Merchant Mariners (which is what you call folks in the Merchant Marine) are the civilian crews and officers of civilian merchant vessels and United States Naval Ships. U.S. Mariners must be licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Crew members are licensed as Able Seaman (experienced) or Ordinary Seaman (little or no experience); as a Qualified Member of the Engineering Department QMED (experienced) or as a Wiper (inexperienced engineering department member); or as a member of the Steward’s department such as food handlers, cooks and officer’s stewards (no experience required).
The Deck Officers who stand bridge watches, i.e. drive the ship, are licensed as Master (Captain), Chief Mate, Second Mate and Third Mate; Engineers who run the engines and auxiliary equipment are licensed as Chief Engineer, First Assistant Engineer, Second Assistant Engineer, and Third Assistant Engineer. Some ships will have Fourth Assistant Engineers, usually managing auxiliary equipment, but they are licensed as Thirds. Officer licensing levels are based on experience and examinations. Staff officers such as Radio Officers and Pursers are also licensed.
U.S.-flagged merchant ships in excess of 100 tons require licensed crews, but there are very few of these; most of them are operated by, or are under contract to, the U.S. government, or they transport passengers from one U.S. port to another such as large ferrys or large coastal cruise ships. United States Naval Ships (USNS) are Navy-owned Military Sealift Command vessels operated by civilian mariner crews; Navy ships operated by Navy personnel are United States Ships (USS).
What Do Merchant Marines Do
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what do merchant marines do?
They’re commercial shipping, except in an emergency, in which case they are an auxiliary to the navy.
Instead of Humvees, they drive this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Colombo.Express….