Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard “Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council” magazine.

Full article by Major Cheryl A. Fensom (U.S. Army, Ret.), Instructional Systems Specialist, Maritime Training Department, U.S. Army Transportation School, available at www.uscg.mil/proceedings/fall2008.

The watercraft field stands out among the Army’s military occupational specialties. Soldiers serving in this field are assigned to deck and engineer duties aboard Army vessels, providing waterborne logistics for military operations worldwide. From combat operations to humanitarian missions, the Army’s maritime field has consistently proven its worth and relevance in today’s operational arena.

Soldier-mariners aboard Army vessels perform the same mission-essential tasks as their U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and merchant marine counterparts. U.S. Army maritime occupational specialties include:
· watercraft operator,
· seaman,
· leading seaman,
· boatswain,
· mate,
· watercraft engineer,
· engineman,
· senior engineman,
· junior marine engineer,
· assistant engineer.

At the officer level, the school provides instruction for the specialties:
· marine deck officer,
· marine engineering officer for service aboard class A vessels.

The maritime training campus, located at Fort Eustis, Va., provides this training through coursework, hands-on opportunities, and simulations. Simulated vessels include:
· landing craft utility,
· logistic support vessel,
· large tug.

NMC-approved Courses
Courses are designed to meet the National Maritime Center’s (NMC) guidelines for qualifying training. NMC also granted licensing equivalency for the rating forming part of navigational watch, rating forming part of engineering watch, able seaman with lifeboatman limited, qualified member of the engine department, and first aid and CPR.

Certification and Licensing
All Army mariners must obtain and maintain certification equivalent to their grade and position. Once Army mariners meet the training standard, physical requirements, and pass a test, they are issued marine certificates valid for five years from date of issue. Mariners have a six-month window in which they must recertify by taking an exam for their skill level.

With continued command emphasis within the U.S. Army Transportation School to capitalize on the commonality of the different maritime agencies, soldier-mariners will continue to benefit from a seamless transition from Army maritime training to universally recognized merchant mariner’s credentials.

About the author:
Major (Ret.) Cheryl Fensom served in the U.S. Army as a transportation officer and is currently an instructional systems specialist at the maritime training campus at Fort Eustis, Va. She spearheads the educational programs for Army mariners.

For more information:
U.S. Army Transportation School
705 Read Street
Ft. Eustis, VA 23604

Full article and 124-page “Focus on the Mariner” edition of USCG Proceedings is available at www.uscg.mil/proceedings/fall2008. Subscribe online at www.uscg.mil/proceedings.

Direct requests for print copies of this edition to: HQS-DG-NMCProceedings@uscg.mil.