Letter From New NMC Cheif

From Captain Bradley Clare, Commanding Officer, National Maritime Center (NMC)


On July 23rd I had the privilege of issuing the first Merchant Mariner Credential with my signature to a member of the maritime community, Captain Joshua Ferguson of Crowley Maritime Corporation. Captain Ferguson demonstrated the professional experience and knowledge necessary for continued qualification as a commercial mariner, and not to mention, carries on a longstanding tradition of seafarers that have contributed to and maintained the economic prosperity of the United States. I was honored to assume command of the National Maritime Center on July 16th 2021 and recognize the importance of the NMC’s job to support and keep the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) operating with qualified mariners.

I understand that there have been unprecedented challenges in the past year for the maritime community. I assure you that the NMC is working each day to improve our processes in order to better meet your credentialing needs. For example, as the COVID-19 pandemic struck our Nation we quickly transitioned from a paper based application process to an electronic application process that helped to alleviate impacts from workforce shortages, keep our members safe, and keep credential production flowing.

It is of the upmost importance that we assist individuals waiting to receive their initial or upgraded merchant mariner credentials. Not only because it is important to the strength of the MTS, but because we realize this is your livelihood. The NMC has a wide range of online resources, staff at our 17 Regional Examination Centers, and our call center staff here in Martinsburg, WV. They are available to assist you with all of your credentialing needs. I look forward to signing many more certificates in the years to come.

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard

Because 60-75 days for a renewal is acceptable.

The NMC is a total failure. Nothing has changed. It continues to get worse.

Because it takes months for an applicant to obtain an entry level MMC as OS (which requires no experience or exam) the tug and barge industry has been forced to hire new deckhands and unlicensed engineers from the fishing industry without any MMC in hand.