Mass Maritime SSO Scholarships

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by tankercaptain, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain 5-Year Member

    Jun 28, 2012
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    Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP)

    This is a program unique to the maritime schools that allows students earning unlimited licenses as Merchant Marine Deck or Engine Officers to be commissioned as an officer in the Navy Reserve upon graduation. SSOP officers normally serve on inactive duty in the Individual Ready Reserve allowing them to work as civilians in the maritime industry. They serve on active duty when required to support military sealift operations that call for the training and experience of licensed Merchant Marine Officers. The program also offers limited opportunities to pursue an active duty commission upon graduation as a line or staff corps officer in the Navy.

    The program is open to students who are participating in Coast Guard unlimited License program. Students normally apply and start Naval Science training at the beginning of their freshman year. Qualified students may apply for the Student Incentive Payments (SIP) funded by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) during the summer prior to start of their freshman year. SIP benefits amount to a maximum of $32,000, with the first payment of participation received at the beginning of their freshman year (upon acceptance into the program). Students then receive annual payments of approximately $8,000 until graduation/commissioning or maximum benefits are paid out.

    SSOP students must be physically qualified, complete three Naval Science courses and participate in all NROTC Battalion drills and activities to qualify for SIP and/or commissioning. Students may participate in the SSOP program without receiving SIP. Simultaneous enrollment in the NROTC College Program, basic standing, to compete for NROTC scholarships is allowed and encouraged. Following graduation and commissioning, SSOP Officers must maintain an active Coast Guard merchant officer license for at least 6 years, serve in the Navy Reserve for at least 8 years, and work in the maritime industry. SSOP students may request to serve on active duty following graduation with many of the same Navy opportunities enjoyed by NROTC program students.

    To be eligible for this program, a student must:

    Be a U.S. citizen, be at least 17 but less than 25 years of age (upon enrollment at MMA),
    Be physically qualified.
    Possess satisfactory records of academic ability and moral integrity, and demonstrate those characteristics desired of a Naval Officer.
    Have no moral reservation or personal conviction that prevents the bearing of arms.
    Be enrolled in a Bachelor of Science Degree Program leading to a U.S. Coast Guard Unlimited License.
    Students who meet the qualifications above may apply for Midshipman status in the SSO Program and participate in the U.S. Maritime Administration's Student Incentive Payment (SIP) Program. If selected, an incentive payment of $8000 per academic year is provided for up to a maximum of four years. The SIP Program requires students to obtain a Coast Guard Unlimited License and to apply for, and accept if offered, a Reserve Officer commission in the U.S. Armed Forces. A student who receives SIP incurs an obligation to serve as an employee in the maritime or maritime-related industry, and in times of national emergency, to serve as a Naval Officer aboard a U.S.-flagged vessel.
    The SSOP, USNR, and SIP application, selection and program requirements are as follows:

    First year

    1. Enroll into the SIP Program and earn Midshipman status in the SSOP

    2. Preliminary selections are made in September of Fall semester based on academic

    record and aptitude

    3. Complete a DOD physical examination to verify eligibility

    4. Students must agree in writing to apply for, and accept if offered, a Reserve Officer's


    5. Incentive Payments begin with a retroactive payment for the first year

    Sophomore year

    1. Complete NS-2 (Naval Science)

    2. Pass Navy physical fitness assessment and swim qualification

    Junior year

    1. Complete NS-1 (Naval Science Warfare Fundamentals)

    2. Pass Navy physical fitness assessment and swim qualification

    Senior year

    1. Complete all processing and apply for a commission

    2. Pass the U.S. Coast Guard Unlimited License examination

    3. Complete NS(Leadership and Ethics) and (Naval Science Commissioning Seminar).

    4. Be commissioned at graduation as an Ensign in the SSOP, USNR

    5. If desired, request to be commissioned at graduation as an Ensign in the regular Navy

    and serve on active duty for a minimum of three years (subject to approval)

    6. Pass Navy physical fitness assessment and swim qualification

    After graduation/commissioning (minimum obligation)

    1. Complete a minimum of two weeks of active duty each year for a total of eight years

    2. Sail on one's Coast Guard License for at least four months every two years, or be

    employed in a maritime-related job*, for a total of six years

    3. Remain in the Inactive Reserve (with no other obligations) for an additional two years

    *The U.S. Maritime Administration believes that employment in a shore-based power plant is substantially related to the marine engineering profession and therefore may qualify as acceptable employment to satisfy one's minimum obligation.
    For information about the SSOP, USNR, and SIP Programs at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, contact the Battalion Administration Officer Chief Zapiain (zap-EE-eye-ean) at 508-830-5026 or

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