Need some info on MMC

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by GoKP, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. GoKP

    GoKP New Member

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    Hello everyone. My son is set to go to sea after this Trimester (ends tomorrow) however, there is a big roadblock. After following orders, as directed, all paperwork was submitted to the office of Shipboard Training for application of something called a "Merchant Mariner Credential" MMC. Now, just this week, his ATR tells him and many many many others, they do not have their MMC's and they are F'd (that'a a quote). The ATR has ordered in very strong language to not bother anyone about this, it will get there when it gets there. Captain Albert, head of Shipboard Training will not talk with him or anyone other mid about this. The mids (about 30 of them) have found out they, can track the progress of this MMC application and see that their packages were just FedEx'd this week and it take months normally to get this credential. They (the mids) did what they were asked to do months ago and it appears someone dropped the ball.

    Does anyone out there know how this can be expedited? The mids are being stonewalled and the clock for their first sea year is going to start ticking after Friday. They (KP or whoever) will not find them a ship until these MMC's come in.....wow...for all the hype of this being a great experience (sea year) it is getting off to a very rocky start. Any help, advice, intervention would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    The best advice I can give you is Semper Gumby. The mids will get on ships and they will get the days they need to graduate. KP has a good relation with the USCG and will get them what they need. Nothing you or they can really do beyond that at this point.

    I seriously doubt any midshipman of sound mind would be upset if they were delayed a couple of weeks in shipping out. Oh darn, a few weeks of leave :) (now if it's a month or more, okay I can see being upset).
     
  3. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    DS didn't ship out for his first sea duty until about 3 weeks after most of his fellow B-splitters, thanks to summer school. Not sure if your DS is engine or deck, but our DS (engine) had no trouble making up the time - especially since he ended up spending 4 months on one ship and almost 4 months on another ship during his second sea duty.
     
  4. GoKP

    GoKP New Member

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    He is Deck....his partner, an engine guy, is all set and has everything he needs, and to put it mildly, is a little frustrated with the events, KP, and probably my DS, even though DS really has nothing to do with the "delay".....btw, what is Semper Gumby? see it here and not really sure how to relate that to the old Gumby cartoon and not sure if that is what it really is???
     
  5. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    "Semper Gumby" is a take on the USMC's "Semper Fi". "Semper Gumby" means "Always Flexible."

    If DS is deck, I do understand the frustration on DS' part since deckies need more sea days than engines.
     
  6. GoKP

    GoKP New Member

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    Thanks for the Gumby explanation.

    Frustration on a Midshipman's part is not gonna bother anyone at KP - best I can tell. They just have to be consistently respectfully persistent. After all it is their future they are working for.

    Not easy to understand how a jewel in our country's education system seems to have so many core components that demand the students be flexible because something that needed to get done did not. But, keeping the main thing the main thing, it will work out.....I suppose.
     
  7. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Hmm. I seem to recall having my Z-card, uh, I mean MMC before leaving KP at the end of the year.
     
  8. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    Can't even get considered for a ship assignment until you have it - is my understanding.

    It sure seems unacceptable for a midshipman (many midshipman) to be held up, lose the opportunity for a ship, and basically be put in such a position. I would venture a guess that if the shoe was on the other foot the midshipman (not getting something done that was required on time) would have hell to pay.

    In our case, DS found out at the very last minute, when getting cleared to go to sea, that his eyes were not quite 20/20. Yep, nothing, ever said about it until the last physical before being cleared to go to sea. The academy just told him his eyes were 20/25 and he would have to have corrective lenses before they could clear him to go to sea. It became a fire drill to get a prescription, get it filled, get everything checked off etc. etc. It really did not have to be so cobbled up, but, I took a deep breath and kept saying "It's the government, It's the government".......In this case, hopefully the Coast Guard will pick up the ball and expedite the paperwork in an emergency fashion, after, hopefully, someone from KP falls on their sword and begs them to.
     
  9. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    When I upgraded my MMC in June I was told it was in the mail and could take 6-12 weeks to arrive. It was in my mailbox the next day. They give you a long time frame so that you do not call them every day asking where it its. Once it is issued and mailed there is nothing they can do anyway. The NMC has a lot of problems and there are many people working in the industry whose livelihoods are seriously impacted every day. Your kids will get to sea, they will get their time in and they will graduate with a license on time.
     
  10. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I know I'm occassionally accused of being too quick to defend my Alma Mater or looking at the positive side of things all the time I can tell you the flexibility, persistance and drive I learned at KP have served me pretty well and may well have been one of the two most beneficial and important thingss I learned in my four years there. For me that's definately what made it somewhat of a jewel of the Nation's education system. And yes it well work out in the end...
     
  11. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    As you should be! And, without a doubt, the place teaches lessons that aren't exactly in the "Lesson Plan"......just as we do as parents.....one way or another we teach our children things.....good and bad.
     
  12. jessibee2013

    jessibee2013 Member

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    I don't know about the MMC but I do know that sea years do get royally messed up more often than you might think.

    DS held over for a spring sport so he left for his 2nd sea year about 5 weeks late. Instead of being home for a week or 2 this summer, he was home for almost a month because the ATR said there were no ships available. He was eventually assigned to a docked ship in Baltimore for 2 weeks, and finally in September he got back on a ship. He was scheduled to get off last Friday, had completed all the "discharge" papers and had a plane reservation. On Thursday, he was told he didn't have enough sea days and could not get off the ship for 10-20 days.

    He also did not get any assignments he requested- when asked what he was interested in. Plebe year he was led to believe that sea assignments were based on GPA, In other words - the plum assignments going to those with highest gpa's. He is not a straight A student but is a frequently flyer on the honor roll so not a bad student either.

    I'm not whining as much as just saying to 2014, 15 & 16 parents, sea year isn't the adventure of a lifetime for every mid. The learning experiences are incredible but the ships and itineraries may not be.
     
  13. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    The minute you start "holding over" for athletics your own and the ATR's ability to work with you to get you anything other than the minimum required sea days, especially if you are deck, is severely restricted. To be "safe" if you are a "deckie" to be safe you want to have 310 actual sea days. Over the course of both sea years there are slightly over 365 available for you and the ATRs to get you those days, by holding over for 5 weeks that 365 then dropped to ~ 330.. So now all of the sudden if you're a deckie you're looking to be at sea for ~93% of the available time. Given any of our kids are but one of ~200 to 250 that the ATRs are working with and they owe it to all to help them in an equal or at least equatable fashion, "holding over" puts things at risk from day one of the hold over period. I would also point out that to many, including often the ATR - in this case the number one request was to hold over, so in a way he did get at least one of the assignments he requested.

    Unfortunately, it's rare this is really well explained to the mid in question by either the ATRs or the Athletic Department. It's but one reason I'm always pointing out even if you were recruited for/by a sport - you are NOT at USMMA on or for any sort of athletic scholarship. "Managing" your career at USMMA and making sure you are in a solid position to sit for your license exams always was and always needs to be first and foremost the responsibility of each and every midshipmen. This recent issue with MMC aside now with more ships laid up and less cadet billets available this ends up being more important than ever.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  14. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    The ATRs handle over 90,000 sea days a year and are also coordinating sea days for the state schools (if their students go to sea on commercial sailing vessels.) It's a huge job. Also, some shipping companies are not giving enough berths to our students even though they get paid money from the government to take the cadets. (But that's another story.)

    What worked for my child was to go to the ATR frequently and see what is going on. Do some research first and have a list of ships when you go to the ATR. Also, don't be fussy. Sure it's nice to go to the "vacation" spots, but you are at school to get those sea days. Most likely, you might not have much time in each port, with ships trying to get in and out due to high port fees. In addition, you might be in a great place but have to stay on board to work on that pesky sea project. This is when the mids really have to learn to prioritize - getting those sea days is paramount.
     
  15. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    My advice to any mid going on their first sea year is to go out early and stay out late. Get as many days that first year as you can. Maximize your window of opportunity for your internship the next year.

    Like Jasper said. The sport may have got you into KP, but it isn't going to keep you there. Its not like any other athletic "scholarship" in that you can't "lose" it.

    Adventures are not always fun and games but sea year definitely is the adventure of a lifetime and I have the stories to prove it :shake:
     
  16. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Well, I know that things were a bit different in my day. Quite a few more shipping companies (but they WERE going bankrupt left and right, including one that I was sailing for at the time) available and more options, too. Also, I sailed out of the west coast and the ATR there had a very casual approach. I used to get a scheduling book, The West Coast Shipper, that listed all the ships and schedules and picked from there.

    What really got me to respond to this, however, was the last bit. I still travel quite a bit these days and a very much used to going places and not "seeing the sights". Of course most places I go (like west Africa, Venezuela, the Caribbean, Mexico) don't have a lot of sights to see, especially in the locales where I am working. I have been fortunate to do work in Istanbul, the area round Barcelona, Spain and a couple of other places and even more lucky to get a half a day between finishing work and my flight out to do something "touristy". If I don't get the opportunity, however, that is okay, too. I can't tell you how many times that I have been to Paris, yet I have never seen anything beyond the terminals at DeGaulle or out the window of the plane.

    I can say, however, that I never missed an opportunity to go ashore during sea year to work on my Sea Project. I couldn't even imagine when a situation like that would have ever arisen.
     
  17. jessibee2013

    jessibee2013 Member

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    I wasn't complaining and DS certainly never has- though he did say he is ready to go back to KP so maybe that is his way of complaining- or perhaps he has lost his mind. JUST KIDDING EVERYBODY!!

    My point was that not every cadet comes back from sea year with the incredible photos from exotic places... but they all come back with incredible learning experiences and training.
     
  18. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    You mean it won't all be like the two gals and a guy partying in Guam? I know you have seen the video! :rolleyes: can't wait! One year to go. One trimester at a time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  19. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    LOL - Son was on that ship, but no girls.:wink: He did get a fair amount of free time, though. Far cry from the Ro-Ro where I think he was off the ship a total of 5 days in 4 months.:eek:
     
  20. kps99

    kps99 New Member

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