The Chief Warrant Officer specialty of Marine Safety Specialist Response was created by Commandant of the United States Coast Guard Robert J. Papp Jr. in October 2013, who simultaneously established the specialty’s first billets (17 active-duty and 17 reserve). It was one of several specialties involving Marine Safety that were introduced based in part on a study by the Arlington-based nonprofit research and analysis group CNA in 2004. In the study, CNA suggested a single Marine Safety CWO that would draw upon three existing CWO Specialties—Engineering, Materiel, and Weapons—as a source of lateral-entry candidates, with the Marine Science Technician and Machinery Technican enlisted ratings providing a source of new Marine Safety CWO entrants.

Assigned to the Incident Management Division of a sector or Marine Safety Unit, MSSR Chiefs are the technical experts in preparedness and response for marine environmental issues. Their mission is to ensure cohesion between various units and organizations at the field level in Marine Environmental Protection efforts, coordinating activities between the sector’s Prevention Department and the Contingency Planning and Force Readiness Staff to maximize efficiency and operational effectiveness.

The MSSR insignia consists of a trident rising upward through a wave. Until 2015, this insignia was worn by Chiefs in the MSSD specialty (Marine Safety Specialist Deck).

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