Marine Safety Specialist Deck (MSSD) is one of several Chief Warrant Officer specialties open to Coast Guard personnel serving in the Marine Safety Technician (MST) rating; Aviation Survival Technicians and Boatswain's Mates personnel are also eligible. After receiving their appointment as MSSD Chief Warrant Officers 2, Guardsmen have to attend the Coast Guard’s Chief Warrant Officer Professional Development course within twelve months of being commissioned.

A major component of a MSSD’s responsibilities is conducting inspections and examinations of vessels as part of the Guard’s mission to oversee federal laws and regulations as well as international treaties. Their purview is essentially stem to stern—they inspect lifesaving and firefighting equipment, check for watertight integrity, test bridge equipment including navigational devices, and evaluate the condition of anchor windlasses and similar ground tackle, to name just a few areas that . They must also be well-versed in engineering technology as they inspect (and investigate any issues related to) propulsion equipment and a host of other systems integral to ship performance.

In fact, the scope of the MSSD’s work extends even to vessels yet to be christened—they review construction designs and plans with an eye to ensuring that new craft (and those being repaired) conform not only with federal regulations but also industry standards. Because they deal with both foreign and domestic small passenger ships, barges carrying fuel and chemicals, and deep-draft tankers, MSSDs can expect to interact with a wide variety of maritime workers and officials at the local, state, federal, and international level.

When the MSSD specialty was established, its insignia was a trident rising through a wave (that now serves as the insignia for the Marine Safety Specialist Response specialty). It was replaced by a life ring placed atop a fouled anchor in 2015.

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