Hello everyone, I have been planning my transition into the merchant marines for quite a while, I chose to post this because I saw that it has been nearly a decade since the last BM to AS-D post and things change.

I would never have decided to make an account if things had gone smoothly for me, but they haven’t. I left the Coast Guard in 2020 and never planned on returning to the waters but its in my blood now and I can’t escape it. I decided to return, I have a document that tells me I have 1447 days of sea time, NMC counts 60% of it so I am at 847 days instead, this is JUST my big ship time.

I applied, and assumed I would be allowed to test for RFPNW and (AS-D) but I have only been given the opportunity to test for Able Seaman Limited National (I passed this test) Now I have the national endorsement. I was recently job hunting on reddit, and I saw someone posted something that caught my eye, it was the NVIC for AS-D.

I was a watch stander on my vessels, my Captain wrote a letter stating such, I acted in the capacity of radar, helm and lookout and chart plotter. I was going over the AS-D/RFPNW articles and AS-D states that you need not hold the RFPNW qualification but merely be qualified to hold the qualification.

Since I was the military equivalent, AND the NVIC states that military personnel do not need to be QA certified by the NMC, could my commanding officer from my vessel “posthumously” sign off my RFPNW NVIC packet and write a letter stating THE TRUTH about the situation, and I be granted my time starting 2017-2020 towards my AS-D certification?

I am still in contact with said captain and it would not be difficult to obtain said documentation, he has already written the letter, I was a qualified quarter master of the watch for two and a half years, this is coast guard to NMC, does anyone have advice for me?

Thank you,

If you search this forum, you will see that the requirements for various levels of AB have been cut about in half.

With 847 days of seatime you might now qualify for AB Unlimited.

What you describe sounds plausible to document the time necessary for Able Seafarer - Deck.

This was also recently discussed on this forum. Search should turn up that discussion. The checklists on the USCG NMC website are also very helpful.

Thank you Tug, I am extremely familiar with the NMC checklist, I have dreamed of the day that I could become an Able Seaman. It’s very difficult for me to accept that my time as a coast guard AB equivalent is not counted towards my AS-D/RFPNW. I was looking into the NVIC assessment guidelines tonight and last night and I found some details that leave me hopeful that I can jump the AS-D/RFPNW. I did have a sign off as QMOW that included all of the NVIC 06-14 sign offs while serving aboard a 254 ton military vessel. The requirement being atleast 200 tons, and it states in the extension that military members need not be verified QA. So what I need to know now, is if I can still get these antiquated sign offs, since I last sailed on that ship in 2020. Is there a deadline/expiration for the NVIC sign offs?

The USCG has postponed the QA requirements again for a few more years.

Any officer with STCW can do STCW sign offs for an AB.

I spoke to a woman (terry) at MPT in Florida, and she told me if I take their course, all i would need is 6 months underway and I become an AS-D after getting my NVIC 14-14 signed off and dont need to take the AS-D exam because im already a national AB.

How cool is that?

MPT is one of the best schools. I’ve heard that their licensing assistance is pretty good.

This is the best maritime job market ever. No better time to be looking for a job than right now.

There is no exam for AS-D. For anyone.

Military officers didn’t have STCW, but the NMC accepts them by policy.

I would try getting your old CO to sign off entering you can before spending money you might not need to.

I would verify this by reading the actual course approval. Besides, you might not need any additional sea time at all.

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Pretty sure you’re eligible to test for limited tonnage Mate license also. 500 ton, maybe 1,600 ton. Check the NMC checklists.