NORFOLK, Va. (May 3, 2022)—The Dedicated Civil Service Sailors (CIVMAR) who man the Military Sealift Command fleet of ships choose to sail for a variety of reasons; some seek adventure and travel to distant lands, many answer the call of patriotic service to their nation, while others simply love life at sea. to senior management on board, opportunities for advancement and promotion are very important to career-minded sailors.
Many CIVMARs join the MSC fleet in entry-level positions, as these positions offer the opportunity to embark on a new career path without having to possess advanced maritime qualifications or experience. These entry level positions are where many of the senior and most experienced sailors in SMC have begun to move up the “chain of command”.
“Getting from an entry-level position to ship captain or chief engineer is entirely doable if a CIVMAR is committed to pursuing this goal,” said Andy Kallgren, MSC Supervisory Training Administrator. “Keep in mind that advancement is not easy and requires hard work and dedication to your craft.”
MSC offers four entry-level positions; each with opportunities for advancement: Ordinary Seaman (OS), Wiper, Supply Utilityman (SU), and Radios Electronics Technician 2.
Ordinary Seaman is an entry-level position in deck service.
“CIVMAR OSes can upgrade to able seaman, boatswain or boatswain,” Kallgren said. “CIVMARs who acquire the required U.S. Coast Guard experience, training, and credentials can advance to the rank of third officer, even if they never become boatswain or boatswain.
“From third officer they can move up to second officers, first officers or captain,” he added. “The captain is the commander of the ship.”
Wiper is the entry-level post in the engine department.
“Qualified Members of the Engine Department (QMEDS) are the course-level positions,” Kallgren said. “QMED positions include Engine Utility, Deck Engineer Machinist, Refrigeration Engineer, Pumpman, Chief Electrician, and Unlicensed Junior Engineer.”
“Although the electronics technician is not technically a QMED, it is considered one of the most technical unlicensed positions in the engine department,” he added.
“QMEDs with the training, experience and aptitude can work towards promotion to the rank of Chartered Motor Officers; which includes the third engineer, the second engineer, the first assistant engineer and the chief engineer,” Kallgren said. “The Chief Engineer is the most senior engineer on board MSC’s ships.”
The Provisioning Utility is an unlicensed entry level member of the Provisioning Department team. SUs perform general hotel service work such as food handling and preparation, meal service, table service, and laundry. Sailors in the supply department are also responsible for cleaning and maintaining the ship’s cabins, bathrooms, passageways and common areas, and assisting the chief steward with daily provisions and the crew of the platforms. -forms of ongoing replenishment on all classes of manned ships of the MSC public service.
“It’s common for someone to start as an SU, then transfer to another department, and then progress into the new field,” Kallgren said. “If a CIVMAR stays in the supply department, he or she typically progresses either a culinary path to chief steward or a logistics path that leads to supply officer.”
The second radio electronics technician (RET2) is part of the communications department and performs shifts under the supervision of the chief radio electronics technician. The incumbent operates and maintains the ship’s military communications suites.
RET2s can work toward promotion through the Radio Electronics Technician Advancement Program, which is designed to bring together experienced personnel and apprentice participants for up to 48 months of training and mentorship. Selected candidates will be placed into the Radio Electronics Technician (RAP) Advancement Program for vocational training, time at sea and work experience. The RAP offers a career opportunity and a promotion route to deserving RET2s. Candidates will receive online and classroom training, ship assignments, and assessments.
“Some of the reasons a CIVMAR seeks promotion and advancement at MSC include job satisfaction, better pay, more responsibility, better onboard accommodation, more training opportunities, opportunities on different types of vessels and better retirement benefits,” Kallgren said.
The entry-level position does not require advanced skills; however, there are a few criteria that CIVMARs must meet when employed at the MSC. For example, each CIVMAR must have a United States Coast Guard Merchant Seaman credential, a Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC), and a United States passport. All entry-level employees must also pass the Standards of Training and Watchkeeping Certification (STCW) and MSC’s Basic Training Program, which includes basic firefighting, basic first aid, personal survival, safety Personal and Social Responsibility, Damage Control, Helicopter Firefighting, CBRD-Base, Occupational Safety and Health, Environmental Programs and Replenishment at Sea Guidance.
MSC promotions are earned through a competitive process. The candidate must meet the basic qualifications for the position, compete for promotion and also be selected for promotion.
“The advancement of CIVMARS relies on many aspects that must be fully aligned,” said Lesa Barbour, Military Sealift Command Supervision Training Administrator. The USCG’s International Convention on the Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping of Seafarers (STCW) provides guidance for advancement for all seafarers.
In addition, the requirements for each position are described in the job task statements, which are available through the security management system and are also displayed in the respective promotion advertisements.
“In order to compete for a permanent promotion, you must apply for a promotion announcement,” Kallgren added. “When applying, make sure you address all the requirements and questions posed. Your professional knowledge, skills and abilities will be considered for advancement. Past performance, degrees, training and awards are also important.
If the sailor does not have sufficient sailing time on an ocean vessel, they cannot advance to the next rank, Barbour added.
CIVMAR records information used for promotion review is managed with MSC’s Human Resources Management System (HRMS) and an update of its records can be requested from the CIVMAR Management Placements Division.
“Keeping the human resource management system up to date with your newly acquired certifications is key to success,” according to Barbour. “Sailors should also retain copies of all documentation and expiration dates of their USCG merchant marine credentials.”
“Keep track of the work you’ve done that might set you apart from other CIVMARs competing for promotion,” Kallgren offered. “Focus on work that demonstrates your knowledge, skills, abilities, know-how, work ethic, and ability to lead and follow orders. These are some of the things appraisers look for. Be sure to highlight your qualities to your supervisor at the time of the assessment.
Barbour and Kallgren offered additional guidance for CIVMARs.
“CIVMAR are their best defender in the promotion,” Barbour said. “Keep your records up to date, know your next steps for advancement, and request the necessary training to help you achieve your career goals.”
“Be a great employee,” Kallgren added. “Report to work on time and ready, perform high quality work, support your shipmates and be disciplined.”
“Own what you’re responsible for, learn new skills, gain new credentials, and take advantage of training opportunities,” Kallgren said. Demonstrate that you are interested and ready to grow. Look for a promotion and keep improving even if you don’t get promoted as quickly as you hoped.
CIVMARs at sea should contact their first mate for information on advancement and onboard training opportunities.
Additional information on advancement and promotion opportunities can be found at htpps://civmar.sealiftcommand.com. This site also includes information on promotion announcements, job descriptions, application forms, merit promotion schedules, and announcements of upcoming presentations and training. Additional questions can be directed to the CIVMAR Support Center at 1-800-793-5784 or email [email protected]
|Date posted:||05.03.2022 10:26|
|Location:||NORFOLK, Virginia, USA|
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