Military Sealift Command

Hello all,

I am new to this forum. I was in the US Navy from 1992-2002 and left as an Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class (Conventional). I am interested in Military Sealift Command, but my questions seem way too advanced for their recruiters. So I figured I would try here and see if I can find someone with the answers.

I was looking at MSC’s payscale that I had to find online and couldn’t figure our what “penalty” pay and
NWA/LV SUPP pay was. I couldn’t find that anywhere on the Internet. Also, I go out at sea for 4 months and come back home for 30 days, will I have 30 days of leave saved up or will my “off” time be cut short or will I be LWOP?

Any help would be awesome!


I like you already.

Penalty is extra pay for some work, usually work done during a meal hour, work in liew of rest, restriction to ship for various reasons, and other stuff.

NWA/LV SUPP No idea. Doesn’t show up on my earnings stub.

A rule of thumb to estimate your pay: its about 250% of your base pay. It’s very ship dependent. Big ships with bombs on deployment get paid more.

Four months should get you 12-16 days of leave. That’s three weeks paid and another on LwoP. They no longer call people off leave before 30 days.

Thank you very much for your answers. I have my passport and TWIC card. I am working on submitting my paperwork to get my QMED credentials. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to promote to 3rd Assistant Engineer? Thanks again.


[QUOTE=DeckApe;49325]Four months should get you 12-16 days of leave.[/QUOTE]

I still don’t understand why people put up with that.

Corrected in caps.

Yea I know it’s paid leave. I still don’t understand why people put up with that. That comes out to what, 3 for 30?

[QUOTE=New3M;49328]I still don’t understand why people put up with that.[/QUOTE]

  1. It’s a job.
  2. Dayrate’s lower, but net pay is higher than working 6 months
  3. Actually get good port/liberty time (except in the gulf, but who cares there)
  4. More interesting than doing a coastwise route. If you can maneuver for traffic around Singapore, then the US will be a piece of cake.
  5. Get to do a lot of cool things like UNREPs, VERTREPs, etc.
  6. It’s a job.

I don’t remember what NWA means, but LV SUPP was short for Leave Supplement. I have a friend who is a purser there. I’ll shoot him an email and ask.;
IIRC, getting penalty pay was like pulling teeth. They really hated to pay that.

Thanks for the responses guys. Those answers brought up a few more questions… When you hit port, you just leave the ship when your “off?” Then you have to be back the next day for work or is it kinda like the Navy, where you only have to be back if you have duty?

Also, I noticed on the paychart that a 3rd Engineer (W) gets paid less than a 3rd Engineer (D). What is the difference? Also, I’m disappointed that they removed the Electrician announcement from the website. I am still working on my QMED but still…lol I hope it comes back soon.


When you are done working you can just leave the ship. Also, if you request shore leave for a weekend you will not have to be back to the ship till its your time to go back to work. For example, off Friday 1600, be back probably 0630 !

Thanks really cool. I am a little concerned about leave. Doesn’t seem like you make enough to take off when you hit your 30 days off. Do they allow you to take sick leave like vacation (cough…cough) or do you really need to be sick?

Martilyo…the man with 1 million+ questions…

About overseas liberty and leave, there are restrictions to getting off the ship that may or may not include going ashore with a buddy, some off limits areas you may not go, curfew and other safety restrictions. This is a highly contentious subject at MSC but you should find that it is no where near as restrictive as the USN.

Our complaint is that USN wants to treat us like little pink faced E-1s and restrict liberty at all times. The problem is MSC mariners average 15 years senior to the USN average age and revolt against that kind of control. Sailors being sailors we bitch and complain about the attempted control to no end. So this tug-of-war will never end.

But when I compare my liberty to some of my GoM friends i see that some of their companies’ liberty policies are much worse than MSC.

There are games people play to use sick leave in place of liberty. One good one is you may use three days of sick leave per pay period without a doctor’s note. So add six more days of paid leave and in a month long leave term someone shouldn’t need to go on LwoP.

There are many other tricks for using sick leave. Dentist, eye doctor and the creative scheduling of appointments are effective.

I was able to take off overseas with out being deducted for any leave. Depends on the chief! As long as everything is going good and working well u should be ok. Now for leave, u get 8 hours per pay period for employment for the first few years! That means two days off paid for each month worked. So for four months do the math. Not really much time off. Most people can’t handle it! Not at all what they tell u. Four month on, one month off. Not going to happen! As long as all u want out of life is to work, then u will b happy.

Deck ape is right! There are many ways to extend your leave! But ur detailer will remember what you have done and when it comes time for u to leave the pool, he or she will make sure u get the worst job they have, and that will be after three months of living in a hotel, and only making ur base. My advise, don’t go that route. You will get on your detailers bad side, and they will make you pay! I’ve seen it happen! Go to MSC, work, work, work. Don’t BS around about time off, because there really is not much. Go there, make what u can and leave. My 2 cnts

One day of shore leave is earned for each 15 days assigned to a ship. In four months that makes eight days.

For people with less than three years federal service a half day of annual leave is earned per pay period. Between three and fifteen years three quarter day, and over fifteen years one day.

Military can buy back their time and convert it but someone else would have to address that.

So, over a four month period a mariner earns:

0-3 years: 12.5 days leave
3-15 years: 14.5 days leave
15+years: 16.5 days leave

The crazy thing is many at MSC have so much unused annual leave they fall into a use it or loose it category. (45 days)

What is the difference between a 3rd Engineer (W) and a 3rd Engineer (D)? The (D) gets paid a lot more…


[QUOTE=Martilyo;49388]What is the difference between a 3rd Engineer (W) and a 3rd Engineer (D)? The (D) gets paid a lot more…


The day third gets paid more because, in theory, he doesn’t have guranteed OT like the watch thirds do (meal relief, weekends). In practice though, the day working officer often get just as much OT as the watch standers. One of the many things that are backwards about our pay scale (night diff falls into that category also, but as a watchstander I don’t complain much about that one haha)

More questions…lol I appreciate everyone’s answers. If I get assigned to a ship I like and then take my 1 month vacation after 4 months, what are the chances getting reassigned to the same ship or is that even an option? Also, if you roll off a ship you don’t like and come back to the pool, do you have to take the first thing they try to give you or is there some negotiation like a Navy detailer? Many thanks for all the help!


Another simple question without a simple answer!

The best answer is: it depends. Sometimes a detailer will have several vacancies she may not have to fill urgently. Those are the times when you may be able to choose an assignment. Other times there may be critical vacancies that must be filled and there will be no choice.

By the book, a detailer should fill vacancies on a first come first served basis. Many undesirable ships are filled this way to prevent mariners from filing complaints about favoritism, accusations of bribes or discrimination. Some detailers only do assignments in this way because of the hell raised in the past.

But people are people and a warm smile and a kind word can improve your prospects for a desired assignment.