Enlisted to USMMA

Can anyone give me some information about enlisting in the Navy then seeking an appointment to USMMA? After one semester of college I am considering enlisting in the Navy. It is my dream to go to USMMA and commission as an officer. After enlisting and graduating from boot camp can I get an appointment to USMMA and go there? I met someone at USNA during summer seminar and that is how he got into the Annapolis.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Yes, going from enlisted to a Service Academy can be a path, but it is the long way around, and much can happen along the way to divert you from your path.

Why not apply in the normal manner from college? Take a plebe-like core curriculum and do well, get your noms, build a strong package.

If you want to be a Navy Officer, why not apply direct to USNA?

And, while USMMA produces top quality officers for all Services, that is not the primary mission of USMMA. If you haven’t read every page, dropdown and link on their website, I recommend it.

If your goal is to become a Navy Officer, you can also transfer to a college with NROTC - and apply to USNA or USMMA from there.

If your dream is truly USMMA and taking the path to a commission there, try going direct first. If it’s too late to get it all together to apply this year, buckle down and put together a strong year of college performance, and map out your application process for next year. Many SA appointees are college applicants, so you wouldn’t be the class graybeard.
 

Jmoney457

Banned
And, while USMMA produces top quality officers for all Services, that is not the primary mission of USMMA. If you haven’t read every page, dropdown and link on their website, I recommend it.
This is wrong. USMMA has a dual mission, one aspect of that is graduating licensed merchant marine officers and the other is to develop commissioned officers. Each graduate is a commissioned officer whether in a reserve component or on active duty. So that is incorrect...commissioning officers is one of the primary missions of the school.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
You are right, I did not say that as accurately as I could. It’s included in the mission statement, and as someone who had the honor of working with many KP grads over the years, both AD and Reserve officers in the sealift units, I know the quality.

Thank you for the clear and unblinded correction!
 

kpmom2013

10-Year Member
Another recent development of note is that for anyone who desires an active duty SWO career, USMMA grads are sought after by the Navy because of their practical training and Coast Guard licence. As the Navy works to improve its own training and safety record after recent collisions, USMMA trained SWOs are in high demand.
 

Jmoney457

Banned
Another recent development of note is that for anyone who desires an active duty SWO career, USMMA grads are sought after by the Navy because of their practical training and Coast Guard licence. As the Navy works to improve its own training and safety record after recent collisions, USMMA trained SWOs are in high demand.
This is opinionated and factually incorrect. The Navy's personnel requirement for accessions changes on a yearly basis. The number of SWOs required for accession fluctuates with the needs of the service. SWOs are in high demand right now not just from USMMA, but in general. You can even see online job advertisements from the OCS Newport, RI for SWO. A USCG License means nothing to the Navy, since the Navy is exempt from almost all shipping reg's and STCW conventions. The Navy has its own system for qualifying deck watch officers, no onerous KP degree required.
 

kpmom2013

10-Year Member
JMoney457-- Just let me say that I am confident that I have considerably more inside knowledge on this topic than you and I stand by my previous post. I will not comment further, however, and will take care to forego taking this thread in a direction that is not productive.
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
5-Year Member
Another recent development of note is that for anyone who desires an active duty SWO career, USMMA grads are sought after by the Navy because of their practical training and Coast Guard licence. As the Navy works to improve its own training and safety record after recent collisions, USMMA trained SWOs are in high demand.
This is opinionated and factually incorrect. The Navy's personnel requirement for accessions changes on a yearly basis. The number of SWOs required for accession fluctuates with the needs of the service. SWOs are in high demand right now not just from USMMA, but in general. You can even see online job advertisements from the OCS Newport, RI for SWO. A USCG License means nothing to the Navy, since the Navy is exempt from almost all shipping reg's and STCW conventions. The Navy has its own system for qualifying deck watch officers, no onerous KP degree required.
I would suggest that KPMom's point was not that the license itself is necessary but that it is seen as evidence of a level of knowledge, skill and ability in seamanship and "mariner-ness" that the Navy has let lapse.
 

Jmoney457

Banned
Another recent development of note is that for anyone who desires an active duty SWO career, USMMA grads are sought after by the Navy because of their practical training and Coast Guard licence. As the Navy works to improve its own training and safety record after recent collisions, USMMA trained SWOs are in high demand.
This is opinionated and factually incorrect. The Navy's personnel requirement for accessions changes on a yearly basis. The number of SWOs required for accession fluctuates with the needs of the service. SWOs are in high demand right now not just from USMMA, but in general. You can even see online job advertisements from the OCS Newport, RI for SWO. A USCG License means nothing to the Navy, since the Navy is exempt from almost all shipping reg's and STCW conventions. The Navy has its own system for qualifying deck watch officers, no onerous KP degree required.
I would suggest that KPMom's point was not that the license itself is necessary but that it is seen as evidence of a level of knowledge, skill and ability in seamanship and "mariner-ness" that the Navy has let lapse.

The Navy's core competency is fighting wars, not seamanship. A SWO is not a mariner, and his or her focus is not marine trans or nautical science. The SWO needs to have a basic level of knowledge so that he does not cause a collision or allision, and I guess nothing more or less.
 

kp2001

10-Year Member
The Navy's core competency is fighting wars, not seamanship. A SWO is not a mariner, and his or her focus is not marine trans or nautical science. The SWO needs to have a basic level of knowledge so that he does not cause a collision or allision, and I guess nothing more or less.
I can assure you that I’m not as smart as I thought I was when I was a newish graduate and would bet that holds true for most of us.

Since the end of WWII the number of actual battles at sea has been few. A core competency of a SWO is seamanship, a second core competency is fighting the ship. Which one have they needed more in the last 50+ years?
 

golfindad

Member
Jmoney. Knowledge from inside the "bubble" of academia and KP is not knowledge of the world outside academia and KP. Commenting in ways that sound like absolutes on things outside of KP when you are still at KP may require some additional experience.
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
5-Year Member
I would suggest that KPMom's point was not that the license itself is necessary but that it is seen as evidence of a level of knowledge, skill and ability in seamanship and "mariner-ness" that the Navy has let lapse.

The Navy's core competency is fighting wars, not seamanship. A SWO is not a mariner, and his or her focus is not marine trans or nautical science. The SWO needs to have a basic level of knowledge so that he does not cause a collision or allision, and I guess nothing more or less.
The Navy disagrees with you. This was one of the key take aways from the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents.

USS FITZGERALD

The collision between Fitzgerald and Crystal was avoidable and resulted from an accumulation of smaller errors over time, ultimately resulting in a lack of adherence to sound navigational practices. Specifically, Fitzgerald's watch teams disregarded established norms of basic contact management and, more importantly, leadership failed to adhere to well-established protocols put in place to prevent collisions. In addition, the ship's triad was absent during an evolution where their experience, guidance and example would have greatly benefited the ship.

USS JOHN S. MCCAIN

The collision between John S. McCain and Alnic MC was also avoidable and resulted primarily from complacency, over-confidence and lack of procedural compliance. A major contributing factor to the collision was sub-standard level of knowledge regarding the operation of the ship control console. In particular, McCain's commanding officer disregarded recommendations from his executive officer, navigator and senior watch officer to set sea and anchor watch teams in a timely fashion to ensure the safe and effective operation of the ship. With regard to procedures, no one on the Bridge watch team, to include the commanding officer and executive officer, were properly trained on how to correctly operate the ship control console during a steering casualty.

https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=103130
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
5-Year Member
The Navy's core competency is fighting wars, not seamanship. A SWO is not a mariner, and his or her focus is not marine trans or nautical science. The SWO needs to have a basic level of knowledge so that he does not cause a collision or allision, and I guess nothing more or less.
One other thing ... "Fighting Wars" is not a core competency, it is a very very very broad strategic task
 

Jmoney457

Banned
I would suggest that KPMom's point was not that the license itself is necessary but that it is seen as evidence of a level of knowledge, skill and ability in seamanship and "mariner-ness" that the Navy has let lapse.

The Navy's core competency is fighting wars, not seamanship. A SWO is not a mariner, and his or her focus is not marine trans or nautical science. The SWO needs to have a basic level of knowledge so that he does not cause a collision or allision, and I guess nothing more or less.
The Navy disagrees with you. This was one of the key take aways from the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents.

USS FITZGERALD

The collision between Fitzgerald and Crystal was avoidable and resulted from an accumulation of smaller errors over time, ultimately resulting in a lack of adherence to sound navigational practices. Specifically, Fitzgerald's watch teams disregarded established norms of basic contact management and, more importantly, leadership failed to adhere to well-established protocols put in place to prevent collisions. In addition, the ship's triad was absent during an evolution where their experience, guidance and example would have greatly benefited the ship.

USS JOHN S. MCCAIN

The collision between John S. McCain and Alnic MC was also avoidable and resulted primarily from complacency, over-confidence and lack of procedural compliance. A major contributing factor to the collision was sub-standard level of knowledge regarding the operation of the ship control console. In particular, McCain's commanding officer disregarded recommendations from his executive officer, navigator and senior watch officer to set sea and anchor watch teams in a timely fashion to ensure the safe and effective operation of the ship. With regard to procedures, no one on the Bridge watch team, to include the commanding officer and executive officer, were properly trained on how to correctly operate the ship control console during a steering casualty.

https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=103130
Nothing here negates that SWOs are not seamen or mariners. There is no value in training them or insisting that they act as such or suggesting that a USCG license is helpful to them, because it isn't. On both the McCain and Fitz, the Navy failed to follow its own operating procedure. For example, on the USS McCain, the XO was in charge of training programs and failed to ensure that proper training was conducted on the Steering Control Console (SCC). It obviously does not take a full deck license to understand a steering console, that's more of a 15-20 minute instructional and use. Bottom line is the McCain and Fitz collisions happened because of sloppiness and not following their existing protocols. None of that is fixed by having a deck license on the bridge of those destroyers.
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
5-Year Member
Nothing here negates that SWOs are not seamen or mariners. There is no value in training them or insisting that they act as such or suggesting that a USCG license is helpful to them, because it isn't. On both the McCain and Fitz, the Navy failed to follow its own operating procedure. For example, on the USS McCain, the XO was in charge of training programs and failed to ensure that proper training was conducted on the Steering Control Console (SCC). It obviously does not take a full deck license to understand a steering console, that's more of a 15-20 minute instructional and use. Bottom line is the McCain and Fitz collisions happened because of sloppiness and not following their existing protocols. None of that is fixed by having a deck license on the bridge of those destroyers.
You are still missing the point. The point was not that a license itself was needed but that the knowledge, skill and abilities of a seafarer are and that the training behind the license is definitely needed.

Nothing in the Navy is a 15-20 minute instructional. Have you seen the Helmsman PQS? I haven't either, but I'll guarantee its more than a 15-20 read and sign off.

So if in your scenario, SWOs are no longer trained as seaman and mariners then who do you propose is the OOD/OICNW?

By the way, the USCG also disagrees with you ... the USCG gives license credit for being SWO qualified, OOD qualified and Command at Sea can get you directly to a Master license. They don't do that for S*** and Giggles, clearly they expect SWOs to be trained and experienced to some level of seaman-ness
 
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