Sea Year Top Ten List


10-Year Member
Founding Member
Jun 9, 2006
Below are our current “Top Ten” we are trying
to pass on to our next group of Cadets going to
1. KP arranges flights from KP to assignment,
assignment to assignment, assignment back to KP
USMMA CAN NOT arrange flights to homes.
2. There is NO guarantee of leave during sea
3. 1st time sailor goal is 110-120 commercial sea
4. 2nd time sailor MUST obtain the balance of days
to bring commercial sea time to 300 days.
5. Chain of command for cadets is through the
6. Work day is 8 hours/day, 7 days/week, 2 to 3
hours spent on sea project; cadet turns to for all
extra-ordinary routines (docking, undocking,
anchoring, etc.).
7. Sea Year Guide has answers to most questions:
READ THE SEA YEAR GUIDE! prior to contacting
ATR with question.
under our authority and are expected to act as
adults on board ships.
9. Should have a credit card during Sea Year for
10. From Dental Department: must have had the
approved dental appointments and be cleared to
go to sea.
When on their Sea Year, the cadet’s primary point
of contact is the ATR. They are each assigned an
ATR that follows them throughout both sea years.
Each cadet is given a card with the work and office
phones of all ATRs and me. Their ATR should be
contacted first in all cases, routine and
emergency. E-mail is the primary method for
routine communication.
If their assigned ATR is not available at the time of
their call, they should try again later that day. Also,
tell them to be mindful of the day and time,
especially if calling from overseas. The ATRs
understand that sometimes there is only a small
window of opportunity to make a call and they
routinely field questions at night and on the
In the case of emergencies and we mean true
emergencies, when the assigned ATR is not
available the cadet should call one of the other
ATRs. Since the cadets’ definition of an emergency
is sometimes different than the academy’s, for
example: wanting to know your flight arrangements
over a week before arrival in port is not an
emergency— However, arriving in port and not
having received your flights is an emergency. By
now the phone system may have already been
upgraded so it can automatically help find an
available ATR in an emergency.
The cadets are given a code word to include in a
conversation or e-mail if they have a problem that
they cannot discuss without fear of someone
overhearing. This is not something they should
use lightly because it sets gears in motion that
move quickly to remove the cadet from that ship.
Lastly, we don’t mean that they should complain if
they’re being told something they don’t like and
they want to see if “Daddy” will say okay when
“Mommy” said no—as parents, I’m sure you are all
aware of this “oldest trick in the book.” The ATRs
are dealing with hundreds of cadets and
sometimes there are misunderstandings of intents
or desires. Tell your students that ATRs
appreciate it most when a cadet comes out and
asks for something directly instead of beating
around the bush and expecting them to figure it out.
JM, thanks for all of your help regarding the USMMA. Is the 1st seatime restricted to one type of vessel, or, can a midshipman choose a container ship and tanker experience? Also, can he or she choose both a military and a civilian vessel during the 1st seatime?
I had to ask for help with your question Gator. So here is one response from a Mid who has completed the two parts of Sea Year:

You can switch up vessels – but you usually don’t get on a tanker vessel the first time out. Those are usually second sea year experiences. I stayed on a container ship the whole time my first year.. which made it really convenient, not having to switch ships.

I haven’t heard of anyone headed out on a military vessel the first sea year.. those are usually left for the second sailing periods. You can do a Navy internship and sail with the Navy, or you can sail with the Coast Guard in an internship also. I know with the Coast Guard, you can sail on their cutters and count at most 30 of those days towards your 300 required days. . . the Navy vessels are probably the same deal. There is also Military Sealift Command which sails WITH the Navy, but is ran by civilian mariners.
I appreciate you tracking down an answer for me. Thanks also to the mid who took time away from a busy schedule to respond.
I HIGHLY recommend staying on as few vessels as possible, but making sure to get the necessary experience. For deckies this should definately include some time on an oil tanker. For engineers there are some requirements including time on steam and diesel engine ships.

The reason I say to stay on as few ships as possible is due to the fact that for each ship you are on you have to do certain drawings in your sea year. This means basically doubling your work or even tripling your work. For the first sea year stick to one ship, for the second do half on one and half on another. Unless you like homework I guess...
We had a great KP midshipman on my cutter my first year, did a good job, good guy...hopefully we converted him to the USCG. He had some good stories from other ships.
Son's first ship was a (steam) container ship with Horizon Lines. They learn alot that first time out. Second part of Sea Year he went out on an MSC oiler/tanker, bopped off to the USNS Comfort to look at 600 nurses, then bopped back to the same oiler/tanker he began on so that he could finish out his Tankerman PIC (person in charge) certification. The paper trail was as thick as the War & Peace novel as KP2001 suggests. :eek:
so how hard is it to go on an aircraft carrier?

Just have to let your wishes be known and be flexible during your sea year. Shouldn't be a problem at all. You will be limited to 30 days though (as with any warship)
30 days is a short time; however, it has to do with CG rules for licensing I believe.