It Complicated( A Current Federal Employee transitioning into the MSC)

Good morning to All,

I am at a turning point in my career it has been 11 years since I have been out of the NAVY(1996-1999 USS CONSTELLATION CV-64, INTERIOR COMMUNICATIONS ELECTRICIAN 3rd CLASS, IC3) I also was a BM I struck into the IC rate, Since then I have been a federal employee, starting off as WG-2502 Telephone Mechanic at Camp Pendleton, to GS-09 0856 Electronics Technician, to a GS-11 2210 IT SPECIALIST for both Camp Pendleton and currently now the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I have been curious and eying the MSC for that time now since I have been out, I heard good and bad review on the MSC, but hey I work for the federal government so it can’t be any different right :slight_smile: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems, and my experience is in telco, radio, networking,cisco, VoIP, and video teleconferencing.

I am looking into joining the MSC in the communications department, Radio Electronics Technician, I guess the question I am asking is 1st am I making a lateral decision here or am I back stepping in the federal service. Personally I look at it as I am single, tired of paying rent when I can save that $20-30k in investments and my future.

I love to travel, I am prior Navy so I know what to expect. Although I have a son in Las Vegas, and I live in the West Coast, I think I can balance a good work/life being I am already in the federal service, I have annual/sick leave I think i am at the point of use of lose so my situation is a little different than someone who is just coming in, plus my benefits and federal time transfer over. Thanks for your time I just have the following question that would much be appreciated if they could be answered.

  1. I live on the West Coast, I have a son in Vegas my only concern is getting assigned to a ship on the West Coast, where are the locations? How can I got about getting assigned to the West Coast after schooling or eventually transferring within a short period of time?

  2. Can someone tell me about the RET field and how it related to work/life, advancement, and what goes on daily in that rate.

  3. I understand the 4 month ship assignment, what happens during that 4 month assignment are you always overseas or underway or a combination of your homeport and underway, what happens when you get back off of that tour? I have 240 hours annual leave what is the max I could drop after a 4 month stint? What happens after you come back from leave?

  4. How do I go about requesting schools or training pertaining to the RET rate on an ongoing basis?

  5. When going to liberty calls is it true you need a buddy system?

6)In the RET rate whether an Officer or entry-level how is the overtime? Reason why I ask that question is I am currently a GS-11 making 73K, but the RET rate is between 43k-50k depending if you come in as 1st or 2nd Class.

  1. I heard someone in another forum explain how each ships/coast pay is different. Please elaborate.

  2. Can Sea Leave and Annual Leave be used in combination?

  3. What happens if we are underway and I have an emergency that I have to attend to?

  4. I been in the NAVY so I understand the politics, I hear alot of people on this site complain about that, can you tell me what I might expect in the RET rate?

  5. How are the living quarters? Officer vs entry-level, i.e. staterooms or berthing? 1 or 2 man per berthing?

  6. Is there entertainment, i.e. Satellite, Internet, Cell Phone Service?

  7. How is overtime?

Thanks for everyone time, I am a hard worker, a salty dog, just wanna travel,see the world, get good training, save money cause in the other sectors of the federal government the training sucks they never have funding when FY comes by the money is gone.

I want give an honest effort and be a team player, I just want to make sure I know what I am getting into, I have been thinking about joining the MSC for over 10 years.I only plan on doing this for about 3-4 years, then i would like to settle down and get married eventually and go back into another sector of the federal government. Good day to all and God Bless you all.

Hey, I can’t really help with all your questions, but I was told (not that it’s the truth) at a MSC job fair that everyone gets their own stateroom, emergency leave “can” be arraigned, overtime is paid, 4months is the minimum shipboard time sometimes/most of the times it is more.

I would do a search on here, theres tons of info on the exact question in many posts.

Have you ever thought of cruise ships? I knew a guy from Vegas who was the IT supervisor on the Norwegian Star, another one on the Nor. Wind. Might be another option for ya. Better parties of that I can be sure. Not sure about contract lengths though. Here are 2 that I found at NCL.

You may want to contact NOAA as well.

Stay with your GS-11 gig or look into NOAA if your seeking adventure. MSC is not a good employer. I guarantee you’ll be disapointed.

So, your making better than $35/hr with 6 wks paid vaca. and a 40 hr work week. Ever think of moving out of Cali? Personally, I’d stick with what you have.

Thanks for the info i i will look into it.

Thanks for the info I will check into it.

[QUOTE=KneelbeforeZod!;26588]Stay with your GS-11 gig or look into NOAA if your seeking adventure. MSC is not a good employer. I guarantee you’ll be disapointed.[/QUOTE]
Think I will look into NOAA, where I am at is just chaotic and the cost of living is extreme, I need to find a seagoing job where I can save money in a short period of time and travel, I need a break from everyday life lol

Go here: you’ll learn alot. Remember the Navy Radiomen on your Navy ships? That’s what you’ll be doing if you get into that MSC RET job.