The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has welcomed its incoming Class of 2018, consisting of 252 plebe candidates representing 46 states and 4 foreign countries, including Malaysia, Romania, Panama and the Republic of Korea.
Upon arrival, the future Midshipmen began a rigorous 20-day regimen of academic, military, and physical training known as indoctrination, which will transform the new intakes from recent high school graduates into future leaders and licensed maritime officers.
The Superintendent of the academy, Rear Admiral James A. Helis, said, “The new plebe candidates make up one of the most diverse classes at USMMA.”
“Minority enrollment for the Class of 2018 is now at 27.7 per cent and the percentage of females is at 18.6 percent. We are very pleased that the incoming class is more representative of the American demographic than ever before.”
During their first day of “Indoctrination,” plebe candidates were issued uniforms, received first regulation haircut, and formed on Barney Square as companies for the first time.
During formation, the Acting Maritime Administrator, Paul Jaenichen, said to the candidates, “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.”
Moreover, upon graduation USMMA midshipman will receive a Bachelor of Science Degree and a United States Coast Guard- issued Merchant Marine Officer License, ensuring a strong U.S. merchant marine that will support the nation’s economic and security interests.
Kings Point graduates also serve five years of active-duty in the military, or sail in the U.S. Merchant Marine while serving for eight years in the reserves.