Hey all shipmates,
I am a US Navy nuclear submarines vet, I was a sonar tech. For the past 2.5 years, believe it or not, I have been stuck in a minimum wage job, so…
I’m interested in joining the Merchant Marine, not as an officer, but as an enlisted man, that is to say, an “ordinary seaman”.
Doing a little research, I have discovered The Sailor’s Union of the Pacific.
If you click on “Training” at the top, you are presented with information on training for STCW95. There is a link to download a training application on the right.
So, I have a few questions about that:
The training is in San Diego; do I need to pay to fly down there myself? (I assume the answer is yes…) I live in “Silicon Valley” right now. Of course I could always go Greyhound, that would be cheaper.
Can I expect to go underway on a vessel immediately after this training? That would be my preference. If not, what would the typical waiting period be?
My understanding is that one can typically expect to be at sea for up to 9 months at a time, with a 3 month period afterward which is some kind of mandatory time off? Is that correct, and can anyone offer more details/advice about that?
Also, I have a general question about pay; I assume it would be more than what I got as an E-4 in 2002, which was about $1800/month, including submarine pay and sea pay. I heard the starting salary, as an ordinary seaman (as opposed to an able seaman) is about $3000/month, is this correct?
Get back to me, I might have some follow up questions also!!!