Breaking: New layer of bureaucracy created at KP

The following email was sent to midshipmen today:

Midshipmen, faculty and staff:
As I announced to the Regiment earlier this afternoon, our Commandant, CAPT David Sosa, will serve as Special Assistant to the Superintendent, starting immediately.  In this position, CAPT Sosa will work on updating policies and procedures at the Academy.  We thank CAPT Sosa for his efforts and commitment while serving as Commandant, and we are confident that, in his new position, he will continue to provide a strong foundation of support to the Regiment of Midshipmen.
In the interim, our Deputy Commandant, CDR Mike Stroud, is serving as Acting Commandant.  With the support of the Commandant’s staff, as well as the Midshipmen Officers, and all faculty and staff, we will continue to accomplish the Academy’s mission of educating and graduating licensed merchant mariners and leaders of exemplary character who will serve America’s marine transportation and defense needs in peace and war.
James A. Helis, Ph.D.
Rear Admiral, U.S. Maritime Service
Superintendent, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
300 Steamboat Road
Kings Point, NY 11024


  1. Nope, this is how MARAD fires people. Promoted to a nonsensical job. Since CAPT Sosa isnt qualified for any other assignment in DOT they invented a job for him.

    • I suspect that you are correct. See, this is how we teach young midshipmen to be leaders: Given a choice to either (a) recognize a problem and address it head on; or (b) don’t acknowledge a problem and take the path of least resistance; you can’t count on a bureaucrat to choose (b).

      To my knowledge no position of “special assistant to the Superintendent” has been created and no such job was advertised. There was no advertisement for the position. I think they can get away with that for a “temporary position” — which can only last for one year (with a one year extension available). To create a temporary position, the supervisor for the position [in this case, the Superintendent] must certify that the need for the position is truly temporary and that the appointment meets the regulatory time limits. The certification must include the specific reason for using a temporary appointment.

      Wonder if the requirements were complied with and where the funding for this position came from. Also wonder whether the Inspector General might be interested in this.

  2. I wonder how the Academy was able to function without a Special Assistant to the Superintendent for the past 73 years.

  3. I would hope that the newly appointed Special Assistant to the Superintendent would also work in coordination with the Navy to update any DOT/MARAD/USMMA policies and procedures related to the more recent cultural policy changes related to the repeal of Dont’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the more recently revised DoD shift regarding Transgender service members now that those barriers no longer exist as being a part of the Naval Reserve.

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