USMMA Newsletter March 2016

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U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

In the News

March 2016

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Message from the Superintendent

Dear Midshipmen, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Parents and Friends:

As we start our last trimester of this Academic year, the winter and January’s severe storm Jonas are all but forgotten.  During the storm our “snowed in” Midshipmen enjoyed a Winter Carnival, while our facilities snow removal crews operated snow plows in blizzard conditions throughout the weekend, enabling us to open again on Monday.

One of the high points of this winter was U.S. Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command’s visit.  Speaking to the Midshipmen, faculty and staff, he delivered the message that a strong U.S Merchant Marine, crewed by USMMA graduates and others, is vital to our economy and national defense readiness.

Recognizing the achievements of the Academy’s staff and faculty, Deputy Maritime Administrator Mike Rodriguez ’79, joined me for our January awards ceremony in Ackerman Auditorium.  Though no one is resting on their laurels, and the good works continue.  Our Humanities faculty kicked off a series of Brown Bag lunch presentations with an engaging lecture and discussion on the Whaleship Essex and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.  This trimester our new Towing and Small Vessel Operations class starts; we added Barge SWOB FP-217 to our fleet of training vessels for this class that will teach towing seamanship, tow maneuvering, towing-specific navigation operations and deck safety.

Together with Deputy Administrator Rodriguez, I have been meeting with U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) Chairman of the Board, John Arntzen ‘79, and AAF President James Tobin ‘77, to strengthen the dialogue and partnership between the AAF and the Academy. We will continue these active, regular, substantive discussions to support the mission of the Academy and the Regiment of Midshipmen.

We also had the opportunity to hear directly from alumni and parents during our January USMMA-MARAD Call-In Town Hall.  Deputy Administrator Rodriguez and I were joined by our Commandant, Capt. David Sosa, and took questions about the Commandant’s philosophy and way forward, the Academic Dean hiring process, watchstanding, fitness facility improvements, the future of the Regimental Band, and many other topics.  I also announced that former Superintendent, Rear Adm. Philip H. Greene, Jr., U.S. Navy, Retired, Class of ‘78, accepted our invitation to serve as our Class of ’16 Commencement Ceremony’s Distinguished Alumnus Speaker in June. 

Final planning is underway for our Twenty Eighth Battle Standard Dinner, with Guest of Honor Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander, U.S. Pacific Command.  I look forward to this event, when we join together to honor the memories of the 142 Cadet-Midshipmen who lost their lives during World War II and four graduates who lost their lives serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Rear Admiral James A. Helis

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U.S. Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, Visits U.S. Merchant Marine Academy


U.S. Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, visited the Academy. Located at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., USTRANSCOM is the Department of Defense’s single manager for global air, land and sea transportation.


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Meet The Regimental Commander


Regimental Public Affairs Officer Midshipman 1st Class Jacob Weaver recently interviewed the Regimental Commander (RC) Midshipman 1st Class Thomas Hill about his experiences as RC and his time at the Academy.


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 Wrestling And Swim & Dive Teams Each Earn National Qualifiers


Senior wrestler Ricky Fisher and senior diver Gerrit Porter qualified for the NCAA Championships in their respective events this winter season.


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USMMA Faculty and Alumni Support U.S. Delegation to the International Maritime


USMMA Professor in the Department of Marine Transportation, Capt. George E. Edenfield ’79, USMS, served as technical advisor on education and training issues for the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Third Session of the Sub-Committee on the Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 3) meeting in London.


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 USMMA Band and Color Guard Support Department of Transportation Anniversary


Deputy Maritime Administrator, Michael J. Rodriguez ’79, thanked the USMMA Band and Color Guard at the Department of Transportation 50th Anniversary Celebration, in Washington D.C., Jan. 3


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U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, New York, 11024 Office of External Affairs 516-726-6048