Help trying to find info on the KP Threads

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by No1Fanof2, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. No1Fanof2

    No1Fanof2 Member

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    Hi my Dd received some correspondence from a coach at KP. We planned to visit some time back but our time was short on the east coast and had some snow, so didn't want to chance making the trip.

    Maybe our search words and sentences are not pulling the correct threads or web info? We want to study up a bit more on our own before she contacts the coach and or KP.

    Here are a couple of questions. Sea duty:
    How does this work sophomore(1st time) year and the athlete? I get they will not play their sport when out to sea, so will they still possibly play for 4 years?

    How does this work with the classes? Is it difficult to get back into college mode once coming back? It seems as though it will take longer to graduate with 1 st and 2nd sea duty requirements?

    What is it like for a female during both of these required times of sea duty?

    What about piracy and these vessels? These are private vessels owned by the shipping company?

    What type of a careers do most women go into after graduation? Do most go into military service or noaa?

    I apologize in advance if these may fall into the realm of repeat questions.
     
  2. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Depends on the sport and how its season aligns with your DDs sea-split of choice. We only had 2 splits when we were on the quarter system vs. trimesters and as an example, the fall athletes (football and futbol) went to sea Jan-June and were back in school during their season Jul-Dec. I can’t say that the trimesters and three splits will align quite so nicely but that is the essence of it. Your DD may have to give up one season to sea-year.

    The amount of work put in to sea projects between stepping off your ship and back on to KP gets you well adjusted to academic rigors. Graduation takes four years (assuming you graduate on schedule) regardless of sea split.

    I’m not a female and only can speak as an observer. We had female cadets coming on my ship after me and the officers on board took great pains to let it be known before they ever showed up that no shenanigans would be tolerated.

    Piracy has always been and always will be an issue. It is however limited mostly to a few select areas and the majority of it is centered around the cargo on board. We were also told to lock yourself inside and let them have what they want, its not our stuff anyway.
     
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  3. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy Member

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    DS is sailing (1st sailing) as I type this...This is his class...you will have both ship duty/work and you will have "sea projects" that are assigned and they need to get done by time you return to the academy, and by the way, you also need to complete your ship duties/work too. You will be awakened or told to be up at 0100 (or whatever time you arrive at port) for maneuvers as the ship is getting ready to dock.

    Will they miss some of their season, maybe, maybe not depends on the sport. There are 2 "splits" A and B - depending on which split you are on determines when you sail and I believe that for athletes you will be granted your selection so it will not conflict with your sport or minimally conflict with it. You do need to have a certain amount of sea days. Again depending on the sport, you can possibly play 4 years...case in point, football players are A split and play 4 years.

    First sailing is approx 4 months and the second sailing is 8 months. Where you end of sailing you will not know until you get your ship assigned. DS has sailed Middle East and some Europe...he has seen some really cool things and he is learning a ton in so many ways.

    Cannot speak to what it is like as a female on a ship.

    What type of careers, approx 20-30% of all grads go active the rest go into the industry. The career depends on the major - think of it this way, Deckie major - you drive the ship... engine major (engineering) you make the ship go you are in the engine room... this is/was a very simplistic way to explain the differences and is NOT meant to offend any of the much more knowledgeable members on this forum. This is the question that you will hear the most, what are you, a deckie or engine that is why I explained it that way.

    Cannot speak to what it is like to come back from sea and get back into classes...let you know in about a 6-7 weeks. Much of it depends on the individual.

    The coach will be a great person to ask many of these questions because they will have seen 1st hand how it has impacted the student/athlete.

    Hope that helps - Best of luck you.
     
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  4. elnavy

    elnavy Member

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    No1fanof2 thank you for posting these questions. I too have been trying to find info about what it is like to graduate from KP and work for at least 5 years at sea for a woman as my DD went on a tour. She is a junior this year and wants to do an overnite visit next year but I have not found much information about this topic. So, thank you!
     
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  5. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    No1fanof2: First background of my perspective - I graduated in 1982 and last sailed aboard an MSC vessel in 1990; my DS graduate in 2012 and is currently actively sailing. Now to your questions and my thoughts/answers:

    As you've deduced you are really only on campus for 3 out of the 4 years while at USMMA so depending on your sport and major it is entirely possible your DD will graduate with a year of eligability remaining, along with a degree, a USCG MMD/Liscense, a Commission, little or no college loans or debt and a good first job to start their career. Given they are not likely to be a professional athlete given they are considering USMMA, is that an issue for them?

    As noted above in the current trimester system you spend ~4 months during your first sea year and ~8 months during your second at sea. The "difficulty"transitioning to/from sea year is a personal thing, the honest answer is it can be difficult for some but usually the space between the two sea years is well handled by the Third/Second Class as they usually just want to get through the time between the periods and get back to "real life/ships etc." unless they really had an issue with it and then they are carefully considering whether USMMA is for them (like maybe they probably should). Transitioning from Second Class Sea Year to First Class Year was easier yet for both my DS and I - by the time we were tiring of being "back in the Regiment" (neither of us were all that regimentally inclined) it was time for Liscense Prep and then graduation. And no it doesn't take longer since USMMA is basically in session for 11 months a year vice 8 1/2 or 9 - that said a trimester is basically a 16 week semester crammed into 13 weeks and that why it can be really academically challenging at times.

    I can't speak to what it like to be a women aboard US Merchant ships today but hopefully one of the many successful female graduates can/will. That said this much is true - everyone's sea year experience is unique - that's true for both male and female cadets.

    Yep they are assigned to US Flag Merchant Vessels both privately owned and US Government owned/operated (Military Sealift Command aka MSC). Piracy could happen and is an operating consideration in some select areas of the Globe. That said to my knowledge the only seizure of significance involving a US Flag vessel to date has been the Maersk Alabama of "Captain Phillips" the movie noteriety and we all know how that played out. As to career types my anecdotal feeling of past and present classes is that female graduates stats as to selecting Active Duty vs sailing on their liscense is that its generally similar to the number of males who are going active duty which varies from class to class but is currently ~25%.

    Hope this helps
     
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  6. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Both of my fellow alumni answered these points very well. About all I can add is my experience sailing with female crew members. Like anyone else, it all depends on their attitudes. If they work hard and don't draw attention to themselves, they will have no problems at all. Just remember, KP is far different from any other "college" experience or education outside of the Service Academies and a little different from them. It also prepares one for a career far and away different from any other.
     
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  7. No1Fanof2

    No1Fanof2 Member

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    I am so thankful for everyone's replies. I imagine conditions on board are similar to being on an oil rig except you are out to sea and away from home much longer but I could be wrong. The small amount of information I have found on line was not very favorable for women, but the incidents were about foreign ships. I also had some thoughts on it because the small role I play with exported cargo and returned cargo. My DH worked in the supply chain for hospitality needs at remote sites and he had some thoughts about it as well. I have to agree the USMMA is very unique and adds another layer to consider for schooling and career options.
     
  8. 420sailor

    420sailor Member

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    I can speak to the female experience. Basically your daughter is safer on the ship than on any college campus (except maybe KP). The girls are well prepped as to how to carry themselves professionally and to avoid risky situations. It is basic common sense and even if they don't have it, the captain will make sure they learn fast. They shipping companies take sexual harassment very seriously. The liability, damage to reputation and career consequences are dire. Even the appearance of impropriety is nipped in the bud. The men on the ship have their career, their livelihood on the line too. The girls learn to keep their relationships friendly but professional and not to get too buddy buddy. This is no different than any male dominated work environment. If all else fails, the cadets (male and female) are given a safe word. If they pull that plug, the ATR will get them off that ship quickly, no questions asked. Of course, they better not use that frivolously.

    I encourage your daughter to look seriously at USMMA. Don't be afraid to ask the admissions officers, coach, alumni, midshipmen questions. The best thing you can do is do a campus visit. In the meantime, get the nomination application and part 1 (online) of her application in, just to kick off the process and keep her options open. You won't regret it. Don't worry about random stuff you read on the internet. Get the admissions information and talk to people who have first hand experience.
     
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  9. No1Fanof2

    No1Fanof2 Member

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    Thank you!
    How was your living accommodations once on board? How many persons on board did you have? How many were female? What were the crew like? Were they Americans or non Americans?

    How many in your class stayed with shipping company after grad? How many to the service or NOAA? What was your female attrition rate?
     
  10. 420sailor

    420sailor Member

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    Most have their own room or sometimes bunk together with their KP sea partner if of the same gender. The rooms are simple but quite nice, often with private bath. Crew are mostly American of mixed heritage. KP cadets only sail on US Flagged ships and grads do so for the their 5 year obligation. After that, they can sail on foreign ships if they want. The maritime industry is by definition multinational. You will be exposed to many cultures and all different kinds of people. Typically there are about 22 people on the whole ship. It was stated before, about 20-25% go to the service each year and the rest stay commercial. That seems to be a consistent trend. Female attrition rate is no different than males, that I am aware of. If I were to guess, I would say probably better!
     
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  11. WMAmom

    WMAmom Member

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    My ds is currently a plebe at KP. For sure he has had his ups and downs not to mention fears of what's to come. They have the largest number of female plebes to date at the academy. From all I can see from our visits and time with him (not frequent but a few as allowed). The Menes all get along as any coed situation. The girls are classmates to the guys and they work together to succeed through the year. I can say as he travels through the challenges placed before him and reflects back he feels each was not as bad as he thought it would be. He seems to gain confidence with every challenge he overcomes. He never talks about KP in a negative way. He is happy with his choice and the opportunities it provides. He too is an athlete and he will be B split to play his sport. Tom his experience I would recommend that you take a good look at the school. It is not for everyone, but while his peers are just starting their college experience. He has met the challenge of Indic, is proving to himself he can handle the academic rigors, and started off season practice. In short he feels he has accomplished something. Their trimester ends at the end of October so they are in mid-terms. Sorry if this post seems long, I am just trying to convey the unique experience that is KP. I have two others who sent to your more typical schools and this is such a different choice providing amazing opportunities but not for every one. Example ds just messaged with concern about government shut down apparently KP closes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

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