New USMMA Superintendent Announcement

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by TX2KP, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. TX2KP

    TX2KP Member

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    DOT 71-12
    Monday, June 25, 2012
    Contact: US DOT Press Office
    Tel: 202-366-4570

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces New Superintendent
    for U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
    Says Helis is “ideal fit” to oversee Academy’s future with military, academic experience

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today named Colonel (ret.) James Helis, Ph.D., as the new superintendent for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Helis, a 30-year Army veteran, will begin work at the Academy next month after spending the past eight years as a department chair at the United States War College.

    “Colonel Helis is an ideal fit for the Academy,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood. “His extensive military and academic experience reflects the Academy’s mission of both training and educating its students to support our country’s maritime needs, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a strong future for Kings Point.”

    Since 2004, Colonel Helis has led the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania. During his 30 years in the U.S. Army, Colonel Helis served as an Army Ranger and master parachutist and was a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, where he served as Chief of Plans for the NATO International Security Assistance Force. His professional foreign travel includes Belgium, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Haiti, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden.

    “I am deeply honored and very excited about the opportunity to serve at Kings Point,” Colonel Helis said. “I am eager to join the team of faculty, staff, and most of all midshipmen, all of whom daily live by the values of honor, service, and excellence.”

    Helis received his Doctorate of Philosophy in International Relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He holds masters degrees from both the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the University of Pennsylvania, and he earned his Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

    Colonel Helis and his wife, Jan, have two sons, Corbin, 22, a 2011 West Point graduate, and Ian, 18, who joins the Kings Point Class of 2016 this summer.

    “Thanks to a thorough search process involving faculty, staff, midshipmen, parents and alumni, we have identified a true leader in Colonel Helis,” said Maritime Administrator David Matsuda. “As Superintendent for Kings Point, he will bring energy and experience to our team and will help ensure that the Academy continues to chart a course for future success.”

    The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is responsible for overseeing the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, including the hiring of key Academy positions. As part of the selection process, Colonel Helis also met with a number of midshipmen, faculty and staff from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, as well as alumni and industry leaders.
     
  2. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Yes. Ideal choice for the Merchant Marine Academy. From a Transportation Secretary with a background as a high school teacher. . . . . .

    Sigh. Where is the credibility.
     
  3. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I wish him well! And he definitely has a vested interest in seeing the Academy improve for at least the next four years :biggrin:
     
  4. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I missed that little tid bit. So much for the appearance of any impropriety.
     
  5. Kram1

    Kram1 Member

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    Happy to see a new Sup named. I am sure a lot of folks can find lots to fault in this selection, but I believe the Kings Point family should hold off on any public criticism of this choice until everyone sees just how it goes. I see a leader and an academy grad coming to lead KP because he wants to and because he feels he has something to give to the Midshipmen and the Academy. Let's see how he does...as KP2001 said...he sure has a vested interest in seeing that things go well over the next four years at least!

    WELCOME ABOARD!
     
  6. KP2010

    KP2010 Member

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    Sigh...I wish the guy luck but why can't we ever have a Kings Point Grad as a Superintendent?
     
  7. Ashore

    Ashore Member

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    Let's support the Superintendent. He will need it.

    We have had graduates in the past. Some of the non graduates have been formidable Supts. Incest is not necessary for progress.
     
  8. KPSQRD

    KPSQRD Member

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    While incest may not be necessary for progress, having someone aboard to lead that has some industry experience, knowledge and understanding would be requisite in most circles. Optimally someone that has achieved flag officer rank and graduated from KP would be ideal. Wait- we just had someone on board that fit that bill.

    The new sup appears to have strong leadership skills and fine academic credentials based on his resume but has he ever set foot on a boat, ship or commercial vessel?

    We've had Annapolis north - are we going to have West Point on the Sound now?

    The jury is going to be out on this one for a while.
     
  9. aooga15

    aooga15 Parent

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    Best of luck to our new Superintendent

    :thumb:
     
  10. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    A jury wasnt appointed, support the leadership.

    Best of luck to the new supe and others in leadership at USMMA.

    Posted from the CENTCOM AOR, leading 4900 people who dont get to vote on me as a leader.
     
  11. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Did you really mean to use the word incest in your post? Maybe I am missing something. It wouldn't be the first time.
     
  12. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Nepotism may have been a better choice of words.
     
  13. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Exactly.....
     
  14. KPSQRD

    KPSQRD Member

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    Actually incest was picked up from a post that was removed......
    whatever you want to call it, having someone that knows the industry would have been preferable. Time will tell.
     
  15. Ashore

    Ashore Member

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    Nepotism is not correct. Incest is correct. It was not selected from any previous post.
     
  16. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Then I guess I am missing something......
     
  17. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    The worst choice for the superintendent. With no background or understanding of the Merchant Marine or the Merchant Marine Academy, he is doomed to fail. Having discussions with the alumni office, Col. Helis was the lesser evil of two. That's right only two people applied for the position, the third withdrew their name. Col. Helis won't last longer than a year, he is set up for failure. Just because he was an army academic and a leader does not mean he is the right fit for the job. As alumni we need to have someone that knows the industry and knows the academy.
     
  18. Navy4ever

    Navy4ever Member

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    tankercaptain: Why don't you just bash the guy before he steps foot in the door! Nothing like airing the Alumni's dirty laundry to get that vote of confidence!:confused:
    You or another alumnus could have applied for the position???
     
  19. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Navy4ever
    I am not "bashing" the man. I am stating the truth. Let's be honest about what is going on at Kings Point and its future. Graduates have tried to apply for the position, that is a fact. However, the graduates that have applied have had discussions with Maritime Administrator Matsuda. Those discussions did not go well. Mr. Matsuda wants total control of the academy and has a vision for it. What that vision is no one knows. I believe not even Matsuda knows, but he wants total control. The person that was chosen is nothing more than a political puppet.
    The future of Kings Point is at stake, and what is going on there is does not help create the best maritime school. Remember this the US Merchant Marine Academy is supposed to train the best merchant marine officers, that is its job. Whatever a grad does after graduation is up to them, but it's focus is to train merchant marine officers, anything else destroys the school
     
  20. Ashore

    Ashore Member

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    Two of the recent Superintendents had no maritime background and they were fine leaders of the institution. In incoming Superintendent has been selected and it is in the best interests of the institution that he be given wide support at this time.
     

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