What is an “Ordinary Seaman” and Who needs one?

“Ordinary Seaman” is a enrty level rating on a Merchant Mariner Credential. This rating does not require any sea service experience or training, it simply shows that the mariner has pasted the FBI background check, has passed a DOT/USCG drug screening and meets the minimum fitness requirements to work in the maritime industry.

An OS rating is required to work on most seagoing vessels greater than 100 gross registered tons. Holding an officer endorsement as OUPV or Master does not qualify the mariner to work in the position of OS, they are different endorsements that authorize different authorities.