Why USMMA?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by dpt135, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. dpt135

    dpt135 Member

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    I am a candidate for both USMMA and USNA. Don't know as much about KP. Would someone give me pros and cons of USMMA? Also could you also give some more personal info other than what I've read on the brochures. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    I will be the first to answer this although there are others that will have better answers.
    My son was applying to USCGA when he heard about USMMA. He applyied to both and is now with USMMA.
    The best thing about USMMA is the opportunities it offers you AFTER college. You can enlist in any of the military branches (5) or go civil. USNA does not offer this option.
    Indoc is only 2 weeks long, not 4 or 6 weeks. It also offers a year at sea which USNA does not. So, not only do you get a top notch college education, you also get experience at sea. You will also have your Coast Guard License which USNA and USCGA do not offer.
    Those are just a few pros and cons. I am sure there are others that will be posted.
    Best of luck and I hope you make the right decision for you.
     
  3. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    That's a very broad question that could cover anything. Any specific questions?

    As to the pro's and con's portion, I'll add my opinion as a graduate:

    Pros:
    1)Great Education at "no cost" (yes there are some fees, and you pay with your service obligation, etc etc)
    2)Small School
    3)Low Student:Teacher ratio
    4)Great location
    5)Amazing sea year experience
    6)Tons of options at graduation (active duty, reserves, sea, shore etc etc)
    7)If you sail after graduation you can make around 10 grand a month the day after you graduate
    8)Great opportunity to play sports, learn to sail, etc
    9)Fierce loyalty among graduates

    Cons:
    1)Small school
    2)Not for you if you don't have a potential desire to sail
    3)Not quite the military experience of USNA, etc (if you want that, otherwise it's a pro)
    4)Highly specialized school (great if you want that, otherwise, a con)

    I'm sure there are others, but this is a decent start
    4)
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I'm a USMA guy, but here's my question to you...

    Why are you a candidate for USMMA if you don't know what it's about?

    I think a good place for you to start would be to close your eyes and think about your college experience. How do you see it, from beginning to end?

    Are you an officer? Are you a professional mariner? Are you both? Are you neither?

    kp2001 gave you a good run-down on the rudiments of USMMA. But you need to figure out what you want to be before you chase down a nomination to a particular academy.
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Scout, this happens a lot with KP. Because it is not well known many people first hear about it when attending some sort of service academy forum or possibly at a high school night. Some people (like myself) know they want to go to a service academy, but aren't completely sold on which one.

    Unlike USMA/USNA/USAFA we simply don't get the exposure so people need to look other places to get information. By the time many first hear about the place they are bumping up against application deadlines. Better to apply and ask questions than to ask questions and miss an application deadline.
     
  6. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    I'd like to highlight kp2001's item number 4 under "Cons." USMMA is a very specialized school with limited majors. You can not major in Political Science or Psychology there. Be sure you are happy with the choices available to you.

    Another thing every prospective candidate for KP should do is to consider the calendar. Because mids spend a year at sea (a fantastic experience!) they squeeze 4 years of course work into 3 years on campus. Classes begin at the end of July and the Spring trimester doesn't end until mid-June. If you're A-split (when you go to sea), you won't be around for holidays over the winter your Third-class and Second-class years. If you're B-split, kiss any summer break goodbye because you'll head to sea immediately after you finish classes your first year! It's very intense and the shortened terms make the classes that much more difficult. Be sure you are prepared!

    USMMA is a great school. Graduates have amazing options available to them. If you are at all interested in a maritime career, I don't think you can beat the experience of Sea Year. But if you are not interested the very specialized majors or the maritime experience, don't consider KP as just an alternate Academy for earning a commission.
     
  7. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    dpt135

    I sent you a private message.
     
  8. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    Our DS was first set on Annapolis - study engineering, become a surface fleet engineering officer. Then his uncle (retired Navy) advised him to consider USMMA - in his view, some of the best engine officers he served with came out of USMMA. After doing a day visit and an overnight visit, he was sold on Kings Point. He's on his first sea term right now, and KPMum 2012 is right - what an experience! These are a couple of the photos he has on his MSC ship in the South China Sea:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (Yes, that's DS in the red, trying to hook the helicopter!:eek:)
     
  9. KP13Mom

    KP13Mom Member

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    kdbax~GREAT pictures! I just want to know......who's going to claim the DS hanging out of the helicopter door? :shake: Our DS returns to KP sometime next week. He has also had an awesome experience at sea.
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Definitely not someone's midshipman!
     
  11. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    LOL - I thought that as well! The helicopter was off one of the Navy ships they were replenishing. Our DS isn't sure when he gets back - the ATR told him they might not make it back before classes start....:eek:
     
  12. dpt135

    dpt135 Member

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    In answer to your question Scoutpilot... I want to be a Navy SEAL. I know there are many ways to try and get there. I am foucused on getting my education first and have been set on USNA for awhile. I love it there. I've been to Seal wrestling camp 2 years and NASS. I have not visited KP but would probably be impressed with it also.I just read on the USMMA website two weeks ago that graduates can be commisisoned in the Navy. They informed me it would probably be possible to go to BUDS from there. So,I am trying to open my options further. I have read the material sent to me in the mail and cruised the USMMA website. Yet, I was hoping to get some more personal insight from people on the forum.
     
  13. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    If you want SEAL then KP is likely NOT the school for you. Can it be done and has it been done in the past, sure, but it's probably not going to be a great fit of a school for you if that's your interest.

    Now, don't let that completely write the school off for you; however, I would highly encourage a visit before signing anything.
     
  14. dpt135

    dpt135 Member

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    Thank you kp2001 for your threads and advice.
     
  15. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    So it's clear to me you've done your homework as to what it will take to become a SEAL. As you understand the ONLY way to become a SEAL is to complete BUDS and whatever your route to commissioning is you still need to apply for, get accepted and complete BUDS after you commission if you are to be a SEAL and a Commissioned Officer; then I'm going to pile on here to KP2001's last response.

    As your initial primary objective will need to be to Commission as an Active Duty Ensign, your primary/first choice for Service Academies should likely be USNA, not USMMA. True the majority of USMMA graduates receive commissions as Ensigns, USNR (vice O-1's in other services) and of those that go active duty, the majority do so in Maritime Services (USN, USCG) however the training program at USMMA is one in support of it's primary mission. So while graduates have considerable leeway in how they fulfill their obligation, the training program is primarily geared to ensuring you are a fully qualified and excellent Merchant Marine Officer ready to go to sea and operate commercial ships immediately upon graduation. As such you will likely find an experience elsewhere as more applicable to the post-graduate career you are seeking.

    Finally as KP2001 closed, that's not to say I have any insight or clear understanding as to what is right for you as an individual and USMMA is a great institution. I tend to be a little stand-offish to comments and questions like yours as I worry you may be looking at my Alma Mater as a "fall back" school/option and that's definitely something I personally discourage. To get the insight you are really looking for as part of your decision process I'd suggest the best way to figure out if it's right for you, is to go and do an overnight visit if that's at all possible.
     
  16. wolfe834

    wolfe834 Member

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    I know it's not a direct curriculum; however the Marine Corps Ops program will keep you physically fit and in the "Seal" kind of mine. Through the Marine Ops program, you can also apply to and attend jump school in Benning.

    Having your PTL 1 and jump wings under your belt would look good on the BUDS application.

    Just something else to add to Ol' KP...
     
  17. KP2013Momm

    KP2013Momm Member

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    I would encourage a visit, speak to the mids and then go with your gut. It would be wonderful to have multiple acceptances and have to decide from multiple good options.
     
  18. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Agree. If you want to be a SEAL, and that is your primary focus, you should concentrate on USNA. I would look to NROTC as a Plan B.

    USMMA is not a fall-back school, it is a service academy with a focus on the commercial shipping industry (including service in the USNR). Even though there are many things you can do as a KP graduate (including being a SEAL), if you have no interest in marine transportation/engineering, you're not going to have a happy college experience. I could be wrong, and the OP may very well be interested in studying the maritime subjects. If that's the case, maybe USMMA is viable. I'm getting the vibe, however, that this is not the case, and thus I would think USNA is the better focus (with NROTC as a backup).

    As a shameless plug...I'm a graduate of one of the SMCs (VMI), and should USNA not work out, and should you still want the "hard core" military environment (24/7 versus the "normal" ROTC program), we are something to consider for Plan B. I know several guys from VMI who have gone to Army Special Forces and the Navy Special Warfare community. Just food for thought..
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010

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