New Merchant Marine Recruiting Commercial: ‘We don’t do PT!’

Washington, DC — Senior Maritime Administration (MARAD) leaders have approved a new advertising campaign designed to increase numbers and encourage service members to leave the military and join the merchant marine, sources confirmed today.

The campaign, called the “We Don’t Do PT” drive, is intended to show that, while all other military branches have strenuous and physically demanding fitness challenges, the US Merchant Marine just doesn’t do that shit, officials said.

Airing nationally starting in June 2019, the campaign will include pictures of merchant men and women just sitting around a TV playing fornight. Despite the merchant marine trying at one point to initiate an actual PT test back in 1942, eventually they pulled the idea after realizing it was a motivational factor for people to join their ranks.

“The military Combat Fitness Test is way too hard,” said MARAD Spokesman, Frank Vincent. “Continuing to not work out unless you absolutely have to is a luxury that we are not willing to give up just yet, plus in the long run, we’re going to gain a buttload of new recruits with this incentive.”

“Although research and testing claims that being physically fit improves overall lifestyle, it just seems like a huge hassle,” said MARAD spokesman Jason M. Vanderhaden. “We also have removed other requirements that are considered a pain in the ass like getting haircuts and covering up jailhouse tattoos.”

Roughly 70,569 men and women are serving in the US Merchant Marine and continue to happily go without a PT test, consume all the fried fatty food they can shovel and sometimes don’t shower daily.

MARAD anticipates approximately 116 men and women will leave the Military to join the Merchant Marine within the next half a decade and this iniciative will raise that number to 129. It is unknown whether or not any real military branches will produce similar advertising strategies or just continue to think having a silly PT test to make sure full grown adults can take care of themselves.

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Funnily enough, during my time at SUNY there was a phase change in how the Merchant Marine Reserve unit interacted with the NROTC unit. The new CO deemed it necessary to have those involved with the MMR program drill the same as the NROTC unit so PT became very much mandatory. There were several downtrodden faces for the remainder of his tenure as well as a few washouts as I recall.

The Merchant Marine is not a military branch

That misconception among to many people hurts our industry


For F’s sake, what is this phenomenally stupid idea going to cost? It’s not like the pitiful remnant of the USMM is begging for crews, we are begging for ships and a sensible training plan that doesn’t drive experienced people out of the industry.

MARAD can start by booting their village idiot out of the building and diverting expensive TV ad time to sponsor renewal and upgrade training for experienced, motivated, and valuable existing mariners.


That fish hook in your mouth must be painful…


C’mon people, you don’t believe this is serious, do you?

Snap! But you said it better.


Even a troll can point out a real issue. MARAD needs to follow it’s own mission statement and any opportunity to remind a reader in Foggy Bottom of that fact is worthwhile.

I’m sure that Ben Dover is on the short list for the next administrator post.

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With his wife Ilene, perhaps. :slight_smile:


Have to look at the numbers. The program is projected to increase the number from 116 to 129 so that’s 13 total, over 5 years it’d be 2.6 per year.

Don’t know the cost, assume $1 million/year. That’d be roughly 380,000 dollars per person per year.

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A bargain at twice the price. They can’t even maintain one of their ship models for that much $$


If they shut Marad down completely mariners wouldn’t even notice that this useless government agency is gone.


I tried, without success, to institute an early morning exercise regime for the deck guys a few years ago when I was C/M.

In Japan one morning before the 0800 cargo start I went out on deck to talk to the bos’n. The gang, bos’n and daymen were all sitting just outside the locker on the ubiquitous milk crates, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.

The guys were watching the Japanese longshoremen on the pier who were doing their pre-work start stretching exercises and making fun of them

So I told them, “You know, that’s not a bad idea. It cuts down on injuries and improves morale. I think we should do it on here”. Of course I’m getting the old side eye, “is the mate serious right now?” look.

So I told them, I’m serious, but don’t get up!, Just stay on your crate, and now…everyone together, 1,2 take a sip of coffee 3,4 and back down, 5,6 , now other hand, drag on the cigarette 7,8 , and down again, now coffee 1,2…

Unsurprisingly the deck crew was not amused.


Sounds like a beef to me… :stuck_out_tongue:

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Nah, that was a good crew, they all loved me. I know because the cab driver told me so.

When I paid off I had left my packed sea bag at the ramp so I could grab it and run when it was time to leave. When the cab showed up I recall hearing the seams of the bag give a little when I lifted the bag. Then again when I threw the bag in the truck I felt the strain on by back and arms, bag seemed a bit heavy.

I turned around for a last look at the ship, the deck crew was all standing on the ramp watching me. I gave them all a wave and they all waved back. The cab driver told me “They all love a good man”

I was very pleased but when I got home I found a 2 inch shackle in my bag… They’d painted "souvenir M/V (ship name) on it. I still have it


We usually use broken and bent turnbuckles.

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I was recently on a job where the morning safety meeting included stretching exercises.

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And the old tried and true - “ hands will pray - one and two, hands carry on with your work.”

I retired from the USArmy as well as merchant marine (usgovt) and I absolutely hated the pt all the time. I’d even gone airborne (in 1974). I couldn’t imagine doing much more than stretching exercises aboard ship, they have weight rooms for that (some). but more than anything, they should be figuring out incentives to crew ships with usa crew… “you build it and they will come” still works.

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