How much USN time translates into a USCG license?

Thought I’d introduce myself.

I’m currently on active duty in the USN, considering transitioning to civilian mariner in 2 years when my enlistment is up. I’m a Machinist’s Mate 2nd class, with 3 years sea time in the engineering dept (steam) aboard the sub tender USS Emory S. Land AS39. I have orders to USS Essex LHA2 in Sasebo for 2 more years at sea. Before I joined up I was a deep sea sportfishing mate on a 32’ boat out of Big Pine Key, FL for about a year of sea time. Also hold a BS in Business Administration (not sure if that counts for anything in the Merchant Marine?)

How much of this training and experience can I translate into a USCG license? I have heard by word of mouth that the USCG only credits you a portion of your Navy sea time. Anyone have any advice on how best to approach this? I love being at sea, but I also miss being home. The ideal situation for me would be to find a job aboard ship that would have me out for several months then home for several months, preferably as a licensed mariner.

Thanks in advance!

If you haven’t already, get into Diesel Operator/Mechanic school and get DOCUMENTED time running and working on diesels. In everything you do, Lots of accurate documentation is key. Five years seatime will equal three from the USCG. I’m Deck, maybe some of the Eng Room folks will chime in with first hand info…
Essex came here where I live at Subic bay Philippines a few weeks ago.

First off, JEFFROX rocks and I am completely jealous of the fact that he lives in Subic…
Your time in engineering counts 100% day-for-day for an engineering license. The kicker for you, though, is going to be STCW courses which there’s no way around.

If you’re happy to stay in engineering, then you should really consider MSC (Military Sealift Command). Get your MMD and they’ll hire you on as a wiper and probably help with all of the STCW courses, etc… Their website is outstanding.

And Jeff is right: get the diesel course. Diesel is the most common propulsion type in the industry, so you need some experience since you’ve been a steam MM.

In any event, good luck!! And thanks for your service on ESL! Did you move the ship from La Madd to Bremerton? (I know most of your CO’s then probably!)

  • Subguy

Yes Jeff does Rock… His Christmas card to me last year is still proudly displayed in my garage …Absolutely breath taking…:slight_smile:

MSC is a great place to start for ex-Navy. They send new hires to their school for STCW immediately after hiring.

Most ex-Navy people love MSC, I think it’s the best of both worlds from their perspective, there’s still some of the structure from Navy, the vessels call on the same familiar Navy ports, but you still get the freedom and pay of regular people. Even a wiper probably makes as much as an O-3 or O-4, once you add in the overtime.

[QUOTE=sean;13671]Even a wiper probably makes as much as an O-3 or O-4, once you add in the overtime.[/QUOTE]

Really? O-3 and wiper make the same? I was either desperately underpaid then, or I am desperately underpaid now. Either way, I’m doing it wrong.

So Snipes get 100% of sea time? Good for them!
Any schools/assignments/watchstanding you can get involving documented time working on auxillary equipment like AC&R, hydraulics, HP Air, etc. will help you not just with CG credit but you’ll be a better QMED/Engineer. Study electrical system/equipment also.
It’s Philippine Independence Day here, I’ll be out in the Barrio tonight and I’ll drink some SMBs for ya’ll.

An O-3 makes about $5000 a month, plus or minus. About $60,000/year.

I don’t what GS level a wiper is, but lets say its a GS-6 or 7. That’s about $35-39k per year base pay. On a decent ship add 50% for OT. Often more. So that’s about $52,000 to $60,000 / year. And if your comparing that to non-MSC mariners, remember our happy MSC wiper is probably working 11 months a year.

So, yeah it’s in the same ballpark.

Subguy- I did indeed make the transit from LaMadd to Bremerton. Probably the smoothest cruise I ever made on that ship as we left the plant alone and didn’t run any engineering drills. I stood watch as Oil King then. I’ll definately miss LaMadd - had an absolute blast in Sardinia.

I have considered MSC and it looks like a good option for me. I’m not exactly sure how the rotation works though. Can you pick and choose when/what ships you work on or are you just assigned orders? Are there very many MSC ships in Florida?

Thanks for the advice!

Google & download the Marine Safety Manual. It will tell you exactly what you are entitled to when transferring from the military. I think it is in chapter 2

MSC may have changed a bit in the last few years. You pick east coast or west coast when you’re hired. After that you are assigned to the ship they need you. The only way you get any real say in which ship you go to is if you are real friendly with the captain or CHENG of the ship you want.

There is no real rotation. After 4 months you can put in for a relief. The relief may or may not show up within the next 2 to 6 months. Then you get a little time off, maybe a month if your lucky. My experience was, put in for relief at 4 months, get relieved at 12 months, get ordered back to work after 2 weeks off, resign in a fit of swearing.

Despite problems with the “rotation”, MSC is still a great place to start out, because of the sea time, free training, opportunites for advancement. I know a guy that went from 3rd mate to getting his Master’s license in about 4 years. It’s just not a place that most people can sustain a career. More of a stepping stone.

Where do you get this from? 46 CFR 10.213(a) and the Marine Safety Manual Volume III, Chapter 2 make no distinction between deck and engine licenses for the 60% credit.

Mr. Cavo-- I musunderstood the question. The distinction I was trying to make was with regard to engineering time spent on submarines versus engineering on surface ship (they’re the same). The 60% clause of the CFR is obviously talking about “sea time” spent.

Once again proving that J.D. Cavo is like having a merchant mariner genie in a bottle!

(d) Sea service obtained on submarines is creditable, as if it were surface vessel service, for deck and engineer licenses under the provision of paragraph (a) of this section. For application to deck licenses, submarine service may be creditable if at least 25 percent of all service submitted for the license was obtained on surface vessels (e.g. If four years’ total service were submitted for an original license, at least one year must have been obtained on surface craft in order for the submarine service to be eligible for evaluation).

Your time will be decided by the USCG Marine Safety Manual. You can google it and down load. Chapter 2 Figure 2-1 chart will layout the sea time you can expect to get. MM is not listed as being eligible for any sea time. It sucks but I feel your pain. (I did 3 years at sea as an ET). You should still apply for your MMD QMED rating. Let the CG tell you no, don’t assume they will. The MSM is a guide for the evaluators. You can get a QMED study guide from a lot of sources.
You will have to get a transcript of sea service from the Navy. It shouldn’t be too hard to find. When I got out it was only availible after you left service. May be different now.
There are steam ships still sailing but they are few and far between. However there is a surge in LNG tankers which require a steam license. They are ussually the highest paying ships. You will need to get accustomed to diesels, they are much easier to deal with than a D-type.
I don’t know of any vessels that have seven month rotations, most deep sea is 3 months or four months. MSC will be minimum 4 months on and one month off. You do not make enough leave to do that rotation at first. You may look at working in the Gulf of Mexico oil patch. It is in a slow turn right now but should be picking up soon. Rotations are 28/28 days or 28/14 or 21/21. Pay is pretty good too.
You will need to get your TWIC card (google it), it is not optional, no one will hire you with out it. You could probably apply for it now.
You will have to take STCW classes on your own or a lot of companies will either pay for it or have in house training.
Good Luck, it will be a lot of work. But its a good career. I will say this, get your own answers by researching the rules. You can find them in the MSM, and 46 CFR. Its your career and future arming yourself with knowledge can only help you.