Story Number: NNS140702-18Release Date: 7/2/2014 3:29:00 PM
By Lt. Cmdr. Amber Lewis, Defense Media Activity
KINGS POINT, N.Y. (NNS) -- The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point (USMMA) welcomed its incoming Class of 2018, July 2.
The class of 2018 consists of 252 students who will be known as plebe candidates for the next 20 days. The plebe candidates represent 46 states and four foreign countries, including Malaysia, Romania, Panama and the Republic of Korea, are congressionally-nominated future midshipmen and began a rigorous, 20-day regimen of academic, military, and physical training known as indoctrination. The training is intended to transform them from recent high school graduates into future leaders and licensed maritime officers.
During their first day of indoctrination, also known as INDOC, plebe candidates were issued uniforms, received their first regulation haircut and formed on Barney Square as companies for the first time.
During formation, they were greeted by the Acting Maritime Administrator, Paul N. Jaenichen. Jaenichen said, "Kings Point is one of our nation's most selective schools, and you have proven yourselves to be among the best of the best of this year's applicants. It is a strenuous regimen of academic, military and physical training that will change you - inside and out."
All USMMA midshipmen are in the Naval Reserve and sign a service obligation to the Navy. USMMA is the largest commissioning source for the U.S. Navy after the Naval Academy in terms of number of commissions awarded annually.
USMMA is one of the five federal service academies. The school is funded by the Department of Transportation and has a mission to educate and graduate licensed Merchant Marine officers. Graduates from USMMA receive a Bachelor of Science Degree, an unlimited merchant marine officer license from the United States Coast Guard and an officer's commission in one of the branches of the military.
In return for the federal scholarship, each graduate is required to choose to either serve as a Merchant Marine Officer while concurrently serving in any branch of the U.S. military in the reserves for five years, or serve five years of active duty in any branch of the U.S. military.
USMMA graduates ensure a steady stream of merchant marine officers who support the nation's economic and security requirements in times of peace and war.