MSC’s Licensed Deck Officers (LDO) situation has gone from bad to worse. Ships are sailing with vacant LDO billets from Chief Mate to Third Mate and the situation does not look to be improving anytime soon. The most overdue CIVMARs on the relief list is littered with LDO’s.

Fully operational ships are routinely sailing short a LDO watchstander or dayworker causing senior deck officers to cover watches or pick up the administrative slack on top of their already assigned duties.

Ships going to yard periods are essentially picked down to the bare minimum to maintain the watches. Chief Mates in particular are getting pulled, causing required programs to go untouched for months, placing a higher risk of failing periodic inspections and a loss of QA/supervision on items in their per view.

Even with a recent call open to LDO’s the outlook seems grim. The same incentives that have been circulating for over a year seem to be going nowhere with no estimated time of being instituted. LDO’s are resigning at a rate that could potentially lead to tying up ships.

The current path MSC is on is not sustainable and will eventually break. Their attempts to temporary remedy short term problems and plug holes will only lead to more LDO’s leaving at an accelerated rate.

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Reality check, does the Navy even have enough people to take back control of the ships? Arent they short on people too? They dont pay enough for me to deal with that bullshit in peace time, they certainly dont pay enough for me to get shot at.


Ad to that the latest rape allegation/lawsuit. MSC is a shitshow ready to be dismantled. A resounding failure in every sense of the word.

I doubt they do, every branch besides the Marines and Space Force have met their recruiting goals for the year. I don’t even see myself sailing for the Navy or MSC as well. The pay and time off just aren’t there.

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MSC’s unlicensed personnel make the job unbearable. You cant tell an OS to do a simple task that is part the job without being called a racist. Wipers partying until sunrise in there berthing, drinking and playing loud music…and when the MOW tells them to cut it out, they challenge him and attempt to start a fight. MSC isn’t worth it. Best move I made was switching to MMP. A/Bs and O/S’s who know their job well and respect the mates. In turn we respect them and the whole environment of the ship is absolutely enjoyable. I have yet to have an unlicensed sailor on a cargo ship challenge me over a simple daily task.


At MSC last year my rate was filled to approximately 86%. I went 3 months overdue on a ship in San Diego. Tied up across the street from the MSC pool at Point Loma. Difficult travel was no excuse.

I thought that with COVID ending things will be better in 2023. This year, as a LDO, my rate is filled to 66%, and many will resign over the holidays due to the lack of reliefs.

It is going to get worse. I intend to resign after using my leave and renewing my training. Goodbye MSC.


This is creeping into SIU as well. Unless the deadwood is washed out the US merchant marine will keep circling the drain until it’s extinct. And we all know what needs to be done will never happen.

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