Did You Know Uniformed Service Personnel can use Sea Service Within the Past 7 Years to Establish Recency?

Earn 90 days of sea service on military or NOAA/PHS vessels in the last 7 years to meet recency requirements.

4 mins read・Jun 21, 2024
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If you earned 90 days of sea service on Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, NOAA or PHS vessels in the past 7 years you can meet the sea service recency requirement.

This 7-year period applies to active duty members, reservists, retirees, recently separated, or civilian mariners with qualifying service on uniformed service vessels.  

Recency is required for all original and raise of grade officer endorsements.

An applicant for any officer endorsement must have at least 3 months of qualifying service on vessels of appropriate tonnage or horsepower within the 7 years immediately preceding the date of application. Recency is not required for renewals or qualified ratings. 

Even though this 7-year period policy impacting military and uniformed service is in place, we have noticed some mariners experience challenges when their application is reviewed. Areas of challenge include:

  • The mariner served on a vessel under civilian command vs uniformed service member command. 
  • The mariner is requesting time from small boats vs. ships on Transcript of Sea Service form.
  • The mariner’s 90 days were accumulated on vessels of lesser tonnage than required for level of endorsement. 

How much credit can you get towards a USCG license with your sea service?

You earn 60% of the time you were assigned to the vessel as a member of the ship's crew. As an example, if you reported 01JAN2023 and detached on 31DEC2023 you would earn 216 days towards a USCG license for the 365 days you were permanently assigned to the ship.

MM-SEAS software specifically helps military and uniformed service members calculate their sea service and recency. We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help! 

Reference: CG-CVC Policy Letter No. 15-03, dated October 16, 2015 

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About the author

Jen McCullough
Jen McCullough
USCG License Expert

Captain Jen stood up the USCG Military to Mariner Program for service members. She spent time analyzing service training and job experience to merchant mariner credentials. She has worked with other Services to develop credential pathways and has over 10 years of sea experience.

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