Merchant Marine Careers?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by m1ndfr34k117, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. m1ndfr34k117

    m1ndfr34k117 m1ndfr34k117

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    Hello everyone,

    I recently decided to give the USMMA another look after previously dismissing it because I saw no aviation careers post-graduation. However, I recently noticed on the MMA website that there is a picture of a pilot, in a flight suit, standing next to a F-18. Although I still haven't found any information saying how this is possible, I'm assuming there's a way if it's on the MMA website.

    Ultimately, my question is simply:
    Is aviation a practical career after USMMA graduation?

    What I mean by this is will it be as easy to become a pilot after graduation from the USMMA as it will the USNA, USAFA, etc.? If so, what is the best way to go about it? If not, what other careers are available to graduates that may be related to aviation?

    Thanks in advance for any help and please excuse any overly-ignorant comments I've made thus far! :)
     
  2. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I don't know about "as easy to become a pilot after graduation from USMMA as it will the USNA, USAFA, etc." I'll leave answering that to those that have done it and there are a fair number. However it is possible or has been in the past, and continues to be.

    That said USMMA is first and foremost a Maritime Academy and my personal opinion is that's what it's best suited to be and do train future mariners to lead our Nation's Merchant Marine industry.
     
  3. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    :Flame Suit On:

    Don't come here chasing a commission just because you don't get in to another SA. Yeah you can go aviation after graduation, it's not hard, but you're going to spend four years learning about boats, and if you don't have an interest it is going to be pretty rough. I think you would be much happier doing ROTC Why come to a boat driving school if you want to drive planes? Just my .02

    :Flame Suit Off:

    A lot of our graduates do go flight, it's an option we have after graduation, and truth be told it's easier than at any other academy, especially when the economy is good. We have a fair number of slots, and far fewer people competing for them than the other SAs, it's just another option our graduates have. You can commission in ANY uniformed service (includes NOAA) so you have a lot of options.
     
  4. julieannreed

    julieannreed mom

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    My nephew did it!

    In his high school years, my nephew had a goal to become a helicopter pilot. He looked at the academies and applied to a few. I don't know what made him choose Kings Point. He graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in systems engineering in 2009. Today he has his wings and is an MH-60R pilot with the US Navy. Goal complete. He says "for me and what I wanted to accomplish, I made the right choice." But I do know that he worked hard for his goal.
     
  5. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I got into KP because I originally was trying to get into the Air Force Academy so I could fly. I changed my mind about that early on in my KP life and have never regretted my decision to stay in the maritime industry.
     
  6. m1ndfr34k117

    m1ndfr34k117 m1ndfr34k117

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    To respond to beyond,

    I never said that I don't like boats; I said that I like planes. They aren't mutually exclusive.
    Also, what's wrong with choosing the USMMA because I didn't get into another one? I'm not going to lie. The USMMA is last on my list, but that doesn't mean that I'm settling for it. I'd be more than happy to go to any service academy. That's like saying don't go to West Point because you didn't get into The USAFA. As the other posters have said, sometimes going to a different academy is the best choice after all.

    Thanks for all of the feedback though. :)
     
  7. sprog

    sprog Member

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    The point he was making is that you are going to be spending four years studying maritime subjects, and that you better have an interest in shipping, as that will be your life for four years. You won't touch aviation until after you graduate (that tends to be the case at a lot of places, however). More than that, you'll compress your academics into three years so that you may spend a fourth at sea on commercial vessels. Accordingly, more than a passing interest is necessary in the maritime industry, or else you could find yourself being rather miserable.

    The opinions of beyond and jasper are fairly common among USMMA alums, both on this forum and elsewhere. They do not like the idea of their alma mater being thought of as a catch-all service academy for those pursuing commissions in the active branches (but who were denied appointments to the respective SAs). The USMMA has a purpose separate from the other service academies. Yes, there are active duty options from USMMA, but those are not the principal reason for the school's existence.

    If a student chooses USMA because he didn't get into USNA, then he is making a drastic change of plan, as now he is going into the Army instead of the Navy. If someone wants the Navy, it seems a more logical choice is to pursue NROTC in that situation. That said, if service is the goal, no matter what branch, then it makes little difference if USMA is accepted because USNA fell through. USMMA, however, is a different animal. The academic and Regimental program is unique in its goals. The default result for a graduate is to be a licensed CIVILIAN mariner who works on US-flagged ships while participating in the Naval Reserve. Active Duty is an option, as you note, but unlike USMA or USNA, that is not where the institution firmly has its place (the default result for a USMA graduate is to be a 2LT in the Army). KP gives more options than any of the others, but it is, as jasper notes, first and foremost a maritime academy.

    As the others have said, you certainly can become a pilot in any of the branches from USMMA. Are you willing to spend four years studying marine transportation/marine engineering, to include spending a year on a commercial ship, in order to get there? Or, would you rather focus your efforts on branch-specific programs to further your chances at flight school, all the while studying subjects unrelated to the maritime industry? If the answer is yes to the second question, you would best be advised to pursue the service-specific SA (USNA, AFA, etc.) as a first choice with a ROTC back-up (and potential re-apply to the SA). If, however, you really do have an interest (that is more than passing) in commercial shipping, are willing to study it and keep your options open, then USMMA is a good choice (back-up or not).

    All the posters above are advising is to be realistic about what you are undertaking.

    I was Air Force AD and graduated from VMI, so I have no dog in the hunt. However, having participated on these forums for a while, and having volunteered at college fairs, that is how I would advise you approach the issue.

    Pay attention to what the alums from KP have to say. Their input is the most valuable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  8. Sea Faring Moose Mom

    Sea Faring Moose Mom Member

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    DD Tale

    DD had never been around 'water' having been born in Iowa and raised in Colorado. Her heart was set on Flying and THEN.....USMMA. With the option of going Flight, she focused on the Sea and becoming a Mariner. As the 4 years passed, she heard the 'call of the Sea' and now could not be more smitten with WATER.....

    At Graduation, 2011, she became an Ensign in the USN and is serving in the Persian Gulf region. Still not quite sure she wanted to give up the Flight option, before she left USMMA she made sure to fill out her Flight Packet with the Navy too.

    Right now, the Sea has a hold on her... as she gazed one night at the stars on watch......she missed hearing her name the first 2 times.....gazing at the wonders of the Sea and Universe.........CONTENTMENT for sure.
     
  9. KP2010

    KP2010 Member

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    You can get an aviation flight slot out of USMMA but depending on the year it could be very hard to get a slot. I graduated in 2010 and in my year 5 people were given Aviation slots from the Navy out of 25 applicants. That being said you do have 5 chances to get an aviation slot if you don't care what branch of the military you go into. Army if you give them enough notice usually have an aviation slot available to you if you want it. Air Force when I was a Midshipman was a little different, you had to commit and sign a contract that you would be in the Air Force before you know if you even have a flight slot, so if you don't get a flight slot you're still committed to the AF. Coast Guard usually only takes 1 or 2 people. Marines have a guaranteed flight contract but you would have to ask some Marine Ops guys about that. NOAA generally doesn't take anyone unless you serve in the NOAA Corp for about 2 years first. Untimately it depends on the year you are graduating. Right now they are reducing the military and that means less flight slots. It could change in 5 years when you/if you go to USMMA. I would recommend going to one of the other academies if you want to fly however. The upside of USMMA if you can't get a flight slot for any reason (medical, academic, whatever) out of KP there are a whole slew of options available to you. Hopefully this helps with your decision.
     
  10. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    ... Sprog ....

    Thanks as the line from the movie goes ....

    "You get me"

    Others....

    As for the reactions you get from myself and fellow alums here when you post things like "USMMA is my last choice of the SAs..." This spring try this - when looking for your Prom Date tell them you asked 3 or 4 other "better looking" people but if they all say no, you'd like them to go with you, are they "in" and let me know the reaction you get.
     
  11. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    And there is that line in Thunder Road, " . . . you ain't a beauty, but hey, you're all right. . . "
     

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