The MESO Transition to Marine Technician

LINK - April 2017 / May 31, 2017

By CPO 2 Shaun Perry, DGPM

The Marine Engineering System Operator (MESO) occupation, after 19 successful years, will move forward to meet the requirements of today's RCN by transitioning to Marine Technician (MAR TECH). For marine engineering in the Naval Reserve to remain relevant, this transition is required just as it was in January 1998 when the Diesel Mechanic (D MECH) occupation transitioned to MESO to meet the changing requirements then.

The reserve component of MAR TECH will allow reserve engineering to support the Naval Reserve (NAVRES) mission, in a strategic augmentation role, of force generating trained engineers who can be employed at sea and ashore in a wide range of missions. Employment of NAVRES MAR TECHs will focus on support to Naval Security Teams (NST), Maritime Tactical Operations Group (MTOG) for small boat maintenance, and at sea in the ORCA fleet, as well as augmentation in other surface ships. As the occupation moves forward it will do so with a viable class A career progression that will allow dedicated part time MAR TECHs to progress in rank with opportunities for meaningful employment both at sea and ashore through all classes of service.

The reserve component of MAR TECH was created in accordance with RCN direction to include the work of the MESO occupation in the MAR TECH Occupational Analyzes and align it to the One Navy vision. The result was finalized at the NAVRES MAR TECH Reserve Force Working Group that developed a single occupation that aligns with the Mechanic sub-occupation. Although it was visionary plan from senior leadership that gave guidance to the role reserve engineering would provide, the input that was received from all ranks in the MESO community influenced and shaped how the reserve component of MAR TECH would look. Input ranged from being able to get hands dirty through fixing equipment, qualifications that are achievable to part time members, to more exciting roles that are not tied to the Kingston class, etc. Reserve members of MAR TECH will be part of an occupation that is centered on the reserve community to ensure this occupation favors all classes of service equally to support NAVRES missions.

Transitioning forward, reserve members of MAR TECH will continue to do the same at sea functions as MESO did through the roundsperson/maintainer and plant watchkeeping jobs with a new role in Helo Crash Rescue Fire Fighter (HCRFF). This also holds true for small boat basic maintenance at Ordinary Seaman (OS)/Able Seaman (AB) but technical training will be increased at Leading Seaman (LS) and above to fulfill NST and MTOG requirements of ensuring its equipment remains operationally ready.

Reserves members of MAR TECH will gain a solid background both at sea and ashore. The at sea jobs will better aligned with International Maritime Organization and Transport Canada regulations for Marine Engineer qualifications. The ashore jobs at LS and MS will be trained at a higher technical level. There will also be a new opportunity for reserve MAR TECHs to be employed as a HCRFF. To maintain flexibility and to ensure reservists progress, members will train for the jobs they will do with the ashore jobs being the common progression after the Ordinary Seaman - Rank Qualification has been achieved. Requirements to achieve AB and LS qualifications to progress in rank will not be defined until the respective Qualification Standard and Plan boards have been completed.

The collective experience gained from the OS to LS jobs will prepare members to advance into supervisory and management rolls within Naval Reserve Divisions, NST/MTOG, Naval Fleet School with some possible roles in ships. As members move up in rank, the management roles will increase to regional and more strategic type responsibilities within and outside of the occupation. This will prepare MAR TECHs to excel in their roles as Chief Petty Officers.

MAR TECH will officially be stood up 1 May 2017 triggering Marine Engineer, Electrical Technician, and Hull Technician to be end dated. The MESO end date will correspond with the completion of the Reserve Establishment review that will allow the reserve component of the Military Employment Structure Implementation Plan to be approved and prior to end dating MESO. The reserve engineering will move ahead later in 2017 having incorporated the best from the D MECH and MESO occupations and thus keep their proud legacies alive as reserve engineering moves forward as Marine Technician.