Military to Mariner Cross-Walk UPDATE

coast guard cutter

By Dione Lee 2015-09-03 23:18:01

Since my last “Military to Mariner Cross-Walk” blog post on April 1, 2015, there has been positive yardage within the U.S. Coast Guard that needs to be recognized and applauded.


In August, the U.S. Coast Guard submitted 10 gap closing course assessments to the National Maritime Center (NMC) for partial approval to fill a portion of the training requirements for Able Seafarer Engine and Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch. According to the Coast Guard, the remaining task requirements will be met through additional resident training and formal structured on-the-job training performed on Coast Guard cutters, which will help transition USCG personnel to merchant mariners. 

Brief History

Earlier in the year, Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) Member Glen Paine, Executive Director of MITAGS-PMI, brought the project proposal to the SOCP for approval to support the U.S. Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) Working Group (Task 30 – Military to Mariner) and help jump start the efforts within the U.S. Coast Guard to transition military personnel into civilian maritime service.


This effective joint effort helped pave the way for a simple and efficient pathway by mapping the U.S. Coast Guard’s training and qualifications with the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, 1995, and the most recent revisions to the STCW Convention and Code - the 2010 Manila amendments, implemented on 24 MARCH, 2014.

After the initial work by the SOCP, the Coast Guard drove the cross-walk activities internally with specific emphasis on the Machinist Mate and Boatswains Mate ratings. On August 5 & 6, 2015, the MERPAC Task 30 working group met in Alexandria, Virginia to draft its recommendations to the full MERPAC committee for consideration and submission to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Glen Paine summarizes this collaborative effort well by saying: “We need coherent pathways that allow people with diverse backgrounds and skills sets to enter our industry. Veterans have many of the key skills and attributes necessary for a successful maritime career. This is a unique moment where we have the attention of the decision-makers to make these pathways a reality! I want to thank SOCP and all participants for supporting this endeavor.”

Next Steps

The MERPAC will review the recommendations of task group 30 at its upcoming September 2015 meeting and submit its recommendations to the USCG for consideration and actions.

Nice Job Everyone!

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.