Civil service mariner anticipates a bright future with MSC

Our Naval forces of U.S. 5th Fleet operate day in and day out to support missions like Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations, and cooperation exercises with our partners in the region. None of these exercises, operations or daily tasks would be possible without a well-coordinated sustainment plan and the associated infrastructure. MSC provides that sustainment by working with 5th Fleet’s other task forces, and Combined Maritime Forces members, to meet supply and logistics demands of ships across the region. These three commands fulfill different aspects of the overarching sustainment mission, and work together to get our forces what they need. The following blog is part of a series focused on MSC support to 5th Fleet, written by Lt. j.g. Paul Williams, a Navy reservist who visited the Central Command AOR during May 2013.

Peter Menard is a civil service mariner (CIVMAR) with MSC. He graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in June 2012 and began his maritime career as a Third Officer aboard the USNS Joshua Humphreys (T-AO 188) in November 2012. 

The USNS Joshua Humphreys is a Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler of the U.S. Navy and was specifically built for MSC.  In addition to ship and aircraft fuel, the USNS Joshua Humphreys provides our U.S. Navy and other coalition partners with military cargo and supplies. 

 The following is an interview with Menard regarding his experiences as a new officer serving on the Humphreys.

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g.  Paul J. Williams/Released

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Paul J. Williams/Released

MSC:  What influenced you to choose a career as a CIVMAR?
Menard:  My family was a strong influence.  Several members of my family have served in the sea services so I received a lot of good information about what life at sea was like.  I also grew up on the water and like to sail.

MSC:  Have you set career goals for yourself and if so, what are they?
Menard:  I would like to earn my master’s license. I estimate that if I fulfill all my qualifications, I can earn my master’s license in about eight years.  This will require a lot of study on specified subjects and earning the required time at sea.

MSC:  What are some examples of some experiences you have had at sea that have been rewarding?
Menard:  I find it very rewarding and enjoy working with the maritime academy cadets who are on board with us.  Though I graduated myself less than one year ago, it gives me an opportunity to mentor them and help them earn their third mate’s license.  When I was a cadet, I had a lot of good third mates who helped me and told me what I needed to do to become one and now I have the opportunity to do the same.

MSC:  What are qualities you feel new CIVMARS should have in order to be successful?
Menard:  Having the right attitude is really important.  While underway, you are at sea with a group of people you have never met before and will spend at least four months with them.  You are also away from home, family, television etc. so attitude to me dictates what kind of experience you will have. If you have a good attitude you can really make a difference out here, have a good time and enjoy your experiences at sea.

MSC:  What does the public need to know about what the mission of our Navy ships like USNS Joshua Humphreys?
Menard:  Food and fuel are what keep the Navy going.  Our job is ensure we keep the Navy and our customers well stocked with food, fuel, parts and other cargo they need to perform their jobs.  The most important part of our job is serving the forward-deployed combatant ships on a daily basis so that they can stay in the fight.


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