SSOP or MMR/SIP Questions

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by rubicon686, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. rubicon686

    rubicon686 New Member

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    I am applying to USMMA as well as two state Maritime academies for the fall of 2013. I've done a fair amount of research on the Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP), formerly the Merchant Marine Reserve. I have read enough to get a basic understanding of the program, however there are a few questions that I have not been able to find answers to.

    1.) How competitive is the SSOP and SIP to get into? I understand the program ranks candidates based on their interview, test scores, and fitness tests and then makes acceptance decisions based on number of billets. I have not been able to find how many billet availabilities there are per school, or for the program in general.

    Furthermore, If a candidate satisfactorily completes all SSOP requirements do they make it into the program, or is more like NROTC where only the competitively ranked candidates have a shot?

    2.) Once you accept your commission as an Ensign in the USNR IRR, can you fulfill your IRR obligation by requesting a conditional release (DD368) from the USNR to accept an active duty commission in a different service such as the USCG?

    Any further information from those currently in the SSO program would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I'm not sure about getting in from the state schools, but everyone gets in from KP unless you have some disqualifying factor. It's a requirement for KP, not an option.

    Yes to #2
     
  3. MechEngi2B

    MechEngi2B Member

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    My concern is over potential conflicts between service requirements and the Marine Engineering Design major.

    It's my understanding that the graduate must sail under their license, or commission to AD military, or work in the maritime industry.

    But, as an MED major, what if the graduate gets a good engineering job offer that is not maritime related, lets say aerospace engineering with Boeing? Can these conflicts be reconciled?

    I see the SSOP as a good thing if you are a deck or engine major. But, in the MED's case, I am concerned that the SSOP may force the graduate away from the employment for which they studied.
     
  4. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    If you don't want to work in the maritime industry, you may not want to attend KP. . . .
     
  5. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    Actually, you must go sail on your license, Active Duty, or if no jobs are available you can go shore side. For the c/o 2012 I don't know of any engineers getting shore side waviers. This is a maritime school, why would you want to work for Boeing? Boats... not Airplanes.

    Also, the SSOP program isn't what dictates compliance, it is in the CFRs.
     
  6. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    If your job offer is not maritime related how is it employment for which you studied? Your sailing commitment is only 5 years, not for life. If you don't want to sail try U of Michigan, I hear they have a good Marine Engineering program

    The SSOP is the Navy Reserve portion of your committment and it is only two weeks out of the year, I think you can manage.
     
  7. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    I think you should be drawing the conclusion at this point that your should do more home work on KP or that it isn't for you.
     
  8. MechEngi2B

    MechEngi2B Member

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    So, essentially, graduates must sail on their license or go active duty.
     
  9. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    I suggest you read the catalog.

    However here is the wording from MARAD and the CFR

    46 C.F.R. PART 310.58

    (3) Maintain a license as an officer in the merchant marine of the United States for at least six (6) years following the date of graduation from the Academy accompanied by the appropriate national and international endorsements and certifications as required by the United States Coast Guard for service aboard vessels on both domestic and international voyages (“appropriate” means the same endorsements and certifications held at the date of graduation, or the equivalent);
    (4) Apply for an appointment as, accept any tendered appointment as and serve as a commissioned officer in the USNR (including the Merchant Marine Reserve, USNR), the United States Coast Guard Reserve, or any other Reserve component of an armed force of the United States for at least six (6) years following the date of graduation from the Academy;
    (5) Serve in the foreign or domestic commerce and the national defense of the United States for at least five (5) years following the date of graduation from the Academy:
    (i) As a merchant marine officer serving on vessels documented under the laws of the United States or on vessels owned and operated by the United States or by any State or territory of the United States;
    (ii) As an employee in a United States maritime-related industry, profession or marine science (as determined by the Maritime Administrator), if the Maritime Administrator determines that service under paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section is not available;
    (iii) As a commissioned officer on active duty in an armed force of the United States or in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; or
    (iv) Other maritime-related employment with the Federal Government which serves the national security interests of the United States, as determined by the Maritime Administrator; or
    (v) By combining the services specified in paragraphs (a)(5)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) of this section; and,
    (vi) Such employment in the Federal Government that satisfies paragraph (a)(5)(iv) of this section must be both significantly maritime-related and serve the national security interests of the United States. “Significantly” is equated to a material or essential portion of an individual's responsibilities. It does not mean a “majority” of such individual's responsibilities, but means more than just an incidental part; and
    (6) Submit periodic reports to the Administration to establish compliance with all the terms of the contract.
    (b) Service as a merchant marine officer. For purposes of the service obligation set forth in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section, a satisfactory year of service on vessels in the United States merchant marine as a merchant marine officer shall be the lesser of—
    (1) 150 days; or
    (2) The number of days that is at least equal to the median number of days of seafaring employment under articles achieved by deck or engine officers in the most recent calendar year for which statistics are available.
    (c) Marine-related employment. (1) Graduates who do not meet the sea service requirement in paragraph (b) of this section and who claim employment in a United States maritime-related industry, profession or marine science as meeting all or part of the service obligation under paragraph (a)(5) of this section and the serve obligation contract shall submit evidence to the Administration that they have conscientiously sought employment as a merchant marine officer, and that such employment is not available. Such evidence submitted, and other information available to the Administration, shall be considered in any finding. In view of current and projected employment opportunities afloat, the Administrator will grant the shoreside employment option infrequently and only on the basis of comprehensive evidence.
    (2) The Administrator may consider positions of operational, management or administrative responsibility, including, but not limited to, the following marine-related categories, to be under the provisions of §310.58(a)(5)(ii) of this subpart and the service obligation contract: Civilian employment in Federal and State agencies related to maritime affairs; steamship companies; stevedoring companies; vessel chartering and operations; cargo terminal operations; naval architecture; shipbuilding and repair; municipal and State port authorities; and port development, marine engineering, and tug and barge companies.

    By the way if you were to go Marine Engineering Systems why would you want to go work in the aerospace industry?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  10. MechEngi2B

    MechEngi2B Member

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    If I major in Major Design Engineering, but have to go to Sea for 5 years, I wonder if my knowledge base would become outdated. My design skills may become lost over the years at sea. Maybe I should take a sea going engineering major. Then, get a graduate engineering degree if I decide to go ashore.

    My interest in is the career paths of Marine Engineering Design majors ...after they stop sailing. Do they go on to professional engineering or did they get side tracked?

    Keep in mind that I am flexible, but I want to plan appropriately. I like the idea of a sailing career. I look with favor upon a naval career, surface or sub. I would be happy in the Air Force as a project engineer. I would certainly consider the CG or NOAA. However, I believe that I will end up in private industry ashore ...sooner or later.

    The question I face now is over what major to select. Professional or seagoing engineering. I certainly don't object to mandatory service, but it is a factor in career planning. So, I pose the question again: what are some of the actual career paths of the Marine Engineering Design majors?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  11. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Marine Engineering and Marine Engineering Systems are both sea going majors. However Systems take a few design classes. You will be much more valuable as a naval arch if you have gone to sea, I could go into a whole dissertation on why that is, but unless you have worked on a ship and had to find the double secret probationary valve you wouldn't understand. Also you are young and have no idea what you really what to do, you might enjoy going to sea and want to make a career out of that, or become a port engineer or fleet manager.
    Truth is if you have this kind of doubt don't apply.
     
  12. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Truth is, since he doesn't even know KP doesn't have a design major I wonder if he's even in the right forum.
     
  13. MechEngi2B

    MechEngi2B Member

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    I meant Marine Engineering Systems. The major offers several minor/options that interest me. Doing Naval Architecture or Offshore Engineering would seem to go well with sea experience. Nuclear, Mechanical, or Thermal options seem to better suit civilian or military service. The way the curriculum is set up, it is possible to choose an option/minor that will compliment sea service or military service. My concern was that I would be better off foregoing the MES major due to service obligations. I understand now that is not so. One can become a licensed professional engineer and use sea service as a pathway to that goal.
     
  14. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    The minors at Kings Point are not going to make a difference in the great realm of things when it comes to jobs especially after you spent sometime at sea. I have yet to really hear from any of my classmates that taking the nuc minor made any sort of difference for them, even people who went to nuc power school. Some of those guys took the minor some of them didn't. If you really want to go into design work your going to have to go to grad school. If you want to take a few design course go systems, if you'd rather have a few more hands on courses go sweat hog. If you want to be a Naval Architect, (ship design) which seems from your posts that's what you want to do go to Webb Institute.
     
  15. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I would suggest not planning so tightly. My career has changed twice since I got out of school, both were spontaneous and unplanned. Get a good solid base. Go to sea (if you can). You will find that you will learn things trying to operate various plants that you can then use in your design engineering, should you decide to continue along that career path. You may just find that you like going to sea far more than doing design work. You just cannot have any idea what your future self will think. I know that I certainly didn't plan to do what I do now, but I love it. Life is an adventure. Go for a ride. In reality, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I like that.
     
  16. wxbnd

    wxbnd New Member

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    Not for you

    I hope you get into the Air Force Academy.
     
  17. jshrz

    jshrz Member

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    I was accepted into GLMA last week and I started the conversation with their SSOP coordinator. I dont quite know how competitive it is, however they do look at your transcripts (I know this because she addressed me about them lol). I would assume that it depends on how many slots they are allocated. I am sure at schools like MMA or CMA where the student population is over 1000 it is a bit more competitive.
     
  18. MechEngi2B

    MechEngi2B Member

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    I definitely intend get and to sail on a 3rd AE's license.
    Good thoughts...
    I'd prefer to keep as many options open as I can.
    This is precisely why is decided against SSOP...
    Thanks :thumb:
     
  19. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Its only two weeks a year and is actually designed for sailing Mariners. Besides, if you go to KP, you don't have a choice.
     
  20. MechEngi2B

    MechEngi2B Member

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    This seems to be the likely way to go...
    My thoughts were to get an ABET certified engineering degree, sail, and work in grad school between sailing tours. Take it from there.

    If I were to sail under obligation, how many days a year are we talking about? The above quote says 150 or less. But where do you find the median number of days that is referred to above?

    What are typical sailing assignments? If one could sail 90 days on and 90 days off, I could fit quarter system grad school in between sailing jobs.
     

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