you just stirred the hornets nest.
There are a number of theories that swirl around the entire issue of sea year, accreditation, etc. And, on social media, internet, etc., emotion causes there to be a lack of filter from a lot of people. So, being forewarned, here are my thoughts.
I believe 4 companies have completed their assessments and have been approved for sea year. I think that it is about 70-75% of the berths that were previously available. I have not heard one way or the other if there are any issues with getting berths. But, based on the loud complaints about no berths in the past year, I assume that those needing berths are getting them, for the most part. There is an attack on the curriculum, that is for sure. The attack was instituted by the former administration. Nobody really knows what the goal was, and it could have been as simple as making the academy a nicer gentler place. It could have been as bad as closing the school, or having it "merge" with suny. What is known, imho, DOT and MARAD used USMMA as a pawn in order to attempt to convince congress to allocate nearly $2 billion to build new training vessels for the state academies. Because the state academies do not have a service requirement, nor do they graduate any significant numbers required to serve, the federal monies needed to support the state schools needed to be justified, and, they attempted to push usmma into using the state school vessels, which would provide a federal reason for the money. But, just because the adminstration has changed does not mean their tenticles are not still there. before they left they left a number of poison pills which are designed to attempt to force usmma onto state ships. there is a committee set up to recommend possible changes to sea year and it is heavily weighted by state school appointees. The state schools, of course, have a financial interest worth a couple billion dollars to recommend an end to sea year. But, I believe Chao will end up being a friend, and, I am cautiously optimistic that sea year will remain as is. There does not appear to be a lot of change of leadership at the academy. The superintendent is still there. as is the deputy superintendent. Both were instrumental it appears in the sea year stand down and the probable false narrative that the stand down was based upon. They are also the leadership team who drove the ship onto the accreditation rocks. The school is attempting to address the harassment issue, and is hiring a coordinator. It appears the acting commandant will not get the permanent gig. Talk from the campus says a new one is coming onboard, and announcements were made that that the acting one will return to his prior position as deputy, etc. So, as a parent, what do I think. I think the school is safe, but not yet fully secure. I think sea year will be safe. There are a lot of people who are working behind the scenes. I don't know if that really includes the NPA. The NPA seems to be sluggish, and not really upfront about what they are doing. The USMMA AAF seems to be doing things behind the scenes. The only way to correct all of the issues is to revamp the entire leadership team. That is probably not happening. Nobody knows what is happening on accreditation. The school is mum on what they are doing. I would hope they are doing something, and believe they probably are, but they haven't provided an update to anyone. Would I support DS going here again--yes. Do I believe that the school will be around in 10 years. Yes. Do I believe the school will be better in 10 years--yes. Why--because in the next year or two, when the south china sea and korea and eastern Europe explode, the need for the expertise the school teaches will be highlighted.