CIVMAR pay, and movie service

The following blog was written by Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, Commander, Military Sealift Command. MSC civil service mariners are now receiving their paychecks from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and their movie entertainment afloat has been restored. Shannon looks at both as improvements in life at sea for our CIVMARs.

USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194).  (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Armando Gonzales/Released)

USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194). (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Armando Gonzales/Released)

We measure our progress with milestones. I highlight a couple that have an impact on our CIVMARs and life at sea:

 June 1 was a milestone for our CIVMARs and our DOD pay system. Our CIVMARs were the last group in DOD not being paid by Defense Finance and Accounting System. That is fixed! Now, all military and civilian employees throughout our DOD belong to a unified pay system. This change for the better allows personnel actions to be synchronized with payroll. For our CIVMARs, it means that they can make changes to direct deposits, allotments, federal and state tax withholding and payroll mailing addresses using the MyPay website at We completed our first pay period successfully, and there were minimum glitches. This momentous accomplishment was made possible through the outstanding professionalism, hard work, dedication and extraordinary teamwork of our MSC experts and DFAS project representatives. As of late June,  nearly 1,000 CIVMARs signed up for account access, and more than 800 made changes to their accounts – something they couldn’t do before now. A big round of thanks goes to all our MSC folks in our Personnel and Comptroller directorates. Their hard work over the past several years has overcome some pretty big hurdles and vastly improved the quality of life afloat.

 July 1 was another milestone for our CIVMARs afloat. Navy Motion Picture Service used to provide 16-20 first-run and older DVD movies monthly to show on our ships’ closed-circuit television systems. A glitch in the process halted that practice, but due to the arduous and extended nature of our CIVMARs’ deployments, coupled with having little to no other entertainment options at sea, it was determined that the program could resume. That means the movies began delivering to our government-owned/government-operated ships shortly after July 1. It’s these small victories that can have a big impact on life afloat. Thanks to our MSC Counsel for all their hard work on helping this happen.

 Thanks for your service.

T.K. Shannon
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
Commander, Military Sealift Command

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