b'The NMC will accept key to avoiding delays. For mariners wishing to renew their MMC, the NMC will accept applications up to eight months early with no applications up to eight monthschange between expiration and renewal dates. Mariners should also submit Raise-In-Grade or Approval to Test applications well in ad-early with no change betweenvance to allow sufficient time for processing. expiration and renewal dates.Additionally, here are a few ongoing initiatives the NMC is working on to assist mariners: an updated guide with video and audio to provide step-by-step directions to filling out required forms, live how-to ses-sions covering the application process, and updated website.To ensure applications are complete and ready for submission the NMC recommends: In todays maritime industry it has never been more important for the NMC to provide great customer service because our mariners are vitalVisit the NMC website. The NMC website features various check- to the strength of the marine transportation system. Whether apply- lists and other online resources to guide mariners and MTPs throughing for MMCs, medical certificates, or attending courses from a Coast their desired process. Guard approved MTP, the NMC strives to make it a smooth and effi-cient process. Schedule an appointment for an application review with one of our RECs prior to submittal. The RECs are located throughout the con- KEEP EM SAFE, KEEP EM SAILINGtinental U.S., and Hawaii, reviews can be conducted in-person or overFor complete list of MMC, medical, and course AI see the National the phone.Appointments are mandatory however, for all services atMaritime Center Announcements on the NMC Home Page.an REC to ensure dedicated staff are in place to serve the mariners needs and that mariners can access the REC facility. REC locationsChecklists can be found here. can be found here. For general questions, contact the NMC Customer Service Center Submitting the application or approval request at least 90 days pri- by emailing IASKNMC@uscg.mil, calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-or to the MMC, medical certificate, or approval expiration can be5662), or via the live chat feature on the NMC home page.About the Author LIEUTENANTERIC HATFIELD QUALITY &PERFORMANCE LEAD,U.S. COAST GUARDNATIONAL MARITIMECENTERLieutenantEricHatfieldcurrentlyservesattheU.S.Coast Guard National Maritime Center as the Quality & Performance Lead, and as a member of the National Mariner Credentialing FraudTaskForce.DuringpreviousassignmentsLieutenant Hatfield worked as a Marine Inspector and Marine Casualty InvestigatoratMarineSafetyDetachmentBelfastMaine, MarineSafetyUnitPortlandOregon,andMarineSafety Detachment St Thomas Virgin Islands. Lieutenant Hatfield received his commission through the U.S. Coast Guard Officer Candidate Program in New London, Conn. in 2012 and has served on Active Duty for over 23 years. Lieutenant Hatfield is a native of Canton, Texas.Opposite page: Christine Wiest,legal instruments examiner, Professional Qualifications Evaluations Branch (PQEB), discusses a mariner credential evaluation with Roberta Churchill, section chief PQEB, and Dana Gregory, branch chief PQEB. This page: An NMC staff member checks the quality of Merchant Mariner Credential booklets recently printed.23 MAY 2022'