Trump eases restrictions for vets to be Merchant Marines

March 04, 2019 - 3:21 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is making it easier for active-duty service members and veterans to find civilian jobs by becoming U.S. Merchant Marines, who transport cargo and personnel in peace and war.

Trump signed an executive order Monday that allows veterans to apply their experience on military ships toward mariner credentialing requirements and waives licensing fees, typically thousands of dollars.

White House adviser Peter Navarro said the action will fill a shortage in Merchant Marines. He said the number of those who have sailed in the last 18 months is below 12,000 and if the U.S. entered into a large-scale military conflict, it could face shortages in Mariners supplying military personnel.

Navarro called it a good opportunity for troops and veterans to find higher-paying jobs that "benefit themselves and this country."

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