Navy Reserve


Hello, I’m new to the site and wanted to know if it is possible to be in the Navy Reserve while still working in the Merchant Marine? Thanks.


Yes you can join the Merchant Marine Ready Rerserve part of the IRR. You need a license as Chief Mate or 1st Engineer. You can call 800 535 2580 for more information.


thank you, seafarer. Is this the only program available? Would it be impractical for an unlicensed mariner to join the navy reserve?


Talk to a recruiter…


Impractical maybe, but not impossible.

The beauty of the MMR program is it allows you to participate without having to perform monthly drills. You only compete for promotion against other MMR officers who will only have equally thin records. And unless something has changed recently, you don’t need at CM or 1AE license to participate, the requirement is an unlimited tonnage license (or be a licensed radio officer).

If you are a regular reservist you are required to perform 48 drill periods a year (one weekend counts as four periods). It is possible to flex drill, but it does put you at a disadvantage come evaluation time since your chain of command may not have seen much of you for the year. I was XO of a reserve unit that had a Chief who was actively sailing as mate on a tug. The CO constantly wanted to rank him lower than the other Chiefs in the unit because he was never around. Every couple years we would get a new CO and I would have to re-educate them on why the Chief was never there, but how his work as a mate directly translated into his rate – Quartermaster. Even though it’s the Navy people in your unit won’t understand what you do or why you are always gone.


Thanks, captobie for the info. It seems my question has mostly been answered. It would probably be best to talk to a recruiter, but in my experience recruiters will promise most anything even regarding things they know little about.


Yes, you can be in the Naval Reserve while sailing in the Merchant Marine. As long as you have a License, you can get commisioned into the Naval Reserve.