Question about Navy Career Options

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Mom-in-PA, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Mom-in-PA

    Mom-in-PA Member

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    My DS has been offered an appointment to USMMA and is still waiting to hear from USNA. A question that he has is about whether and how USMMA allows students to expore military career options. DS's dream beyond college is to become an officer in the Navy. At USNA and NROTC, they spend time during the summers exploring various options and career paths. However, is there any similar opportunity at USMMA? Would there be any way that he can explore aviation, surface and other options for a career in the Navy?
     
  2. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    USMMA Mids can pursue a commision in any of the 5 services if they so choose. I'm no expert on MMA, but I think that they can go to a 2-3 week internship and see what things are like at a Navy/Coast Guard/Military unit.

    I would encourage your DS to look at the majors at USMMA though. Is he interested in the Maritime Industry? The majors are extremely limited at KP, so that's definitely something to keep in mind.

    Personally I would rather go to a civilian school and do NROTC, much more fun.

    Has he looked into Norwich University? If you've got a scholarship for any ROTC they will pay for your room and board. Just another option...
     
  3. kpdad2015

    kpdad2015 Member

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  4. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    During second sea year, each mid must do at least one internship in addition to time at sea. One option is to do a naval flight internship. There are actually many opportunities because KP mids are not competing with USNA and NROTC mids who all trying to get summer internships. Our DS is looking forward to doing his flight internship in March. I understand that KP mids get much more flight time because of lower numbers at the times they go. Another popular option is to work aboard Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships during sea year where there can be a lot of interaction with the surface warfare community.
     
  5. Mom-in-PA

    Mom-in-PA Member

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    DS is not concerned with how much "fun" he will or will not have. In fact he welcomes the sacrifice inherent in attending a service academy. He is also aware of the selection of majors available at USMMA and intends to pursue Marine Engineering Systems if he attends. As mentioned, his career goal is the Navy so we are just trying to find out how he would best understand all of his options if he attends USMMA.

    kpmom2013, how long is the internship you mentioned? How often do the mids go on more than one internship? For example, if he really wants to explore aviation, but also wants to explore surface warfare, is it realistic that he will be able to do so?
     
  6. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Your son will have way more experience with the Navy than he needs in order to make an educated decision on if that is a career path he still wants to choose.

    His time at sea will let him know what life as a surface warfare officer will be like (well not really, life as a merchant mariner is considerably better than as a SWO). He can do an aviation internship for several weeks which will be just as much exposure as a USNA grad will get with an operational aviation squadron. And on top of all that his exposure to military life and USMMA's Naval Science department will be more than enough to know what he wants to do.

    The best part of USMMA: he doesn't have to decide at age 18 what exactly he wants to do for his first career.
     
  7. Texmom

    Texmom Member

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    KP majors

    Your DS might want to look carefully at the degree plans of USMMA vs USNA. KP is not for the faint of heart, mind, or body. Systems majors graduate with 174.5 credits compared to 141 credits for the same major at USNA. The differences between the two programs and institutions is pretty significant. Good luck to your DS and hopefully he will have the opportunity to have to pick between the two great SAs.
     
  8. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Mom in PA sending PM.
     
  9. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    But the purpose of USMMA isn't to commission active duty naval officers- it's purpose is to produce competent officers for the merchant marine with going active duty an option.

    And yes, USCGA was always my first choice (although I did have an offer to go to USMMA before the nomination interviews). I'm saying that if someone really wants to be a naval officer or go to flight school there's a really good chance that they'll be miserable at USMMA. It's a tough school with their trisemester system and how they cram classes. If you're not interested in their limited majors you'll be miserable there.

    As for NASA...all of the SA's have had astronauts. The current mission commander in space is Captain Burbank, a USCGA grad :thumb:

    If the OP is set on going to USNA, I would recommend doing NROTC for a year if they don't get accepted. They typically don't accept applicants from other service academy grads.
     
  10. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I still haven't decided and I am on my third career. Well, since college, anyway.
     
  11. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    In addition to doing an internship with the Navy, DD says that 30 to 35 days of the second sea year can be spent on a Navy vessel. The place to ask for more information is the Department of Naval Science. Good luck to your DS!
     
  12. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I actually think that USNA has had the most. They had the first American in space, and also the first charged with a felony. Take the good with the bad, right?:shake: I'm kidding...

    Seriously, I would have thought USAFA had the most astronauts, but I'm pretty sure it is USNA.

    You can also be an astronaut from MIT, or Rice, or a ton of other places (assuming we still have a space program). I think Armstrong went to Purdue for his undergraduate degree.

    Sam's point on NROTC vs. USMMA is a good one, the "fun" part notwithstanding. If your son is interested in the Marine Systems major, and he is also interested in commercial shipping (and doesn't mind the compressed academic schedule), USMMA is a good consideration. I think Sam was just trying to point out that USMMA is a big commitment to studying/working in the maritime industry. Naval service certainly can be the ultimate goal, but KP needs to be considered with what is involved in attending. The same can be said of NROTC (i.e. what is given up? what is gained?).

    USNA is fundamentally different that USMMA. Thus, if USNA really is the goal, Sam's point on a second application from a civilian university with NROTC is also a good one.

    Each person is different, and USMMA might be a better fit, but it's good to know what's involved with each choice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  13. KP2010

    KP2010 Member

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    Yes and remember Elliot See (USMMA Class of 1949) was selected as one of the original members of the Astronaut Corp, although he was unfortunately killed before he could fly in space. I think he was going to fly in the Gemini Program.
     

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