Active Duty

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by 20012002, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. 20012002

    20012002 New Member

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    I have heard that due to cuts, it is extremely hard to get an active duty slot out of the USMMA. Is this true? Also, I heard that the USMMA gets their slots after the service academys and rotc.
     
  2. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    Yeah this is all true. There is kind of a misconception that admissions puts out about KP. They make it sound like military commissioning and sailing are side by side in terms of importance, but in reality the government doesn't want us to go active duty when we graduate. The DOT drops a fat check training us to become professional mariners, not pilots, or surface warfare officers, or infantry.

    Mariner first, military second. If you want to go active duty, why not got to USNA, USCGA, USMA, or USAF?
     
  3. laxkeeper20

    laxkeeper20 Member

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    how does USMMA make it more difficult to get an active duty commission?
     
  4. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    We get to pick the left over billets from the other academies and ROTC. USMMA isn't designed to commission active duty officers, we're designed to commission reserve officers and designed to make professional mariners, if you're going to KP because you want to fly jets in the Airforce, then you are mis-guided. KP shouldn't be a "plan B," we're not here to take Navy rejects. For many, KP is a #1 choice, because it is the best at what it is designed to do, train professional mariners.

    While this isn't always the case, a significant chunk of the people that come here with the only reason being a commission (because they didn't get in to airforce or navy or ROTC) do not make it to graduation. They quit or fail out because they have no interest in ships or the water. Imagine going to college to learn how to quilt, just because they offer military commissions, you'd go nuts, you don't want to learn anything about quilting. Same thing here. If you love the water front, then you'll do fine, you'll be able to pass any class, but if you don't have the passion, it will be twice as hard.


    Passion > Talent
     
  5. 20012002

    20012002 New Member

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    Well I do love the water and ships I just want to be active duty in the Navy and Kp does offer a great sailing and engineering program and I'd like to be an engineer for ships in the navy so..Kings point is a great choice for me even though I want to active duty.
     
  6. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    This is true, it's great training and preparation for, say, surface warfare, it's just not what the program is designed to do, so it's not as easy to commission. We had 4 people get SWO slots this year, an all time low, especially with military cut backs.

    Though if you want to go Navy, there is this other school in Annapolis Maryland I'd recommend you look into.
     
  7. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Were there other mids who requested SWO and did not get it? How many? Do you know where we can find the rest of the numbers for this year's graduating class?
     
  8. laxkeeper20

    laxkeeper20 Member

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    With all due respect here, shouldn't you be willing to accept a commission in the Navy when applying to Merchant Marine? Just because you only get a reserve commission upon graduation doesn't mean that theres a possibility of being called up to active duty later in your career. Thats the whole point of it being a federal service academy. Again, no disrespect intended.
     
  9. sprog

    sprog Member

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    The poster didn't state or insinuate that you should not accept the obligation that comes with the Reserve commission, to include the potential for activation. I read that nowhere in his post.

    There is a difference, though, with understanding and accepting your obligations as a reservist in what used to be called the MMR and in seeking an active duty commission in the Navy (or Army, Air Force, etc.). That was the point he was making. USMMA is designed, first and foremost, to produce mariners. AD is an option, but the poster was illustrating that it is, at least in theory, a secondary one. Simply put, if all you want to be is an Air Force pilot (or infantry grunt, or armor crewman etc.), and you don't want to study the sea and what is taught at USMMA, it isn't wise to go to KP just because of a chance at a commission.
     
  10. Packer

    Packer Member

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    My son considered USMMA for a while but this was the conclusion he came to. He was interested in an AF commission and knew the opportunity was there at KP. He decided it may be very hard to study shipping and logistics for 4 years when he was not paticulary interested in going that direction career wise.
     
  11. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Does this happen a lot?

    This subject comes up quite a bit. I assume you are a current mid, so I'm curious as to what you and your fellow midshipmen think about that.

    Admissions departments have to get people excited about their schools. I understand that, but over-selling the commissioning aspect does seem to have the potential to attract guys who see it as back-up alternative to USNA or USAFA or whatever. Is it really that big of a problem, or does it just sometimes seem that way on SAF?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  12. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    Reasons

    Reasons for people quiting for other than academic workload are likely as varied as reasons people chose to attend in the first place. Some may realize that life on or near the sea isnt for them if even for 4 years while at school. But I doubt thats a large portion and not the case for any that left his company, because we talk about those that leave.

    DS will likely go active duty upon graduation with desire for aviation. He also talks about how he might go reserve aviation and use his engineering license in the merchant marine. Lately he talks about propects for employing a systems engineering degree, merchant marine license and love for aviation to work in testing helicopter operations aboard oil platforms or ship to shore operations. Im certain that his plans will change plenty before graduation. I am also certain that his attendance at KP will provide him with opportunities unavailable to me when I was commisioned through ROTC.
     
  13. Sea Faring Moose Mom

    Sea Faring Moose Mom Member

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    My DD - Active Duty Navy SWO 2011

    DD graduated in June 2011. There were 4 selected for SWO and 3 alternates.
    I think 3 ended up accepting out of the 4 with one alternate taking a spot.

    DD is Division Officer of the 5 inch Canon. She has a Chief with 23 years of experience with the Canon that she relies on. She did have to explain to the Captain and CPO that she has her Deck License and requested to be assigned to Deck Watches on her rotation. She is looking forward to finishing her SWO Aquals so that she can have more Deck time.

    Last October she was on the deck watch coming into San Diego harbor and the Pilot assigned to dock the Destroyer told her to go ahead and dock the ship.He had been talking to her and knew her background (USMMA). She prayed that she would have an easy pull in situation......no such luck. She ended up having to 'parallel park' the Destroyer. (Funny thing....she can't parallel park her own car....that is all the kind of parking they have in San Diego....)
    :yllol: :shake: :biggrin: :thumb:
     
  14. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    I could write a small book with my opinions on this, but I'll just do the quick and dirty.

    1. I agree there are that there are a whole host of reasons don't make it to graduation.

    2. I don't think it is just a cause and effect thing, just because you want to go active duty doesn't mean you'll drop out, however a lot of the drop outs and set backs want to go active duty. Does that make sense?

    3. KP is great prep for a LOT of military gigs like surface warfare and drug interdiction, and for those folks, they can apply what they learn to what they want to do, people that want to fly are perhaps less interested in courses like seamanship.

    4. As a whole, especially with the difficulty of the job market I think the regiment is pretty warm to going active duty.


    What I really want my point to be is that people going here who have a passion for sailing typically find it easier and more interesting, everything they learn is applicable. People show up on day one wanting to fly the X-35 can and have made it through, but they just have to be tougher, smarter, and more determined. They're taking a hit, in learning about something they're not interested in, so that they can get to their chosen destination. The passion will carry those who want to sail, smarts and toughness have to carry the others. It's hard enough to make it through the 4 years, and some people don't have that toughness, the passion though, is I think a little easier to come by.

    2
     
  15. laxkeeper20

    laxkeeper20 Member

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    my apologies sprog, I was under the impression that he meant it was supposed to be a non military oriented school. I understand he simply meant that the schools PRIMARY goal was to produce mariners instead of their ONLY goal.
     
  16. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    All - great posts and respectful dialogue on an oft brought up and seldom, if ever before, properly discussed or presented topic re: USMMA IMO :thumb:
     
  17. nucwarrant

    nucwarrant Member

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    Here's my 2 cents. I did 20 years in the Navy Subs and SWO. What I've learned about USMMA in my short affilication is that if you want to be a very good mariner or marine engineer Kings Point is the place to learn your trade. Here's my opinion of USNA Vs USMMA in regards to being a marine engineer. USNA: we will teach you all the theory and some hands on. If something breaks we've got a huge infrastructure to support you getting it fixed. We'll teach you how to order someone to order the part, how to submit the paperwork for a shore facility to make the repair and how to oversee someone making the repairs. USMMA: we'll teach you the theory and lots of hands on. When something breaks we'll teach you how to fix it. If the part isn't readily available we'll teach you how use machine tools so that maybe you can make a replacement part. Don't get me wrong, I love the Navy and USNA is a great institution for what it produces. But it's hard to deny the value of a licensed deck officer or engineer coming out of KP.:thumb:
     
  18. KPaviator

    KPaviator Member

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    From reading the nonsense on this thread, I felt inclined to post. Please disregard most of what beyond said. If you want to commission into any branch, KP is as good as a source as any.

    The argument that it's harder to commission than the other sources due to KP getting the last pick is total bs. What proof do you have to back this up? If anything, KP competes in a much smaller direct commission category.

    Another thing is the argument that commissioning in the military is frowned upon. Again, total bs. There are 6 other state maritime schools that produce licensed officers at a much cheaper cost than KP. I truly believe if it wasn't for the military option, there would be a pretty solid argument to shut KP down.

    The bottom line is this...if you want to commission in any branch of the military, go for it. As a graduate who has sailed as a 3rd mate and now currently work as an Army helicopter pilot, I can actually speak from experience. You'd be amazed to see where you'll find KPers in the military.
     
  19. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    This was brought up by a member of the Naval Science department during the town hall meeting with secretary LaHood. You've clearly done great things! BZ. Mine is just one persons point of view.
     
  20. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    What was the route you took to go from sailing to flying? Did you want to fly from day one? Why did you make the switch?
     

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