National Radio Officer
Renewal Period: 5 years
The National Radio Officer helps to monitor and keep track of the communications aspect in a ship and is responsible for all of the cruise ship’s radio and other communications, including satellite hookups, Marisat communications, faxes and telegraph. Radio officers receive regular reports about the weather in the oceanic and sea areas where the ship is positioned. They are an integral part of the merchant marine, cruising ships, and drilling platforms and oversee the emergency boats and life vests. Modern ships comply with Global Maritime Distress (GMDSS) communication standards, which no longer require that a radio officer is aboard all ships when they sail. Candidates must meet a minimum sea service, training, and exam requirement.
More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.
National Radio Officer
Eligibility Requirements (View Details)
- Credential Prerequisite
- Experience: varies
- Training: First Aid / CPR, Advanced Firefighting
Note: This credential may have multiple options for a Service member to meet eligibility requirements. Requirements listed here are based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.
Exam Administration (View Details)
- In-person exam
- Remote proctored on-line exam
- Third-party test vendor
Renewal Period: 5 years
- Continuing Education
- Continuing Education OR Exam
Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:
- Must present a current 1st or 2nd Class Radiotelegraph Operator license issued by the FCC***; AND
The applicant MUST enter on the endorsement application form the following information:
- FCC license number
- Date of issuance of FCC license
Applicants for the Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) must meet the listed general requirements:
- Meet the credential age requirement.
- Submit evidence of holding or having applied for Transportation Working Identification Card (TWIC) from TSA.
- Submit completed MMC Application CG-Form 719B.
- Must submit evidence of appropriate Sea Service as required. Military sea service may be counted towards the sea service required to become a mariner. This military sea service is only part of the MMC evaluation. Documentation is key and must be submitted with the MMC application package to a Regional Exam Center.
- Provide photocopies the front and the back of all relevant Training Course Certificate(s) and Certifications.
- Submit CG Form- 719C Disclosure Statement for Narcotics, DWI/DUI, and/or other convictions as applicable.
- Provide proof of passing the appropriate vision, hearing, medical, or physical exam, documented on CG Form-719K or CG-719K/E.
- Provide evidence of passing a DOT/USCG periodic drug test on CG From- 719P.
- Submit evaluation, exam and issuance Fees as applicable.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) National Maritime Center (NMC) awards credentials to fully qualified mariners to assure a safe, secure, economically viable and environmentally sound Marine Transportation System. There are generally two types of mariner credentials: National and International, and they are awarded in two primary operational departments, Deck and Engine. However, before any mariner credential is awarded, applicants must first attain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
The International credentials are governed in compliance with Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW). These international standards (STCW) were first developed in 1978 when the international maritime community realized that human factors played a dominant role in the prevention of marine casualties. The last major revision to the international STCW Convention and Code were adopted in 2010 in Manila, Philippines and took effect on 1 Jan 2012.
General Application Requirements include drug test compliance, medical screening, First Aid and CPR certificates of training, and firefighting training. In addition to the general application requirements, the primary data elements that NMC evaluators need from military mariner applicants to assess their experience and suitability for National or STCW level credentials are Military Sea Service history and Vessel Information as described below:
MILITARY SEA SERVICE
Military sea service experience must be a reasonable equivalent to the service required of a merchant mariner who is seeking an identical license. Evaluations of military sea service require submission of a Transcript of Sea Service (TOSS) or a Sea Service Letter. Each service has a slightly different version of their Sea Service letter; this example shows U.S. Navy Sea Service Letter requirements. U.S. Army applicants can request a copy of their Sea Service history through the Sea Pay system.
NMC Regional Examination Centers may also require an official description of duties statement, letters of qualification, service record entries, or letters from former supervisors or commanding officers as well. Specific details about sea service requirements for the various different credentials can be found in 46 CFR Part 10 - Merchant Mariner Credential, and 46 CFR Part 12 - Requirements for Rating Endorsements. Additional details related to criteria for accepting military sea experience can be obtained from the Marine Safety Manual-Vol III, and Section 3 of the Military File Evaluation Manual.
Each Service also has corresponding vessel information.
U.S. Navy applicants can reference this U.S. Navy Vessel Information chart for details on Ship Type, Name, Hull number, Ship Class, GRI ITC Tonnage, GRT Tonnage, Horsepower, and Propulsion Type when completing their Sea Service Letter.
U.S. Army applicant’s Vessel information will be included in the Sea Pay letter they request for military sea service history.
Requirements for renewal:
- The applicant must either—
- Present evidence of at least 1 year of sea service during the past 5 years;
- Pass a comprehensive, open-book exercise covering the general subject matter as appropriate to the credential;
- Complete an approved refresher training course;
- Provide evidence of employment as a qualified instructor or in a position closely related to the credential.
- A credential may be renewed at any time during its validity and for 1 year after expiration.
There are no professional requirements for renewal for the following endorsements:
- Ordinary seaman, Wiper, Steward's department, Steward's department (F.H.).
- Cadet, Student observer, Apprentice engineer, Apprentice mate.
- Person in charge of medical care, Medical first-aid provider.
- GMDSS at-sea maintainer, GMDSS operator.
Certain STCW endorsements must complete approved refresher or revalidation training.