reconsideration”…“appeal”…TOOmatoes…TAAmatoes :smiley:

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