Maritime Academies and MARGRAD Program-Coast Guard

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by hut736, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. hut736

    hut736 New Member

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    Hello,

    So I feel that I am going to be a nontraditional student entering the Maritime Academy in the next 1-2 years. I would like to pursue a masters degree at one of these academies while getting a through the Coast Guard MARGRAD program. As of right now, I am getting ready to join Army Reserve, however I will only owe three years. I should be eligible for joining the Coast Guard, because it says on there website: "Current military members in another service or the CG Reserves must furnish as signed DD368 (conditional release)." Getting my release in three years should not be a major issue.

    However the questions I do have are:

    1. What percentage of Maritime graduates do actually get selected into the MARGRAD program.

    2. How competitive is it to obtain a commission through the MARGRAD program,

    Any help would be appreciated, thank you!
     
  2. FinFan

    FinFan Member

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    Hut736...I saw your post from earlier and thought that I would share what I know.

    Yes, you can be selected to join the USCG upon graduation through the MARGRAD program. From what I understand, there is an allocation each year for a certain number of slots under the MARGRAD Maritime option. You will compete with students from the other maritime academies and USMMA as well. There was a post a year or so ago which noted, I think, 55 slots in the past year. From what I remember from other years, this number was much larger. So as the number shrinks, the competition increases. So, you will have to dig to find out the most current year allocation but it will vary by year. So, it goes without saying, your GPA will be very important.

    My DS is a graduate, deck licensed student. He says not many from his school go this route despite there being several USCG officers in his graduate classes. He says most want to sail on their license upon graduation.
    At DS’s school, there is a meeting each Fall at the beginning of the semester where the USCG comes in and discusses the program and its options.

    So since you have time, research that option so you can hear about it directly from the source. We did visit a different maritime academy and the USCG representative was not as helpful as we would have liked. But at DS's school they are very informative and helpful.

    You will have to spend 3 full years at the maritime academy. This is a USCG mandate. You will also spend most of your summers sailing on the training/commercial cruises. Some schools will allow you to live off campus if you have a degree, others will make you stay in the dorms.

    It sounds like you know a lot about this option but I thought that I would include the USCG link for others.

    http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-yo...s/programs/maritime-academy-graduate-(margrad)

    Another option is the Navy's SSO (Strategic Sealift Officer) program. If selected, you get $4,000 per semester to use for tuition or room and board with at maximum of $32,000. You will owe the Navy reserves time upon graduation. From what I understand, you can do your reserve time almost anywhere (back on your school campus teaching others, etc.) and you will do it in bulk time…not a weekend a month type thing.

    I know that I have been pretty general but hopefully it will help you while you investigate. If you would like you can PM questions.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Thanks for a very informative post. I do know a couple of Mass Maritime and NY Maritime Grads who went into the USCG thru this option but they both graduated long ago. Anyone else have any experience with the Coast Guard Maritime Graduate Direct Commissioning Program?
     
  4. 33435934

    33435934 New Member

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    I know this thread is a year old but I just wanted to check about the above. I just finished a chat with a recruiter online and here is what he said:

    Is the recruiter correct? I don't want to finish my degree in 2.5 years and then discover that I should have stayed for 3 years…
     
  5. FinFan

    FinFan Member

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    33435394—No offense to the online recruiter that you spoke with but you would be better served by contacting the Maritime Academy where you are interested in attending. This is a special program and not all “recruiters” understand the nuances of this program. I do know that some Maritime Academies offer limited tonnage curriculums but you will get just that limited tonnage and not the Unlimited tonnage license.

    I cannot tell if you want just a 3rd mate deck license or if you want to obtain a Navy reserve commission, or USCG commission and this would matter because it would add a few more classes to your schedule. No matter where you attend you will have to complete a prescribed course of study of license courses which lead to a USCG/STCW license endorsement and accredited sea time accrued.

    I took this excerpt from my DS college catalog…..Must take certain courses and complete a Training Record Book which includes USCG required Ba sic Safety Training, Ratings Per forming a Navigational Watch, First Aid Provider, and Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch. Furthermore, the cadets are required to complete mandatory sea service, participate in the USCG approved Corps of Cadets License Option Program, complete a degree, and pass license examination administered by the USCG. Candidates will also have to follow all regulations set forth in 46 CFR 310, STCW 95 as amended, and USCG Texas Maritime Academy approved SOP. In addition, DS had to attend a week long marine firefighting school (he did this over Spring Break—in order to be able to go on his first training cruise).

    That being said, you will HAVE to take THREE various cruises (2 training cruises and 1 commercial cruise). At most Academies, these take place during the summer months and these cruises will vary between 45 to 90 days. During these cruises you will also be required to satisfy a course syllabus (Sea project or just a regular class with physical class time on your training cruises).

    In addition to your graduate major (roughly 32-26 hours), 13-16 deck license required courses (65-70 hours), weekly ship maintenance requirements (you get credit for being on a ship—which is needed for total ship time. DS will have approximately 104 hours once he finishes in December and these classes include graduate classes, STCW classes, NROTC classes, and cruises. AND in order to “graduate,” you have to take and pass your 3rd mates license (Unlimited tonnage) examination prior to being able to graduate. This exam is given at the school (September, January, & May) and you have to have completed the STCW classes.

    I will try to find his MARAD obligation book and see if I can find you a specific reference to the “3 year” requirement. But as you can see, it is a program that is very structured and has many different components to it and it simply takes a lot of time. And you will know if you get at the end of your 2.5 years whether or not you have fulfilled the requirements to take the examination, graduate, receive your merchant mariner qualification, and Naval reservist commission.

    Hope this helps. Best wishes.
     

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