Some questions and need advice for a aspiring member

Hello everyone, I’m currently enlisted in the Navy. I’m trying to do an early retirement of 15 years because I feel I need to do something else. Now my plan after that is to join the MSC. Is it still possible to be in the Navy reserves while in the MSC? Is it ok to live in Philippines while not embarked on a Vessel? How often are the deployments and would you have the option decide to go or not? I am a NAVY Dive IDC, I am dive qualified, Demo Qualified and jump qualified I am also experienced with a few special operations procedures. I was told I can use a lot of my skills in the MSC but mainly as a Medical Service Officer while SAR on the side (which I was told includes extra incentive pay), any other suggestions? I want to thank you all for taking the time to read my post with or without reply. Fair winds and following seas.

MSC has programs for former Navy to join. I’m very new to the organization but as far as I’m aware you can live anywhere you want so long as you maintain US citizenship. I know people that work for MSC that live in Europe so you should be okay.

Should be your link for info

Fair winds and following seas

You really need to locate some present msc employees. If you can locate some ( and many live in the pi) they could fill you in. First off, msc does not make deployments, the ships are always " deployed". With msc you are employed by them and hence work full time. You earn meager vacation time when compared with the rest of the maritime industry. When your leave is up, you head for the pool where you maintain training and get ready for the next assignment. Before you ask, no - they don’t employ people per geographic locations, ie: if you live in the pi does not mean you will be sent to a ship in the pacific. No, generally speaking you cannot await a ship while sitting in the pi… Few to none of your stated navy skills would translate to msc. They don’t have sar, they do have rescue swimmers and you would need to attend the Msc swimmer scool ran by the USN ( your training may cross over, but I doubt it). Unless you are medical trained and hold a USCG certification as such you would not be employed as an Mso. Most Mso’s are indeed retired Navy Corpsmen, but few walked in the door as an Mso. Generally past USN personel come into msc as an unlic rating such as wiper, OS, supply utility. They once had an admiral that started work as a Able seaman ( or perhaps and OS, not sure). In my time with Msc I saw numerous ex-USN come and go. A lot arrived thinking they would set the world on fire, that msc was just like the navy, and that they knew all about going to sea. They generally found that they knew next to nothing about civilian shipping, and that msc is not the navy. What may work in the USN certainly does not work with msc. They smart ones learned, the others left. Msc is not for everyone to be sure.

One detail you may look into… Retirement. You only have another five years to gain a usn retirement. If you transfered over to Msc you would be under Fers retirement. You would I assume bring your navy time over to Msc for federal retirement. Fers is the new system and does not pay what the old system did upon retirement. To me at first glance this does not seem to be a wise move… But I’m sure you will work the numbers and see if this is wise for you.

They are bringing back 15 year retirement? Cripes.

I would think real hard about that…I was part of the post-Cold War bunch that took separation bonuses and early retirements and a lot of people got screwed on everything from taxes to VA benefits to civil service retirement. Why not do the last 5 and while you are doing that, maybe with a year to go, get your mariner credential and sit for as many exams as they approve you for. So when you get out you can go right to work. It took me 8-9 months of preparation before I could even apply for a job so time is on your side.

And I know a few people who are Navy retired and work hitches out of the Philippines but it is a long slog to and from wherever you join the ship. If you join MSC you will have to wait in San Diego or Norfolk for an assignment. If you ship commercial you can spend your vacation at home.

AND you may want to read this: you will be penalized for the early retirement, they will pick extra money out of your pocket with an penalty fee…and you will end up with around 35 percent of your high pay (or high three) rather than 50 percent. Adds up.
Checklist for Corpsman COR:!

It’s my thought that MSO and Surface Rescue Swimmer would be mutually exclusive positions.

WIWD is find an MSC vessel and chat with the MSO.

Stay in for 20 years and get more retirement pay. Use your free time in that last 5 years (it will go by quickly) to get your basic stuff together like TWIC, MMD, basic STCW, maybe even an AB class. You also have this time to research different aspects of the maritime community to help you decide what area to try and get into. Be prepared mentally to start at an entry level position and work your way up, no matter what quals you have.

Very good advice I would say. Also, I’d stay away from the rescue swimmer program. Once in, it labels you to a certain type of ship. It also makes getting a relief 100 percent harder as it takes another rescue swimmer to replace you. I’ve known a lot of swimmers that dropped the certification after a year due to the demands and not being able to get a relief on time. Msc probably looks really good to you right now, I’ve heard USN personnel say time and time again onboard that when they retire they are heading to msc for big pay checks etc. Later they find while it all looked good from the onset it’s not really a the bed of roses they thought it was going to be. You may find that you have it pretty good right now. You’ve got more time off, and a host of benefits you may not fully appreciate. Personally I’d stay for 20 , then start a new life.

I’m with the others that posted above. Stay the 20 and get your stuff together the last 2 years for your new career. That $1,200 a month may not be much but it does pay a house payment. As you get older and need medication that will really protect your income. Look ahead not the near future.

Take your classes and get your AB while you are still in the Navy. Start studying for your Mates exam a year out so when you do you 90 or 180 days on deck as and AB you will be ready to take the exam for your officer license. Then advance as you feel comfortable. I have been in the wheel house for about a year and it is harder then these guys that have been doing it for 15 makes it look. LOL!!!

However, no book studying will give you the experience as stick time. That’s why I’m saying set yourself up to get in the wheelhouse as fast as you can and learn from there. With your military experience, team work experience and dive experience I do not see how some of the dive companies wouldn’t snatch you up in a heart beat.

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Just seein’ if my new avatar shows up…

Yes!!! You’re welcome scallywags, you’re welcome.

Do your 20, get whatever USCG credentials you can in the next five years, then go to the bayou and get a job on an OSV. You will have more time off and make much more money than with MSC.

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Excellent advice! Perhaps not so 15 years ago, but in today’s market right on target!

Thank you so much for everyone’s advice. I will most definitely take note of all of it. thanks for the time