Need Info/Help

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by footballer, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. footballer

    footballer Member

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    I am not very familiar with the MMA and honestly didn't know what I know about it now until being recruited by an athletic coach.

    I have been on a path to the military, specifically the Air Force, my entire 4 years of high school. I had kind of made up my mind that I didn't want to go to a service academy because I didn't want that lifestyle for my college years. I'm currently seeking an AFROTC scholarship, but I am seriously considering the MMA should this pan out.

    I haven't been able to get in contact with anyone who is or has attended the Academy. I came upon this forum a few days ago and I have a few questions that would help me in my search to make a decision.

    1. What are the Civilian Career options like upon graduating? I keep hearing about the great pay, but i'm not familiar with the stability of the maritime industry.

    2. How does life at the Academy compare to to the other service academies? Is it as regimented? Or is it more like a private military school?

    3. My intended major is Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering at one of my other schools. How well does the Marine Engineering Systems with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering compare to an Aerospace Engineering degree.

    I do understand that if I choose to go it would be a huge commitment and it would be something that I wanted to do; this is why I am searching for some answers. Answers to one or all of these questions would be greatly apprieciated.

    Thank you all in advance for you time!
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    First welcome to the forums, there is a wealth of knowledge around here to help with any questions you may have. There are alumni, parents, and current midshipmen who may have some answers for you, I'll try to start.

    Civilian career options are pretty wide ranging. If you can relate it to the maritime industry you can pretty much do it. The maritime industry will be around forever, the one aspect that does change is the need for people to go to sea. When I first started at KP ('97) the need for people to sail was slightly down and not as many graduates went to sea, by the time I graduated there were more jobs than graduates who wanted them. Ashore there are plenty of jobs for graduates, the placement rate is always 100% or very close to it.

    I think most would agree that KP is probably the least military of the five service academies; however, it is definately regimented. As a plebe you will be yelled at and expected to do what seem like stupid things (walk six inches from a wall for a year, square all your corners, no sodas, etc.) With that being said most would agree that most of the students at KP are too busy with their own coursework to really bother you (select exceptions include the first class officers and others who simply enjoy pretending they have power).

    I will somewhat limit my comments here as I was a marine transportation major and have no clue on any aerospace stuff at the academy. The engineering department at KP is outstanding and you will get a great education; however, it will not be aerospace oriented. Hopefully someone here can comment on the possibility of getting an aerospace engineering job after graduation, but I would think it rare (and possibly hard to justify as a martime job at that)

    I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Choosing to attend KP is a huge commitment, and I think the best advice I can give you for seeing if you would enjoy being there or could deal with the regimented lifestyle is to go for an overnight visit. If you are a junior in HS this can easily be set up by the football coach you are in contact with for your senior year (best time to go would be during the season so you can get an idea of how the team works). Best of luck to you
     
  3. footballer

    footballer Member

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    Thank you for the quick response. I plan on making an overnight stay within the next month or so after I finish up some paperwork. I think that will be the best way for me to decide if it is where I want to spend the next 4 years. I haven't been one for dealing with the "stupid" stuff, but if I made up my mind that's what I was going to do it wouldn't be an issue for me.

    I'm really looking into the maritime industry as an option. The possibility engineering and making a pretty decent living is definitely something I would like...
     
  4. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    I don't want you to be surprised when you see how "military" AFROTC is in college. There will still be many obligations if you decide to take that option as well. Study it well so you'll know exactly whats up with it. Its great that you'll be attending an overnight visit at the academy. That will answer what life is like there (to an extent). You'll not find a better engineering program and the opportunities coming out of KP are more varied than other academies. Not bashing the other academies mind you. Wow, can we load you up with some information. Ya gotta start somewhere so just keep asking away. Since you play football, all you have to remember is Go KP beat CG. We'll talk later about that.

    FYI - A KP grad was the pilot on the space shuttle recently.
     
  5. footballer

    footballer Member

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    First, let me clear it up and let everyone know I actually play soccer and just prefer to use the title "footballer" instead of "soccer player". I understand the confusion as football will always be the predominant sport.

    I actually have friends in several different ROTC Detachments across the country, two at VMI, one at the Citadel, two at the AFA, one at the Naval Academy.... I have gotten the scoop on most places and their environments, except for this one. I really appreciate the help on this board...
     
  6. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Oooo. Soccer. Even better. We still need you on board so you can help beat CG. :shake: Its great that you know people at all of the schools. To get their “take” on things is probably very enlightening. Regimentally, KP is tough but the one thing that I would add is that the academics are tougher . I will share what my son said once about KP vs. The Citadel as he has knowledge of that particular place. “The Citadel has a tougher regimental life since they go through an entire year of Hell but the academics at KP are twice as hard.” That said, I know he meant that going through an entire year as a Knob was not to his liking and that he would have liked some of the easier classes of humanities because he enjoys those type of classes. Being a Plebe at KP is about 8 months long so I don’t get what he was talking about Knob year being much longer. At any academy, the main phrase about being a Plebe is “life sucks”. Most kids live on 4-5 hours of sleep while trying to put in a 100 mile an hour day full of do‘s & don‘ts. Your life will not be your own. You’ll even be told when to brush your teeth & which socks to wear at any given moment. Those are some examples of the stupid stuff you’ll roll your eyes at. I don’t hear about my kid’s day all that often but I did yesterday. A one sided conversation full of venting that I‘ll share to give you an idea of a typical day… He’s into this a year & ½ now (3rd classman) & life continues to “suck” sometimes in his humble opinion. He had to stand two watches. All kids will do watch duty on top of other regimental duties. He had watch from noon to 4pm then again from midnight to 4am. After not going to bed because he stayed up after returning at 4:30am studying for a Cargo Ops test because he had to go inspect his Plebes at 6am anyhow. You’ll end up being responsible for others later on from their uniforms to rooms to their academics to their behavior. After taking his crashed computer to the tech people & stopping by the dentist for an quick exam for the four wisdom teeth they‘d just taken out, to the pharmacy for a new prescription, then off for that occasional drug screening that the bureaucracy should have rescheduled since he was on pain killers for the teeth thing, he trudged off to one class for a wicked hard test, went to lunch then went for 6 more classes lasting until 4:45. Then it was off to do weight training & after that, ordering a pizza to reward his Plebes for not getting the CC’s head up his rear, all before going back to his room for hours of homework that he threw in the towel on at 11pm & finally crashed. I can almost promise that he nodded off in some classes without being able to chew gummy bears to keep him awake. He was thrilled with one thing yesterday. He got a B- on the test that he thought he was going to flunk which would have been a disaster. Life & death, the way he described it. A glimpse into a typical KP day full of fun. Almost every minute of every day, you’ll have something to do. He’s anticipating the second half of Sea Year. Something no other academy has. Graduating with a 3rd mates license and choosing which branch of service he wants to serve in. Again, something no other place offers. That’s what makes this place so attractive. It would be a really good idea to study on the majors offered & the classes required to see if your interests lie there. I’d consider that part more important than the regimental part. I feel sure you’d conquer regimental life. Doing Physics I & Physics II all in the same year is kind of scary. You’ll have 50 some credit hours in an 11 month long school year that runs on trimesters making you alittle busier than other colleges. I’ll end this novel here hoping you’ll see the good over the bad. When you go for your visit, I think that you’ll get a lot out of it. The not knowing part is hard. This is the longest post in the history of post. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
  7. sealion

    sealion Member

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    thanks, jamzmom. From your description, I'm trying to picture my almost 16 year old at KP. He has a strong interest in MMA and we're gonna visit this spring.

    A big financial mogul that my son admires graduated from KP and the mogul always points to his experiences at MMA as very positive and life changing. To be honest I don't know what the man did after graduation.

    We were on MMA's site and and noticed that the course offerings for each major are listed.
     
  8. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    Footballer is now headed for State U. HA HA HA:eek:
     
  9. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Oh Boss. I didn't scare the boy. He's made of tougher stuff than that. He's gonna come play soccer for us if I have my way. Did you see that part? :shake:

    Sealion, I too, am very impressed with the KP grads I've met. I had one of them give me his card & tell me that when my kid graduated to come & see him because he'd have a job. They have a tight network. This particular guy was a shipping company owner out of Port Washington, NY just around the corner from the academy. Talk about an interesting fellow. Its good ya'll have begun the academy thing early. Lots to learn & consider. Your son could go into KP & come out a CG Officer. :rolleyes:
    (for those who don't know, thats what my kid wants to do but I like sticking pins in Boss)
     
  10. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    Is that the guy who brings the $1,000,000 check to his presentations? ha ha

    :biglaugh:
     
  11. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Nah. That guy wasn't even in this guy's league. This guy only had his house to show that covered 4 city blocks complete with helicopter pad. LOL I got lost three times trying to find my way out. That other guy was showing peanuts. :biggrin:
     
  12. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Footballer: if you have any questions about the soccer team that you don't feel comfortable posting online PM me. I played for four years there and talk with Coach Smolens on a fairly regular basis. Soccer is a great relief at KP, it gets you off campus quite a bit and out of some of the other not so fun stuff.
     

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