USMMA Appointments and Commisions

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by laker7745, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. laker7745

    laker7745 Member

    Mar 30, 2014
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    A while back a USMMA Admissions field rep visited my school, I remember her saying that the academy selects based on region. For example, the East coast is much more competitive than the Midwest, and I was just wondering if anyone else has heard this. In addition, how does the commissioning process work at the USMMA? Last thing, are midshipmen allowed to get married after they are already at the academy?

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  2. KP2020Dad

    KP2020Dad DS - USMMA '20

    Mar 2, 2015
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    I think more competitive, in that regard, means that there are more applications from "coastal" regions than from mid-America. More applications means lower percentages in getting in. Plus, like all academies, except USCG, selections take congressional populations into account. The Northern Virginia region will have more selections than a region in South Dakota.
  3. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

    Mar 31, 2013
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    The default commission you receive is as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Your billet is Strategic Sealift Officer. However, midshipman may apply to other reserve/guard branches as well as Active Duty. In other words, every branch (active and reserve/National Guard/Air National Guard components) are open to you. The NOAA Corps is also an option, but not too many people go that route. Your commitment is 8 years in a Reserve/Guard component or 5 years in an Active Duty component. If you choose to go Navy Reserve your commitment is only 2 weeks a year, but if you go to any other branch, it is the typical one weekend a month, 2 weeks for training each year. The nice part about USMMA is that you can apply to multiple branches for commissioning and you can accept or reject offers. For example, if you wanted to be a SWO in the Navy, but they gave you Subs, you can decline the offer and either take your commission in the Navy Reserve or apply to another branch. The downside to all of this is that there is no guarantee that you will get an Active Duty slot. Applying to go Active Duty is like applying to any other job, the company (In this case, branch) looks at your application and decides to hire you or not hire you. Active Duty isn't incredibly competitive, but it isn't a shoe in either. Most people choose the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, or the U.S. Army for Active Duty.

    On your marriage question: No, you cannot marry while you are a midshipman. You may certainly get engaged, but marriage is grounds for separation. There are a few midshipman that get married right after graduation though.
  4. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15' 5-Year Member

    Dec 8, 2010
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    Your designator is Strategic Sealift Officer, 1665. Not every branch is open, i.e. there isn't a way to directly commission into the reserve component of the Coast Guard and I can't find the last graduate to go straight to BOTC for NOAA ( can read the BOTC Bios for yourself here.. You can go ANG, but that gets tricky, because you'll go spend 3 years learning to fly and then have to figure out how to fulfill your last 2 years of sailing commitment to MARAD because you won't be on active duty anymore. It is nice to say you can go into any branch, but it really isn't that simple, case by case can be difficult. The SSO program is designed for people to be able to fulfill the sailing commitment and the reserve commitment, so it is by far the simplest option. Other things are possible but they can get tricky in a hurry.

    Generally this is true, but it is worth noting 46 U.S. Code § 51306:

    (4) apply for, and accept if tendered, an appointment as a commissioned officer in the Navy Reserve (including the Merchant Marine Reserve, Navy Reserve), the Coast Guard Reserve, or any other reserve unit of an armed force of the United States, and, if tendered the appointment, to serve for at least 6 years after graduation from the Academy;

    However the SSO Program requires an 8 year commitment, so for most it will be an 8 year commitment. However, if you could talk another branch into a doing a six year gig ( reserve maybe?), you would still be compliant as far as MARAD is concerned.

    You can be married. One of my classmates got hitched over Christmas break. I direct you to the midshipman regulations:

    "217. Marriage:

    Midshipmen may be married. However, married Midshipmen will receive no special advantage in the form of leave, medical coverage, housing or privileges. The Academy assumes no responsibility of any kind for the dependents of Midshipmen."
  5. cmakin

    cmakin 5-Year Member

    Aug 26, 2010
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    I guess I won't even comment on gender. . . . .

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