How to Become a Maritime Enforcement Specialist

Maritime Enforcement Specialists are a community of practitioners well-founded in law enforcement and security duties expertise and skills. 

As such, challenging assignments, including conventional maritime law enforcement, anti-terrorism, force protection, port security, and safety, and providing unit-level training in these fields, may be expected to be allocated to members of this rating. 

If you want to become a professional in maritime enforcement, see these tips to learn! 

How to Become a Maritime Enforcement Specialist
Image Source: American Special Ops Website

Coast Guard’s Maritime Enforcement Specialist

The Maritime Enforcement Specialist (ME) rating of the Coast Guard was developed in 2010 to build a workforce that prioritizes the service’s law-enforcement role. 

For too long, boat coxswains, bridge watchmen, mechanics, and other professionals considered the Coast Guard’s central law-enforcement role to be a collateral task. 

Had it not been for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which reprioritized the service’s missions, the idea of law enforcement duties as a sub-specialty may have continued. 

The subsequent establishment of maritime safety and protection teams and a new focus on safety and law enforcement competence gave rise to the impetus to finally develop a marine law enforcement (MLE) rating.

About U.S. Coast Guard 

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and seven uniformed services. 

The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. 

It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime. It can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President or Congress during the time of war.

Purpose of Education & Training 

The School of Maritime Enforcement Specialists intends to prepare trained Coast Guard personnel to provide protection and law enforcement support for U.S. Coast Guard missions. 

This includes leadership, physical health, communications, security, rate training and administration, security, maritime law enforcement, tactical operations, port readiness, familiarization, and quality weapons. 

To accomplish this, an integrated approach to training was created by the FLETC and USCG. All weapons training is conducted by FLETC personnel, all other activities at the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy by the USCG staff.


With 10 weeks of concentrated specialized training at M.E. ‘A” School in Charleston, SC, which offers an introduction to the M.E. rating force, you will begin your career. 

You will learn how to implement security and law enforcement assistance for Coast Guard missions at M.E. ‘A’ School, including Leadership, Physical Health, Communication, Safety, Rate Training, and Administration, Security, Maritime Law Enforcement, Tactical Operations, Port Readiness, Familiarization and Certification of Weapons, Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security, Anti Terrorism and Force Protection.

To be eligible, you must be eligible for a SECRET clearance, have normal color vision, have no domestic violence convictions or restraining orders prohibiting them from legally carrying a firearm.

You must also comply with the Coast Guard Weight and Body Fat Standards and pass the Boat Crew Physical Fitness test.

Other General Requirements 

Here are some of the general requirements you need to pass.

  • You’ve got to be a U.S. citizen or a Resident Alien.
  • Be between 17-32 (full-time) for active duty or 17-40 (part-time) for reserve.
  • Have a diploma from high school (GEDs approved with a waiver).
  • Don’t have more than 3 dependents.
  • The Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test has a ranking of 36 or higher. We will use the score if you have taken the test at your college or with another branch. Your recruiter will arrange the test date at MEPS if you have not taken the test or would like to boost your ranking.
  • Qualify medically during the medical test for military entry. Your recruiter will have the MEPS exam planned.
  • Pass a background check from the police. You can not have on your record pending court proceedings or criminal crime. As the Coast Guard is a federal law enforcement agency, you must be legally licensed to own a weapon to be qualified for employment.

Average Salary & Benefits

The entry-level salary for a maritime enforcement specialist is $1,733.10 – $4,383.30 per month. Other added benefits include health insurance, a flexible schedule, parental leave, relocation assistance, and professional development assistance.

You could also benefit from tuition reimbursement, a retirement plan, signing bonus, paid time off, dental insurance, and vision insurance.

How to Become a Maritime Enforcement Specialist
Image Source: Stripes


If you want to become a maritime enforcement specialist, start the training with the Coast Guard. Once done, you can directly apply in the department or even have an option to check out available jobs online