OICEW credit


This is for JD Cavo, or anyone else who knows…
Are there any circumstances under which someone, such as myself, who is going for their initial license, can receive STCW credit for their OICEW if they have held a CG or Navy letter as an Engineering Watch Officer? ( EOOW, EOW, add acronyms here?) If this is the case, that would be wonderful!!


I don’t know if receiving credit is the right wording. If you are asking will they put OICEW on your STCW without a license? I wouldn’t think so. I have never heard the USCG allowing someone to sail as Engineering Officer without a license. They don’t track days for OICEW it will come with the license after the approved STCW training requirements are met. It is also license specific to include restrictions, such as tonnage, HP and routes. You can have more than one OICEW on your STCW.
Such as:
Officer in charge of an engineering watch (1st A/E) - Not valid in ships in which gas turbines form part of the propulsion plant
Officer in charge of an engineering watch (Chief Engineer Limited) - Limited to vessels not more than 1,600 tons GRT(DT), 3,000 GT(ITC) Not valid in ships in which gas turbines form part of the propulsion plant
Hope this answers your question. If you don’t find the answer here, the NMC is really good with answering these kind of questions. If the particular person you are talking with doesn’t know, they will research it and call you back .


OICEW comes with any unlimited tonnage engineering license as long as STCW requirements are met. I would think one needs a license to be an ‘officer’ but I may be wrong.


I guess I left out some important details. Planning to sit for my first license here in a few months. My ultimate goal is to be able to be a C/E on ANY GOM vessel. Understanding of course, regardless of license, I’m going in closer to the bottom than the top. Is it simply better to go DDE Unlimited or A/E Limited, rather than worry about the other things. I’ve had enough 6-8 month voyages while I was in the Navy.
Is there a single chart which breaks down STCW by license level? I’m sure I could print all the data out, and lay it out on the table, but it’s a touch painful!!



It’s difficult to answer your question and you may find it hard to get answers from NMC. The engineers don’t have a JD Cavo yet as far as I know. A Chief Engineer unlimited of course can work on anything according to his propulsion endorsement, steam, motor etc. as I am sure you are aware. Currently there is a OSV engineer license but I have no clue what it entails and I can’t find anyone that can give definitive answers at NMC regarding that license. Then you have the DDE and Chief Ltd licenses which allow you to work as chief on any vessel up to 500 and 1600t respectively and you aren’t restricted to supply boats. With either of those one can do an assessment and get a OSV 6000t license. There have been cases of DDE 4000 engineers getting the 6000t OSV chief after a USCG approved assessment. I find that remarkable and frightening but it seems an easy way to get a 6000t license.
If you decide to go the OSV route keep in mind you will be restricted to OSVs and at present the progression path for OSV eng. holders to unltd tonnage license is unclear to say the least. I’d suggest DDE unlimited and then getting a chief ltd ASAP as you will have more options available to you.


If you sit for DDE Any HP (Not Unlimited because it has tonnage restrictions) you can get A/E Limited. The test actually says DDE Any HP, A/E Limited on it, but you have to ask the USCG to issue you both. They will not do it automatically.
After you get your DDE Any HP you can request to be endorsed as C/E OSV with no additional testing. You will just have to give them more money for an evaluation and issuance.
I have attached a link to the NMC 2000 policy 7-00, it states:
Engineer licenses

(1) A mariner licensed as designated duty engineer (DDE) may have the license endorsed

for service as the chief engineer on OSVs of not more than 3,000 GT on near coastal, domestic

routes within the horsepower limitations of the license and the route limitations set forth in

46 CFR 10.501. No additional endorsement is required.
You will have to copy and paste this to your browser.
The Engineer License structure can be viewed on the USCG site under 46 CFR 10.505.
Just food for thought. The DDE will get you on OSV’s but, if you have the sea time go for the Unlimited 3 A/E as well. The test is more difficult but the opportunities will be more with the upper level license.
If you are having problems getting your questions answered at NMC call the Portland REC and talk to BMC Cummings. If he can’t answer your questions he will get back to you.


I appreciate the information as I can use it to pass on to some young guys looking at the GOM. You have had much better luck than we have in finding out about the OSV license for engineers. It’s not my forte’ in the license structure and obviously not NMCs either from my experience.
Personally I am concerned that the requirements are so lax considering the increasing complexity of the engineering systems but the lax requirements are understandable once you read the info in the link you supplied. The OMSA [offshore marine service association], the primary lobbying organization for the offshore supply boat industry, came up with the requirements, wrote them and got a seal of approval from the USCG. The USCG even titles it OMSA Programs. That’s like the Food and Drug Adminisration letting pharmacutical company lobbyists decide the requirements for testing new drugs and declaring them safe for consumers.
Thanks for the information.


I appreciate all the ideas so far!! I guess the situation is this. When I look on the NMC website under STCW, I find the 46 CFR tables which list things such as “weld two pieces of plate” or align, start operate, secure generator". Now there is an actual sign off sheet for the RFPEW unlicensed section of engineering STCW. I can’t find one for licensed people. In the Navy I would have called this PQS.
Do I simply submit evidence of having been qualified in various propulsion and auxiliary tasks, and NMC says go / no-go?? Would pages from my old service record, as well as copies of the actual training sign-off book( or it’s successor) suffice as an “Approved Training Book”?
Is there an “overkill” level for submitting a package? I could probably print and attach the tables, and highlight sections of my records that apply to each one. Good idea or bad? Truth is, until I get a license and start sailing, I DO have to work, (for MARAD)and attending an STCW course to get this stuff signed off is not really feasible.


Ok i think I understand your situation. One question:

  1. Did you qualify EOOW on a plant(s) greater than 4000 HP? If yes than just apply for a 3rd a/e unlimited on that particular form of propulsion (ie steam or motor). If the answer is no than you might apply for a DDE or some such like they said above…
    … Now here’s how you do it. Give them a copy of your page 4 and your page 2. I believe these list your qualifications and sea assignments. Also if you have any kind of letter stating that you qualified EOOW give them a copy of that too. Also bring a copy of your SMART Transcript(not sure if you have one, these came out about 5 years ago). Basically they want to see how long you were stationed on a ship and what ships they were. And they want to know when you were qualified EOOW and how long did you serve with that qualification. I mention the EOOW qualification because the evaluators seem to understand what that is and will equate it to a 3rd a/e. Don’t worry about over kill, and highlighting might help.
    When you apply just put the license(3 a/e, and/or DDE, limited chief), an STCW, and an MMD. And then dump as much proof of experience as you can find: service records, letters, and even old qual cards. The SMART transcript will give a brief description of all your schools and some of your qualifications, and some of the evaluators are familiar with these. Also a copy of your DD214 wouldn’t hurt, it shows your total sea time. Just go ahead and apply without taking any of the courses and they’ll send you a letter back stating what you STCW courses or other documentation they need. The bad news is you’ll probably have to take some STCW courses. But doing the above should get you around most of those assesments. I read the same thing when I was trying to get my 3a/e, and the great guys at Mid Atlantic Maritime straightened me out.
    The other thing they’ll be interested in is how much sea time you had within the last 3 years (recency of service) for some of the licenses, so hopefully you are not to far into retirement. Now if you don’t meet the recency requirements then I believe you can still get a QMED ANY RATING, in which case I think you would put that in the application section instead of a license, but double check me on the wording. I hope this helps.


How much STCW did you have to do? I am an ex-DCC, with 2 EOOW letters. My biggest issue is the Engineering portion of STCW. I know I have to do PSC and Immersion suit.


I am an ex Lieutenant with an engineering degree. So that combined with qualifying EOOW is all I needed for a 3rd a/e. I didn’t have to do any of the engineering related portions of the STCW. My above advice was based on how they favorably viewed EOOW letters themselves and how those combined with your record should be able to get you some kind of DDE or limited chief’s license to get you started. I should add that this is based on my relatively limited dealings with the NMC evaluators, your experience may vary. I would also strongly recommend talking to a nearby maritime school, they might offer one-on-one help with filling out your application/reviewing your records. Some charge, others do it for free knowing that you’ll still have to take some of their classes = more business, but either way I found it pretty worthwhile.


Rat, there is no sign off sheet for the OICEW. The license and the required STCW classes will get you the OICEW on your STCW. All the entry licenses, 3rd AE, DDE, Assistant Limited, require a specific number of days in the engine room and a number of days as QMED. The QMED may be waived by other qualifying experience. I would assume the military propulsion background would be sufficient. You can not sit for Chief Limited without at least a year with a USCG issued license. All this information is on the NMC website as part of the "Engineer License Information pdf"
All you need to do is send them your DD214 and your evaluations that identify your engine room watchstanding. They will look up the ships, vessels or whatever and determine your sea time and HP rating. They do not give you day for day sea credit. They should give you credit for the QMED, I seriously doubt they will issue you a license off of anything you did in the military. To my knowledge, they don’t even do that for USCG service.
Have you thought about getting on somewhere and then taking the STCW classes? Most companies pay for the classes and some pay your daily rate when you are in school. This is the reason we have a manning shortage. The road is long and winding but stick with it. You already know you like it at sea, you might as well start getting paid decently while you are away from the house. I think you can draw from your GI bill to pay the expenses while attending the STCW classes.


We don’t accept Navy PQS at present, so any approvals were not based on a favorable review of Navy PQS and orther qualifications.
We do not currently require STCW assessments for OICEW, and the only training required currently is the “gap-closing” training of Proficiency in Survival Craft (Lifeboatman), Basic Safety Traiing, Medical Care Provider, and Advanced Fire Fighting.
Although not currently required, OICEW assessments are in NVIC 9-94 (See http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/2000s.asp#2004) . Note that the NVIC does not have the assessments in the user freindly “Control Sheet” format.
Coincidentally, we are currently discussing why these assessments are not required as the NVIC has been out 4 years. They may soon be required, but it won’t be because someone read about thewm here, we were already looking at this.
<p class=“MsoNormal” style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt]James D. Cavo

Chief, Mariner Training & Assessment Division

USCG National Maritime Center

[<font color="#3354aa]James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil</font>](mailto:James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil)


Actually unless things have changed dramatically, rather than your DD-214 which does not list sea service in a specific enough way, you need to provide them with a form called a Statement of Credible Sea Service.


i’ve already gotten a couple of examples of that. you’re right the DD-214 just says 19 years, 3 months, 18 days. that won’t help. there isn’t actually a LOT of useful info on a 214, except character of discharge. They don’t list qualifications, very few schools…