Need some help..

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by akammes1997, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. akammes1997

    akammes1997 Member

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    So, Im a junior, and I've been hell bent on attending USAFA since my freshman year of high school, but I am starting to look at the other academies, and I want to apply for all of them. I've done my research on USAFA, USNA, USMA, but I've only learned bits and pieces about the merchant marine academy. Is this academy the same as the other ones? As in you go into the marines or navy after graduation for 5 year active duty? Or is this a little different? The website is a little confusing. Thanks!


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  2. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    If you're truly looking to apply to all academies you forgot to list the USCGA.:thumb:

    As far as I know you can cross commission to one of the other branches upon graduation. How hard that process is I have no clue but from my limited knowledge it's easier than going from AFA and trying to cross into active duty Navy as an example.
     
  3. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

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    Hello! I applaud you on looking into all your options (Academy wise). You ask a very good question. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is located in Kings Point, NY. It's informally called Kings Point as USMA is called West Point and USNA is called Annapolis. It is also called "America's Best Kept Secret."

    The mission for Kings Point is train midshipmen to become licensed deck or engine officers in the United States Merchant Marine. The U.S. Merchant Marine is not the Marine Corps. (People think USMMA is the academy for the Marines all the time) The U.S. Merchant Marine consists of government (Besides Navy, Coast Guard, and NOAA) and merchant ships that deliver goods and passengers. Since the school has a maritime focus, its curriculum is closely tied to the sea and shipping.

    Kings Point has five majors and two disciplines. Disciplines are what really set people apart. You are either an Engineer or a Deckie. Deckies navigate, manage cargo, anchor the ship, and pretty much everything else that is not in the Engine Room. Engineers are responsible for the engines, Engine Room, generators, and repairing the engines. Deck majors also learn about intermodal transportation, business, and law. Throughout Plebe Year, you take the same classes as your shipmates and other Cadets/Midshipman. Some examples are Chemistry, Calculus, PE, and Physics. The academic year is almost year-round because of Sea Year.

    Sea Year is actually two training periods between your Sophomore and Junior Years. You go to sea on actual working vessels in the United States. You function as a Cadet learning how to be a Deck or Engine Officer. You get paid a little over $1000 a month during Sea Year. You will ravel the world and the average Midshipman will see around 18 countries. You will move around from different types of ships so you get exposed to everything. Through Sea Year, you will accumulate upwards of 300 days at sea. Also, you have a Sea Project while on Sea Year. Even though you are not at school, your mission is to learn all you can. It is sort of like a distance-learning course. During your Second Training Period (which is longer than the first), you can request to go onto a military ship for a few weeks if that is the avenue you want to take. You also have to do an internship to see what the onshore maritime industry is like. Some people intern with units in the Armed Forces. Your class is split between A Split and B Split. This means half of your class goes to sea, while the other half stays at USMMA. A Splits go to sea in the winter and B Splits go to sea in the Winter. You are only with your entire class during Plebe and Senior Year. Sea Year is one the many unique things about Kings Point!

    Now... another very unique thing. At Kings Point, the midshipman have a different service obligation. The Midshipmen are part of the Navy Reserve. This is similar to Coast Guard cadets being part of the Coast Guard, West Point Cadets in the Army, etc. Every midshipman graduates with three things. They graduate with a B.S. in Deck or Engineering, a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer License, and a commission in ANY of the Armed Forces. You heard me right. ANY of the Armed Forces. Not only can you choose the branch you commission into, but you can choose your component. You can go into Active Duty, the Reserves, or in the Army National/Air National Guard. You can even get commissioned as an officer in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Kings Point has produces Army Blackhawk Pilots, Marine Infantry Officers, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Officers, Nuclear Navy Surface Warfare Officers, even Air Force Pilots. The opportunities are endless. Each branch has a liaison officer. They can arrange for Midshipman to training in the summer. For example, one Midshipman can go to Army Air Assault School, another to a Navy Fighter Squadron, and another Midshipman could get freefall qualified through the Air Force. MOS slots are also easier to get. You only have around 200-225 people needing a job. Keep in mind, not everybody is going to be trying for those spots too. Sometimes, branches will hand out certain jobs like candy if they are need of that job.

    Kings Point gives you so many options that the other Academies don't. Statistically speaking, usually around 1/3 of the class will go to sea, another 1/3 will work in the shore-side part of the maritime industry, and the other 1/3 will enter Active Duty. Earlier, I said that not everybody is competing for the Active Duty slots. The reason this happens is because nobody is obligated to go Active Duty. It is a choice and as stated above, only 1/3 of the class chooses that route. The obligation is serve the maritime industry for 5 years, be a Navy Reserve Officer for 8 years, and keep your license for 6 years. 5 years Active Duty is a substitute for the Maritime Industry Service. The Navy Reserve is a good gig too. You don't have to do the one weekend a month type deal as mariners are gone many months out of the year. You are only on Active Duty for two weeks a year for training. You would have to do the one weekend a month deal if you went Guard or Reserve in another branch though.

    I will tell you that Kings Point, like the other Academies is tough. It is a very specialized Academy. You have to have an interest in the sea, ships, and commercial shipping to like Kings Point. You need to also have interest in ships to do well. A lot of people come to here with a desire to go Active Duty. Most graduate and sail on their license. The Academy will expose you to so many different avenues. You will probably change your mind a lot if you come to Kings Point. Many of those people wanting Active Duty become attracted to sailing because of the money. Starting is $70-80k plus. Plus, throughout your 4 years, commercial shipping is in your face constantly. It is really appealing to most Seniors and they have to decide between going to sea and going into the military. Having an open mind is a great thing to have. I am a 2019 applicant and Kings Point is my #1. The reason being is that ships fascinate me and I want to go into the military. I have tossed up the Navy, Coast Guard, and the Air Force (I want to be a pilot). Since I don't know yet, why lock myself down to one branch. At Kings Point, I could try out all three and see what I like.

    Just apply here for the right reasons. USMMA is not a back-up. It is a great school that gives a lot of options. I think everyone on the USMMA forum will agree with me.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. akammes1997

    akammes1997 Member

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    I'm not looking at the coast guard academy because from what I've heard, they don't have doctors and their job selections (I think CG uses the term ratings) in the medical field are very small. My plan is to go to one of the academies, with my back up being ROTC or SMP ROTC through the reserves. I want to try for the HPSP scholarship to go to med school, but I can honestly say that I'd be happy with any job in the medical field or job the military puts me in. I make the best of everything (and I do have a competitive application, I am well within the average for gpa, act, sports, and extracurriculars for all the academies). Thank for clearing that up for me. USMMA sounds interesting, but I honestly do not have that great of an interest in shipping, and I don't think that I would do as well at USMMA because of that.


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  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    USMMA offers two basic majors (there are more, but they are variations of the two) Deck and Engine which are designed to work towards the Coast Guard license exam and to develop sea going officers. I'm not sure how this would further your goal of a career in Medicine as the job selections for doctors are exactly zero.

    Not to say it can't be done but it is very very rare that it actually happens. I think his name is KP2001 on here is one of only two I know of, the other being a Navy Dentist. You would likely find it very difficult to pursue medicine outside of the military without going back to school also.
     
  6. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Hailing Dr. KP2001! You are needed on the forum stat!
    I think this question is up your alley:shake:

    To the OP,
    Hang on there is an alum, who is also an admin for this site I believe, who should be around shortly. Don't count KP out just yet.
     
  7. luv2fly

    luv2fly Member

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    About kp2001
    Biography
    USMMA graduate and US Navy Physician
    Location
    Navy Hospital
    Occupation
    US Navy Physician
    Class Year
    Alumni-2001
    Signature
    USMMA '01
    Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences '07
    Naval Flight Surgeon
    Navy Physician
    *Views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DON, DOD, nor the US Govt*
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Medicine out of USMMA is definitely not an easy route, but it can be done. It requires additional class work after graduation, but if one is willing to put in the work there aren't many other places that will prepare you better.

    The OP is correct about the USCG, they use public health docs and a lot of PA's.

    One route you could take into a medically related field immediately after KP would be going into the administration side of things with the medical service corps.

    One advantage KP gives you over the other Academies is flexibility. If you don't get it on the first go round you aren't relegated to waiting 5 years before you try again.

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