So pretty much, concerning supplying a large fighting military, we made every mistake that Sun Tzi said not to make in “The Art of War”.
I can understand the difference between the qualifications between a mariner employed solely within the territorial area of the USA having a license issued by the USCG but why should the training be different for an unlimited ticket?
Most of the British Commonwealth countries credit seatime on vessels over 20 GT ( with the proviso that it “should be” over 20 meters) toward an unlimited license.
The USCG, the academies, and the unions all have an irrational bias against small vessel seatime. Small vessel seatime is often superior. A mix would be ideal. I think much of this is driven by protectionism and a desire to limit competition for jobs and support higher wages for the few unlimited tonnage jobs there are.
Keep this quiet why don’t you!!! I’ve always thought it easier to work 8 hours a day with 2 QMEDS/Oilers on watch with me on unlimited vessels with higher wages compared to the 12 hours a day with 1 or zero QMEDS/Oilers on monster sized OSV’s, Fraq Boats, AHTS’s & ATB’s at lower wages. Don’t let the cat out of the bag!
I agree with your premise that small ship sea time is in many ways superior. My time as master of a 370 teu container ship transiting bar harbours and confined berths made more difficult with strong currents was high in the pucker factor but ultimately satisfying as was anchor handling and rig moving. But as I got older the attraction of no longer watch keeping became more attractive although the job was no longer the same as masters enjoyed when I was a junior.