Where to begin?

So, I’ve been to sea in the Navy, now I want to go to sea as a civilian. From what I’ve read, I need a TWIC and an MMD license… right? Then what? I’m going to start from scratch, learn the civilian side from the bottom up. So I guess that means I’ll be a Wiper. It sounds well and great, but where do I start? What training do I need? Do I need QMED training and STCW first?

PS. Search is down :frowning:


This will a good place to start…You’ll need the TWIC first ,after that you can apply for a Merchant Mariner Credential…Weather or not you can be aproved to test for a license depends on various qualifying critera…Check out the checklists and the CFR’s on the NMC site and then come back with questions for us…

Get your “Letter of Creditable Sea Service” from NAVPERS, a DD214 does not cut it. Also, I hope you kept your Oiler of the Watch qualification letter and your Surface Warfare Qualification booklet because that carries some weight and any Course Completion Certificates you have. You are partway there because Navy Boot Camp counts a Basic Safety Training (BST). I have a copy of a message put out by the USN and the USCG covering the BST stuff. It is a tough road going from military to civilian. Don’t get discouraged. The engine room is a great way to go. Sometimes I wish I had gone that way.

If you have all this and the TWIC along with a few other things, you “may” be able to get your oiler instead of wiper. I am sure there are ex-NAVY engineers on here that will help guide you.


Shellback and Senior Chief,

Thank you for your replies. I admit I am getting discouraged. It is why aside from my DD-214, I am not going to submit any other Navy paperwork. At this point, I just need a job. Unfortunately the process of transition is convoluted and can be quite confusing, even the CG website doesn’t give crystal clear guidance on it.

P.S. Anyone Skype?
Skype name: Fallujahmedic

A couple things to know. Not all your navy training is credited as approved USCG training. Just as some of the USCGs own training for their own personnel does not count towards merchant marine training! Some is! Get records of ALL of it. Some of the training is acceptable! I am sorry, I don’t know which is which. But get as much as you can documented, and let the USCG evaluators figure it out. The required courses cost about 1000 bucks a piece. Even if you only document ONE usable course that will save you a grand. Hopefully you can get a couple accepted.

As Boats said, get your letters that were signed by the officers who actually observed you doing it. THOSE are usable to get your seatime requirements in to get some help to get an endorsement faster. Some letter from BUPERS somewhere in Iowa (or wherever the schmuck who does data entry is sitting) is useless. Any letters must be from the guy who saw you working.

What you are talking about, by saying you wont submit ANY navy info, is like saying you are willing to start out on the bottom rung, and earn the time to qualify to take tests, courses, and training. In this economy there are HUNDREDS of guys like you who are starting out from the bottom. You need to work to get every edge you can to climb to the top of the pile so you will get hired first. It may be a pain in the ass, but you need to grab all the help you can to get off the entry level position and get on the ‘somewhat trained,’ ‘some experience,’ ‘already in progress’ list of applicants.

I was a hull tech and 2nd class diver. worked and welded on LCAC’s. ACU 5. Peace time vet between Gulf I and Gulf II.

You are a fireman rate so only so much of your sea time carries over. I think you might qualify to sit for a QMED if you want to go engine room or an AB if you want to go deck.

Having a bad attitude about starting over will not help you. Better keep your military bearing. Especially in this job economy.

I was an HT3 and Second Class Diver when I got out. Best job offer I got in '96 was $6.50/hr as a tender in the GOM.

It’s best to have an idea what you want to do before you start applying for licenses. Probably go to work as a deckhand on anyboat that will hire a “green AB” or an OS and decide from there what job interests you more or even if the life is for you,

Good luck HT2