USCG Hair Follicle Testing

Anyone have any more info on this?

How many mariners will we lose if there is any legitimacy to this?

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The two categories we’ll lose are the dumb ones and the ones who can’t/won’t stay off drugs for the length of period covered by the test.

Not sure of the numbers in those two categories but I’m ok with it. Just another filter to make the rest of us more valuable.


Sounds like there’s only one category to me and you already said it…

Maybe the people who make the Whizanator will sell a special wig or a at-home hair follicle transplant kit?

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Maybe they’re depending on people outing themselves. If somebody shows up looking like Mr. Clean with no eyebrows or eyelashes, that might be a red flag.


Sounds like a good April Fools prank to me. Start the rumor the testers are coming for hair but they’ll take urine if you’re bald.


That actually happened to a military U-2 pilot.

I call BS. In 2019 the testing rate was upped to 50%. I don’t believe it went back to 25%.

na, if you’re gonna go the prank route, you gotta go all in…first, there will be a FULL body inspection to ensure there are no available hairs, and if not, the new test is (insert creatively perverse method here)


be a lot of open berths soon

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Anyone have the link to the actual document without the highlighting and not a screenshot?

Hair testing new? Chevron cut my hair in 2011 when I was on a product tanker. They took it again in 2014 when I was on an ECO boat contracted to Chevron.
A guy on my boat came up dirty. He claimed he didn’t lose his AB ticket, just his job but he’s not worked on a boat since.

So…why is this new? Did it used to be just an oil field or tanker thing?

It was a company thing. Not DOT approved for The CG to use though.

I’ve heard differing stories about companies not sending the results to the coast guard, but I found a legal case where they did and CG acted on it.

The actual document is exactly what the screen shot is of and was highlighted by the union as what appears to be a heads up to the membership. It appears this was mentioned as an aside item during conversations with the CG this week about Coronavirus precautions. I’d imagine a policy shift will be announced in the future. What sucks is that I just renewed my DOT collector certification so it sounds like I’m going to have to do it again in the near future. I think I hate that class more than the radar renewal.

Taking a hair sample sounds better in theory than standing there with a cup of some guys piss but the actual practice may be worse.
You can renew your DOT collector cert with online training if you have a webcam. I found it more bearable that way.

Depends on where the sample gets pulled from…

Does it need to be pulled out of the root or does it just get cut off?

Yeah, pull them from the pubes of every senator and congress critter along with every official from the president down through the cabinet, appointed advisors, and every Whitehouse staffer.

If a deckhand on a boxboat is considered too dangerous to hold the job because he smoke a joint 6 months ago while on vacation then anyone with daily duties in government should have their hair pulled at least once a month. Positive tests should be cause for instant dismissal and banishment from any public office for life.

If they can’t live with the same threat to their careers as they impose on the little people then so be it. Zero tolerance for the rampant hypocrisy that has come to define our “leaders.”


Your sitting at home. You just got back the day before after spending your 4 months at sea. Some buddies come over. You are laughing and drinking. No drugs, but plenty of beer. Neighbors call the police because you are being to loud. Police come, you get arrested for public intoxication because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut. They do a blood alcohol test. Your really drunk, obviously. But, hey you are at home, no big deal. Wrong. The USCG can pull your license. You may not get drunk, legally, for as long as you hold a merchant mariner credential. Just putting it in perspective for all the “dont do drugs” people.


That isn’t true at all. I can get drunk every night ashore as long as I don’t break the law doing it. Your scenario had some flaws in it. The police can’t arrest you for “drunk in public” if you don’t step foot out of your house. If they ask you to step outside to discuss, be very wary.

Man, I worked with plenty of morons like this & remember thinking, “This guy shouldn’t drink, do it far, far away where nobody’s around or find another career”. No sympathy from me.