License Guidance for Captains:What the Old Guard Needs to Know

License Guidance for Captains: What the Old Guard Needs to Know

Post Conference Overview

License Guidance for Captains: What the Old Guard Needs to Know was designed to be a nuts and bolts look at requirements for original licensure for captains to take back to their crews. It featured a presentation by Luke Harden, Chief of the United States Coast Guard Mariner Credentialing Policy Division on current requirements, many of which have been modified or changes since most captains had their first dealing with the Coast Guard. Captain Jonathan Kabak from the United States Merchant Marine Academy followed Mr. Harden with a brief talk on helpful hints in dealing with the National Maritime Center and in making career choices that will allow for advancement in licensing. Both presenters highlighted the upcoming major changes to ocean and near coastal licensing that will be implemented as a result of the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW convention and code and encouraged all mariners thinking about applying or upgrading to submit paperwork as soon as possible to avoid getting caught in the changing regulations.


Original Summary

Recent changes to licensing for professional mariners have left many already licensed personnel unsure of what to tell those seeking their first license.  Luke Harden from United States Coast Guard Headquarters will present on new policies and procedures pertaining to original licensure.  Captain Jonathan Kabak from the United States Merchant Marine Academy will follow with a presentation on secondary licensing and making career choices that meet Coast Guard requirements.  Remaining time will be spent answering questions and addressing changes to the STCW code affecting mariners with Ocean and Near Coastal license.


Luke Harden, USCG

Mr. Luke Harden presently serves as a member in the office of Vessel Activities as chief of the Mariner Credentialing Program Policy Division (CG-5434).  This division is responsible for the establishment, review, and revision of mariner credentialing policy in the Coast Guard.  CG-5434 also reviews all appeals of mariner applications for Admiral Cook.  Mr. Harden is a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.  Upon graduating from the Coast Guard Academy in 1984, he was assigned as a student engineer on the CGC CONFIDENCE (WMEC 619), Port Angeles, WA.  Following that assignment, he served as the Deck Watch Officer & Navigator on the CGC RUSH (WHEC 721), Alameda, CA.  Later he served as a Marine Inspector/Casualty Investigator/License Examiner at MSO Puget Sound, Seattle, WA; Senior Investigator at MSO Portland, Portland OR; Chief, Inspection, Licensing, & Investigation Departments at MSO St. Louis, St. Louis, MO; as a regulatory project officer within the office of Operating and Environmental Standards of Coast Guard Headquarters, and as a subject matter expert in the matters of mariner credentialing in the Mariner Credentialing Program Policy division. In 2004, Mr. Harden retired from the Coast Guard after 20 years of active duty service. He was hired by the USCG as a maritime transportation specialist to work on matters pertaining to merchant mariner  credentialing to include development of policy and regulations.

Captain Jonathan Kabak, US Merchant Marine Academy

Jonathan Kabak

Captain Jonathan Kabak has literally grown up in the sail training industry.  Since his start as a young volunteer at South Street Seaport Museum he has sailed on over a dozen ASTA member vessels and now holds a 500ton Ocean Masters License for Steam, Motor and Auxiliary Sail.

A graduate of Franklin Pierce College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a focus on education, Jonathan has spent his career developing and implementing programs under sail.

  He recently took command of the United States Merchant Marine Academy flagship, T/V Summerwind, a 1929 Alden schooner. When not busy taking Midshipmen to sea, he is an instructor for the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) at Kings Point, which provides STCW training and professional development courses to mariners. 
  He is a member of ASTA’s Ship Operations and Safety Committee where he works on issues pertaining to rigging safety and licensing.  He and his wife Jennifer are family members of ASTA and split their time between New York and Providence, RI.


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