Tuesday, March 5, 2019

President Signs Mariner Credential Order

By Karen Robes Meeks

Sea veterans will now be able to smoothly transition into the United States Merchant Marine, thanks to an Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump on Monday, March 4.

The order allows the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to support mariner credentialing. They will review all military training and experience to see which could qualify toward mariner credentials. Within a year of the order, they will submit a list of all identified training and experience to the US Coast Guard National Maritime Center. The NMC will then determine which ones can count towards credentialing and take appropriate action to waive fees for active service members pursuing or possessing a mariner credential.

A robust merchant marine is vital to US national and economic security, and qualified merchant mariners are in short supply, according to the president’s executive order.

“As our strategic competitors expand their global footprint, the United States must retain its ability to project and sustain forces globally. This capability requires a sufficient corps of credentialed merchant mariners available to crew the necessary sealift fleet. Attracting additional trained and credentialed mariners, particularly from active duty service members and military veterans, will support United States national security requirements and provide meaningful, well-paying jobs to United States veterans,” the order reads.