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Frequently Asked Questions

For Job Seekers

In 2014, the CMTS (www.CMTS.gov) formed the Military to Mariner Task Force to help coordinate Federal efforts to facilitate the transition from military service to civilian employment in the U.S. Merchant Marine, and other positions within the U.S. Marine Transportation System. The military sea service agencies have been very proactive to address many of the challenges of transitioning sea service personnel to the U.S. Merchant Marine. The Task Force members have committed time and resources to:

  • crosswalk military ship-board training and qualifications to mariner credential requirements;
  • assign permanent staff to the Navy and USCG COOL projects;
  • align all related military occupational specialties and ratings in the Army, Navy, and USCG to the applicable USCG maritime licenses and established policies to help active duty personnel cover associated costs through the COOL programs;
  • make available to Sailors “best sources” training opportunities though Navy COOL, in partnership with Military Sealift Command (MSC); these courses can be used for gap/delta training to help prepare Sailors for USCG credentials;
  • enable USCG Academy graduates to receive a 100 Ton Master-Near Coastal Credential upon graduation;
  • increase the number of service training courses approved for MMCs; and
  • identify ways to recruit, train, and retain Merchant Mariners to support both national Defense and Federal mission accomplishment.

The Maritime Workforce Working Group Report to Congress estimates that an additional 1,800 mariners are needed to support the U.S. Flag Fleet during times of national emergency. While service members and Veterans will not completely fill this gap, it will help offset the staffing needs of the U.S. maritime industry. The USCG NMC manually tracks how many Veterans are applying for MMCs; approximately 1% of applicants have some level of military connection.

The USCG NMC is the authoritative organization for the issuance of the MMC. Getting a MMC is a multi-step process, and the NMC strives to provide mariners with the resources needed to successfully meet their requirements and receive a credential. NMC even has a convenient Live Chat, where mariners can securely connect with the NMC staff members with questions.

One of the most robust resources is the Navy COOL, a step by step resource mapping skills, training, and credentials needed to meet certain mariner qualifications, and even where GI Bill benefits can be used to meet those requirements. A similarly robust USCG COOL program is now publicly available, with potential credential funding in 2020. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) My Next Move and O*Net also provide crosswalks and ability to identify employment opportunities fitting a Veteran’s experience and interests.

Certain MMCs, for example, those in the Deck and Engineering Departments, require applicants to complete training and complete USCG-administered tests. Other merchant mariner credentials such as USCG Certificates of Registry, require applicants to present evidence to the USCG of competency or certification by another organization.  Suffice it say that if you worked on a surface or subsurface vessel in the deck, engineering/electrical/electronics, operations, navigation, culinary, logistics, administration, communications, or information technology/computer network management field, your experience may qualify you for an advanced or specialized MMC, or it may help you earn it more quickly.  Additionally, selected employers such as MSC seek mariners with special skills, such as small boat operation, or very strong swimming ability, for collateral duty responsibilities such as Surface Rescue Swimmer.

For Employers

DOL’s Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS) website at www.VETERANS.gov contains a variety of employer resources, including an Employer Guide to Hire Veterans that highlights the growing number of resources for companies wishing to hire and retain Veterans. There are links on VETERANS.gov where you can post a job and receive one-on-one assistance from Regional Veterans’ Employment Coordinators. DOL recently launched the HIRE Vets Medallion Program that provides national level recognition for employers who hire, retain, and support veterans. Transitioning Service Members and Veterans search the list of HIRE Vets Medallion Program recipients to focus their job searches.

Employers can post available openings on VETERANS.gov and the American Maritime Partnership’s MilitarytoMaritime.org website.

For a Veteran to use their GI Bill benefits at an educational institution, the program/course must be approved through a State Approving Agency (SAA). SAA’s are the entity authorized by the Veteran’s Administration to provide approval, oversight, training, and outreach activities, to ensure the quality of programs of education and proper administration of GI Bill benefits. Find your SAA.

SAA approval is in addition to course approval by the USCG NMC. Visit the USCG NMC Training and Assessment webpage for more information.

Once your account has been approved, you will be able to access Listings & Applications via your “My Account” link on the top right side of your site or the “Post a Job” link under the For Employers menu. From your Listings & Applications page, you will be able to add job listings, as well as see candidate responses.

A maritime job is any position that is somehow connected with seafaring industry, including jobs that both work on ships, in shipyards or in offices that support the maritime industry through research, logistics, security, technology, management, etc.

About the Maritime Industry

The military strategy of the United States relies on the use of U.S.-flagged ships and crews and the availability of a shipyard industrial base to support national defense needs, according to a recent study on the Jones Act by the Government Accountability Office. Most importantly, a strong and vibrant maritime industry helps ensure the United States maintains its expertise in shipbuilding and waterborne transportation.

The domestic American maritime industry strengthens U.S. national security at zero cost to the federal government. The domestic maritime fleet provides capacity and manpower that the armed forces can draw upon to support U.S. military operations. American ships, crews to man them, ship construction and repair yards, intermodal equipment, terminals, cargo tracking systems, and other infrastructure are available to the U.S. military at a moment’s notice in times of war, national emergency, or even in peacetime.

The Jones Act fleet and domestic maritime industry supports nearly 650,000 American jobs, which pump more than $150 billion into the nation’s economy annually. Five indirect jobs are created for every one direct maritime job, which results in more than $41 billion in labor compensation.

The nation’s domestic shipbuilders are a key part of America’s maritime industry, and delivered more than 1,200 vessels in 2012, which represented more than $20 billion in domestic investments. In 2013, U.S. shipyards entered into contracts for hundreds of new vessels, including the construction of state of the art oil tankers and first in the world LNG powered containerships. U.S. shipyards are also leading the way in innovation with the construction of offshore oil and gas support and dynamic positioning vessels.

The 40,000 vessels operating in the domestic trades moves 1 billion tons of cargo every year, which plays an important role in relieving congestion on the nation’s crowded roads and railways.

The Jones Act ensures that the vessels navigating our coastal and inland waterways abide by U.S. laws and operate under the oversight of the U.S. government. A recent report by the Lexington Institute noted that without the Jones Act, DHS would be confronted by the difficult and very costly task of monitoring, regulating, and overseeing all foreign-controlled, foreign-crewed vessels in internal U.S. waters.

Without American maritime, the U.S. would be completely dependent on foreign owned and flagged vessels for the transport of all waterborne commerce in and around the country. A strong and vibrant maritime industry helps ensure the United States maintains its expertise in shipbuilding and waterborne transportation. A cautionary lesson surrounds Great Britain, which has seen its maritime industry outsourced and the global influence of its naval forces drastically reduced.

Your VOICE is needed to defend America’s Maritime IndustryUSE YOUR VOICE