Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationBoats & Boating · 1 decade ago

What do these requirements mean for an "able bodied seaman" job?

I have five years experience in the US Navy, but I was a journalist, so I wouldn't call myself a *real* sailor. I want to be one though, so I was looking at this job posting for an able bodied seaman.

What on earth do these requirements mean, none of which I meet since I'm unfamiliar with them? And how do I go about getting these things?

1. Able Bodied Seaman endorsement and valid MMD document

2. STCW certificate


1. A USCG license (any tonnage)

2. PIC

I don't even know where to start! I can't even find a place on the USCG website to contact a recruiter. Help?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Unfortunately, because you were a journalist, the USCG doesn't consider you to be a "seaman" either (they would if you'd been a Boatswain's Mate, a Quartermaster, or an Officer of the Deck, and if you had any time as an unrated Seaman before you became a journalist they'll count that as well).

    Okay, so, the alphabet soup.

    OS is an Ordinary Seaman, which is like a Seaman (E1-E3) in the Navy

    AB is an Able Seaman, which is like a petty officer (E4-E6)

    MMD is a Merchant Mariner's Document (like a military ID for non-licensed personnel), MML is a Merchant Mariner's License, for either Deck or Engineering officers. Neither of these exist anymore, they've been consolidated into the MMC, which is Merchant Mariner's Credential, which looks like a passport.

    TWIC is a Transportation Worker's Identification Credential, which you'll also need but comes from TSA instead of the Coast Guard.

    STCW is Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, which is yet another level of redundancy foisted on you by IMO if you want to sail outside of the US (BST is Basic Safety Training, the lowest level of STCW)

    IMO is the International Maritime Organization, the maritime branch of the UN

    SOLAS is Safety of Life at Sea, which won't give you another piece of paper to carry around but will affect everything that happens on international voyages

    PIC is a Tankerman Person In Charge, usually an AB who is in charge of loading and discharging cargo on tank ships.

    There's no one "recruiter" for the USMM, you're hired either by the individual company or possibly by one of the unions.

    You'll want to start here. Take a deep breath; it's daunting, but it's worth it!

    Source(s): 10 years US Navy, now Captain, US Merchant Marine. Feel free to email me at maraiche(at)yahoo(dot)com
  • 1 decade ago

    Here is your answer as it applies to my term in the Navy, I was trained as a bowsinsmate and after AIT school in San Diego had my seamans papers, these state that I'm an able bodied seaman.

    Now this was1973 and VietNam was still on going.

    Fast-forward to the new Navy and so many jobs are not around, Seeing a woman on my ship for the first time in my mind was wrong, even if she was a Marine officer there for a showing of the ship.

    The ship which is no longer afloat was the USS Bryce Canyon AD36, a destroyer tender.Home port was Pearl Harbor Hawaii.

    Source(s): Navy 73
  • tom
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    First go to and follow the links to MMD or Merchant Mariner Document. It is an ID card with your qualifications printed on the back.

    STCW, is Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, means, as an AB, you know how to steer a ship and act as a proper lookout. It's required to sail on vessels on International voyages.

    A USCG license, is a qualification as a navigational deck officer for different sized ships.

    A PIC is an endorsement as a Person In Charge, usually of tanker loading, but could also mean PIC of Medical Care as another example.

    It's not likely your naval experience is transferable to qualify for these positions, but let them (the USCG) tell you that.

    Source(s): Master mariner, +35 years
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