New Secretary of Transportation

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by golfindad, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. golfindad

    golfindad Member

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    Elaine Chao. It sounds like it may be a good appointment for USMMA. She has experience with MARAD, comes from a shipping family (albeit foreign flag) and her hubby is a strong supporter of the Jones Act, and of U.S. Mariners. Have to wait and see, but I think it could mean some good things are coming for the Academy.
     
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  2. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

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    About the best, quickest thing that could happen would be the reinstatement of Sea Year. I find it funny that the State Schools have no issue with sexual harassment for cadet shipping (they are taking up the spots that KP cadets would), especially when one thinks about the kind of harassment that is likely present on a school ship. . . .
     
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  3. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    Absolutely...state school ship is the last place i'd want to go, but hey, it's a ship (something i dont have right now) and the days count 1.5:1.
     
  4. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    I have a feeling though that sea year is never coming back in the way that you experienced it...
     
  5. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

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    And that makes no sense at all. Nothing like the quality of the real thing. . . . I hope that it DOES come back, but with the current state of US flag shipping. . . . sigh. . .
     
  6. golfindad

    golfindad Member

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    cmakin; I understand that there are still some of the 2019's that do not have vessel assignments. As a result, it makes all the sense in the world. If he could get a state ship, he would at least be getting some time, and at 1.5 per day. Right now, if he is sitting ashore, anything is better than nothing.
     
  7. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited 5-Year Member

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    A state schoolship seemed to work out okay for my younger son.. He's been out of school for five years and has his Chief Mates license and will be sailing in that capacity very soon. Besides state schools probably don't want to see a bunch of Kings Pointers showing up on their ships anyway. I made a cruise as an instructor on the CMA ship a few years back and our COI didn't allow for more cadets over the schools student compliment. So even if we did want to take them we couldn't. With all due respect to cmakin's opinion, the notion I've seen on this forum time and again is that the schoolship seatime is somehow not up to par with a commercial sea year. It just doesn't add up from my experience. There are a lot of things a cadet can do and or participate in on a schoolship that due to union contract agreements a cadet can't do on a commercial vessel. Also currently schoolship cadets are not restricted by MARAD from sailing commercially [they actually need 90 days of commercial seatime to sit for their license] so they're filling the berths that Kings Pointers used to take and are getting more than adequate time in both environments.
     
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  8. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    We had cadets on the Cal ship as recently as last sea term. The Cal ship is being used for Cal/Texas right now, because the Texas ship has limited capacity (i.e. it's the old Kings Pointer).

    It's the collective opinion (almost unanimously) of the ATR's, faculty and staff, and midshipmen who were on these ships that its not up to par with commercial sea year...And from hearing their stories I tend to agree.
     
  9. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..."

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    I think that a handwritten or typed letter snail-mailed to Ms. Chao requesting the reinstatement of Sea Year along with the reasons why it's so important could not hurt.
     
  10. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    But really...who knows the intentions of the new secretary? As Mark Cuban said during the race, "I'd rather have the devil I know." And I tend to agree. As a fiscal conservative, she could easily see the Merchant Marine Academy as an inefficient, high cost, unnecessary line item in MARAD's budget and decide that disbursing a portion of those same funds to SMA's is a better use of the taxpayer's dollar.

    The argument that we do not need a US Merchant Marine Academy, as much as I hate to admit it, has merit and is not frivolous. I mean, its fairly easy to outline.
     
  11. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited 5-Year Member

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    State schools will take care of their own [paying] students first. If there is room left and it is within the numbers allowed by the COI they will probably take Kings Pointers.. but it won't be near the number of cadets Kings Point needs to satisfy student seatime requirements.

    Oh my gosh, I didn't realize all those experts had weighted in and pronounced the commercial sea year to be better! and it was backed up by sea stories to boot! WOW! Listen, if you think that commercial sea year is better and is maybe going to give you some kind of magical leg up in the business you're in for a rude awakening.
     
  12. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    I'm sorry...I wasn't implying that I'm any better than anybody else or have a magical leg up, because I certainly don't. Just pointing out that there's a competing theory that state school ships are not as good.
     
  13. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..."

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    From NYPD SBA Facebook post: 11/29/16
    "SBA Commends President-Elect Trump’s Selection of Elaine L. Chao to Serve as Secretary of Transportation
    Elaine L. Chao is an effective, experienced and compassionate leader who puts the American people first.

    Ed Mullins, President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department (SBA), commended President-elect Donald Trump on his selection of Elaine L. Chao to serve the American people as Secretary of Transportation."

    The posting continues with stating that she won the union's 2004 Heroism Award among other accomplishments.
    Ed Mullins is a stand-up guy, a frequent critic of Mayor De Blasio, & he doesn't give out praise lightly.

    For those interested in the entire SBA post: https://www.facebook.com/sbanypd/
     
  14. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited 5-Year Member

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    Yep, that theory has been around for years and you would think people would start to question it given the overwhelming number of successful schoolship officers in the merchant marine. The last company I sailed for before I retired had 24 permanent Master positions. Of the 24, 21 were filled by graduates of the state schools [16 of those were from CMA]. Kings Point had exactly the same number as Great Lakes Maritime; they both had one each.. How is it that these state guys are doing so well given that they didn't get that 'quality of the real thing' sea year experience that cmakin mentioned? Maybe just maybe the state schools are doing something right, because the proof is in the pudding. We can go on forever debating the merits and demerits of schoolship vice commercial training but at the end of the day if Kings Point cadets can't get required seatime somewhere they will not be able to sit for a license. If the school isn't getting cadets qualified to sit in a timely manner they might as well close the doors.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
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  15. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15' 5-Year Member

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    I don't think it matters much when you reach the management level, but for your first six months as third mate the commercial time makes a big difference. That first watch wasn't as scary because I had already been there and done that. I also think you see fewer KP'rs sailing at the management level because lots of them tend to wonder off and do other, diverse things.

    In 2010 I think the number dropped to 15... I know one of the CMA captains on one of the S-12s was replaced with a hawsepiper.

    Truth.
     
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  16. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    You're right, if the SMA grads do their job well and safely, then the whole thing is a non-issue. Doesn't really matter what route they took to reach the same endpoint. As beyond said, maybe they have a little steeper learning curve in the very beginning, but that doesn't really matter.

    Hopefully this isn't the case, with the 15-20 mil that school is doing in remodeling in 16-17 alone. That'd be a waste of money.
     
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  17. swrakow

    swrakow Member

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    I just tweeted Sec Foxx to make USMMA great again - put our kids back on commercial ships. Don't wait to do the right thing. I'm hoping that if Foxx won't, Chao will.
     
  18. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    There's a zero percent chance Secretary Foxx returns USMMA to a fully normal sea year before he's out of that position. I think the decision to suspend sea year was initially his, and he has stood by it. Pretty simple rationale, he and the DOT don't want to be accountable for the next bad thing to happen to a cadet out there.
     
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  19. golfindad

    golfindad Member

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    IMHO; More likely is that Foxx tries to place an even greater poison pill before he leaves with regards sea year. Something similar to the Army Corps pulling a permit for a pipeline after the pipeline is built but for one crossing; and, MMA19, I don't think the rationale is to avoid blame for assault/harassment, although they will tout there actions as protecting mids from something that is certainly suspect based on the recent information releases--instead I think it is a, in part, attempt to avoid blame for accreditation issues, and an attempt to diminish the Academy--which plays right along with diminished respect of the military, of the police, really of any authority by the current poo bahs. Of course, my pontification is worth just about what you paid to read it.
     
  20. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    I think its all about the NMSV. Will it be any surprise if Foxx ends up as a lobbyist pushing it or as a VP at one of the beltway bandits looking to build it.
     

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