Sunday, February 08, 2009

It's Like The Navy Without The Navy Stuff

Life aboard a Military Sealift Command ship.

ABOARD THE USNS ROBERT E. PEARY — Life is very different on this side of the unrep.

The crew members are mostly civilians, with an average age of 48. They get overtime pay — when necessary — and are guaranteed a minimum of two hours’ worth any time they’re called back. And when the workday is done, everyone goes home. Sort of.

“Home,” aboard a 41,000-ton Military Sealift Command fleet support ship, is a stateroom for every crew member. That includes even the greenest newcomer.

The features are beyond cushy for sailors used to the USS life: MSC mariners have reclining easy chairs, carpets, their own plasma TVs, and Xbox 360s rigged up on their ship’s intranet for after-hours “Halo.”

For Navy sailors looking to transition to the MSC, the ideal fits are those who enjoy going to sea but don’t like the military aspect of Navy life, Melow said. If a sailor or an officer wanted to join MSC after getting out of the Navy, he must start with his DD-214.

Once people are in, there is no rigid command structure aboard, and no uniforms — sweatshirts, scraggly beards and long hair are all common. Mariners call each other by their first names. Navy people coming aboard could expect a corporate culture, as opposed to a military culture, if they decided to cross over, Toscano said.

Here's a pic of a typical crew cabin onboard the Peary:

1 comment:

Xavier said...

Lord! Is that the Skipper's quarters?