Military Sealift Command Swimming Requirements?

So I currently work for a not so good tugboat company. I applied for the MSC and got a job offer and need to report to Norfolk in less than a month. I was reading online that they have a swimming requirement. Im not the best swimmer tbh. I can swim on my back and underwater but i cannot tread water. What will happen if I show up there and cant tread water? Will they work with me and teach me or will they send me home?

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I’m at NEO right now and as far as they’ve informed us, the only unassisted swimming required is a one minute float/tread. Other than that I think any swimming is with pfd/immersion suit.

i swim a mile a day open ocean in the summer. i train at the YMCA for stamina. Go down to the Y invest in an hour lesson and you will be assured

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I am not sure I could be comfortable going to sea if I was not capable of, at a minimum, treading water. It is a skill that everyone who goes to sea should have. I would consider it as professional development and go get trained. Your life may depend on it some day and that is my benchmark for necessary training.

So you can float on your back? Please let me know. Thank you!

I can swim but i never learned to tread water. Thats all i was wondering. When i was in the navy, i finished the swim course on my back.

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If you have doubts, it’s worth your while to learn and practice.

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Don’t worry about the swimming requirements. Even those that can’t swim pass. Never seen a class where someone failed. It is similar to AB School. Everyone passes (Oops…did I say that out loud).

And yes…you can float on your back.

Pool time is Adult Swim fun time. The most important parts are the donning of the gumby suite, righting and boarding the life raft.

During NEO the biggest failures are the Security background checks and surprisingly…the English test.


Earning a living on the water and not being able to swim or even float is as ridiculous as it sounds.


Never said i cant swim. Just never learned to tread. Youf be surprised at how many people couldnt swim when i was in the navy

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My comment wasn’t directed at you. I’ve heard countless times that most sailors can’t swim. I have no idea whether it’s true or if it’s one of those legends that are accepted without question.


Just float on your back. Relax

Good advice.

They will work with you. When I was in NEO myself and another guy named Mike taught a few guys how to swim. If not the staff your classmates might help you. Hang in there!

Those days of everyone passes are over. 60 sec float, tread water, or swim in circles - YES. Have someone hold you up-NO.
It’s not adult fun time any more. Must meet minimum CG standards.