Talk:United States Merchant Marine

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some thoughts about things to add somewhere in the article[edit]

In recognition of the importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Congress, by joint resolution approved on May 20, 1933, as amended, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day," and has authorized and requested that the President issue an annual proclamation calling for its appropriate observance. [1] Vasa2 04:29, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

might want to add a link to this site Operators of Deep-Draft US-Flag Ships Vasa2 05:35, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

this one too database of all registered merchant ships USCG has had contact with Vasa2 05:49, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

this one too Vessel Documentation Search By Name Vasa2 05:49, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

The article kinda misses the point of WHY foreign flags are flown on these ships (is it cheaper? Is there a safety factor?) and what benefits/obligations are in place for shipowners who are in this program. Also, the sailors= if the ship goes to war, can they bail? Or are they drafted? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:05, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that radio and radar operators are not listed in the descriptions of crew. That's what I was looking for here. Could someone who knows about these positions possibly add it please? (talk) 15:18, 26 January 2011 (UTC) P.J.

Radio Operators are a largely dead trade, having been replaced by the GMDSS system. Sparkies, as they are known, still serve aboard Ready Reserve vessels, handling Navy traffic to and from the vessel. ASC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:45, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Furthermore, to add to my above comments, the article mentions Robert Kiyosaki claiming to have been a merchant mariner... This is fact, as it would have been impossible for him to have graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy without having served at least a year aboard US-flag Merchant Vessels in order to meet the requirements to acquire his license from the USCG. ASC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:54, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Reorganization (again)[edit]

There are a few comments at Talk:Merchant Navy about the structure of the Merchant Marine/Merchant Navy/Merchant Shipping articles, how they relate to each other, and where content should go. Feedback is requested. Thanks. Haus42 14:32, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Women at Sea[edit]

Can anyone add content about women at sea in today's U.S. Fleet? See "Changing Course," by Jeanne Marie Lutz for example? Fishdecoy 16:57, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

The US Merchant Marine Academy was the first Federal Academy to admit women (1974). They did it a year before the military academies. Vasa2 04:21, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but Maine Maritime Academy was the first maritime academy to admit women and the first Captain to serve in that capacity on an American merchantman graduated from there. (talk) 23:56, 30 July 2010 (UTC)grandcross

Archive most of this page[edit]

I think most of the issues brought up on this page have been dealt with, and it might be productive to archive them. Any feelings? Haus42 01:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Archive away. KAM 02:07, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I created the archive as per Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page. I think the (lonely) topic still on this page is still open. Cheers. Haus42 13:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

An Airport in Russia?[edit]

Just noticed that the following had been added to this article:

Is this airport in Russia's symbol notable enough in the English Wikipedia to be listed as a link at the top of this article's page? If consensus says no, I say remove. --Pesco 21:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Relationship with private sector[edit]

What incentives do private owners and operators have to become part of the Merchant Marine, rather than just operating as a non-affiliated private carrier? -- Beland (talk) 18:17, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, how does a ship become part of the Merchant Marine? It's not that every single ship that's owned by an American automatically is included, right? (talk) 03:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

U.S. Merchant Marine typically refers to ocean going merchant ships and unlimited tonnage officers and crew as they are directly able to support the government in sealift, but on this article we seem to include anyone with a USCG mariners license and that ship in operation to be apart of the USMM. This might need to be debated, as it seems more supported to just the unlimited tonnage U.S. mariners and ships. This is even supported more by the the official term that came about with the creation of the U.S. Maritime Service after WWI. I think what you are referring too in relation to private carriers becoming U.S. sealift assets. I'll have to look it up, but there is some federal regulation that benefits shipping companies who sign this, but also allows them to be used in time of national emergency voluntarily.--MarlinespikeMate (talk) 21:35, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

"Belated thank you..."[edit]

The bill in this section is in response to a situation regarding WWII merchant mariners. The bill is less important than the situation, which IMHO should be mentioned in the article: though many mm's died in the war, and though their service was harsh and dangerous, since they weren't part of the military, they didn't receive the recognition and benefits that their military counterparts did. They've been trying ever since to get some of it.

Somebody who knows the details ought to put this in the article. Lou Sander (talk) 22:38, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

US Merchant Marine?[edit]

The entire premise of this entry is false. There is no such organization as the "U.S. Merchant Marine," and I challenge anyone to find a Congressional authorization for the creation of an organization by this name. While there is a US Merchant Marine Academy, a merchant marine song, a merchant marine flag, a training cadre called the US Maritime Service, a Merchant Marine Reserve in the USN, and some merchant members can be considered veterans, there is no such organization as the US Merchant Marine. The basic flaw is this: "merchant marine" is a strategic conceptualization of a nation's shipping for strategic purposes in both peace and war. Not a service, but an IDEA. If you don't agree, consider this: how many American service personnel belong to labor unions? None of which I am aware. Joshandjea (talk) 20:58, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Joshandjea It is recognized by federal organizations. See — Preceding unsigned comment added by MarlinespikeMate (talkcontribs) 01:42, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
Read the first sentence. HausTalk 21:13, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Congressional Medal of Honor??[edit]

What's the purpose of listing the CMOH recipients that at one time were Merchant Mariners?? They were not in the USMM at the time they performed the act that earned them the CMOH, nor when they were awarded it. So where's the connection? I might as well go to the Chevrolet or Ford article and list all the CMOH recipients that *at some time* owned, or at least drove in, a Chevy or Ford. Jeesh. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't see this on the page. Was it edited out or are you erroneously referring to the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal?--MarlinespikeMate (talk) 02:01, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
It's just "Medal of Honor" (MOH), btw... - theWOLFchild 04:29, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Specify academy's location[edit]

I read the entire section on the US Merchant Marine Academy and had to click-through to find out where it's located (King's Point, NY). Someone who won't be reverted should add that into the description. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Training Section[edit]

Hello all,

I have added a training section where the USMMA use to be for better organization. I have moved some text relating to training into this section, and have also added the state maritime academies and deleted some frivolous USMMA information that is better served on that specific page. I hope others will help structure and organize this page better.--MarlinespikeMate (talk) 01:46, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

Im thinking a section about the general structure of the USMM should be considered? Any thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by MarlinespikeMate (talkcontribs) 01:59, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

I also think differentiating between limited and unlimited tonnage licensing would be crucial in this section as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MarlinespikeMate (talkcontribs) 02:09, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

Fictional accounts[edit]

This is just a bloated 'in pop culture' section that needs some attention. And weeding. - theWOLFchild 04:31, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

I agree. I believe only prominent accounts should be mentioned, with citations.--MarlinespikeMate (talk) 06:17, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm thinking that all the fictional accounts that are not directly about USMM or have a very strong correlation should be scrubbed. Specifically the television section. I don't know if a character mentioning that they were once a merchant sailor warrants being included. However, if this detail is critical to the story line or continuously occurring, then it could stay (McHales Navy for example.)--MarlinespikeMate (talk) 17:01, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Are Limited Tonnage Mariners considered "Merchant Marines"?[edit]

I added the limited tonnage section under training awhile back, but now am reconsidering this addition. The term Merchant Marine, as described by the U.S. Navy is as follows: "The Merchant Marines lead civilian ships used to transport both imports and exports during peacetime and serves as an auxiliary to the Navy during times of war, delivering both troops and supplies." This seems to by synonymous with ocean going AGT (any gross tonnage) licensed mariners and associated ships (i.e. Unlimited Tonnage), but not necessarily limited tonnage mariners. The definition also seems to hold the term "imports and exports", which is not covered by limited tonnage mariners. The Navy also says "The Merchant Marines predate both the U.S. Coast Guard (1790) and the U.S. Navy (1797). In times of war, Merchant Marine Officers may be designated as military Officers by the Department of Defense." This would not be true to limited tonnage mariners.MarlinespikeMate (talk) 03:54, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

As other "talkers" have mentioned, while the "Merchant Marine" is readily understood as a "thing," roughly like a civilian Navy, because it's a fuzzy "thing" that crosses several statutory and organizational boundaries this article is important to helping understand just what the "thing" is.

Is it a "uniformed service"? Not by statute. Is it an "auxiliary of the Navy"? Maybe, but only those parts covered by VISA and other agreements to use existing US-flagged vessels...and presumably their crews...the rest of the US-flagged merchant fleet would either have to be brought into one of the existing agreements, or some other form of "taking" by the Government in extreme crisis would have to take place..."eminent domain" of the Sea. Is it a strategic asset, included in various war planning at the highest levels of the US Govt? Yes, of course, as part of the Total Force construct and national infrastructure strategies. Are all of the crewmen aboard every US-flagged vessels truly eligible to serve US interests during a war? Hopefully, the vetting process keeps non-desirables off the vessels, but at least those looped into the VISA and other programs should be. And the discussion about whether limited tonnage mariners are eligible to be designated as military officers by the DoD is missing something: the license designating limited or unlimited and various other categories of tonnage, et al., is not the controlling is whether they have a commission at all as a US Uniformed Services officer (Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, Coast Guard, NOAA, PHS). There are no other commissions relevant. Any limited tonnage mariner plying his trade could indeed be commissioned as an officer in any branch of the Uniformed Services already. Whether they would be mobilized, and continue to ply their trade as a limited licensee while simultaneously subject to global deployment as a commissioned officer is a different issue. Certainly a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, for instance, must maintain their license for the first 6 years after graduation. AND they will remain a commissioned officer in one of the various uniformed services for 8 years. Thus, it is easily conceivable that such a marine may drop their unlimited tonnage license in favor of limited, etc., licenses, while still serving in the uniformed services as an officer. Must those two things be simultaneous? No. Such a person could continue to serve, for example, in the Navy or Coast Guard Reserve for a 20+ year career, all the while holding both an officer's commission AND some form of mariner's license, whether unlimited, limited, etc. They might be mobilized under their officer's status and perform completely unrelated duties around the world ashore. Or, perhaps the Coast Guard Reserve might mobilize such an individual to instruct others, or perform as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard a cutter, or just to place a limited tonnage mariner under Military jurisdiction for harbor duties, or anywhere else a limited tonnage mariner may work. The military requirement to mobilize a reserve or retired servicemember should not be conflated to equal their status as might be the same. It might be somewhat overlapping. It might be completely unrelated. 2602:306:BD6E:CBE0:AD94:9D7D:139B:8892 (talk) 04:54, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

″The license designating limited or unlimited and various other categories of tonnage, et al., is not the controlling factor″ I would disagree, and argue the specific program that USMMA and state academy SSOP unlimited tonnage licensed mariners commission into is the Navy's 1665 reserve designator Strategic Sealift Officer with an AQD of T3D or T3E for deck or engineering officers, which specifically and exactly links the unlimited tonnage license with a billet and qualification in the military. Before 2011, this program was called the Merchant Marine Reserves as far back as before WWII. The first warfare insignia of the Navy was the Merchant Marine Reserve pin, further linking the unlimited tonnage officer's license with the title. The 'AND remain a commissioned officer in one of uniformed services' is a side bar to get around sailing and using your license and not paying back the grant that supported the education and training. What does all this have to due with the title "Merchant Marine"? I think more so than one would think when we consider the history and context of the names use. The name historically revolves around the conglomerate of entities you refer too that entail the movement of essential supplies across the ocean in support of war or continually in piece time in support of the country in a broad and diverse sense. I think linking the name to historical context is critical is this articals description, which is why I bring up the limited tonnage discussion.MarlinespikeMate (talk) 03:06, 18 February 2017 (UTC)