You want to put what you did on the vessel using USCG terminology. Master, Mate, Operator, Deckhand and Member of the Engine Department are the most common positions to put in the Served As position on the CG-719S form.
The USCG does not recognize the position "CREW" on it's own, so do not write CREW as your position. It confuses the USCG evaluators as they do not know if you were serving in the Deck Crew or the Engine Crew.
If you are responsible for navigation, cargo, command, and control functions then you are working in the Deck department as a Deckhand as defined by the USCG in 46 CFR § 10.107. You should always write in Deckhand if you were doing this work and you were not serving as the Master, Mate or Operator on the vessel.
If you are have command of the vessel you are serving as Master. This is defined by the USCG in 46 CFR § 10.107. You should always write in Master if you were the person in charge of the vessel. Captain will work but Master leaves zero room for interpretation by the USCG evaluators.
If you are using mmseas.com and you own the vessel, you can create perfect CG-719S forms inside of the app.
If you are working as a qualified officer in the deck department other than the master you are serving as Mate. This is defined by the USCG in 46 CFR § 10.107. You should always write in Mate working as a qualified officer in the deck department other than the master.
If you are primarily responsible for the main propulsion and auxiliary systems, and other mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and refrigeration systems, including deck machinery and cargo-handling equipment then you are working in the Engine department as defined by the USCG in 46 CFR § 10.107. You should always write in Member of the Engine Department if you were doing this work and you were not serving as the Master, Mate, Operator or Deckhand on the vessel.
We hope this made your life a little easier and if you have other questions the MM-SEAS team is always here to help!
No matter what, when you are ready to submit your application, you can choose to have the MM-SEAS staff create a perfect application, handle the USCG application fees and work with the USCG on your behalf to resolve any issues for a flat fee of $349 or you can choose to submit on your own.
Pro MM-SEAS members get access to unlimited live 1 on 1 calls with one of our USCG Licensing Specialists. We've found that answering questions live with screen sharing in a video call makes both of our lives easier. Pro MM-SEAS members can access these features inside of MM-SEAS under License Guidance.
Nate has over 15 years of professional maritime experience and has hawsepiped his way to a 3rd Mate Unlimited Endorsement with full STCW compliance. He is proud veteran of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.