Here’s a clip from Elaine Chao’s confirmation hearing today. She said that the problems at Kings Point will be the first thing she addresses at MARAD.
Listen to Senator Wicker’s question, as it demonstrates his concern and knowledge about the Academy — and the importance of the Alumni as a resource. He is specifically focused on the sea year
stand down cancellation and the accreditation issues. The money quote comes from Chao, starting at 2:06 in the clip above:
“This is a huge issue. and I can assure you that if confirmed, this will be the first issue I take up at MARAD.”
Thank you Secretary-nominee Chao. And thank you Senator Wicker for the support and the question.
It is not “delusional” to think that a better day is dawning for Kings Point.
Not to get too ahead of things, but re-hiring Phil Greene as Supe and Dr. Kumar as Academic Dean would be wonderful first steps to turn this ship around, as well as provide, swift poetic justice. I can envision numerous heads exploding all through the halls of DOT and MARAD. One can dream…
May I suggest that people call the Senator’s Washington office at 202 224 6253 and thank him for his question and his apparent understanding of the situation at USMMA. There was no firm commitment on anything from Chao, which I understand at this point, but quite frankly it was clear that the she and the senator are both familiar with what has been going on and that it’s on their radar. Nice to know that not everyone thinks that the alumni, as per LMI, are the problem, but a resource.
I still think we need to call senators. She is a government insider. She is well aware of our current problems. She knows we have an SA/SH problem. I don’t think she will have our back if we want to let things continue he way they are.
I agree we need to continue to press our senators and representatives to stay on top of this. But I do think Chao is sincere in wanting to fix the problems at KP; most important, I think she knows what the real problems at KP are, rather than the “problem” that was identifies solely through a false narrative.
As for things continuing the “way they are,” to the extent that this refers to any SA/SH issue, I think everyone is committed to making sure that KP is as free of SA/SH as possible. (“Zero tolerance” is a good goal; but, it is unrealistic to think that it will equate to “zero incidents.”) Likewise, I think everyone is committed to making sure that the sea year experience is as free of SA/SH as possible. And, had the administration taken an approach that said, “Let’s strive to make it as free of SA/SH as possible and work together — all stakeholders — to achieve that goal,” it would have had overwhelming support. I think most would stakeholders would have even supported a two-week stand down (until after the June 26 industry meeting) if it was intended as a wake up call to say, “Now that we’ve got your attention . . .” But, unfortunately the leaders chose to dictate instead of lead. And that created the unintended consequence of midshipmen now being afraid to report any SA/SH during sea year.
Bottom line: We need to undo the damage done by the current administration and make sure that the SA/SH situation, to whatever extent it exists, remains on the radar but is dealt with appropriately
Let’s push AAF to get Chao to speak in the Spring, and/or at Commencement, to the Regiment. She can invite herself….. They need to hear they are valued and appreciated, they have been beat down by Helis, Rodriguez and Chippy too long.
Fantastic to finally see real leaders who care about the Midshipmen. Well done. Now – Acta Non Verba.
Attention Congress: The problem that you need to focus on is focus on is the decline is US Flag Shipping. The SA/SH issues at USMMA (and in the Maritime industry in general) will fix themselves once Congress realizes that the United States is a Maritime Nation and support for the US Merchant Marine is a the essential to continuation the republic. The problems at USMMA are cultural, and have taken a back burner due to lack of appropriated funding and decline of the US Merchant Marine over of the last 7 decades.