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In addition to professional and warrant licenses, Merchant Marine service members may also hold one of several personal qualifications which augment and support shipboard duties and watch stations.

Personal qualifications are granted by a Ship's Master following completion of a Personal Qualification Standard (PQS) handbook and the successful passing of a qualification examination and competency board as administered by a merchant vessel's First Mate. 

Merchant Marine Personal Qualifications are mandated by the Federation Department of Transportation, divided into sub-sections of Damage Control, Cargo Handling, Medical Care, and Security Response.

DAMAGE CONTROL qualifications

The Damage Control Qualification Program is one of the most important certification courses in the Federation Merchant Marine.  As an essential element of shipboard emergency response, all members of the Merchant Marine are required to compete certification in Basic Damage Control before rating as a Merchant Crewman. 

Damage Control qualification is certified in three levels.  All Merchant Marine members must hold the basic qualification of Damage Controlman.  The qualification of Damage Control Supervisor is available to Able Crewman and Warrant Officers in the Engineering career field.  The highest qualification, that of Damage Control Officer, is eligible to licensed Merchant Marine Engineering Officers only.


Certification as a Cargo Handling Officer is an important career milestone for any licensed Merchant Marine Supply Officer.  Cargo Handling Officers are trained in the loading, storage, and inventory of merchant cargo and freight supplies.  All Merchant Marine Supply Officers most complete a Cargo Handling Certification Course before assignment to a Merchant Marine vessel.


The Emergency Medical Technician Qualification may be earned by any member of the Merchant Marine who completes the standard Merchant Marine Medical Response Course and passes an appropriate competency examination.

Department of Transportation regulations require all registered Merchant Marine vessels to carry at least two crew members who are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians.  This regulation may be waived if the merchant vessel in question is carrying a fully licensed Medical Officer, although in such a case having at least one EMT Crewman is still highly recommended.


Merchant Marine Security Response Teams are comprised of between five to ten merchant crew members who are trained in small arms weapons use and shipboard security tactics.  The purpose of Merchant Security Response Teams is to serve as an anti-piracy force in the event of a hostile boarding of a Merchant Marine space vessel.

On merchant vessels which carry an actual Security Department, licensed security personnel normally comprise the Security Response Team.  On smaller and unarmed vessels, Security Response Team duty is considered a collateral assignment, held by merchant crew members in other career fields who have completed an appropriate security response qualification course.

The Security Response Team qualification is divided into two levels:  Security Response Team Leader and Response Team Member.  Both qualifications must be held into order to become either a Warrant or Licensed Merchant Security Officer.


A unique certification in the Merchant Marine, and one which is often overlooked in its importance, is that of Ship’s Cook.  Before the advent of onboard replicator systems, the Ship's Cook was responsible for all food preparation and meal schedules for ship's crew. 

Typically a crewman of either the Ship's Services or Supply Department, the Ship's Cook was assisted by several Assistant Cooks who manned the space vessel galley and assisted with the serving of meals to the ship's crew.

By the late 23rd century, the position of Ship's Cook had mostly disappeared from the Federation Merchant Marine, although the title was retained onboard those civilian transports with large passenger compliments requiring a fully staffed kitchen.

Another title which has survived into the 24th century is that of Messman, which refers to any Merchant crewman who is assigned to serve meals or help with food preparation.  The title of Messman requires no special certification and is an informal title only.