Merchant marine vs. Coast guard

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Kellyjade, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Kellyjade

    Kellyjade New Member

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    This week I got the wonderful news from both the merchant marine and coast guard academy that I have been offered an appointment! Now the problem for me is which to choose. I honestly have no clue where I belong. I know I want to go active duty upon graduation and maybe apply for a pilots slot.
    I honestly don't know too much about either academy except the basics so any info about either would really help!
    Thanks
     
  2. WKSLP

    WKSLP Member

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    Maybe you should visit both before deciding.
     
  3. Kellyjade

    Kellyjade New Member

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    I visited both already and loved both campuses
     
  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Congratulations!
    The CGA graduates and commissions active duty CG officers and that is their only mission. About 10% get pilot training slots right out of the academy and more apply and get slots after doing a tour of duty.

    The MMA graduate merchant marines with a Navy Reserve commission. It is possible to go active duty in any branch but not guaranteed and that is not the academy's primary mission.

    If you are able to visit both academies prior to making your decision I would recommend it.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. WKSLP

    WKSLP Member

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    Tough decision then. KP offers many choices after graduatio n. both D3 athletics if that is a consideration. KP has Sea Year which is unique to this SA. Well congrats on the multiple appointments and good luck with your choice!
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Merchant mariners. :thumb:
     
  7. sprog

    sprog Member

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    If you are sure you want active duty in the Coast Guard, CGA is the best choice.

    If not sure, USMMA is the most versatile; however, you should at least have an inkling of interest in the limited maritime subjects offered as major programs of study. Even if you ultimately don't end up as a mariner, the thought of going to sea shouldn't put you off (since you'll have to do this as a midshipman). KP's primary mission is to train mariners, and as others have stated, you can go also go active duty.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    After visiting both academies and meeting the students.... what were the impressions that you came away with?
     
  9. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Like others said, what do you envision yourself doing? You're cadet years are going to be extremely important, especially in regards to academics. MMA has an even more limited amount of majors than we do, so if you're not interested in engineering or ship design you're kinda stuck.

    With that being said, I knew that CGA was a better fit for me. Guaranteed active duty in the coast guard, degree I wanted to pursue, and a more "military" environment. Better food too :wink:

    We have pretty amazing summer opportunities as well. For instance, I had port calls in GTMO, Panama, London, Iceland, and Halifax last summer

    Just think hard about what you want to do after the academy.
     
  10. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Merchant mariners, not merchant marines. . . . .Oops, I see Luigi beat me to it. . . .
     
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Yep, learned my lesson. I'll be more careful.
     
  12. donar

    donar Member

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    USCGA

    On behalf of those forum members in the USMMA "Hold" status ,who really and truly wish to attend Kings Point, ... I'd recommend you chose the USCGA.
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    When I was a senior in high school, I tried to keep my mind open to the possibilities. I looked at USCGA, USMMA, and USNA.

    Visiting the schools, and staying overnight (at CGA we called it "Beansprouting") is helpful.

    That experience was the final convincing I needed to make my decision. Were you leaning any direction after you experienced both schools?
     
  14. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    1) Congratulations on having such an enviable conundrum.

    2) In regards to giving you relevant thoughts and advice, given you've already mentioned you've visited both schools and are still undecided, I offer the following things to think about:

    a) How strongly are you in your conviction of going active duty and when you think about that is Coast Guard the branch of service you are thinking about and in particular USCG SAR given you are thinking about aviation?
    b) Do you have very little or a lot of interest in maritime service (either being a merchant mariner or active duty Navy or Coast Guard?
    c) How do you feel about the big/cool selling points of the likely things you will do during your time at either Academy? (e.g USCGC Eagle Cruise vs. USMMA Sea Year; your likely major at USCG vs. USMMA; the "personalities" of each group of students you met during your visits assuming they were overnight visits, etc.)

    While both are great choices the truth is when you focus on the answers to those questions and the differences/contrasts in how you feel about those answers - you will likely be able to make the right decision for you.

    Both are great schools and both prepare you to succeed well in life after graduation so while neither is going to be a bad choice, one will be better than the other for you as an individual and only you can answer for yourself which is right for you.

    Good Luct and again congratulations.
     
  15. SnerdlyBosco

    SnerdlyBosco Member

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    Thanks to donar for actually pushing [submit reply] on the post I had written but decided against...
     
  16. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Why is that?
     
  17. Kellyjade

    Kellyjade New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. When I visited I went during finals so I didn't really have a chance to talk anyone. I'm going in a couple of weeks to visit again and hopefully stay overnight.
    In regard to what donor said, I am trying to get as much info as possible to make a decision so a spot can open up for someone else.
    I am definitely interested in the maritime industry and love the hands on aspect offered at the merchant marine for the engineering degrees. I also grew up 10 minutes from the beach and did the junior lifeguard program for 4 years so I definitely have a love for the ocean. That being said I am leaning toward the merchant marine just because I have more options when I graduate and the sea year sounds very exciting to me.
     
  18. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    Just because someone is not completely certain about their choice at this point does not mean KP is the wrong choice. I'm sure there are wait list candidates for CGA who would say the OP should choose KP to open a space for them at CGA. It sounds like the poster is considering KP for some very good reasons.

    Good luck to you Kellyjade. I hope your upcoming visit will help you with your decision. Jasperdog posed some excellent questions for you to consider as you make your choice.
     
  19. strenlara

    strenlara New Member

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    One thing the Coast Guard can do for BM's that the Navy can't and won't - is give them an opportunity to command their own unit - with full command authority - either a search and rescue station or even a small Cutter!! They are eligible to do this at the E-7 level as well - so you COULD be in charge of your own Cutter, and be called "Captain" with as little as ten years or so of service!
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You wouldn't be a Boatswain mate going through the Coast Guard Academy.

    And enlisted members aren't "captain" or "commanding officer" but are instead referred to as "Officer in Charge" or OIC...sometimes seen as OINC.

    Either way, if you're at CGA you could be the commanding officers of an 87' in two years (after graduation).
     

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