Mech Engineer considering career change

Glad I found this forum! Thanks for the great mentoring already provided!

45 years old
Veteran, no disability
Army Reserve - four years from 20 year letter.
No Sea Experience

Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Currently working as Mechanical Engineer in Jet Engine field (stuff on the outside of the engine)

Have child support to think about - so a long period of training is really out of the question. (I could probably swing a year if it was free or practically so)

Have searched and browsed here for several hours.
Have reviewed NMC webpage

Ultimate Goal:
Chief Engineer Steam/Motor/Gas (Unlimited)

Starting Point (as I see it, nothing I’ve done yet)
-STCW Advanced Firefighting
-Medical Certificate, Drug Test, Benzene Test

Next Steps:
3 A/E by the Mechanical Engrg degree + 180 days in the engine room

-Any of the above pencil strokes look wrong?

-Any advice from those that have been down this road?

-Should I go to a QMED course to get an orientation before trying? Really concerned about lack of background to be jumping into an engine room and trying to pull my weight.

-Sounds like MSC is the place to go - am I wasting my time with all the preparation? Sounds like they do a lot of hand holding. Would my chances for better/faster placement increase with the “starting point” as above defined?

-Any other qualifications (no sea time) should I try to start with?

-Prospective employers wanting the DD214 “long form”: I have 3 DD214s from different events, all are 1 page.