COAST GUARD MARINE SAFETY BADGE

The United States Coast Guard’s mandate understandably results in a myriad of different types of operations, from search-and-rescue missions to drug and migrant interdiction and maritime security patrols. And Marine Safety has been one of its overarching concerns since its inception in 1915—so much so that it could almost be considered a cornerstone of the organization’s foundations. But it was not until November, 2000 that an insignia was authorized to recognize Coast Guard personnel whose levels of experience and knowledge in the Marine Safety Program were an inspiration for everyone working on the Marine Safety mission.

In addition to enlisted personnel (paygrade E4 and higher) and officers serving in the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve, the Marine Safety Badge is awarded to members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and to civilian employees of the Coast Guard who meet the eligibility requirements. These fall into two basic categories—qualifying experiences and qualifying competencies—that go hand-in-hand.

The Marine Safety Badge is awarded on a temporary basis to Coast Guard personnel who have received a permanent assignment to a billet of qualifying experience if, during that assignment, they attain four qualifying competencies from a certified issuing authority. There are fourteen classes of Qualifying Experiences, but the most important aspect of this component of qualification is that the billet must have direct, regular involvement in Marine Safety operations. (This determination is made by the commanding officer.)

There are three dozen qualifying competencies comprising eight classifications, ranging from a dozen competencies in Domestic Vessels to just two in Mariner Credentialing. Note that while Coast Guard personnel might achieve those four competencies while assigned to a qualifying experience, they are not allowed to wear the Badge after leaving that assignment (though they may wear it again if they are assigned to another qualifying experience). Permanent wear of the badge is allowed only after five years of service in qualifying experiences and the requisite number of competencies.
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