1Strategic Sealift Officer (formerly MMR Officer) LTJG Joseph BeckerLTJG Gerin ChoiniereAlso on Facebook!
2Briefing Overview/Aims SSO(MMR) ProgramProgram Expectations/RequirementsActive and Reserve Duty OptionsCareer Management and ProgressionThe Point SystemNavy BenefitsUseful LinksQ & A’s
3SSO(MMR) Program“To maintain in the U.S. Navy Reserve an organization of Merchant Marine officers, composed of a corps of actively sailing members who are trained to operate merchant ships as Naval auxiliaries, and a shore side cadre assigned to Naval activities that support strategic sealift readiness.~OPNAVINST C”This year will see the implementation of Strategic Sealift Readiness Detachments (SSRDs). SSRDs will be positioned at various NOSCs across the country and will serve as your initial POC, while passing word from the Program Office.Pictured is the Program Office Staff from Fall 2010; Center is LCDR Aaron Asim.The Program Office is based at CNRFC in Norfolk VA and consists of 6 cubicles within the commandThe Program is very unique among Reserve Forces as the bulk of it’s personnel are considered Active Reservists in the IRR, but have responsibilities and privledges normally designated for Sel-Res personnel.
4SSO Program - What to know… The SSO Program is a community within the Navy Reserve; You are a Naval Officer first and foremostThe Program Office is essentially a middle man between you and the Navy Reserve. It provides community management, is a POC for execution of orders, while providing qualified Reserve personnel to the Active ComponentYour career as a Naval Officer is YOUR responsibility not the Program Office’s; You will get out of your career what you put into itThere are 3 Calendars you must understand:Navy Fiscal Year (FY)Calendar Year (CY)YOUR Anniversary Calendar (AY)One of the biggest issues faced by MMIRRG is being able to distinguish their duties as a Merchant Mariner from that of a Naval Officer.Your Anniversary year generally commences on the day you commission through the following year, for example if you commission May 5th 2011, your anniversary date is May 5th. This date is than used to determine when you are promoted to subsequent ranks and dictates your seniority within your YG.As an SSO you posses a very unique skill set; primarily to move men and material in times of war or emergency. Like SWO’s, Aviators, Submariners, SEALs, FMF Officers, Sea Bees, etc. your warfare pin identifies your skill set. However, It does not exempt you from being a capable Naval Officer.
5Program Expectations/Requirements Complete at least one ADT per FY; if you cannot complete an ADT you must request a waiver from the Program Office. Without either, there will be a gap within your service recordMaintain an active license (s) for Unlimited Tonnage VesselsSend in your Annual Report to the Program Office by 01 MarchMaintain an annual PHA and Dental examinationDo not confuse your MARAD obligation for your Navy one; This brief does not address those requirements set by MARADLicenses for Continuity purposes do not meet the requirement; you must hold an active licenseThe Program Office maintains an active database of member’s activity and reporting historyA PHA must be conducted by a DoD facility (NOSC, MEPS, MTF, etc.)
6Active Duty for Training (ADT) -ADTs are generally day evolutions designed to promote operational readiness and training for the reserve component-Performance is Mandatory; but location and duty is optional (to a point)-One of the few times where you will receive a FITREP-Diverse assignments and locations are preferred-You are required to perform At least 1 ADT per Fiscal year; you are responsible for managing your points towards your AY-Second ADT’s can be authorized after 31 March, take advantage!Examples of ADT’s include, but are not limited to, duty with:MSCMARADCNRFCGMATSAny Support of Strategic SealiftADTs are crucial in maintaining operational readiness and promoting YOUR career developmentUnless authorized, you cannot perform the same ADT in consecutive years.Different locations and assignments will strengthen your career and are favored among selection boards.
7Reserve Status Options Merchant Marine Individual Ready Reserve Group (MMIRRG): IRR. But considered in an active status. About 80% of SSO’s are members of this Group. MMIRRGs are essentially “free agents” and can pick and choose their ADT’s.Select Reserve (SELRES): Are organized units of the Navy Reserve. They drill once per month and usually perform AT as a unit. Officers assigned to these units hold billets and generally incur an obligation as a drilling reservist. They earn pay and accumulate points for their drills and are also eligible for greater benefits. Affiliation to the SELRES can only be done through a recruiter and ascension is based on the needs of the service. About 10% of SSOs are members of SELRES units.Volunteer Training Unit (VTU): Is similar to a SELRES unit, as you earn points for drilling however, there is no monetary compensation for drills, and VTUs don’t actively prepare to mobilize in the manner which a SELRES does. As a VTU member, your ADT’s are not funded by the MMR Program Office. Conversely you are not guaranteed MMIRRG ADT funds. Roughly 10% of SSO’s are VTU members.ALL SSO’s are members of the MMIRRG upon commissioning. Sel Res affiliation is voluntary. While the MMIRRG is designed for actively sailing officers, the Sel Res and VTU are ideal for shore side members.Sel Res affiliations vary by NOSC and can be difficult. In addition, once selected you cannot simply quit if it doesn’t work out. Transferring from the MMIRRG to the Sel Res and back to the MMIRRG is not guaranteed, especially if you have poor Evals.While there are 120 coded MMR billets in the Sel Res, an SSO can hold a non-coded billet provided it is a 1XXX series billet. MEANING. the billet you hold in the Sel Res may NOT be necessarily related to your civilian training as a Merchant Marine Officer.The VTU is a great way for a more Junior SSO to gain experience and bolster his/her resume for Sel Res affiliation. It is also great in maintaining readiness as you have regular access to a NOSC.
8Active Duty OptionsActive Duty Training- <29 Days (unless authorized) per year, ADT’s are a requirement of program complianceActive Duty for Special Work (ADSW)- Are short term tours of active duty to augment exercises, contingency operations, etc. They differ greatly in location and type of assignment. Performance is voluntary and can be selective.Individual Augmentee/Mobilization- Can be Voluntary/In-voluntary, tours of Active Duty (up to 365 days) Most are overseas and directly support the GWOT. Note: to be re-called from the IRR requires an act of congress; to date NO Officers from the MMIRRG have been In-voluntarily mobilized; Sel-Res officers have howeverActive Duty Re-Call- Generally 2-3 year tour, once completed you return to previous status (Sel-Res/IRR) Recalls include the Program Manager and Sponsor Positions, as well as select recruiting billets.Active Duty/Full Time Support (FTS)- Often requires re-designation and is very competitive. There is no guarantee of selection and opportunities are strictly based on the needs of the service. Though FTS officers are technically reservists, they are AD for all intents and purposes.Once you complete 90 days of CONSECUTIVE AD, you qualify for a DD-214. A DD-214 qualifies you for certain veterans benefits.In order to be qualified for an IA/MOB tour you need to have at least 84 aggregate days of AD, you cannot simply volunteer to Mobilize.AD Re-calls, Re Designation often require a selection board and can be extremely competitive, there is no guarantee of selection .In addition, the criteria for selection changes with each selection board; selection criteria is dictated by the needs of the NavyFTS personnel run NOSCs, CNRFC and man the Program Office.
9The Point SystemAll Reserve participation is recognized by the issuance of points. Points accumulation is crucial for remaining in good standing, and ultimately being able to retire.You MUST attain 27 points per year to remain in the Reserves.To achieve a “Qualifying Year” towards retirement you must attain at least 50 points in your anniversary year; Points CANNOT be rolled over between yearsYou must have at least 20 Good years to retire and earn a pensionPoints can be earned in a number of ways:-15 points are gratuitous for Reserve Membership-1 point is awarded for every day of Active Duty served-1 point is awarded for every 4 hours served while in a drilling status (SELRES, VTU,IDT)-Correspondence courses offered on NKO and thru NETC-35 Points are awarded for a license renewal or upgrade with a STCW endorsement. Your initial license COUNTS for points, thus your first year is automatically a good year!-1 point is awarded for every 4 hours of an STCW course, up to 5 points can be awarded for Non-STCW courses per yearAll Courses are awarded on the DATE which the course certificate indicates, NOT when it is submitted to NPC or the Program OfficeKeep track of your points! Be sure to keep copies of your course certificates and NEVER send an original course certificate to NPCAll Courses are awarded on the DATE which the course certificate indicates, NOT when it is submitted to NPC or the Program OfficeONLY License specific courses should be sent to the Program Office for redemption, Any Navy course should be submitted directly to NPC/PERSHaving good years is crucial in maintaining your status in the Reserves; The number of good years you complete reflects positively on your commitment to the Navy, while adding to your retirement eligibility
10CAREER MANAGEMENT/PROGRESSION Merchant Marine Officer MMIRRG & SELRES Career Progression OverlayENS-LT: Annual AT/ADT, stay compliant with MMR requirementsLCDR AssignmentsCDR AssignmentsCAPT AssignmentsMasters Degree, JPMESELRESDHOPNAV N42E MMR Program SponsorUNIT CO, XOTraining OfficerCNRFC N14 MMR Program ManagerUnit CO, OIC for RegionMMIRRG2M/2AEShipboard SupportCM/1AEExercise Support, Board ExperienceMaster/CHENGSEALOG OIC, MMIRRG InstructorVolunteer for ADSW, Mobilization, Individual Augmentee, Recall, Extended ADT, Multiple ADTCAREER PROGRESSIONThe Merchant Marine Reserve (MMR) has many officers with diverse skill sets. There are two typical MMR officer career progression paths: One for the officers that actively sail in the Merchant Marine (seen in blue above) and those that work shore side, typically in a civilian or government position which requires maritime expertise (seen in yellow blocks above). Sometimes, the MMR officers cross these paths for personal and/or professional reasons.The two groups within the MMR Program are:The Merchant Marine Individual Ready Reserve Group (MMIRRG)-The MMIRRG is the only actively managed and funded IRR program in the Navy Reserve with a Mission. They are reservists authorized to drill, and are in a very specific and managed RUIC of the Active Status Pool (ASP). The MMIRRG was developed to meet the needs of the Merchant Marine Reservists who can not meet standard drilling requirements due to their extended sea service which sometimes lasts over a year.The SELRES and VTU-This group is your standard reservist who must meet the same requirements as any other drilling reservist. MMR are often in VTU units due to the scarcity of available MMR hard coded SELRES billets. For the MMR, being in the VTU should not be viewed negatively.MMIRRG officers provide a guaranteed source of licensed emergency crew via military recall. MMR officers can also serve in SELRES billets to meet maritime expertise requirements using unique skill sets. MMR officers are familiar with Military Sealift operations. The MMR program has a corpus of sailing officers with experience in the U.S. Merchant Marine who are qualified to carry out operations effectively, in concert with U.S. Naval Forces.The main thing to note is that a sailing officer will probably be in the MMIRRG and should obtain an advanced United States Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officers license. For instance, after sailing on the high seas for over a year, an officer can upgrade his license to a 2nd mate or 2nd assistant engineer.On the other hand, if the officer has been working ashore, then participation in the SELRES or VTU is favorable. Not only do shore side jobs allow for SELRES participation, but also allows for time to obtain a masters degree and Joint Military Professional Education (JPME).A senior MMR officer’s career path should reflect duty in billets of increasing complexity, professional development, and leadership responsibility.LCDRJunior officers’ success should be evaluated on, among other things, demonstrated professional performance and qualifications obtained during the officer’s initial tour. Specific qualifications, certifications, and licenses vary. Consistent participation and continued superior performance adds value to the Navy and is what makes MMR reservists important as mobilization-ready assets.CDRAt this point in their careers, SELRES MMR officers are typically filling Department Head positions and also serving as detachment OIC within Reserve units. Following completion of a department head position, the top performing SELRES MMR Commanders are picked for Unit CO jobs.Quality MMIRRG officers should be performing annual training above and beyond the minimum Navy requirements.There are two competitive recall opportunities that provide the highest leadership and most challenging positions in the MMR Community and are considered MMR MILESTONE billets. These billets have been filled by both well-qualified SELRES and MMIRRG officers; the two positions are:MMR Program Sponsor at OPNAV N42E (O-5 MMR officer)MMR Program Manager at CNRFC N14 (O-4 MMR officer)Consistent participation and continued superior performance that adds value to the Navy is what makes MMR reservists important as mobilization-ready assets.CAPTAt this point in their careers, top performing SELRES MMR officers have usually completed their operational command or ashore command tours. Many continue to work for the Program Sponsor on the OPNAV staff, USTRANSCOM or MSC. Professional diversity is also important and can be measured through sub-specialties and advanced degrees.Quality MMIRRG officers perform annual training above and beyond the minimum Navy requirements.MMR MILESTONE BILLETS: Program Sponsor-OPNAV N42E, Program Manager-CNRFC N14, MMROCH CO, SSRD OIC*APPLY BoardMMIRRG= Merchant Marine Individual Ready Reserve Group*MMR should be sailing in the first 5 years after commissioning unless receiving waivers or on active duty (USMMA and SIP graduates only). Those MMR who are not required to sail are encouraged to be in the SELRES or VTU.10
11After Commissioning…. Take a deep breathe and relax You will be assigned to a Strategic Sealift Readiness Detachment (SSRD). SSRD’s are positioned at various NOSC’s they will serve as your initial POC and pass on word from the Program OfficeSign Up for your First ADT: The Post Commissioning Indoctrination Course**This Course is run by The Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) at Kings Point and held at NOSC San DiegoGMATS is run by Kings Point; They are a Government organization, however since they receive no direct funding to run ADT’s their structure is similar to the college’s continuing education department. Courses are first come first serve, if a course doesn’t meet the requisite number of students it may be cancelledThe course is currently held at NOSC San DiegoWhen you sign up for the Course Do Not Cancel on short notice and without just cause; it will be difficult to re-scheduleThe course is more of an orientation than an indoctrination, the atmosphere is casual with emphasis on learning about the Navy Reserves, the SSO program and your responsibilities. You will be required to pay the tuition for the course, you WILL be reimbursed at the conclusion of the course, in addition to your Reserve PayIt is imperative you take this course; you will not be able to perform additional ADTs without it and it is very difficult to obtain a CAC card if you haven't (your CAC and reader will be issued to you at the course)
12Navy Benefits and Links SITES:BUPERS: https://www.bol.navy.mil/NSIPS: https://nsips.nmci.navy.mil/NKO: https://wwwa.nko.navy.mil/NPC:Navy Reserve Website: https://www.navyreserve.navy.mil/My Pay: https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspxMilitary One Source:BENEFITS:- Post 9/11 GI BILL (Must have at least 90 days of AD to qualify)- Exchange/Commissary Use (Online Exchange as well)- TRI CARE DentalProgram Office Staff:PHONE:FAX:
13Advice…Unlike being a MIDN, no one is there everyday telling you what to do or not do. Your participation in the Reserves is strictly your responsibility and desire; no one will call you out for non-participation, ultimately you will simply be discharged. Bottom line your commission is what you make of it!Have a Credit Card with a zero balance and limit of at least $1,000 for ADTs; while on ADT you must be financially independent!!After completing 14 days of ADT you are eligible for a one time uniform allotment of $400, YOU MUST REQUEST IT!!Get yourself a set of NWU’s; Maintain a pair of CNT/Polywool khakis and SDB’sBe patient; Remember “At the speed of government”