My Coast Guard

DC, EM, ET, MK ratings: Learn about the new sea time requirements

By PA2 Brian McCrum


The Coast Guard has updated the requirements to advance within four ratings: damage controlman, electrician’s mate, electronics technician and machinery technician.

The policy ensures that petty officers have experience within their rating while on land, and also while at sea. 

Members will need one year of sea time in their particular rating to be eligible for E-6. And for eligibility to E-7, the member must have 36 months of rated sea time.

“Every cutterman deserves a trained leader,” said Cmdr. Jeffery Rasnake, deputy office chief for the Office of Cutter Forces. “These new sea duty requirements will lead to more experienced members being assigned to leadership and highly technical afloat positions. These members serve as individual qualification program qualifiers, exercise evaluators, instructors, mentors, or members of an Onboard Training Teams and are the key to developing our junior members.”
The new standards go into effect Feb. 1, 2023 to meet requirements for the May 2023 service-wide exam.

“The goal is generally just having confident and competent members within their ratings knowing the shipboard technical fundamentals that you receive from multiple tours underway,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Daniel Webster, the electrician’s mate rating force master chief.

Old requirements for each rating

Pay Grade Ratings Minimum Sea Time
E-6 MK 12 months in any rating or pay grade
E-6 DC/EM 12 months in designated rating in any pay grade
E-7 DC/MK/ET 18 months in designated rating (including legacy FT) in any pay grade
E-7 EM 24 months in designated rating in any pay grade




New requirements for each rating

Pay Grade Ratings     Minimum Sea Time
E-6 DC/EM/MK/ET 12 months in designated rating in any pay grade
E-7 DC/EM/MK/ET 36 months in designated rating in any pay grade