USMMA Newsletter November 2016

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U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

In the News

November 2016

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Message from the Superintendent

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

As we close the First Term of the 2016-2017 academic year, life at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), as always, provides much for which we can all be proud:  yet again, the Academy was listed in The Princeton Review’s best colleges guide, and was noted for its “strong academics”, we celebrated the USMMA’s 73rd anniversary, and we continue to broaden the school’s make up with the Class of 2020 being one of the most diverse classes in Academy history. Noteworthy for the Class of 2020 is the percentage of females at 19.7 percent. This is the highest percentage of females to enter the Academy in its history.   We also said goodbye to old friends as Captain Kenneth R. Force, Doug Hard and Dan Hunt retired. 


Our sports teams have excelled this fall.  As of this writing, the men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams are currently competing in the Skyline Conference playoffs.  Men’s cross country won the 2016 Skyline Conference Championship.  And football for the first time received votes in the national rankings poll.  Individual athletes in all sports have been recognized with conference and regional weekly awards. We wish all of the teams continued success over the coming weeks!


Many, if not all of you, have heard of the measures to address inappropriate behaviors here on campus and during sea year. Secretary Foxx is interested in a transformational change at the Academy, one that creates a culture that protects these young women and men and ensures respect for everyone.  Last month, USDOT announced an independent cultural assessment of the USMMA in order to comprehensively address the root causes of the inappropriate behaviors that have persisted. Logistics Management Institute (LMI) has been contracted to perform this work, which has already begun, and they are tasked with providing an analysis and recommendations to the Secretary in December.


Despite the challenges, Midshipmen have been training on Federal assets such as Military Sealift Command (MSC) vessels, training vessels, other Navy vessels, and MARAD’s Ready Reserve Force (RRF) vessels.  All of the Midshipmen affected by the stand down from use of commercial vessels went to sea on Federal vessels and served internships in shipyards and the maritime industry.  They will return to campus in November to resume classes.  As part of our efforts to improve the return from sea, the Commandant’s staff will lead a two-day reintegration program for these Midshipmen after sea project turn in and before the start of classes. 


Midshipmen from the A-split will begin sea year on federal vessels in November. The Academy has enough billets available on Federal vessels to accommodate all of the Midshipmen scheduled for this training period.   As is the case every year, not all Midshipmen will be assigned to a vessel immediately.  It normally takes several weeks to place each of them on specific vessels, the timing of which primarily depends on when vessels are in port and available to take the Midshipmen. In accordance with standard practice, Midshipmen participating in Sea Year will be sent home to await their orders to arrive at their ship.


It is our belief that with the support of the faculty, staff, parents and alumni, we will continue to accomplish the Academy’s mission of educating and graduating licensed merchant mariners and leaders of exemplary character who will serve America’s marine transportation and defense needs in peace and war.

Rear Admiral James A. Helis


USMMA Midshipmen are Enrolled in TSA Precheck

USMMA Midshipmen Are Enrolled in TSA Precheck

When TSA first approved expedited screening for DOD civilians, active duty service members, cadets and midshipmen from the four other U.S. service academies, USMMA didn’t have an agreement in place. Now we do.


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 USMMA Welcomes International Maritime Officers to Kings Point

USMMA Welcomes International Maritime Officers to Kings Point

The United States Merchant Marine Academy welcomed Lieutenant Commander Michelle M. Schopp, Chief, International Resident Training, of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Training Center Yorktown and 40 international maritime officers representing 27 countries.


 Sea Fair 2016 Demonstrates Industry Demand for Kings Point Graduates

Sea Fair 2016 Demonstrates Industry Demand for Kings Point Graduates

This September, maritime professionals and hiring managers from 23 companies, federal agencies, and maritime-related organizations participated in the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s (USMMA) annual career fair, Sea Fair 2016, held in O’Hara Hall. 


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 Football Defeats Coast Guard To Retain Secretaries’ Cup

Football Defeats Coast Guard to Retain Secretaries' Cup

NEW LONDON, Conn. (Sept. 10, 2016) – The USMMA football team won the Secretaries' Cup for the second consecutive season on Saturday, downing arch-rival Coast Guard, 31-27, in the 2016 season-opener at the Bears' Cadet Memorial Field.


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