Tankerman PIC


I went to the Boston REC yesterday to try and submit my paperwork for a Tankerman PIC endorsement. I thought I was prepared for it - I went to the NMC website, emailed the Helpdesk, CALLED the Helpdesk, and emailed back and forth a few times to JDCavo (who was very helpful). And still, I was blindsided.

After all the information I had, I knew that I didn’t need a physical, because they are only required for an original or raise in grade application. Seeing as this was an endorsement, there was no need for one, and I was told as much by the Helpdesk when I called. I knew I needed a drug test, but I had taken one in December, so that was alright. I had copies of everything, had the application filled out, and even scheduled an appointment online.

When I got there, I don’t know if it really mattered that I had an appointment or not. I didn’t wait long, but that wasn’t really an issue. I got called to the desk, handed over my application, and started the process. First, I was told that the PIC endorsement was really a raise in grade for my MMD. Ok - but, that means that I needed a physical. Luckily, I had a copy of a CG physical from August 08, and tried to provide that. No deal - it was a copy, and they won’t accept copies. Now, the physical for my original application should still be current, I think, because that was during the summer of 2006, so the 3 years is there. But - the 3 years, as I found out, is from the date that they go to PRINT the license, etc. Not from the date that I submit the application. That doesn’t make too much sense to me, since I have no control over when they print the paperwork, I only have control over when I submit the application. So, I hope that my physical is alright.

My real issue was with the drug test. I had a copy of the results of the test I took in December, and it wasn’t a letter - it was the actual results, what the test tested for, and the result. I hand it to the woman, and first, she says to me “I can’t accept a fax” (it was a .pdf of the fax to the company) “I can accept a fax from the company, but not a fax from you.” Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I suppose I could have tampered with it. Then she says to me “They might not accept this, because it’s a 10-point test, not a 5-point test.” WHAT??? I even had her clarify this point - THEY WON’T ACCEPT IT, BECAUSE IT HAS MORE TESTS ON IT THEN THEY REQUIRE?? Now, if the 10 points were different than the 5 that the CG requires, I could understand - but their 5 were in my 10, PLUS a breath alcohol test. WHERE does that logic come from?? I had no control over what kind of drug test it was - it is an INTERNATIONAL drug test, that the company I was working for required, and it amazes me that, even though the required 5 points are there, because it is above and beyond what they need, it may get rejected.

At the end, because it was now a raise in grade application, and not an endorsement, I had to pay $140 instead of $45, which isn’t such a big deal, but would have been nice to know before I walked in the door.

I thought I did the right thing here - I thought I had all of the information that was required, had all of my paperwork in order, and still walked out totally confused and pissed at the system. But I learned a lesson - have originals of EVERYTHING with you when you go.


Another option for your drug test is a letter from the company stating that you have been participating in a random drug screening program. The HR folks at your company should be familiar with the format of this letter. If not, you can find examples on the USCG website at uscg.mil/stcw.

Also, your physical should be fine, especially since they go from the date of your last issuance that the physical was originally used for.


Welcome to our world!!


Ya I did the same thing at the Toledo office, but they didn’t say anything about a drug test letter or a physical. And I’m pretty certain the term ‘Raise in Grade’ refers to your license. I don’t think you can ‘Raise in Grade’ with your MMD(hence adding an edorsement). Silly government mammals.


I’ve been tracking my application on the Homeport site, so at least I have an idea of where it is. Today it switches to: Awaiting info, and it tells me that the CG requires Amplifying Information from Physician. First, can anybody tell me what that even means? This is the same physical that I used for my original application, and there were no problems there, so I don’t see why there would be one now. They sent me a letter yesterday, so I’ll get it in a couple days, but I’m curious if anybody has also had this.

I still say that the fact that I even need a physical is wrong, since getting a PIC is an ENDORSEMENT, and not a Raise-in-Grade like they’ve labeled it.

Another thing - they’ve added a cute diagram on the Homeport site to tell you all the steps that an application goes through, with definitions for each, which is (somewhat) helpful.


I was gonna agree with you, but after a little research I found out that adding the PIC appears to be a Raise of Grade. Try this link:


Leave it to the gubment to have a link that long. It’s the payment form for USCG user fees. Near the bottom under DEFINITIONS, it says:
“RAISE OF GRADE: An increase in the level of authority and responsibility associated with a license, MMD, or COR. Examples: third mate of any gross tons to second mate of any gross tons, third assistant engineer of any horsepower to chief engineer (limited-oceans), ordinary seaman to able seaman, wiper to QMED, first tankerman rating.”

I hate to say it, but I believe the REC was right this time.


Thanks Mike. I finally got to the bottom of why it was a Raise in Grade. When I applied for my original 3/M license, the Tankerman Assist was on the application, but the NY REC didn’t put it on my MMD, for whatever reason. I don’t believe that anyone in my graduating class got the Assist on their MMD, but we all had it on the application. If I had the Assist on my MMD, then going to the PIC wouldn’t be a Raise in Grade. So yes, the REC is right this time, but only because NY screwed up the first time around! Oh well.

Now I just have to get the NMC to find the OTHER physical in my file - they sent me a letter saying that my physical was 5 years old, which is to old, but there is another physical in my file, and hopefully they find that one soon to keep this process going.