COAST GUARD/DEFENSE/DHS/JOBS/MILITARY/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDERS/VETS: “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to promote employment opportunities for United States military veterans while growing the cadre of trained United States mariners available to meet United States requirements for national and economic security, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to support practices and programs that ensure that members of the United States Armed Forces receive appropriate credit for their military training and experience, upon request, toward credentialing requirements as a merchant mariner. It is further the policy of the United States to establish and maintain an effective merchant marine program by providing sufficient support and resources to active duty and separating service members who pursue or possess merchant mariner credentials.

A robust merchant marine is vital to the national and economic security of the United States. Credentialed United States merchant mariners support domestic and international trade, are critical for strategic defensive and offensive military sealift operations, and bring added expertise to Federal vessel operations. Unfortunately, the United States faces a shortage of qualified merchant mariners. As our strategic competitors expand their global footprint, the United States must retain its ability to project and sustain forces globally. This capability requires a sufficient corps of credentialed merchant mariners available to crew the necessary sealift fleet. Attracting additional trained and credentialed mariners, particularly from active duty service members and military veterans, will support United States national security requirements and provide meaningful, well-paying jobs to United States veterans…

To support merchant mariner credentialing and the maintenance of such credentials, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, with respect to the applicable services in their respective departments, and in coordination with one another and with the United States Committee on the Marine Transportation System, shall, consistent with applicable law:

(i) Within 1 year from the date of this order, identify all military training and experience within the applicable service that may qualify for merchant mariner credentialing, and submit a list of all identified military training and experience to the United States Coast Guard National Maritime Center for a determination of whether such training and experience counts for credentialing purposes;

(ii) With respect to National Maritime Center license evaluation, issuance, and examination, take all necessary and appropriate actions to provide for the waiver of fees for active duty service members, if a waiver is authorized and appropriate, and, if a waiver is not granted, take all necessary and appropriate actions to provide for the payment of fees for active duty service members by the applicable service to the fullest extent permitted by law…

-Donald Trump, “Executive Order on Supporting the Transition of Active Duty Service Members and Military Veterans into the Merchant Marine,” whitehouse.gov, Mar. 4, 2019

[Note: Read the full Executive Order signed by Donald Trump.]