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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 6, 2022

Calling all engineers! The Coast Guard's Military to Mariner program has a new engineering credential course

By Cmdr. Jennifer Wescott, lead of Military to Mariner program

United States Coast Guard service members receive some of the best maritime training in the world and gain the valuable experience at sea that is needed to obtain Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credentials. The Military to Mariner (M2M) program continues to provide assistance to active duty, reserve, and veterans in translating their experience serving into credentialing for civilian life. Each month, dozens of members apply for merchant mariner credentials and the M2M program is there to support them. 

This month, the M2M program is excited to announce the newest National Maritime Center approved course, Qualified Member of Engine Department (QMED) for the engineering workforce. The QMED course will satisfy the requirements and exams for all five types of QMED endorsed ratings. The QMED course is for chief warrant officers and engineering officers who have been assigned to or are currently serving on a Coast Guard cutter, as well as enlisted damage controlmen (DC), electrician mates (EM), and machinery technician (MK) A-school graduates. Additionally, the engineer will need to be basic damage control qualified and complete the engineering watch station qualification standard (WQS), an addendum qualification. 

Much like the M2M deck courses, the WQS Addendum is voluntary. The qualification sign-offs require reading of six engineering study guides and completing the relATED sign-offs. The study guides may be a review for certain ratings but certainly covers a variety of topics required for the end of course examination. To note, most service members will only have limited knowledge on steam subjects. Any E5 and above identified as a WQS evaluator may sign-off tasks as long as they have the knowledge and understanding of the systems. 

Participation in the QMED course can save engineers around $4,000 for specific types of QMED courses. It preserves access to the Voluntary Credentialing Program’s Credentialing Assistance funds of up to $4,500 per fiscal year toward credentials. Also, QMED course can be completed at a member’s unit and the exam is delivered via the LMS by the member’s Education Services Officer. 

If you are interested in the QMED course, the credentialing process, or have any questions, you can contact Military to Mariner program at