Top Five Awaiting Information Reasons for Merchant Mariner Credential Applications in 2021

I thought the comment was great. I had to attend a hearing once; a USCG officer I knew and respected was in whites and I asked him if his ice cream truck was parked outside. He took it in good humor.
I have no idea the GS pay grade for evaluator but I think it should be at least GS-8, considering the responsibilities.

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I think that evaluators are GS-7 and the senior ones GS-9. But the next s=step up is GS-11 and there are only a few of them in the professional evaluation branch (PQEB). So someone looking to move up is likely to be looking elsewhere in addition to NMC.

I guess the bus driver comment wasn’t entirely applicable. Some wear a different uniform.

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Tough to make a living at GS-7-1. Even GS-9. Thankfuly, once one gets into the system one can transfer over to other agencies and carry the pension. I knew a CE who lost his job just prior to retirement, went to work for Radio Free America for a couple of years to collect his pension. :slightly_smiling_face:

Are there any service fee paying users of NMC that prefer it to the previous REC services?

A metaphorical penny for your thoughts. Let’s hear it!

I AGREE. What do you think can be done? My son has had to wait literally MONTHS to get an appointment to complete his 1600 Ton test at the anchorage , AK REC due to so few appointments available. We will never be able to address the mariner shortage if we can not find a way to simplify this process.

Fly somewhere else where they had appointments.

Just had this experience. Went online, got a TWIC card appointment Tuesday night for Wednesday afternoon. Went in to appointment, was 1hr early, but was seen after 10 minutes wait. 10minutes to do info and picture, and leave (lady was super nice).

18 hours later, receive and email that new TWIC is in US-Mail. Monday, TWIC arrives in mail, 5 days after appointment.

I don’t think a government agency could do this feat.


TWIC was a nightmare when it was new. Congress authorized changes. A new low bidder contractor took over. TWIC has more volume than NMC does, but the applications are simple and the review process appears to be mostly automated.

I would favor having this same contractor take over initial issuance of entry level MMCs and renewals from the NMC.

Reduce NMCs work load and let them focus on applications that require actual evaluation.

If I remember correctly the original TWIC was contracted to Lockheed Martin. The contract was supposed to include card readers at all ports but I never saw a card reader. Are card readers now available to scan the TWIC cards or does one still have to wait for someone to look at and say,“Yep, looks like a TWIC.”
The requirements for TWIC background checks are not as extensive as the NMC requirements for mariner background check. The NMC looks at your NDR record from the beginning of time, the TWIC is 5 years back, so I was told when Lockheed had the contract. I have known people who got a TWIC but could not pass a background check to buy a gun, neither could they get Global Entry on first try.

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Correct. When the TWIC was first proposed I researched and compared the flagged offenses for both. There is more for the MMC. For example, any assault is flagged for an MMC, but only assault with intent to murder is flagged for TWIC (this was over 10 years ago, not sure of current comparison). So for TWIC, I guess it’s OK if you didn’t want to kill somebody, just give them a good beating.