USNR Merchant Marine Reserve


I would join in if I were allowed to use the Navy and CG Exchange and Commissary while stateside. I can shop at them overseas and in PR but not stateside???


[QUOTE=stevefoster;26893]I would join in if I were allowed to use the Navy and CG Exchange and Commissary while stateside. I can shop at them overseas and in PR but not stateside???[/QUOTE]

Thats not true, you can use them every where. Once you are commissioned you will get another military ID that is no different from an active duty ID. Hope that answers your question.


I’m an MMR and it has been a mixed bag for me, but I’ve learned numerous valuable lessons.

Here are some detractors to the program.
The Navy requires you to keep and maintain your license…but companies are not required to hire you simply because the Navy says you have to keep up your USCG lic. Now as I understand it the Coasties will start DOWNGRADING peoples licenses if they don’t have recent sea-time…Who knows they might even pull them entirely. I should not have to tell anyone just how hard it is now-a-days to even GET a license…It’s simply crazy hard!
Getting recent sea-time is difficult and is getting harder to find. MSC rarely has openings for Mates…deck officers. When they open they close almost immediately. I asked for an application and the job was closed the day the application arrived at my house in the mail. American flag’d ships are getting fewer all the time. Getting into a union is very difficult…they prefer people who already have Second Mate licenses. There are jobs out there on smaller boats but that will not satisfy the “tonnage” requirement. Believe me I’ve tried. Small companies avoid the cost of a bigger ship by using all the tonnage loop-holes so the big ship…stays small on paper…and you’re SOL as far as time on license is concerned…Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.
I lost many Navy/MMR “good years” while at sea because I was not able to maintain the correspondence course program…I was actually sailing before NKO came online. Back then it was literally all paper…and books. So if you’re sailing and you’re a MIRRG you will (like others have said) find it [I]nearly impossible[/I] to get good years…even with NKO…and that’s assuming you have decent internet on the ship…back in the day…ZERO! So…yes you do get the 15…for a pulse…and 13 or so for AT every year…but the rest you have to make up with NKO/Correspondence courses. You will need a CAC card and reader and software to make NKO work. If you log onto NKO you will find that very few of the courses have retirement points and you would have to take quite a few courses because many of them only reward ONE point per course. To the best of my knowledge there are not any courses with 5,7 or 8 points…most are zero or just one or two points…Many of the courses are “one time only”…ie you can’t just take the same course repeatedly each year to get the points. You take it once and yr’ done.
Regarding Deployment.
I went SELRES and very soon volunteered for a deployment. Initially they were going to send me [U][I]involuntarily[/I][/U] to a real dangerous lousy job so I volunteered for a slightly less dangerous and lousy job…so you DO have SOME choice…They (both the Army and the Navy) were very happy to have an MMR to send to Iraq. The Army needs warm bodies and they don’t really care what your skill sets are. I was in a class of over 80 and we had several Marines and about 15 Navy people the rest being Army. All of the Navy people were from totally non-army/ground-pounder backgrounds…There were Pilots, Submariners, MMR’s, SWO’s Aviation Maint. people etc. Again the Army did not care…if you can read and type they’ll teach you the rest. I got lucky I was assigned to a good team in a “chitty” company but we survived. You will comeback with a campaign medal and awards and all that …so THAT will help your career…however some MMR people have been killed…Two people that I knew on deployment were casualties…both Army…one killed and one wounded. So don’t think that bad ‘chit’ can’t happen. It can. The unit I was attached to had three deaths. One in a MRAP roll-over and two suicides. There was a civilian contractor helicopter crash right outside our FOB that killed all on-board.
The Money.
Then there is the money. Deployment is a good way to make some dollars especially if you’re having a hard time finding a sailing job or even a job in a port. The first 80K or so are “tax-deferred” sort of like tax-free. If you make more you pay tax on the difference. I met some people over there that were burried in credit card debt and they got out of that by going on deployment. If you’re on deployment the banks have to drastically reduce your interest rate on card debt. You set up automatic payment schedules along with automatic deposit of your paycheck and you get out from under it pretty fast. The problem is when you get back…You’ll be right back where you started from…no job. If you do it right you can save some big money and get out of debt…but you can’t get a home loan by repeatedly mobilizing…that’s not considered “permanent” employment. So that is how the Army and the Navy are saving [B][I]huge[/I][/B] money…sort of a “drug deal”. They get the people they need for almost as long as THEY need…but when you start to get too expensive you’re gone. They have the money to send you on multiple deployments but no money to take you on full time. I’ve seen a lot of this. Everyone on the active side loves reservists when they are there to take on nasty dangerous unglamorous jobs… but many doors still remain closed to you.

O.K. a long “rant” here…just putting out information as best as I can see it. MMR program is again…a mixed bag. Some guys have gotten totally lucky…just the right place at the right time, got the good 3/M job, moved up fast, had enough time off to go SELRES and get good years…but I’m thinking that stories like that are very rare.

Best of luck to you all out there.


[QUOTE=richard8000milesaway;26866]I … was in the USNR Inactive till 1994 3 years after the USSR had ceased to exist as an independant nation.
… as everyone stood staring at the Soviets disintegrating all over the world… in Istanbul, a week on the roof near Topkapi, watching the once mighty Soviet navy head north up the Bosphorus on their last trip back home to the Black Sea: it took a week for all the ships to pass. BIG SHIPS! But each ship was flying their new national flag, gone were the Red hammer and sickle, now there were russian flags, ukraine flags, etc. The Turks were celebrating out on the street, my local girlfriend, Aysha, was exceptionally passionate.
I was watching them with my brand new excellent East German Military Telescope bought for a pack of Marlboro reds at Istandbul University as Russians suddenly flooded the city.
After finishing up in Istanbul, I hopped a train from there across Bulgaria to Yugoslavia so as to get to Zagreb and the war zone.
But that’s a different story…[/QUOTE]

Richard, thats a great story.


Hey everyone, I’m new to this forum… I have some questions pertaining to the MMNR program regarding a Direct Commission. I graduate from Texas A&M in a couple of weeks with a Marine Engineering Bachelor of Science and an Unlimited 3rd A/E Coast Guard license. I have taken the necessary MMNR classes and I would pass a medical examination and the PRT. How do I go about getting a Direct Commission? I know a Direct Commission is possible, yet I really do not know anyone that has gone this route (most go through USMMA or through the MMNR programs at State Academies) and all advice I have gotten so far has led to dead ends. The MMNR program is definitely for me.

Also, I just recieved a job offer as a 3rd A/E, and I would like to get a grasp on the MMNR situation because if I take the job, I do not know how I would fit in Officer Candidate School or any other training that the Navy requires under a Direct Commission… Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.



You can join the MMR if you have a license. Call the program office at Main Office: 1-800-525-2580. The petty officers in the office are usually not very helpful. So ask to speak to the officer in charge. Get his email address too.

You would probably need to go through a Navy Recruiter, but since they are clueless in regard to the MMR (I know this from experience), start with the MMR office.

Having said that, I wouldn’t reccomend the MMR. Most people have a very hard time getting AT’s because the program is under funded. Ultimately you get booted if you aren’t doing AT’s, even if it’s because the program couldn’t fund them. This happened to a lot of people I know. The MMR is the red headed step child of the Navy. It is literally run on a shoe string from a broom closet in New Orleans.