Silly letters you have received

This forum is probably the single most practical, useful and effective means of getting, giving and learning information about this career.

Can anyone share some examples (and how you dealt with them) in rejection letters, refusals of applications and lowering of route/extention you were applying for?

Without getting into the painful details, what did you do to be effective to get either ‘accommodation’ or ‘reconsideration’ to get what you needed for a license?

Some of the responses I have seen mention writing your Congressman, Writing to the Admiral etc etc. What about what you did either at the REC or recently through NMC?

Sea story I was told and believe:

AB-unlimited was upgrading to Master 100 Ton.
Seattle REC, before NMC, West Virginia.

Sea Service Letter was from Fish Processing Vessel.
Tonnage and sea-time far exceeded what was required.
But…His letter said he sailed as “Bosun”.
That was the Company Job Title/Description.
He was Deck Boss and unlicensed 3rd Mate,
Ran the deck operations and stood sea watches.

At the REC, he got there early, signed in and saw an Evaluator.
This guy got all flustered about the “Bosun” title, refused the Sea Service Letter’
and chastised him for wasting his time with such nonsense.

The AB quietly apologized and left the Evaluators office.

Back in the waiting room he signed in again.
He got a different Evaluator.
This guy just positively gushed over the beautifully written Sea Service Letter.
The paper quality was 1st class, the company seal, the font style…
he went on and on…
the application was perfectly filled out, the courses and tests outstanding…
“Thank you Mr AB for such a professional Application and I’ll print it out and issue your License while you wait.”

Those days are gone.

At the time I applied for my Master 500 GRT, I was a 6th issue Master 100 GRT. Initially, my evlaluator was not going to allow any of my sea time before my 3rd issue, because the license at that time was called something like “Ocean Operator”, and was not called Master. Although I was (mildly) upset, I kept my correspondense polite and respectful, and they finally realized (even the supervisor finally realized) that the USCG didn’t start calling 100 Ton tickets “Master” until somewhere in the late 1980’s, so they accepted the prior sea time. That was my first appeal.

Then they came up hundreds of days short in my sea service. WTF! I had my Xcel spread sheet, and knew that not to be the case. The evaluator was kind enough to send their Xcel spread sheet. When I got home from my hitch, I went through it and compared it to my records. They had failed to include two sea service letters that were already in my file, and two additional sea service letters that were submitted with my Master 500 GRT application.

Fortunately, I had previously requested copies of all my sea service letters on file with the NMC, and was able to include the old copies that had the USCG stamp on them, as well as the two additional letters that had been included in the application. So I wrote another very polite, respectful letter that included copies of the missing letters, and the application was ultimately approved. That was my second appeal.

Bottom line, keeping things polite and well documented helped tremendously.

Others have mentioned that here. Better to catch flies with honey than vinegar.

[QUOTE=cappy208;50129]This forum is probably the single most practical, useful and effective means of getting, giving and learning information about this career.

Can anyone share some examples (and how you dealt with them) in rejection letters, refusals of applications and lowering of route/extention you were applying for?

Without getting into the painful details, what did you do to be effective to get either ‘accommodation’ or ‘reconsideration’ to get what you needed for a license?

Some of the responses I have seen mention writing your Congressman, Writing to the Admiral etc etc. What about what you did either at the REC or recently through NMC?[/QUOTE]

After I got my Master license, mainly from reading here and seeing some of my crew run up on the same issues, I’ve written NMC commanding officers and got good results for certain people. I figure when they get a letter from a Master, they take it seriously. In that situation, a few things are obvious to NMC…and one is, " Why in the hell is this Master on my ass when all he has to do in renew and the interpretation of what he wants clarification on will not effect him?"

I’ve used several approaches to clarify policy and the interpretation of it. I never used a Congressman (I never saw the point in it), but I got good results through Coast Guard district Commander staff that would liaison NMC on behalf of my request. I think that is a better approach depending on the issue. Policy letter 01-02 has always been the sticking point with me and I knocked down the interpretation of taking all OICNW courses for the 1600ton Master to 3rd Mate upgrade every time it came up.

NMC is presently changing to all USCG staff and getting rid of most civilian contractors…you can always tell when a new commander arrives. We will see if anything changes other than the stripe on the collar.

[QUOTE=cappy208;50129]This forum is probably the single most practical, useful and effective means of getting, giving and learning information about this career.

Can anyone share some examples (and how you dealt with them) in rejection letters, refusals of applications and lowering of route/extention you were applying for?

Without getting into the painful details, what did you do to be effective to get either ‘accommodation’ or ‘reconsideration’ to get what you needed for a license?

Some of the responses I have seen mention writing your Congressman, Writing to the Admiral etc etc. What about what you did either at the REC or recently through NMC?[/QUOTE]

You are so right Cappy , this forum is the best source of information that I have ran across…

I got a rejection letter from NMC regarding, the infamous" RFPNW " application that I filed in 2009…When I couldn’t get ahold of my evaluator… I resorted to the forum and through some back channels, from some forum friends, I got the guys email address…

Come to find out, I was denied because no assessments made it to the NMC…You see, I had a slight issue with the guy at the REC over the importance of these assessments…He didn’t want to make copies for me and send them…When I pushed the issue, he gave in and did it…And for whatever reason those assessments NEVER made it to NMC…Go figure !

Because of the friends here, I was able to get to the bottom of this and fax my assessments to the evaluator directly…Had it not been for people here it would have taken a lot more time and energy getting this thing squared away…

NMC sent me a letter saying they needed the RFPNW checklist from me when I applied for AB even though I didn’t and my sea time letter said I had time sea time only on tugs under 100grt

[QUOTE=kfj;50155]NMC sent me a letter saying they needed the RFPNW checklist from me when I applied for AB even though I didn’t and my sea time letter said I had time sea time only on tugs under 100grt[/QUOTE]

What did you have to do to get them to realize that it was unnecessary? Phone call, letter?

3 phone calls and having my dad type out a letter and sign my name and fax it.

How about the silliest phone call. When I applied for my 200 ton upgrade I received a call from REC New Orleans saying, I don’t understand why you applied for a Master 200 ton when we show you as only being an OS. I said I don’t know how that can be as I have held my 100 ton for 2 years.

I told them check the Homeport Web site and you will see that, I was told that is not the website that they use. So your the Coast Guard and you don’t use the Coast Guard website? No were not allowed to use that website.

I’ll just pass this along to the NMC and let them figure it out. WHOA wait a minute, let me check some thing out and I will get back to you, what is you employee number or identification number so when they asked me to take a survey I can tell them how you helped me.

But I didn’t help you,No shit genius. So she put me on hold and never came back. So I called back the number on my caller ID and when I got the Supervisor nobody would admit to having talked with me. The supervisor had me send her copies of my MMD and then signed off on my application and sent it down stream.

I think it is time to do away with the REC. If you received a letter from the NMC, then the REC didn’t do their job. They should contract out the exams like the FAA does and have all applications sent to the NMC.

Also if the NMC can send you out an email telling you there is a problem with your application, then why can’t they send you an email telling you what the problem is. You have to call them and then they will email you the same letter that’s in the mail saving you a number of days to get your application in order or appeal their decision.

Just think of the cost savings of closing all the REC’s Obama would have more money to send to Hamas.

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At the end of last year, I came up to renewal time once again. The whole process was a nightmare from the beginning, as I started off by forgetting part of what needed sent in to the REC in New Orleans. After a long period of waiting, I contacted them, and was told what went wrong. I then emailed in the missing documents, and headed out to work. It wasn’t until I called them, again, a couple of weeks later that I found out that they had not recieved my email. Now, of course, everything is shutting down for Thanksgiving. As another two weeks go by, New Orleans finally receives, and acknowledges all of my paperwork.

Now it goes to NMC, and life doesn’t get much easier. I call and speak with them, and find that the sea service letter I had sent in, a letter from the company in Aberdeen that I was contracted to, was insufficient, stating only that “Dave worked on this ship, in these waters, during that period”. NMC informs me that I need to include the GRT, Official Number, and so on with the sea service. So I download the USCG sea service form, from the USCG website, fill it out, (by hand, because the website wouldn’t let me fill it out online), scan it, email it off to the auld boss in Scotland, who signs and stamps it, and scans it and emails it back. I then call NMC, they say they are happy to accept an emailed copy of it. I think, “Whew, job done” and fire it off.

I then call them yet again, and am informed that in fact the USCG sea service form, as downloaded from the USCG website is not the proper form to be used when documenting time over 200 GRT. Obviously, there was no statement of this fact on the form, or associated webpage. I then ask them what precisely is required, and they tell me they need an actual letter from the company, and the evaluator is kind enough to email me a link to an example. I did ask what information was contained in the letter that was not on the form. Can you guess the answer.?

Having been driven quite mad by this point, I did finally get the letter written, flashed from my desk to Aberdeen, back and off to NMC, closely followed by a Fedex envelope. Once all the boxes were ticked off, they were very quick to issue and send my stuff. As an aside, I was at that time not aware that they had gone to the new book, so you can imagine my reaction when I opened the Fedex envelope and there was no “Ticket” in there!

Recently I went for a raise of grade from a 200GRT Master Near Coastal to a 1600 GRT Mate Near Coastal. I applied and was denied do to lack of STCW Course Load. I then went on this site and found a man who works at Coast Guard Head Quarters ( post often on the site here ) and contacted him privately. He told me in order to obtain the 1600GRT Mate’s license it would have to be restricted to “Domestic”. In order to have a chance at possibly getting the license, I would need to apply, get denied. Write the REC a reconsideration letter, get denied. Lastly write and submit an appeal to the Coast Guard Head Quarters in Washington. I started the process 11 months ago and my appeal has now been approved and I got my letter to test this month. It was a long road but well worth it. I also hired a License Consultant to handle the reconsideration and appeal letter. Well worth the money!

Recently I went for a raise of grade from a 200GRT Master Near Coastal to a 1600 GRT Mate Near Coastal. I applied and was denied do to lack of STCW Course Load. I then went on this site and found a man who works at Coast Guard Head Quarters ( post often on the site here ) and contacted him privately. He told me in order to obtain the 1600GRT Mate’s license it would have to be restricted to “Domestic”. In order to have a chance at possibly getting the license, I would need to apply, get denied. Write the REC a reconsideration letter, get denied. Lastly write and submit an appeal to the Coast Guard Head Quarters in Washington. I started the process 11 months ago and my appeal has now been approved and I got my letter to test this month. It was a long road but well worth it. I also hired a License Consultant to handle the reconsideration and appeal letter. Well worth the money!

Recently I went for a raise of grade from a 200GRT Master Near Coastal to a 1600 GRT Mate Near Coastal. I applied and was denied do to lack of STCW Course Load. I then went on this site and found a man who works at Coast Guard Head Quarters ( post often on the site here ) and contacted him privately. He told me in order to obtain the 1600GRT Mate’s license it would have to be restricted to “Domestic”. In order to have a chance at possibly getting the license, I would need to apply, get denied. Write the REC a reconsideration letter, get denied. Lastly write and submit an appeal to the Coast Guard Head Quarters in Washington. I started the process 11 months ago and my appeal has now been approved and I got my letter to test this month. It was a long road but well worth it. I also hired a License Consultant to handle the reconsideration and appeal letter. Well worth the money!

Why did you go to 1600 mate and not master since you already have a 200 master?

I didn’t have enough time sailing as master.

Yep… I was denied my upgrade to Master Unlimited for not working as part of a “3-watch system” as Chief Mate (here’s the actual letter) and that by not working a 3 watch system as Chief Mate my actions where [I][B]illegal[/B][/I]. Of course that had nothing to do anything but it’s what they decided to “hang” me on.

They also decided to send the letter to my company’s address… I can only presume they did this knowing it would take weeks to make it out to me on the ship (it did!) and that by that time I’d forget about it (I didn’t!!).

That was only mildly humorous (the illegal part was not at all funny to me at the time ;).) What was funny was the Freedom Of Information Act request I submitted. I asked if [I]anyone[/I] working in the gulf of mexico had [I]ever[/I], in the history of marine licensing, been denied 1.5x seatime for working 12 hour days… I lost the letter but the CG’s response was basically “Mr. Konrad, We have researched your request and found just one record of that occurrence. The record showed that one person was denied his Seatime request on August 21st 2006 by the OCMI of Long Beach.”

I called and sarcastically asked who the individual was (knowing full well it was myself) and was told that personal information can not be revealed via the FOIA process.

“[I]What about what you did either at the REC or recently through NMC?[/I]” I appealed my case but, by the time the paperwork was submitted and reviewed I had enough seatime to get the license without the appeal… so it was dropped.

John’s letter takes the cake thus far, it’s seriously funny. One thing that would have been interesting is if they’d been asked if they’d ever classified a drillship as a MODU thereby negating the 3 watch system they seem so concerned about enforcing. One would think the the USCG could look at a ship and know if it is one or not but apparently they can’t as there exists what appears to be a drillship carrying a USCG COI as a MODU.
Hypocrisy has no limits with those guys.

So to recap what y’all have done to get acceptance:

  1. Write more letters.
  2. Submit the same info twice (on the ‘correct’ form ??)
  3. Wait and resubmit and hope you get a ‘new’ evaluator to be awake next time.
  4. Call, recall, and call again.
  5. Get denied, reapply for reconsideration, get denied, and appeal to Washington.

Has anyone else done anything differently?

Like sending them the copies of the actual Requirements that you actually meet to make your point? (Highlighting the appropriate parts)

It seems really ludicrous that ‘we’ have to suffer such idiocy in NMC and at REC’s.

I think Skycowboys idea is the best. For that we may indeed need to write our congressman in DC.

[QUOTE=cappy208;50289]

Like sending them the copies of the actual Requirements that you actually meet to make your point? (Highlighting the appropriate parts)

It seems really ludicrous that ‘we’ have to suffer such idiocy in NMC and at REC’s.

[/QUOTE]

I remember a thread several years ago where this was discussed …I took it for granted that most of us did that already…It made sense especially when the people doing the evaluating are having trouble understanding the requirements, why not help them out and yourself at the same time… ?