Do all USMMA applicants desire a career at sea?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by STF4717, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. STF4717

    STF4717 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    7
    I'm asking as I have a student who wants to apply to USMMA but really has no interest in logistics or engineering. (Most likely will have a future as an educator, nurse, or possibly political science/attorney). The student has fallen in love with USMMA but i'm not sure it makes sense - don't you need to be 100% committed to studying what the school offers, as a basis for a career? Do any USMMA grads then go on to grad school, or a totally different career field, while serving their time?

    Sorry for the stupid question - just trying to help this kid the best I can. Thanks!
     
  2. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    532
    Not a stupid question. Approximately one-third of each graduating class goes active duty in one of the services upon graduation. The rest are required to work in the maritime industry as an obligation for their tuition free education. I would not recommend applying for anyone who is not at least open to a maritime career as a possibility. Of course she could opt for a second career after her service obligation is over, but would it be worth the cost of being miserable studying something in college you have no interest in and ditto with a career field you have no interest in? Makes no sense to me. The classes at Kings Point are hard enough even if you like the subject matter...
     
    STF4717 likes this.
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,444
    Likes Received:
    5,468
    USMMA is one of the five Federal academies. It differs from USMA, USNA, USAFA and USCGA in that their midshipmen (the name used at USNA and USMMA for cadets), after graduation, must enter the maritime industry and maintain an active Navy Reserve commission. Some portion of the class may choose to go active duty as an officer in one of the 5 armed services (if accepted) or NOAA (one of the 7 uniformed services but not an armed service). Going straight to grad school is rare. Once they have completed their initial obligation, of any kind, they are free to continue in that career path or change course.

    I recommend reading up at USMMA.edu. I have only sketched the basics.

    USMMA grads tend to do very well in a wide variety of careers, have tight-knit classes and are justifiably proud of their unique school. I am sure many of them go to grad school at some point. Those who go active duty will certainly have that opportunity as part of a career path.

    https://www.usmma.edu/about
     
    STF4717, ProudKPDad and azmilmom like this.
  4. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    169
    As I stated in your other thread, the primary mission of the USMMA is to produce merchant vessel officers. If your student doesn't want to do this, then it will be difficult to put up with much of the trials of being there, especially Plebe year.
     
    STF4717 likes this.
  5. prospective2019

    prospective2019 2023 Hopeful

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    132
    I'm applying to USMMA (second to USMA) and intend to commission as an Army officer should I attend. I don't know which major I would choose.

    That being said, I live in a coastal town and have grown up surfing, sailing, and in the water. I love the ocean and while it is not what I want to do with my career, I would at least be interested by the classes and time at sea that are unique to USMMA.

    I recommend the student do a visit to the school if he/she hasn't already. I'm sure they'll give some more information on commissioning into other services. I did one a couple months back with the lacrosse coach and it was very helpful. I know there is an open house coming up in the beginning of August.
     
    BurntENDZ likes this.
  6. STF4717

    STF4717 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    7
    It doesn't make sense to me, either. But then again, we live far away from all service academies so i've never sent a student there! Thanks for the info.
     
  7. KP2020Dad

    KP2020Dad DS - USMMA '20

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    157
    Not a stupid question. Thank you for taking the time to learn about this great school and helping your students. Let me tell you about my DSs (Dear Son) experience. I'm retired Navy, so he grew up a military brat. He had no desire to do anything "military." However, he really wanted to study engineering in college and play college football. I don't know if you know how difficult that is, but it's almost impossible. (One Ivy League school, that was recruiting him, told him that he couldn't study engineering and play on the football team.) His USMMA coach (and recruiter) knew this and just happened to introduce my DS to a recent grad during his visit. This grad worked as a nuclear engineer in a shipyard and did not go to sea. My DS thought this was great and was sold on USMMA. However, after his first "sea year," he reported that he "100% wants to go to sea" following graduation. Attitudes change, but your student will have to find something that she wants to study at Kings Point. She will also have to dig deep during her interviews and explain why she wants to attend (more than just athletics). Thanks again for learning more about Kings Point (or as our Congressman says, "the hidden gem").
     
    Jbmz, STF4717, azmilmom and 4 others like this.
  8. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2018
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    526
    ^^^ Great post.

    Sailors are meant for ships and ships are meant to go to sea.
     
    cmakin, Hockeymom19 and joriebelle like this.
  9. Jmoney457

    Jmoney457 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    94
    It's a terrible idea to go to USMMA with the express purpose of becoming a teacher or nurse. This is not what the school is intended for, and it is not what the school trains you for. Being in love with the concept of going to USMMA is easy when you don't go to the school. Do you not think most of the 30%+ of midshipmen who wash out before graduation were not in love with the concept of going to the school? I am a senior at USMMA, and I have seen this firsthand. If your kid has absolutely no interest in science/engineering or transportation then it is not a good idea for him/her to attend the USMMA, period. The course load is immersive, and it takes a special person to power through it when they have absolutely zero interest. It is possible and does happen but its not worth the misery.

    This is what Army ROTC is for, isn't it? Growing up surfing and sailing is a totally irrelevant factor in this if you have no interest in Logistics/Transportation or Engineering. This is a tough decision to make, but I wish you could talk to my buddy, who wanted to be an Army officer and had no interest in the curriculum. It took him 6 years to graduate, and he busted his a** for all 6 years learning marine trans, which is totally irrelevant to a career in the Army. If you asked him whether he would make that decision again versus studying history or polisci and graduating in 4 years at a traditional college and get the same commission, I think the answer is pretty clear.
     
  10. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    70
    For sure not a stupid question. As was stated earlier, they need to go visit USMMA and any other school they are considering. Do others go on to a different career path including medicine, education, law, etc...absolutely. There are loads of alumni that are in the legal field - some of the professors at USMMA are alumni - another USMMA grad is an M.D. So is USMMA the best fit for this student, maybe, maybe not. Can they graduate from USMMA and go in a different direction with a solid background and potentially some leadership - not to mention being able to work and think on their own...absolutely. Thanks for trying to help your student make an informed decision - but as you know the final decision has to be the students. Best of luck to your student.
     
    KP2020Dad likes this.
  11. Jmoney457

    Jmoney457 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    94
    There are professors at USMMA who are alumni, but that they typically come back after at least a decade working in the industry (sailing), in the marine trans department I know you need to be Chief Mate or higher to be hired, or terminal degree in business for the logistics side. Law is pretty common after spending at least 5 years, usually more, in the industry. MD's out of KP are unicorns, don't go to KP with the ultimate goal of being an MD.
     
  12. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    299
    FYI, I know of at least four USNA grads, three of them classmates of mine who are or have been staff at USMMA. Three of them are front office types, former Commandant, former Deputy 'Dant and an Asst AD. None of them ever sailed commercially or had degrees on the logistics side.
     
  13. KP Eng

    KP Eng Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    156
    He's referring to the backgrounds of faculty in the Marine Transportation Department. The positions you mention are often filled by former military people, although I would love to see a few more commercial mariners sprinkled into that mix as well for the perspective they would bring.
     
    KPEngineer likes this.
  14. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    169
    I work as an insurance adjuster ( for the energy industry), but certainly didn't plan to be when I entered KP. I have classmates that are priests, lawyers, real estate salesmen, etc. Also have classmates that are still at sea, retired, underwriters, insurance brokers, surveyors, etc. Most, however did enter KP with the desire to go to sea and most did initially. I graduated in 81 and it was the start of a real downturn in US flag vessels. I haven't done an official survey or real research, but I believe that I sailed more than most of my classmates, but I also stayed in the maritime industry once I came ashore and worked for 10 years as a Class Society Surveyor, then moved to the insurance side of things.
     
    deepdraft1 likes this.