General Questions for 2021

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by kp2020mid, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. kp2020mid

    kp2020mid Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    29
    On Day 0, you're issued a Bearings Book which is about 100 pages of info on the Academy, military, industry, seamanship, plebe life, etc. which is all fair game for DIs to ask. I would suggest looking up some basic info if you have no prior experience with any of those things. But otherwise, I would highly recommend not doing anything to stand out.
     
    azmilmom and KP2020Dad like this.
  2. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    50
    Personally I would not worry too much about rates, square corners, the song, etc...enjoy your time at school - and the end of your HS activities - and the limited summer you will have...you will not have that time off again for awhile. Truly, listen to what others have said...don't be the show off or you could/will be shown a bunch of extra fun stuff - extra PT...extra marching...and then you will have less time to get to know your company/classmates and to read your new favorite book, bearings or something like that and you will miss out on the treasured thing called sleep...as my DS said, Indoc has changed a little but it is still going to suck...a fine line of ticking off your CC and brown nose...you truly want to fly under the radar but be helpful to your company classmates...enjoy the ride.
     
  3. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    258
    1000% agree on going LoPro (Low Profile). It seems cool to think that the DIs, M/N Officers or USMS Officers know your name until they actually do. You may in fact have all your stuff in one sock, but I could not more strongly advise one against advertising it. Like 2020 mid said, don't stand out. To me, Plebe year is all about being the middle of the bell curve. Don't care if you stand out on the good side, but darn sure make sure you don't stand out on the bad.

    Plebe year is like Maslow ... there is a "heirarchy of needs"

    1. Grades. If you don't pass your classes nothing else makes a difference. We like to say D for done, but in truth that is a luxury best afforded with a solid plebe year GPA to fall back on. Grades will impact your time at KP in a negative way faster and far more than anything else. I'm not just talking about getting disenrolled (although always a possibility). You don't want to be sweating it out every trimester, you don't want to be always on the bubble and you don't want to be sweating out a single class that you need to keep your GPA above 2.0

    2. Regimental. Stay out of trouble and off restriction. LoPro shows its biggest advantage here, be the shadow plebe. Who is that guy? Don't know but he doesn't cause any trouble. Keep your room clean, run when your're supposed to, square our corners when your're supposed to and salute/greet when you're supposed to. Somebody is always watching, far more than you realize. Not many people get kicked out for this, but restriction sucks and you don't want to be labeled a trouble maker because that attracts unwanted attention. Of course, if you are that type of person you're probably not even reading this anyway.

    3. Extra curricular. Sports, clubs, extra reg stuff. Do just enough to provide a diversion and keep yourself sane. You will never regret that you didn't do more drill team, you'll still learn the manual of arms anyway and you will not be drafted by any pro teams. There are some enriching and fun things to do that will provide lasting memories, just be targeted and selective and don't let it become a time suck that becomes higher on your heirachy than it should be. These activities will be even more enriching and fun when you aren't worried about your GPA falling between 2.0 because of the final exam you are not studying for.

    Kings Point is like March Madness ... survive and advance.
     
    azmilmom, cmakin, kpmom2013 and 2 others like this.
  4. KP2020Dad

    KP2020Dad DS - USMMA '20

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    107
    As a USN retiree (enlisted), I taught my DS how to iron his uniforms, shine his shoes, and make his rack. I told him for every thing else...be in the middle...not too good...not too bad. It has worked out for him. Good luck.
     
    kpmom2013 and Capt MJ like this.
  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    258
    And when you wash your uniforms, don't put them in the dryer. Hang them up and air dry them in your room. They will hold the creases and you won't have to re-iron them but a couple times a year.
     
  6. Jmoney457

    Jmoney457 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    45
    That's certainly very beneficial, I had to learn that stuff the hard way, and it was rather unpleasant. (on tomb field doing sprints until I puked with my CTO at 0500 unpleasant).

    I remember I had no idea how to shine shoes and caked polish on the leathers unevenly to the point where the polish ended up on my pants. Those were the days.
     
    azmilmom likes this.
  7. Jmoney457

    Jmoney457 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    45
    It's pretty impossible for a plebe in today's regiment to be on restriction unless it's an alcohol offense, frat, or other serious violation.

    Also interesting to note, plebes get class rates liberty every Sunday from 0800-1800 now. So it seems like the plebe year prison is over.
     
  8. CougarBattalion

    CougarBattalion Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    14
    One of my questions is regarding employment after graduation. I've looked around, but there is such a wide range of opportunities upon graduation, I can't seem to find a true "average" or "normal" job. What do a lot of graduates do? I hear schedules can be out at sea for a month, three, or sometimes even nine months. What does time off look like?
     
  9. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15' 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    113
    So I ship deep sea... which is what KP is designed for. Lots of other folks in other parts of the industry, so this is just one data point. I work 90-110 days on and 90-110 off.

    When I'm off I do whatever I want. Today I'm still sitting around the house in gym shorts and haven't done anything productive.... Monday I'm leaving for vacation on the other side of the world (...flight were literally times were the same heading east or west). So really whatever I feel like. Also spend time doing admin for my navy commission and taking classes to upgrade my license. I belong to a union so the classes, room, and board are free and they put you up in a great facility close to the beach.

    The shortest rotation deep sea is something in the ball park of 60-75 days. ATB guys usually a month or so, and tug guys as short as a week on and off. Being young, you can not beat the lifestyle.
     
    cmakin likes this.
  10. CougarBattalion

    CougarBattalion Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    14
    Thanks Beyond, this is what I'm looking for. Is the compensation good, despite only working half the days out of the year? ( I understand being on a ship 24/7 is different than a 9 to 5, so the comparison of only working half the days out of the year doesn't mean you are at work less than 9 to 5 counterparts, there's just greater chunks of time off) I only ask because one of my thoughts was whether finding a second job or career is viable during time off. I'm still trying to weigh options between a military commission and the maritime industry, though I realize how far off it is, I can't help but ponder the choices! Thanks again.
     
  11. Jmoney457

    Jmoney457 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    45
    Definitely lucky do be sailing deep sea right now. There are people in '16 who don't really have jobs. There are basically zero deckies who don't have active duty contracts that have jobs right now in '17.
     
  12. teddybear97

    teddybear97 tbear97

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    7
    Hi,
    So I'll be joining the class of 2021. At Merchant Marine Academy, how are classes like? As in how many classes do we have each day and how long are each classes?

    Do we have any PT sessions? I'm currently at the prep school and was sponsored by MMA and we have PT 3 times a week at 5:45 in the morning here.

    Does the MMA do any exchange program? I'm kind of interested in spending a semester at one of the other service academies if possible just to get the gist of what the branch i'm planning to choose is like. But given that we have trimester schedule along with sea year, I wonder if it's even possible to do an exchange program.

    Thank you!
     
    azmilmom likes this.
  13. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15' 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    113
    I don't know what you'd consider "good." But shipping deep sea, depending on how much you work 85-105k/year is totally do able.

    Yeah. Totally possible to do a side job or voulenteer work if you want. Some people work 6 months straight and then take six months off if that's what you want. It all depends on the ship and the trade.

    Yeah. It isn't as grim as some people make it out to be. I've seen a few third mate jobs pop up this month. Shipping isn't great right now, but if you're hungry there is work.

    They're hard. Run scared and don't fall behind. More people get kicked out for grades than anything else.

    No PT unless you fail a PRT. I'm a NARP with a doughy physique, I never failed. I came close when I came back from first sailing. The first time I had run in 4 months was the PRT, it hurt, but I got through.

    For the reasons you mention (Sea Year and Tri's) exchange programs don't work. Plus you're taking a lot more classes per semester, classes that often are offered at the other academies.
     
    azmilmom likes this.
  14. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    258
    I used to hear about some guys who were teachers during the school year and shipped out during their summers. I also know some have their own consulting businesses when they are on the beach. It would be tough to have a job working for "the man" and sail, it would be a rare job that allows for the long absences. There is also always opportunities for longer orders to do some extended Navy time.

    I ran into a recent grad a few years ago when I was doing a HUET class and I believe he was working for Noble. I think he said around 90k is what they were paying him right out of school.

    When I was sailing inland about five years ago, I made in the 90s for one company sailing 2 for 1 (28 on 14 off) but moved to an SIU company and made about the same working even time (21 on 21 off). The inland segment of the industry is largely regional in nature and the typical pay and schedule can vary widely.

    I don't follow the pay as much as I did when I was sailing, but there used to be some serious money working on rigs and supply boats overseas. Sure, you may be spending 9 months out of the year on a drilling rig off Angola but do that for 3-5 years and you will be pretty well set.

    No mater whether you sail deep sea or inland, or work 2 for 1 or even time you will still make more money and have more time off than any other recent college graduates.
     
    my3sonsga, cmakin and KP2020Dad like this.
  15. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    102
    What he said. My experience was similar, however I started right away sailing out of the engineers' union hall. Took a couple of months to get that first berth, but milked it for 90 days. I was NOT as focused on work as I should have been and ended up taking an SIU job on ocean tugs where I was SUPPOSED to be working roughly 9 weeks on and 6 weeks off, with about three days every three weeks back in the states (Louisiana, where I moved to), but spent those days working maintenance. In reality, I rarely got more than a month off at any given time, but I was single and it really didn't matter. On those boats, with the overtime for engineers (often the only engineer) I was usually the youngest onboard and the highest paid. I left there to sail Chief Engineer on an early Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) where I eventually worked an even time schedule, but like most things, I ended up working about 8 to 9 months a year. Money was very good for the time. I did fall into a treasure hunting gig (was living in South Florida at the time) and that gave me a bit of extra dough and kept me off of the streets. My last seagoing gig was probably my worst. The ATB was sold and the new owners wanted their own personnel, but DID offer me temporary employment to train their guys. . . I turned it down. Went to work as assistant engineer on a very odd vessel (that no longer exists) where the schedule was even time, however you worked with the same crew. That meant that if you didn't get relieved, you worked until you were. Then you came back with your regular crew, so at times you maybe got a week or two at home. No extra pay for the extra days since it was a salary job (as opposed to the others where I was paid by the day that I sailed). The idea being that if, at the end of the year, you worked more than 6 months, you were paid the extra. By that time I was married and my son was born right before my last hitch. . . I didn't last more than 6 months there and came ashore.

    I have been ashore now for some 30 years and am still in the maritime/offshore/energy field. Overall, my life has been far less ordinary than what it would have been if I attended a "regular" college and I have no regrets.
     
    azmilmom, WI-Dad20/21 and KP2020Dad like this.
  16. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    60
    I will also add that several of my DS's Class of 2013 friends have purchased a house with all cash after a few years sailing. They say that because they are at sea so much, they don't have time to spend their money on stupid stuff.
     
    azmilmom and KP2020Dad like this.
  17. CougarBattalion

    CougarBattalion Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    14
    Thank you all for your input and sharing your experiences. Looking forward to the challenge of the academy, and especially what comes after graduation!
     
  18. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    102
    They are not working hard enough at it. . . . I had no problems whatsoever. . . .
     
    KPpointer67 and azmilmom like this.
  19. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    102
    Just remember, whatever employment at sea looks like now, it will be different upon graduation. There are countless options, but having the license opens up a world that few ever get a glimpse of.
     
  20. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    258
    When you decide to come ashore, keep your license active and place it in a glass box with a small hammer and a sign that reads: "In case of job frustrations, loss or a-hole boss, break glass"
     

Share This Page