MARAD enters new era of transparency!

Unfortunately, it is forced transparency, courtesy of — the blog that MARAD wants you to avoid

As we reported here, MARAD engineered the language in the National Defense Appropriations Act — so that it would be required to appoint a state-maritime-school-dominated working group to study the future of sea year at the Academy before the new administration took office on Inauguration Day.  The statutory deadline for appointing the members was Friday the 13th.  On January 6, 2017, (the same day that MARAD was meeting in an “all-hands” meeting with the midshipmen, MARAD  invited over 70 people to participate in this working group. It then promptly convened its first (informal) meeting on Friday, January 13, 2017.

Given the importance of this working group to the future of sea year at the Academy, you might have thought that MARAD would announce the invitees and the fact that the working group was holding its first meeting.  But if you really thought that, you haven’t been paying attention.

MARAD not only invited people to join the working group, it created three subcommittees.  Pay attention to subcommittee C — that’s the one that will make recommendations about “feasible changes to the Academy’s sea year training program.”

In tomorrow’s town hall conference call, expect the Academy to tout the number of Kings Point alumni that are appointed to the working group.  But, the devil’s in the details (and this is how MARAD operates):

so let’s see if in tomorrow’s town hall, MARAD will identify how many non-MARAD-employee (and non-Academy-employee) alumni are appointed to subcommittee C.

If Kings Pointers are under-represented on that Committee, that’s all you need to know — it will be a report with a conclusion pre-ordained by MARAD — just like the LMI Report.

So, in the interest of bringing to MARAD the transparency it so desperately wishes to avoid, I give you: (1) the agenda for the first meeting, (2) the administration’s description of the subcommittees it has created (3) the timeline established for the working group:

·        January 31, 2017 – First Formal Meeting
·        February thru June – Sub-Working Groups meet monthly
·        June 30, 2017 – First draft of the Findings Report
·        July 31, 2017 – Final Findings Report complete
·        September 25, 2017 – Findings Report Delivered to Congress

and (4) a list of the invitees to the group (along with background information that another alumnus has worked very hard to provide):

Last name First name Employer Job title College/year of graduation
Cole William Alaska Tanker Co Labor Relations Team Leader
Wells James American International Shipping LLC ? President?
Doell Paul American Maritime Officers National President
Hearn Jack American Professional Mariners Association Executive Director USMMA ’79
Ebeling Eric  American Roll-on Roll-off President & COO Bowdoin College ’98
Kelley John American Ship Management (Patriot)
Dragone John APL Director of Labor Relations Mass Maritime ’74
Gottlieb Jay Argent Marine Companies Co-founder? VC?
Prada Oscar Chevron Captain USMMA ’90
Roberts Michael Crowley Maritime Sr. VP and General Counsel American Univ
Cropper Tom Cal Maritime President Iowa State ’81
Dalske James Cal Maritime Dean of Student Development / Conduct Administrator Cal Maritime ’02
Hayman Susan Foss Maritime Vice President USMMA ’80
Achenbach Gerard Great Lakes Maritime Supt SUNY ’86
Druskovich Judy Great Lakes Maritime Admissions Specialist Michigan State ’83
Salvador Bruno Hapag Lloyd President & CEO
Seel John International Shipholding Corp (Central Gulf, Waterman etc) SUNY ‘??
Nanartowich Kaitlyn Keystone Shipping Co Recruitment and training manager Mass Maritime ’14
Sherman ? Liberty Maritime
Hanley Ed MAERSK VP of Labor Relations USMMA ’85
Meinhardt Candace MAERSK General Manager USMMA ’02
Woodhour William MAERSK President U of DE ’87
Brennan Bill Maine Maritime President Univ of Maine
True Elizabeth Maine Maritime VP Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mount Holyoke College
Doherty Owen MARAD Assoc. Admin. For Business and Finance Development USMMA ’81
Gilmour Paul MARAD Acting Deputy Director
Office of Training Vessels, Innovation, and Outreach
Kohlmann Kevin MARAD Director of Safety
Kumar Shashi MARAD Dep Assoc Administrator & National Coordinator for Maritime Education & Training Cardiff
Rodriguez Michael MARAD Deputy Maritime Admin USMMA ’79
Szabat Joel MARAD Exec Dir Georgetown ’82?
Tokarski Kevin MARAD Assoc. Admin for Strategic Sealift SUNY ’84
Tom Pattie MARAD Director, Office of Civil Rights UC Santa Cruz
Wehde Anne MARAD Director, Office of Maritime Labor & Training Texas Maritime ’91
Poplawski Anthony Marine Fireman’s Union President/Sec-Treas SUNY Excelsior College
Huhnke Marie Mass Maritime Director, STCW/Licensing  USMMA ’87
McDonald Francis Mass Maritime President Mass Maritime ’85
Macgillivray Ms. Dale Matson  Manager of Offshore Labor Relations and
Contract Administration; 
Benton Joe  McAllister Towing VP Gen. Mgr USMMA ’00
Ainley Marshall MEBA President USMMA ’82
Eser Chuck MEBA/Calhoon School Director Maine Maritime ’80
Paine Glen MITAGS Executive Director USMMA ’78
Luhta Klaus MM&P VP Gulf Coast & Gov’t USMMA ’98
Marcus Don MM&P International President USMMA ’79
Lee Rob MSC 
Thackrah John MSC  Exec Dir U of DE ’79
Huff Natalie NOAA Prog Dir for EEO & Diversity
Blunt Michael Overseas Shipholding Group Labor Relations & Recruiting Maine Maritime ’98
Mote Damon Overseas Shipholding Group VP and Ch Admin Officer Cal Maritime  ’92
Gehkrin John-Paul Pacific Gulf Marine
Johnson Todd Pacific Gulf Marine President/CEO
Lundeberg Gunnar Sailors’ Union of the Pacific President Univ of OR
Paret Russell Schuyler Line Navigation Company President
Huett Sandy Seafarers International Union Exec. Admin Asst 
Rogers Bart Seafarers International Union Director of Manpower
Tricker George Seafarers International Union VP – Contracts Paul Hall (SIU) ’79
Friel Kathleen STAR Center (AMO school) Instructor / Developer SUNY ’91
Shullo Phil STAR Center (AMO school) Director Penn State
Alfultis Mike SUNY President USCGA ’82
Hanft Catie SUNY Deputy Commandant of Cadets SUNY ‘??
Boyer Jeffrey Texas Maritime Exec. Dir of HR Westminster College ’79
Putty Scott Texas Maritime Assoc Prof of Marine Trans Texas Maritime ’79
Serridge Melissa TOTE Director, HR & Labor Relations U of N. FL ’03
Finsterbusch Patty TOTE/SOCP Ass’t Safety & Ops Mgr USMMA ’80
Blaine Shawn Marie USCG USCG Hdqtrs SAPR Program Mgr
Boyle Fionna USMMA Acting SARC USMMA ’07
Helis James USMMA Supt USMA ’79
Marks Charles USN Fleet Forces Command Staff USNA ’88
Werner Matt WEBB Dean    WEBB ’95
Michel Keith Webb Institute President WEBB  
Smith E  ? ? Mass Maritime ’64???


  1. So, commercial shipping will not likely be reinstated while the committees works – it will need to wait for their report to Congress. Great. So much for graduating 2019 and much of 2018 on time – if at all. Chao will have to be very decisive and stop this committee work and just declare sea year stand-down over, remove Hellis and Rodriguez immediately, and fill their positions asap to stop the madness in time to save the classes of 2018 and 2019. Politically, Chao is likely to punt and let the committee’s finish their work before involving herself. What I don’t get is the ultimate endgame here. At this point I have concluded that it is to scuttle accreditation and ensure closure of the Academy within 18 months to 2 years.

    • I’m feeling exactly like “Defeated Parent” stated. The whole state of affairs is just despicable and mind boggling. It is unimaginable that from the MSCHE report which states that SEA YEAR IS EXEMPLARY and that leadership is the problem, that we end up with a working group that gets to decide the fate of our sea year! It doesn’t need fixing! Secretary Chao, please see the writing on the wall. Re-instate sea year and fix the administration. We don’t need a committee to fix something that ain’t broke!

  2. Keep the heat on, but let’s c how the subcommittee selection works out before u go on too much of an offensive. 2 things to look for first:

    1: will sea year on commercial shipd continue to b delayed pending the sub committee reports? If so, the fix is in.

    2. Will the sub committee be about looking at eliminating the traditional sea year on COMMERCIAL ships or improving the experience. If the former, again the fix is in. If the latter, we should b supportive.

  3. I believe there are multiple, overlapping, mutually reinforcing agendas at work here, and they begin with the proposition that Helis was tasked by MARAD to change the USMMA curriculum to mirror its sister academies by the introduction of more liberal arts. Watering down the technical rigor and focus of the current curriculum makes the program easier, which would improve retention and graduation rates across the board. The only way to make room in an already tight academic calendar is by fundamentally transforming sea year to the training ship model that is used by all the other maritime academies, which benefit from the Coast Guard’s 1.5 sea day training ship metric. As a consequence the 300 actual days USMMA Midshipmen Engineering majors need, for example, now becomes 200 actual days, freeing up 100 academic calendar days for “leadership” classes and other fluffwork that has Helis and the Advisory Board have been pushing for in the 2014 and 2015 advisory reports. This all meshes nicely with MARAD’s push for federal funding for new multi-purpose training ships, the stacked deck “working group” language of the NDAA, the abupt cancellation of sea on commercial platforms, and the general lack of transparency surrounding all these actions. These actors knew these plans would meet a tremendous amount of resistance from all stakeholders if openly discussed. In effect, USMMA’s core program and mission is being sacrificed on the alter of diversity, and SASH was/is shamefully being used to brow beat all stakeholders into submission (after all, they are doing this for the safely of the “children”), as well as to deflect blame away from continuing leadership and governance failures – please post anonymously

  4. In the listing of personnel above, there is no explicit relationship described relating to the voluntary organization of the United Maritime Service who under 46 USC 1295e and 51701 are for the training of citizens of the United States to serve on merchant vessels of the United States and to perform functions to assist the United States merchant marine, as determined necessary by the Secretary.

  5. Interestingly enough, I actually think there should be a change to the curriculum at the academy, but not to the full liberal arts model existing at the other service academies. Given the business nature of the merchant marine, I have always thought that there should be some emphasis on business, law and international relations, at least as they relate to the maritime industry specifically. That, however is not really what this whole mess is about I think. Getting sea year up and running again has to be the priority.

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