Question re B-split

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by kdbax, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    According to the calendar, B-splits report for sea duty the day after graduation in June. Is there any "down" time between graduation and leaving for sea duty? Son thought he might have some time.
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    It depends on the schedule of the ship they are assigned to. It can be anywhere from no time to a week or possibly more.

    The key thing to remember for any down time is travel. The Academy will only pay for your midshipman to travel from the Academy to their ship. They do not pay for any stops. They will not pay for them to fly from the Academy to home or from home to the ship.

    I believe there are several older threads regarding sea year travel that I highly recommend any new "sea year parents" read before setting up any travel arrangements.
     
  3. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    Thanks - We're about 3 hours away, so if he has some time it might be possible for us to pay him a visit before he leaves. I'll look for the sea year threads.
     
  4. proudmomcolorado

    proudmomcolorado Member

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    engineer or deckie

    Hi Kdbax, I also have a b split son (it seems to be the minority) and was wondering if yours was a engineer or a deckie?
     
  5. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    He's engine.
     
  6. proudmomcolorado

    proudmomcolorado Member

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    b split

    Mine is a deckie in first company. I guess they will all be taking sea year "classes" and I trust MMA to send them off prepared.

    I tried to go back to March-June of last spring to look for the sea year postings and couldn't find much more than they need a rolling duffle. I will keep looking and if I find something, will post it back here.

    Past and current mids, any sea year "inside":thumb: knowledge would be appreciated.
    Thanks.
     
  7. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    You will hear this a million time so it may as well start now. STAY ON TOP OF YOUR SEA PROJECTS! Also, deckies have tests that have to be taken when they return to KP. Be sure that you allot sufficeint time to prepare yourself. This is when time management and self motivation come into play. The crew of your ship is not going to stay on you or remind you that you have work to do. DS said the worst thing is to come back with several projects 90% done. There won't be time to finish and you will end up failing all of them. Better to finish what you start. Mine was fortunate there seemed to be a KP alumnus on every one of his ships that kept him on track and focused. He even met the man who claims to have started the tradition of dropping trays in Delano:shake:
     
  8. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Here's what we saw/did last year...

    As noted there is no definite "scheduled" down time between Graduation and a B-split's report time/orders to their ship; some may well have orders and know where and when they are/will report to the ship before graduation; others may not get their assignment for a week or so after graduation.

    Also as noted, KP will only pay for travel from KP (New York) to the ship or reimburse the midshipman for that amount they would have paid for the Government airfare to the ship.

    Based on DS's experience last year my 2 cents are, if you and your family can afford it, it's worth it for your child to come home and spend the time at home rather than at KP, if they don't/aren't leaving for their ship virtually immediately after graduation. That said, it will likely cost you/them a few bucks as you won't likely get a flight for the amount that KP can get them for. In our case we were "lucky" in that we live near Dulles Airport and son needed to fly out to LA (Long Beach) to catch his ship. Thanks to cheap flights from DC (IAD) as well as from NY (JFK) to LA/Long Beach via Jet Blue, the prices for DS' flight out and back were very, very close to what KP would reimburse him for, at least what he was told the ATR approved as I'm not sure he's recieved reimbursement yet.

    DS followed what he was told by the ATRs during the prep course and discussed and got all plans approved/coordinated with the ATRreceived before he made/executed them - I'd suggest that was key....
     
  9. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Looked through some past threads for further sea year information and found the following that is rather dated so advisable to double check:

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=2583&highlight=year

    I had two B-split Mids for two weeks while "waiting" on their ship after grad 07. Talk about making me nuts & eating massive quantities of oreos while the ETA story changed from day to day. (Ship's schedule not due to ATR planning). Ended up driving them to an airport 4 hours away but delighted in every minute, trust me.

    ATR's actually put two 2nd Sea Year deckies together on a MSC ship. In most cases they will put an Engineer with a Deckie. It was a pretty hair-raising experience awaiting MSC security clearances. Finger printing an hour before catching a flight was funz! Just remember.... KP folks are Semper Gumby!

    The Mids will be given a list of what to take on Sea Year. I recall double checking with KP2001 who'd kindly advised that "less is more". Anything you can do to lighten their load is STRONGLY advised. Deckie's lists will vary from Engineer's lists. Their books alone are a killer. 50lbs is a close guess-ta-ment. Clothes are a big issue as well. If your Mid begins in Hono, he/she may need a winter jacket while sailing where Puffins live. GRIN Mine froze to death. Make sure they have a good camera above all else.

    Ride their BE-hinds about the sea year project. Not that it helps, mind you, but YOU will feel you've done all you can to help. Mine ran across campus stapling stuff an hour before the turn in time while I rubbed my forehead rather violently. I believe it is a rule that no staples are allowed. I'm just glad I'm not you guys & that I survived this stuff. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  10. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    If their ship is going to China they will need a visa in order to go ashore in port.
    Make sure you get that paperwork started as soon as you find out. There is a consulate in New York. My DS dragged his feet and was unable to leave the ship the first time they went to Shanghai. What followed was a dizzying odyssey when the ship returned to the states in order to get the necessary paperwork. It was totally worth it of course, liberty in China is not to be missed, but it could have been far less hectic.
     
  11. deepsea

    deepsea Member

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    My two cents- get the sea days as soon as possible. The sooner a mid can get on a ship the less likely they will come up short later- leading to harried attempts to get days as a first classmen, and having a hard time scheduling an internship. Sure the chance to come home for a week is nice, but not worth the trouble down the road. One exception (and I'm a little biased) is to hang around to do the Newport to Bermuda Race (we are sending 4 boats this year) or a cruise on our new schooner Summerwind. Both of these count for sea days, so you're not losing any.
     
  12. proudmomcolorado

    proudmomcolorado Member

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    sea year advice

    Wonderful and wise advice, thanks so much. Keep it coming.
     
  13. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    As Marine Ops Dad says get the visa for China as soon as you know you are going htere. It takes some doing and you have to answer the questions right at the consulate - it's easier to get them at eeither the one in NYC or Washington DC than in LA as well. If you don't have one you can't get off the ship and you must get them before you leave the states.....
     
  14. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    For the record I agree with Deepsea get as many sea days as early in sea year as possible. That said if you must wait for a ship I stand behind what I said earlier waiting at home is much more pleasant then wating at KP....
     
  15. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I did both and I think getting out to sea ASAP is better.

    My first year I didn't leave for sea until late July. I ended up getting back way late and went straight from my ship to the airport to school. It was a bit hectic getting my sea proects together and submitted. My second year I was on my ship less than a week after graduation. I had all my sea days done and my internship and was home by thanksgiving. That gave me a month sitting at home finishing my sea projects. It made for a much easier return. Above all, I would be sure at get at least 170 days your first year to give you that cushion and the also the option of being home early your second year.

    As for the "less is more" comment ... I second that. I had an upperclassman tell me to lay out everything I thought I needed for sea and then put half of it back. I still had too much stuff. My second year I went to goodwill and bought a bunch of work clothes for cheap and then just threw them away when I was getting off. I learned that from a 3rd on my ship.
     

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