Navy sea time towards my second mates license

Quick question, I am currently a senior at a state maritime academy and Throughout my time here I have not been able to use my navy sea time (1000+ days) for any of my cadet shipping days. Not a big deal to me, but now that I will be testing for my 3rd mates license in may, and if I pass will I then be able to acquire some (60%) of my navy sea days? This is a rumor that I have heard just wanted to know if anyone could shed some light on this for me thanks.

I probably shouldn’t answer cuz I’ve been out of the loop for so long however, I believe you have to get a year at sea while holding 3rd mate to then qualify for 2nd mate.
Your academy program gave you all you needed for 3rd mate.
That 1000 days as a USN BM could have been used if you hadn’t attended academy, now it just looks good on a resume.

Call the NMC…

What’s the rush? Use the time as third mate to get the lay of the land on the commercial side. We expect a bit more out of a second mate than a green third mate and it takes a little time to figure the details out. I attended a state academy and it was not much prep for the actual industry but it was a good foundation.


Nope. Academy time is only good for 3/M, and once you have that the clock resets. Navy time is useless for upgrading at that point.

Basically reiterating Jeffrox’s take with more words…
If you don’t have the requisite 360 days of seatime earned during “cadet sea projects” I’m pretty sure that you can’t substitute military seatime for them as you saw; the 360 is a USCG/MARAD deal, otherwise you could have Navy/Coasty vets go to a state maritime and never sail commercial, but still get a license…

That said, you could’ve requested the NMC/USCG evaluate your seatime and let you know what license you could’ve qualified for(after taking requisite courses, stcw, bst, etc) and earned a license with XXX days of sea-time. Still with appropriate tests of course.

I worked on a tug in 2012-13 where the captain had been a QMCS in the Navy with prolly a decade of seatime. After the eval’d his seatime they offered a choice- 1600 master with MOT or 2nd mate Unlimited. He took the 1600 as he’d been a tug master for a lot of his career.
If at 50-something years old he’d decided to go to a state academy to earn degree and license he’d have to do the full cadet deal, and would earn a 3rds- again I think it’s part of the overall reduced sailing time relatively to get a license…

If you earn a 3rds then get 1000 days seatime before you upgrade to 2nd I believe everything over the 360 is void for upgrades. You have to be in the capacity (or I should say you must possess the 2nds license to accrue time towards earning CM) as a 2nd for the time to count towards Chief Mate. I worked on a private dredge where they’d sign your discharge as the highest rating on your mates license. So a chief mate sailing basically third still earned time as a chief to put towards master requirements. On the other hand the govt dredge I worked on only counted the capacity you sailed in as seatime. So guys with CM had a hard time getting time towards master unless the actual CM was on vacation and they got stepped up to sail CM.

Just examples showing the thinking; if you look at how much time is required for someone to hawsepiper from OS to Mate it really shows how “easy” the academy route is comparatively… also the military seatime thing can allow an AB document with relatively a small amount of actual seatime compared to a zero experience deckhand working his or her way up…

Unless things have changed in ten years, this is incorrect. As long as you held a 2M license, the 3M seatime could be used for upgrade.

The other part sounds grossly illegal. I can’t fathom why anyone would want to get a masters license without ever having sailed as CM. Sure you may have the ticket but you probably don’t know jack squat about managing a vessel. Worse even if you are hired as a Chief mate with a masters license but have never actually done the job. You’re not going to last long.


I miswrote that; I meant that you have to have the 2nds license to to have time accrue to count to CM, not that you literally have to sail 2nd mate… you can’t “bank” excess time as a third, upgrade to second, then reapply immediately for CM with the extra time leftover prior to upgrading to 2nd mate.
I think the reasoning on the private dredge was there really weren’t traditional CM duties; it was a two mate system, 6 and 6, with an AB drag-tender, and the captain overseeing and doing the majority of CM time admin.
Plus, at some point you’d run out of masters on the dredges as there would be no one who’d been able to advance without being able to earn CM time… there wasn’t traditional cargo on board, most operations were effectively near coastal, other than transits…

You can’t use the sea time from the Navy in CMA’s program. In an academy program, you are not qualifying by accumulating sea time, you are qualifying by completing the entire program, including the training ship cruises and cadet placements.

You wouldn’t “lose” the Navy time, it can still be used if it meets the requirements for the endorsement, but if you complete the CMA program, I can’t think of a scenario where that Navy time could be used or get you more than would have with the 3rd Mate endorsement.

That doesn’t sound right. It’s not either or. He shouldn’t have had to pick one. If had the sea time and tonnage for 2nd Mate, he would also have had it for Master 1,600. There is nothing that should have prevented him form getting both. In 2013, he would not have been able to get the towing vessel endorsement on sea time alone, grandfathering was not available and he would have needed a TOAR.

Although military service is evaluated for its equivalency to commercial service, if he completes the CMA program and get 3rd Mate, he can’t then use time before being issued 3rd Mate to go to 2nd Mate. It is, however, possible to go to 2nd Mate directly with Navy sea time, but that would take 4 years total service. Also the CMA program leads to an STCW endorsement for OICNW, going via the hawsepipe with Navy time would not meet most of the STCW requirements, so courses and assessments would be needed.

It has changed, but you can use time as 3rd Mate while holding 2nd Mate to go to Chief Mate. Prior to the regulation change in 2013, time as 3rd Mate was credited at 1:2 (1 day credit for 2 days service). The regulation was chnaged to one year oas officer in charge of a navigational watch while holding 2nd Mate. So time as 2nd or 3rd can be used for chief mate day for day, as long as you held 2nd Mate while sailing as 3rd.

James D. Cavo
U.S. Coast Guard
Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing (CG-MMC-2)

I’m just going off what he told me; he did get it around 2004-2005 time frame if that makes a difference. He had run Navy YTBs for a long time on active. I’m not sure if the TOAR reqs were the same then.
His license just had the 1600 master and towing endorsements as far as I remember. Would it have been easier to just get a 1600 license earlier in the 2000s perhaps?

It does make a difference. In 2004 he would have been grandfathered and wouldn’t have needed the TOAR. Also, the rule change that took effect in March, 2014, reopened that grandfathering that was originally in place from 2001 to 2006. But that pick one or the other bit doesn’t smell right. I’m not questioning his account, just the accuracy of the information whatever its source.

I could see an REC evaluator giving him that choice. IIRC, that’s part of why they did away with local evaluators and centralized the system.