MMR changes in SSOP program What does this mean

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by kpbaseballmom, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    Does this mean that that KP grads have a greater chance to be called up and deployed?


    Merchant Marine Reserve Program becomes Strategic Sealift Officer Program
    (Press Release)Friday, June 17, 2011
    After extensive coordination with several Navy organizations and the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics approved revisions to the latest CNO Instruction (OPNAVINST 1534.lD) transitioning the Merchant Marine Reserve (MMR) Program into the Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP) on June 10.
    The SSOP supports national defense sealift requirements and capabilities, which are executed by Military Sealift Command (MSC). The program provides the Navy with officers that possess sealift, maritime operations, and logistics subject matter expertise, and further hold U.S. Coast Guard credentials as merchant marine officers.
    "These changes will help align and improve support to Military Sealift Command and numerous other Joint and Navy commands," said Vice Adm. Bill Burke, Deputy CNO for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, who is the SSOP program sponsor. "This revision improves stewardship, integration, and opportunities for about 2,400 Navy Reserve officers."
    The SSOP, like the old MMR Program, will continue to provide the capability for emergency crewing of sealift ships and shoreside support to Navy commands that require unique maritime expertise. Further, this change provides opportunities for greater operational support to the Navy by expanding selected reserve (SELRES) billets and active duty recalls to SSOP officers.
    "The improved program aligns strategic sealift officers under MSC to provide the best use for their training as both Navy officers and licensed Merchant Marine officers," said Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, commander, MSC, who is Flag sponsor of the program. "It also expands training requirements to ensure that these officers are best ready for mobilization."
    "Both the Navy and the officers in the SSOP will benefit from improvements such as increased opportunities to serve, better alignment of name to its military purpose, streamlining to a single designator, and improved training consistent with other Navy communities" said Rear Adm. Buzz Little, commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command. "This new SSOP builds upon the tradition of the MMR, by becoming more ready, relevant, visible, and providing greater opportunities for service."
    (By: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Strategic Mobility and Combat Logistics Division)
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    In reality it means nothing more than a different name, and a different insignia.

    Currently it looks like midshipmen will not be authorized to wear the new device (the former Sea Chicken) until after graduation; however, there is talk of retaining the current device to be worn by midshipmen.
     
  3. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Has a catchy ring to it though. :cool:
     
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I should say that in the big scheme of things I think this is a positive change for the MMR program. This gives a little bit more visibility to the program from "Big" Navy and hopefully brings some additional standards to what is expected of those in the program.

    Although I'm not in the program anymore I think people see it as a positive step forward.
     
  5. 2012kpmam

    2012kpmam Member

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    After reading this press release, the term "opportunities to serve" sounds like they are intending to use the merchant mariners in more active duty situations. We have heard that the Navy is looking to staff some 24 Navy vessels with civilian mariners. Would be a whole lot cheaper for them if they deployed these officers to run these ships. Could that be their intentions?
     
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I would very seriously doubt that. By 'opportunities' they are likely referring to Annual Training opportunities which at times in the past people have had some trouble securing.

    To recall an IRR officer to active duty involuntarily requires something very serious to occur. Those jobs on USS ships would likely be filled through MSC positions and I believe most of the positions are more in the unlicensed realm.
     
  7. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I'm not directly in the industry but my understanding is that the reference to "opportunities" is indeed with regard to annual training opportunities.

    Also my understanding is that the staffing of the 24 ships refers to ships and duties on what are known as "Fleet Auxiliary" missions on ships currently manned by active duty navy and/or MSC CIVMARS and they are looking towards moving to outsourcing that to private contractors (such as MLL, etc.). When they do that (outsource), think of these sorts of numbers: Active Duty Navy = ~160-180 person crew; MSC CIVMARS & Contractors for the Aviation Wing = ~120 Crew; All Private Contractors = ~80 or even less (including the embarked aviation wing contractors)... That usually means commensurate proportional cost avoidance in the operating costs of those ships.

    Perhaps one of those still directly in the industry could provide more specifics or even a current midshipman who is "up on" MSC. That said I don't think the wording of the message and/or the change means anything either way as regards a propensity for what used to be MMR IRR program participants to be "called up" or with their "Ops Tempo" - at least in the next couple of years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  8. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Nope. SSOs are not civilians, they are Naval Officers so "deploying" them to Navy ships would just be replacing one Naval officer with another and would offer no cost savings.

    I spent 12 years in the Program. When I started everything was very haphazard and there was very little structure. It was kind of nice in the sense you could almost do whatever you wanted as far as your 2 weeks of annual training. The program has gone through a lot of changes over the last 10 years and some of that was just formalizing what they already wanted everyone to do by putting it in the form of written guidance.

    Sine 9/11 SSOs have been "discovered" by the Navy and have gained a lot of acceptance where we were previously unknown and not particularly respected as a community. The restructuring can be viewed in part as a reward for a job well done. These changes put SSOs on a much more even playing field with the rest of the Navy Reserve. More Annual Training (2 week), mobilization (1 year usually) and recall (usually 3 years filling an active duty billet) opportunities.
     
  9. Sunk @ the Docks

    Sunk @ the Docks Member

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    We are now SS Officers. Clearly someone did not pay attention in history class....
     
  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Nice, I didn't even notice that until you brought it up.
     
  11. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Wow! I don't know how I missed that one earlier either. You would think an organization as acronym happy as the Navy would pay attention to that.

    So we started out wearing "hitler youth" uniforms and now graduate into SS Officers? You really can't make this stuff up.
     
  12. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    Yep, and most of the Midshipman have, and are having a field day with it.

    It will surprise me if this lasts very long given the deserved sensitivity to all things related to that period of time in Germany.
     
  13. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    only if it makes the news. There was a building on the base in San Diego with a footprint shaped like a swastika. It was there for 30 years before someone noticed it on google earth and it made the news. Story was on for a couple days and is now forgotten.
     
  14. sprog

    sprog Member

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    As long as USMMA is still commissioning Ensigns, as opposed to Untersturmführers, I'm doubting there will be too much issue with the new designation.
     
  15. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I agree but "Untersturmführer" sure sounds cool when it rolls of the tongue...
     
  16. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    What's German for midshipman? I'm sure if we would have thought of it we would have called ourselves that between October and April.
     
  17. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Leutnant zur See
    This is Ensign, I think. When you type the word "Midshipman" into Google translate, this is what comes up.

    When I typed in "Naval Officer Cadet" (as Wikipedia, reliable as always ;o), says students at the German Naval Academy are called), google translate comes up with:

    Marineoffizier Kadett

    For my own edification, I typed in "Merchant Navy Cadet" (the British English term for the Merchant Marine is "Merchant Navy"), and that gave this:

    Handelsmarine Offiziersanwärter

    I have no idea how accurate any of this is....
     

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