The Warrant Officer specialty of Marine Safety Specialist Engineering (MSSE) is in the normal path of appointment for Coast Guard personnel serving in the Damage Controlman (DC), Electrician’s Mate (EM), or Machinery Technician (MK) ratings. Generally speaking, MSSE Warrants serve in one of two operational roles: Marine Inspector and Investigating Officer.

As Marine Inspectors, they examine and inspect commercial vessels’ main propulsion equipment and auxiliary machinery (emergency generators, steering gear, air compressors/receivers, evaporators, bilge systems, fire alarms and sprinklers, electrical systems, etc.). Similar to Marine Safety Specialist Deck (MSSD) Warrant Officers, MSSEs analyze the construction plans for new vessels and repair of existing vessels to ensure they conform to all applicable regulations as well as to industry standards.

MSSE Warrant Officers also carry out vessel examinations in dry dock, verifying that structural repairs (welding, wood and fiberglass replacement or repairs) are performed correctly (with special attention to watertight integrity) and check other equipment such as propellers and tail shafts, thrusters (bow and stern), sea chests, valves, and so on. Equipment that falls under their purview includes but is not limited to lifesaving and firefighting gear, bridge equipment and navigational tools, and ground tackle.

Because their oversight includes foreign and domestic small passenger vessels as well as industrial container vessels such as oil and gas/chemical barges, deep draft tankers, mobile offshore drill units, and offshore supply vessels, MSSE Warrants must possess extensive knowledge of complicated federal regulations and statutes, as well as the details of international treaties.

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