How are USMMA grads viewed by the military

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by silvergateyc, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. silvergateyc

    silvergateyc seadog

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    I was talking with one of the Navy personelle on campus and was told our Mids are viewed the same as ROTC grads by the military. I would think that USMMA grads would should be viewed as better candidates for active duty.
     
  2. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    This is anecdotal but I can tell you that three KP grads from the class of 2010 graduated from the Marine Corps Officers Candidate Course last week. This course routinely loses about one third of the class over a ten week period. The Kings Pointers not only completed the course but two of them graduated in the top ten percent of the class. In general Kings Pointers seem to enjoy a very good reputation at Quantico.
     
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I realize the thread is a little old, but I just saw it and figured I'd chime in.

    As the OP undoubtedly knows, each branch of service has its own SA (with the exception of the Marines, who use USNA).

    Also, as I'm sure the OP is well aware, USMMA grads may enter into any of the branches of the Armed Forces. A graduate of the school will be judged as all other officers are. That is, the officer's success or failure will be based on how he or she performs on active duty.

    That said, there is no doubt that service-specific SA graduates get a proverbial "leg up" when they come out of the gate in their respective branches. This is something that is usually not as readily available to ROTC/OCS graduates. By "leg up," I mean that they will have been immersed in the service's traditions and culture more than the ROTC grad, and will have a much larger network of people on active duty on which to rely. I would imagine this exists to a smaller extent for USMMA graduates in the Coast Guard and Navy, as I assume that is where the bulk of active duty commissions go for KP. For the Army and Air Force, I think the "leg up" (in terms of alumni connections etc.) would be a bit more negligible. I am a VMI graduate who went AD in the Air Force, and I never met a USMMA graduate. This doesn't mean they aren't out there, of course, but it would appear that they are in smaller numbers with respect to that branch of the service.

    Still, if you are going into the Navy, the "Academy" you will hear referred to in conversation with your shipmates is the one in Annapolis. If you go into the Air Force, it's the one in Colorado Springs. Each service thinks of its own SA in that regard, and yes, I'd say it is a source of advantage. I don't think such an advantage carries over entirely for USMMA, or if there is some degree of it, not to the extent that it does for the service-specific Academies. In the U.S. commercial shipping fleet, however, USMMA is the gold standard.

    All this considered, this is just the answer to the OP's question on a general level. There are great officers and lame-o officers from each of the commissioning sources. I've had Wing commanders from USAFA, OTS, and ROTC...there were good and bad from each source. In the end, how "active duty" views your school shouldn't be the principal concern. The principal concern should be how your chain of command views you, the individual LT, by how you accomplish the mission and take care of your enlisted folks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  4. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    24yr active duty USAF officer. Very proud of my DS's decision to attend USMMA.

    I spent the past few months aggressively investigating the perception of USMMA amoungst my peers. The review is complete and Ive heard nothing but goodness in comments from others, here is a smattering:

    1. From an AF Engineer: "Their are 3 types of engineers, Book smart, hands on smart and the best are those that understand both. USAFA produces book smart, USMMA produces both."

    2. From a C-130 navigator: " I was flying in Antartica and got into an argument with my copilot about celestial navigation. The Aircraft commander shut me up when he said "Dude the Co graduated from the merchant marine academy"

    3. From a C-17 Pilot: "I think USMMA produces a better leader than USAFA"

    4. From a Coast Guard Capt: "If I had 2 new ensigns one from UCGA and another from USMMA, The USCGA grad would be working for the USMMA grad at least for a while”

    5. A-10 pilot: “We had a guy in our squadron that graduated from USMMA..he was built”

    I found plenty of negative comments about other SA’s but couldn’t find anyone that had a gripe about USMMA and I searched.
     
  5. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Bugsy-does your son want to go into the USAF? If so, did he apply to USAFA?
     
  6. Packer

    Packer Member

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    bugsy - If I may ask, Is your son considering an AF commission after USMMA?
     
  7. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    DS learned of USMMA from his uncle, a retired Navy officer, who encouraged him to consider USMMA if he wanted marine engineering. As he described it, the USMMA grads were the ones who knew how to "drive the boat!":thumb:
     
  8. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    DS wants to be an aviator, has dreamed this since a pup. Has been part of the AF fighter family for years. The bug really caught when he "flew" the F15 sim at Kadena AB. He has also visited Arlington where dad showed him the fresh dirt on a grave of a fallen aviator. He has grown up with this his whole life, but thats part of my push to broaden the aperture beyond USAF. As of now his plan is to apply to AF UPT out of USMMA, but in addition apply to USCG and USMC aviation opportunities. He's a smart kid and he’ll do what he’s driven to without dads help.

    During the USMMA open house DS met a 1C that really had an impact on us both. A kid set on USAF when he joined the USMMA family, but as a 3C decided on USMC aviation. He will graduate in June, sail as a merchant mariner awaiting his UPT class. Show up to pilot training with $50K in his pocket and a level of maturity few peers will have. He was a standup young man that I would be proud to have serve. DS saw his future in this young man. DS is impressed with the engineering program, loves airplanes, has always liked the water, SCUBA cert at 10yr. So this is a good fit.

    DS had planned self prep to USAFA if turned down, but has found a new path. 3X nom to USAFA but no vacancy and no regrets.
     
  9. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Bugsy:

    One path your son should definitely look into is the Air National Guard. I'm not 100% on how the program is working right now out of USMMA, but one guy in my class was able to sign on the dotted line for a pilot slot during 2/c year.

    For someone whose interest is in the AF that isn't a bad option coming out of USMMA.
     
  10. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    bugsy, Congrats to your DS and you. It is nice to hear your perspective on all this with your background. Like Luigi and some others it is cool the hear good things from people who are knowledgable about the other academies and /or career choices but still hold KP in high esteem.
     
  11. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    When I was a SQ/CC with the 23WG at Pope AFB in '95, one of my best Jr. Officers was a 2LT from the MMA. He went on to be the CGOY (Company Grade Officer of the Year) for the "Flying Tigers".

    This is one reason I'm so impressed by KP grads. I've seen what they can do!
     
  12. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    My son is a 1C this year and has accepted his USAF Commission. he already knows where his first base will be :)

    KP is a great place and the opportunities are endless...but..those opportunities can only be realized with a LOT of hard work....but it is worth it.

    Don't let the nay sayers on this forum get you down. You can accomplish anything if you have a goal in mind, and start your plebe year with that goal and work towards it. :thumb:
     
  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I had about two-three dozen Kings Point grads work for me over the years, either as Naval Reservists doing their active duty time at Military Sealift Command or straight-out active duty Surface Warfare. It was a normal distribution, some top-flight officers ("pack-plus"), some above-average, some middle of the pack and only one bottom-feeder ("pack-minus") that I remember. Overall, excellent officers. Performance, performance, performance is all that really counts in the end, and I didn't care where they got their commission as long as they delivered.

    The bottom-feeder thought because he doing his annual active duty at my MSC command in Pearl Harbor during January, that he should be have been able to cut loose by noon every day and head to the North Shore or Kailua Beach to catch some waves. He was re-calibrated on his expectations.

    If a junior officer performs over and above the norms, leadership is always happy to have an ace player on the team, regardless of where he or she was commissioned. Occasionally, it's the inexperienced members of the peer group who get snotty about the source of commission and give credence to negative stereotypes.

    One of the KP grads I was honored to work with is well-known back at KP today, on staff there, now a retired USNR captain, and one of the finest officers with whom I have been privileged to serve.

    If USMMA fits you, go for it, and deliver performance at every point along the way. You'll be fine.
     

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