The Council of American Master Mariners is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the United States Merchant Marine and the position of the Master by fostering the exchange of maritime information and sharing our experience.
We are committed to the promotion of nautical education, the improvement of training standards, and the support of the publication of professional literature. The Council monitors, comments, and takes positions on local, state, federal and international legislation and regulation that affect the Master.
The Council of American Master Mariners, Inc.
The Council of American Master Mariners, Inc. was founded in 1936 by a nucleus of distinguished American Shipmasters
who felt there was a need to share their expertise with other shipmasters, the Maritime Community and the public.
They were concerned with maintaining the standards and prestige of the American Merchant Marine and the Shipmaster.
Their principles are set forth in the Council’s Declaration of Policy.
Declaration of Policy
Promote an effective, efficient, prosperous American Merchant Marine, which is of maximum benefit to the nation, the shipper,
the mariner, the shipowner and the financial community.
To render a public service by expressing the considered professional opinions of Master Mariners regarding maritime issues.
To encourage and promote advances in nautical education, training standards, and the publication
of professional literature for the American Mariner.
To cultivate an attitude of continuing education within the profession.
To foster and exchange of information between, and promote a spirit of friendship and common purpose among all organizations
whose member share dedicated to a strong United States flag merchant fleet.
To support and encourage improvements in all nautical facilities.
To enhance the rightful prestige of the American Master Mariner.
Why a Council of American Master Mariners? The answer can be found in the viability of an active, national, non-profit organization comprised of masters, pilots, and maritime professionals in an industry undergoing rapid and dramatic technological change. With reduced manning programs and ever increasing punitive regulations, the need for the Master's input into shipping policies and regulations has never been greater.
The Master is responsible for the ship and its safety, yet the ability of the Shipmaster to control his/her destiny has been seriously eroded. Modern ships are larger and more complex. Today's Master has little say in the selection of his officers and crew. He is often ignored in developing the regulations that effect his profession. Shipmasters and Pilots often find their views and opinions discounted and they are isolated from the fast-moving stream of progress.
The voice of a single Master is easily overwhelmed by the tide of change. At best, the outspoken Master may be seen as an individual with an experienced but self-serving point of view. At worst, he or she may be perceived by their employer and others as a ‘trouble-maker’ or lacking in ‘team spirit’ if their views do not reflect the company goals. The stand-alone, say-what-I-think Master may have the courage of his convictions, but he or she is rarely effective.
CAMM offers a means to be heard. As a member your voice is added to many others representing all types of vessels, cutting across company divisions and union affiliations. It is a voice based upon the prestige of the Master and backed by the collective expertise of over 20,000 years of maritime experience. The greatest irony of our industry is that the maritime community and its regulatory agencies recognizes the importance of the masters’ opinion. They sincerely wish to avail themselves of that maritime expertise, but generally have reservations in accepting such help from labor, lobbyist groups, or individuals.
The Council of American Master Mariners is in a unique position to supply expertise to the industry for the public good. This was the intention of the founding members and it remains true today. The Council, represents a broad and diverse spectrum of experienced Master Mariners. Today the Council is revitalized and energized with a sense of purpose supported by the membership. It is not about enhancing your social life, It is about being heard and making a difference for the Merchant Marine, our nation, and ourselves.
If you are a Master Mariner, Pilot, or Maritime Professional you are welcome to join us in our endeavor to achieve the goals stated in the Declaration of Policy. They remain as valid today as they were in 1936.
Useful CAMM Related Links
Sidelights Winter 2022 - 2023 Issue
View from the Bridge
Captain Joe Hartnett: Challenges to the US Maritime Industry
In the Council
Support your Local Seafareers' Center
The License Continuity Process
In the Industry
Great Lakes Pilotage
Same Crime, Different Penalty
The Ever Given Revisited
Ice On the Great Lakes
Leave Your Cell Phone Alone
News from IFSMA and IMO
IFSMA New COLREG's Posters Available o all ships
IMO Bravery at Sea Award goes to Chief Officer Bo XU
Annual General Meeting
Professional Development Conference
April 19-21, 2023
Sailing the Seas in 2023
Click on Annual Meeting above for Details
Heave Ho My Lads
WWII Merchant Marine Veterans
Receive Congressional Gold Medal
On May 20, at the Nautical Institute meeting in San Francisco a ceremony was held to award replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal to World War II Merchant Marine Veterans. Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) was present to award the medals. The veterans were treated to a inspiring rendition of the Merchant Marine Anthem Heave-Ho. The anthem was recorded by Madeleine Wolczko, the second officer of the President Wilson, who was stranded on the cargo ship in Shanghai.
Congressman John Garamendi presents the Congressional Gold Medal to a World War II Veterans.
Second Officer Madeleine Wolczko aboard the President Wilson in Shanghai. Click here to listen to her outstanding rendition of the
U.S. Merchant Marine Anthem Heave-Ho.
Replica of Merchant Marine Congressional Gold Medal
CAMM comments on MARAD'S EMBARC (Every Mariner Builds a Respectful Culture) policy.
The below letter from CAMM was publicly posted on Regulations.gov by the Maritime Administration in response to their request for public comments on EMBARC policy.
The Council of American Master Mariners
Restore Sea Year for all U.S.
Merchant Marine Academy Midshipmen
25 February 2022
The Council of American Master Mariners is committed to the education and training of future U.S.
Merchant Mariners. The recent interruption of Sea Year for midshipmen at the United States
Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is of concern to the Council. The Sea Year is needed for midshipmen
to complete their preparation for service as Navy Reserve merchant mariners in the Navy’s Strategic
Sealift Officer (SSO) force. USMMA graduates comprise over 80% of the SSO force which crew the
cargo ships carrying 90% of military material to war fronts overseas.
The time spent during sea year on commercial cargo vessels provides essential training for
midshipmen aboard modern commercial ships. Midshipmen are exposed to a variety of propulsion/power
plants while serving aboard highly specialized, military useful, ships such as oil tankers,
container ships, underway replenishment ships, RO-RO (roll-on-roll-off ) ships, and heavy-lift
ships. Sea Year is the only way to directly acquire expertise on these vessels while enabling
one-on-one training, an experience not replicated on training vessels. The pool of graduates from
USMMA has experience on all of these vessels, thus providing the U.S. Government with a valuable
resource. In short, Sea Year is to Strategic Sealift Officer training what Flight School is to Navy
In November 2021, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) suspended all USMMA at-sea training in
response to a sexual assault against a female midshipman during her Sea Year in 2019. On 15
December MARAD issued their sea year training criteria – EMBARC (Every Mariner Builds A Respectful
Culture - https://www.maritime.dot.gov/education/sea-year-training-program-criteria ) . The EMBARC
policies replace earlier commitments made by vessel operators to comply with sea-year eligibility
requirements previously established by MARAD. The EMBARC plan is not perfect, it presents as a work
in progress. The goal is to improve the prevention of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (SASH)
in the merchant marine. The Council fully supports this goal and stands ready to assist MARAD to
make EMBARC workable for all stakeholders.
The Council recognizes that zero episodes of sexual assault and sexual harassment at sea is a
critical goal for our industry and continuous improvement must be made in support of that goal.
Both objectives – the sea year training of future SSO officers and the work towards zero SASH
incidents – must be accomplished simultaneously, one cannot be sacrificed for the other.
The Council’s view is that the re-integration of USMMA Midshipmen onboard all U.S. Flag commercial
vessels must occur immediately. This will ensure an uninterrupted supply of trained SSO officers
to the U.S. Government. The future of U.S. Sea Power depends on it.
Captain RJ Klein Executive Vice-President
Council of American Master Mariners
CAMM Becomes signatory to the Neptune Declaration
7 May, Port Canaveral, FL:
At the 81st Annual General Meeting of the Council of American Master Mariners, the Council Membership voted to become a signatory of the Neptune Declaration. CAMM joins more tha 800 organizations that support the Neptune Declaration.
About the Declaration: Covid-19 has impacted the daily lives and wellbeing of seafarers in unprecedented ways, causing a humanitarian crisis at sea. Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been stranded working aboard ships beyond the expiry of their contracts. As the frontline workers of the maritime industry carrying 90% of global trade, seafarers play a vital role in ensuring the global flow of goods that the world depends on.
The Neptune Declaration urges the implementation of four main actions to address the crisis:
• Recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines
• Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice
• Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes
• Ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers
Click here to view the entire Declaration.
Did you know?
If you are a active seagoing Master and a member of CAMM, you are automatically a member of the International Federation of Ship Masters Association (IFSMA). CAMM pays your membership dues. This entitles you to contact IFSMA for support if needed. It is also your voice at IMO. Since 1975 IFSMA has had Consultative Status at IMO as a non-governmental organization (NGO). This allows IFSMA to represent the views and protect the interests of seagoing Shipmasters. Check out the link to IFSMA on this website for more information.
Quick Reference Member links
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LET'S TALK ABOUT IT
Captain Joe Hartnett, President
Edgewater, MD 21037
GENERAL EMAIL: email@example.com
Captain Augusta Roth
3502 Prairie Drive
Dickson, TX 77539-9316
The Council of American
Master Mariners, Inc.
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