Originally Posted by mveach_74
I am a student at an academy-sponsored preparatory school and I am in the decision of choosing preferences for Senators and my Congressman. When I first came here, I was absolutely set on USNA. After talking to other people here, my perspective has widened about attending USMMA and commissiong as a Naval Officer. What I really want to do is be a Naval Aviator. I know USMMA has just as many Naval Aviation billets as USNA so that is plus being that USMMA has less Midshipman to choose all of the billets. What it comes down to is which academy I want to indicate as first choice for my congressional nomination which I believe I can earn the principle nomination this year from. Which do you think would be a better school overall? What about for chances of an Aviation billet?
The "better" school is dependent on what you actually want to do, as each has a different mission. Have you visited either school?
If you want to be a Naval Aviator (or any other Navy billet), shoot for USNA. I don't think that KP has the same number of aviation slots as USNA, but I think the slots that are allocated are not as competitive to get simply because at KP, it's not a major thing. Either way, KP is a maritime school and if you don't think you'd like commercial shipping (and everyone
gets a big gulp of it), then you might be happier in Annapolis - they breathe USN day in and day out, whereas at KP it's all about commercial shipping. Frankly, going into KP dead-set with Naval Aviation in mind takes away a spot from someone who wanted to go there and sail on their license. That's my opinion on it and others may disagree, including you. However, if you think sailing might be something you're truly interested in, then go for it. Plenty of my classmates changed their post-graduation goals while in attendance. The aviation thing will still present itself down the line.
Is it possible to be a Merchant Mariner and a Naval Officer at the same after commissioning from USMMA to make extra money?
Sailing commercially is now an almost-full time gig. It's not just a job I go and do every other month, with totally-segregated time off. There is continuous training, upgrade/refresher courses, simulator assessments, medical appointments, conferences, schools/certificates that the various companies (tanker operators) and their charter customers (oil companies) want, etc. Yes, this occurs during my "off-time". No, most U.S. Navy training won't just cross over (believe me, I wish it did - at least vice-versa). It's been well over a year since I've had a vacation where there wasn't something job-related I had to take care of. The basic 3M / 3AE license is the base upon which the credentials that make you really shine, stick out from. You don't do this stuff, you'll be left behind in the dust.
In short, you'd be very hard-pressed to do both, unless you just took some really low-key water job aboard a tour/dinner boat or something working evenings, staying close-by. Hell, just getting myself squared-away for a two-week AT each year is a lot of work/coordination. Also, I have no idea how the USN would react to you doing that.