Ship Communications Officer

Announcement opens continuously from 10/02/2023, with periodic cut-offs.

Average Annual Salary: $129,871

This is the average annual salary not the base pay featured in the job opportunity announcement. All calculations include CIVMAR total take-home pay (including overtime, penalty, etc.).


The Ship Communications Officer (SCO) is a civil service mariner (CIVMAR) employed by the Navy to serve the Military Sealift Command (MSC) onboard naval auxiliaries and hybrid-manned warships worldwide, in peace and war. MSC exists to support the joint warfighter across the full spectrum of military operations. MSC provides on-time logistics, strategic sealift, as well as specialized missions anywhere in the world, in contested or uncontested environments.

The Ship Communications Officer (SCO) is the head of the Communications Department and is responsible to the Master for all operational, administrative and maintenance functions of the Communications Department. Incumbent will keep the Master informed of all capabilities, limitations and conditions of assigned equipment in compliance with current policies and instructions; and initiate actions to correct all equipment deficiencies. Incumbent is responsible for proper planning, managing, and executing of all Communications Department evolutions and Communications Department’s role in ship-wide functions. Incumbent will manage the Command, Control, Communications, Computer (C4) systems. Responsible for the proper operation, maintenance and repair of electronic communications equipment/systems onboard the ship.

Assigned as the ship’s Communications Local Element (LE) custodian, incumbent is responsible for all centralized distribution and accounting system designed to provide appropriate safeguards for sensitive cryptographic publications, messages, documents, keying material, equipment and related devices.

Responsible for drafting instructions and implementing plans for contingency communications. In addition, responsible for drafting and implementing the EAP to include destruction and safeguarding of crypto, cryptographic equipment, classified documents and other sensitive material. Schedule and conduct drills frequently to ensure plans can be carried out as envisioned and maintain proficiency of personnel.

Responsible for ensuring an aggressive Safety Program is established and maintained in the Communications Department in compliance with current policies and instructions. Coordinate with the Electrical Safety Officer (Chief Engineer) and establish a Tag-Out/Lock-out Program within the Communications Department and ensure compliance with applicable safety standards and procedures. Ensure BI-monthly Safety Meetings are conducted for his department and submit written reports of such meeting to the Safety Officer (Chief mate and Master) for review.


Minimum Eligibility Requirements: Must be a United States citizen of at least 18 years of age and possess and maintain:

  1. U.S. Passport with a minimum of seven months of expiration date.
  2. Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and/or Department of Defense (DOD) Common Access Card (CAC) with a minimum of ten (10) months remaining of expiration.
  3. United States Coast Guard (USCG) Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC), with a minimum of ten months remaining of expiration date.

Position Specific Requirements:

Must have one of the following.

Experience managing a communications department, in a shipboard environment military E7 and above trained in a radio electronics, computer technology telecommunications environment or commercial equivalent. (NOTE: E6 personnel with experience managing a communication center in lieu of command having an E7 assigned. Must be supported by documentation, evaluations, and letters of commendation.) OR Must have three (3) years documented cumulative experience sailing on MSC vessels as a permanent Chief Radio Electronics Technician (CRET) or temporary Ship Communications Officer (SCO). Experience as the shipboard SCO/CRET aboard at least two (2) AKE or EPF class vessels highly recommended.

NOTE: When submitting an application for employment, you must provide a letter from your Facility Security Officer and or Government Security Official to document Top Secret eligibility. You must have Top Secret eligibility within the last 24 months; or current active Secret clearance, or confidential security clearance eligibility, when hired for this position.