Will U.S. Merchant Mariners who served in support of the Korean Conflict obtain Veteran status?

AMMV Government Affairs Co-Chair Michael Helbig has been working diligently for over two full years on compiling a group application to submit to the Civilian/Military Service Review Board (C/MSRB) with the end goal of obtaining Veteran status for American Merchant Mariners who served in support of the Korean Conflict.

The C/MSRB is made up of Air Force personnel who are assigned as needed to review cases of civilian groups applying for Veteran status. It is clear that Helbig has his work cut out for him, as “the Board” revised it rules following the successful lawsuit won by the WWII U.S. Merchant Marine group back in 1988. The current eligibility criteria for a Merchant Marine group may be considered somewhat daunting.

Michael Helbig

However, Helbig is a master researcher who refuses to leave a stone unturned. His casework is meticulous, and he has poured thousands of hours of work into this project. In fact, Helbig was recognized with the Harvey-Wichita Award at AMMV’s National Convention in St. Louis. This is the equivalent to a “Man of the Year” award, something that he has certainly earned.

AMMV Judge Advocate Capt. Joseph Byrne is assisting Helbig by reviewing files and providing opinions. Capt. Byrne met with Helbig during the AMMV Convention.


The U.S. Merchant Marine were the unsung heroes of the Korean War