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§ 1295e. United States Maritime Service

(a) Establishment and maintenance
The Secretary may establish and maintain a voluntary organization for the training of citizens of the United States to serve on merchant marine vessels of the United States and to perform functions to assist the United States merchant marine, as determined necessary by the Secretary, to be known as the United States Maritime Service.
(b) Enrollment; compensation; course of study and periods of training; uniforms
The Secretary may determine the number of individuals to be enrolled for training and reserve purposes in such service, to fix the rates of pay and allowances of such individuals without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5 (relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates), to prescribe the course of study and the periods of training in such service, and to prescribe the uniform of such service and the rules governing the wearing and furnishing of such uniform.
(c) Ranks, grades, and ratings same as for United States Coast Guard
The ranks, grades, and ratings for personnel of the United States Maritime Service shall be the same as are then prescribed for the personnel of the United States Coast Guard.
(d) Awards and medals
The Secretary may establish and maintain a medals and awards program to recognize distinguished service, superior achievement, professional performance, and other commendable achievement by personnel of the United States Maritime Service.

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