The Council of American Master Mariners is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the United States Merchant Marine and the position of the Master by fostering the exchange of maritime information and sharing our experience.


We are committed to the promotion of nautical education, the improvement of training standards, and the support of the publication of professional literature. The Council monitors, comments, and takes positions on local, state, federal and international legislation and regulation that affect the Master.

Mission Statement:


The Council of American Master Mariners is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the United States Merchant Marine and the position of the Master by fostering the exchange of maritime information and sharing our experience. We are committed to the promotion of nautical education, the improvement of training standards,
and the support of the publication of professional literature. The Council monitors, comments, and takes positions on local, state, federal and international legislation and regulation that affect the Master.

CAMM is a national professional organization of active and retired Captains,

Pilots and Maritime Associates working for the betterment of the American Merchant Marine.


Established in 1936, the Council is independent of any union, school or company.


CAMM is a non-profit 501(c)6 corporation.

The Council of American Master Mariners, Inc.



The Council of American Master Mariners, Inc. was founded in 1936 by a nucleus of distinguished American Shipmasters

who felt there was a need to share their expertise with other shipmasters, the Maritime Community and the public.

They were concerned with maintaining the standards and prestige of the American Merchant Marine and the Shipmaster.

Their principles are set forth in the Council’s Declaration of Policy.

Declaration of Policy


Promote an effective, efficient, prosperous American Merchant Marine, which is of maximum benefit to the nation, the shipper,

the mariner, the shipowner and the financial community.


To render a public service by expressing the considered professional opinions of Master Mariners regarding maritime issues.


To encourage and promote advances in nautical education, training standards, and the publication

of professional literature for the American Mariner.


To cultivate an attitude of continuing education within the profession.


To foster and exchange of information between, and promote a spirit of friendship and common purpose among all organizations

whose member share dedicated to a strong United States flag merchant fleet.


To support and encourage improvements in all nautical facilities.


To enhance the rightful prestige of the American Master Mariner.

Why a Council of American Master Mariners? The answer can be found in the viability of an active, national, non-profit organization comprised of masters, pilots, and maritime professionals in an industry undergoing rapid and dramatic technological change. With reduced manning programs and ever increasing punitive regulations, the need for the Master's input into shipping policies and regulations has never been greater.


The Master is responsible for the ship and its safety, yet the ability of the Shipmaster to control his/her destiny has been seriously eroded. Modern ships are larger and more complex. Today's Master has little say in the selection of his officers and crew. He is often ignored in developing the regulations that effect his profession. Shipmasters and Pilots often find their views and opinions discounted and they are isolated from the fast-moving stream of progress.


The voice of a single Master is easily overwhelmed by the tide of change. At best, the outspoken Master may be seen as an individual with an experienced but self-serving point of view. At worst, he or she may be perceived by their employer and others as a ‘trouble-maker’ or lacking in ‘team spirit’ if their views do not reflect the company goals. The stand-alone, say-what-I-think Master may have the courage of his convictions, but he or she is rarely effective.


CAMM offers a means to be heard. As a member your voice is added to many others representing all types of vessels, cutting across company divisions and union affiliations. It is a voice based upon the prestige of the Master and backed by the collective expertise of over 20,000 years of maritime experience. The greatest irony of our industry is that the maritime community and its regulatory agencies recognizes the importance of the masters’ opinion. They sincerely wish to avail themselves of that maritime expertise, but generally have reservations in accepting such help from labor, lobbyist groups, or individuals.


The Council of American Master Mariners is in a unique position to supply  expertise to the industry for the public good. This was the intention of the founding members and it remains true today. The Council, represents a broad and diverse spectrum of experienced Master Mariners. Today the Council is revitalized and energized with a sense of purpose supported by the membership. It is not about enhancing your social life, It is about being heard and making a difference for the Merchant Marine, our nation, and ourselves.


If you are a Master Mariner, Pilot, or Maritime Professional you are welcome to join us in our endeavor to achieve the goals stated in the Declaration of Policy. They remain as valid today as they were in 1936.

Useful CAMM Related Links


Sidelights Summer 2021 issue


View from the Bridge

Captain RJ Klein: Moving Forward After a Loss


In the Council

A Bright Spark - Chaplain Report

CAMM Leaves lasting Impression on Cadets - Cadet Corner


The  PDC


LNG as Ship's Fuel

Maritime and the New Space Age



State of CAMM

CAMM Becomes Signatory to the Neptune Declaration


Captain Frank Zabrocky Wins 2021 LaLonde Award

Captain Ed Lanni - Lifetime Achievement Award

Keynote Speaker Congressman Brian Mast


News from IFSMA and IMO

IFSMA -   Captain Alexandra Hagerty Appointed CAMM International Vice-President

 IMO -      Social Interaction Matters


Download the Summer 2021 Issue now. (PDF format, 4.7 MB)

Council NEWS!


CAMM Becomes signatory to the Neptune Declaration


7 May, Port Canaveral, FL:

At the 81st Annual General Meeting of the Council of American Master Mariners, the Council Membership voted to become a signatory of the Neptune Declaration. CAMM joins more tha 800 organizations that support the Neptune Declaration.


About the Declaration: Covid-19 has impacted the daily lives and wellbeing of seafarers in unprecedented ways, causing a humanitarian crisis at sea. Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been stranded working aboard ships beyond the expiry of their contracts. As the frontline workers of the maritime industry carrying 90% of global trade, seafarers play a vital role in ensuring the global flow of goods that the world depends on.


The Neptune Declaration urges the implementation of four main actions to address the crisis:

• Recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines

• Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice

• Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes

• Ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers


Click here to view the entire Declaration.


 CAMM Holds successful Conference at Port Canaveral !

2021 Annual General Meeting and

Professional Development Conference

Click on Annual Meeting tab above for more details.

Friday - March 26, 2021


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of  our National President, Captain Calvin Hunziker.

His wife Lisa and family members were with him at the time. Captain Hunziker was a well respected leader and he leaves an immeasurable void in the Maritime Industry.


They that go down to the sea in ships, and occupy their business in great waters;

These men see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

                                                                                                               Psalm 107, King David







Did you know?



If you are a active seagoing Master and a member of CAMM, you are automatically a member of the International Federation of Ship Masters Association (IFSMA). CAMM pays your membership dues. This entitles you to contact IFSMA for support if needed. It is also your voice at IMO. Since 1975 IFSMA has had Consultative Status at IMO as a non-governmental organization (NGO). This allows IFSMA to represent the views and protect the interests of seagoing Shipmasters. Check out the link to IFSMA on this website for more information.

Energizing American Shipbuilding and the Maritime Industry










In the new 116th Congress, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) will likely become the Chairman of the Transportation & Infrastructure  Committee. Representative John Garamendi (D-CA) has  become the Subcommittee Chairman on the House Armed Services Committee. Both Representative DeFazio and Representative Garamendi are strong maritime supporters.


Representative Garamendi will re-introduce a new version of his bill:

Energizing  American Shipbuilding and the Maritime Industry





Quick Reference Member links

Why Become A CAMM Member?

If you are an actively sailing master, you are also a member of IFMA (CAMM pays your dues). This entitles you to all the benefits of being a member of IFSMA. Should you happen to be involved in a maritime incident outside of the United States, you can contact IFSMA for help and guidance.


Free subscription to Sidelights, the Council’s bi-monthly (5 issues a year).

Membership card and membership roster.


Representation at IMO through CAMM’s affiliation with the International Federation of Ship Masters Associations (IFSMA).

Access to a network of other master mariners through CAMM’s chapters, committees, Sidelights publication, and online presence.

Membership Eligibility


RU - Unlimited Master Mariner License who commanded vessels over 5,000 GRT on ocean voyages.

RP - Senior or First Class Pilot with minimum of one year experience on vessels 20,000 GRT or more.




S - Unlimited Master’s license but who has not commanded a vessel or vessels of over 5000 GRT on voyages.

SP - Second or Third Class Pilot on vessels less than 20,000 GRT.

S16 - USCG 1600 ton Master’s license who has commanded a vessel or vessels on voyages.

S5 - USCG 500 ton Master’s license who has commanded a vessel or vessels on voyages.




A - U.S. water transportation company in an executive, administrative or operational capacity, Military Equivalent of Master Mariner, Notable person in maritime related fields.

AL - Licensed Deck Officer with USCG license/credential, Any Gross Tons and currently sailing on vessels over 5,000 GT.

AC - Cadet: Any Cadet/Midshipman attending one of the state maritime academies or the US Merchant Marine Academy.

AF - Foreign Master Mariner: A person holding a foreign Master Mariners unlimited license who has commanded vessels over 5,000 GT.



Any member in good standing may apply for Life membership under the following conditions: retired from the maritime industry, over 70 years of age, and has paid total dues equal to or exceeding the amount required since joining the Council. Lifetime members shall retain rights and privileges of the membership class. Lifetime members are dues exempt. All lifetime memberships are subject to the Board of Governor’s approval.

Apply for membership consideration


Annual dues are $75. There is a one-time admission fee of $40.


To apply Online click Here


For paper form, see print and mail instructions below.


Print and mail in your application with a check

Download and fill out the PDF Application Form and mail with your check ($115)

and a copy of your license and last discharge to:


Captain George Zeluff

Membership Vice-President

2907 Shelter Island Dr. #105-606

San Diego, CA  92106-2797



To have the application mailed or emailed to you,

please send your request to the above address (include return address) or email Captain Zeluff

What CAMM Does For You

CAMM participates in the annual  Congressional Sail-In to lobby congress to support the US Merchant Marine.


CAMM is a member of IFSMA, which is in turn a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the United Nations. At present the US Maritime Industry - Merchant Marine is represented by two U.S. Coast Guard Officers in the IMO. Although the U.S. Coast Guard casts a vote in the IMO, that vote is controlled by the State Department - Not the Maritime Industry or Merchant Marine. CAMM’s membership in IFSMA provides its members a valuable voice in the IMO.


The expertise of CAMM members is well recognized throughout the world maritime community, resulting in frequent requests to CAMM to provide expert witness testimony in cases involving  a Licensed Deck Officer.


CAMM is working to change legal practice in the United States, in which a licensed mariner may be charged with a capitol offense, whereas an individual in command of a truck, train, bus, airplane, or other conveyance engaged in a similar accident is not subject to capitol punishment.


CAMM has take a Position to have  Vessel Inspections, Licensing and Documentation functions transferred from the Department of Homeland Security (USCG)  to a civilian agency such as the Department of  Transportation (Maritime Administration). Coast Guard resources are overwhelmed with Search and Rescue missions and Homeland Security issues, severely impacting their ability to handle these functions effectively.


CAMM is advocating that maritime accident investigation be turned over to the National Transportation Accident Investigation board because insufficient training of Coast Guard investigators results in unfair convictions.


CAMM is dedicated improving the U.S. Merchant Marine and the position of the licensed officers serving on the bridge.


CAMM is a strong supporter of the US Merchant Marine Academy and six state Maritime Academies where the best maritime education in the world is provided. We are also dedicated to improving maritime education and the skills taught to future officers.


CAMM works closely with professional mariner organizations  to protect the rights of licensed seamen from all nations.


CAMM constantly seeks ways to improve safety and environmental stewardship in ports, harbors, oceans, and other waterways around the world.


Triple CAMM’s Membership Drive

Effective January 2018, a current CAMM member who sponsors three or more new eligible, approved and paid members in a 12-month period will receive a CAMM Travel Mug. If you're not a CAMM member, and would like to become one, contact a CAMM member in your maritime community and ask them to sponsor you.






Captain RJ KLEIN, President

4675  144th PL SE

Bellevue, WA, 98006

PHONE: 425-746-6475



Captain Augusta Roth


3502 Prairie Drive

Dickson, TX   77539-9316


PHONE: 512-787-4056




The Council of American

Master Mariners, Inc.

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