Sea year on the Kings Pointer begins for the B-Splits
In contrast with MARAD’s optimistic calculation of the restoration of sea year, a dozen or so B-splits have been informed that they will be receiving orders to report to the Kings Pointer for sea year in the next week. My understanding is that most, if not all, of these midshipmen have been sitting at home doing nothing for the last 3-4 weeks. While it is certainly better to get them some sea days so that they will be more likely to be able to graduate on time, sea year on the Kings Pointer is not what they were promised when they accepted their nominations to the Academy and is a poor substitute for true sea year. The Academy promotes — even now
— the catch phrase, “The World is Our Campus.” But for the 12 midshipmen about to be assigned to the T/V Kings Pointer and many more over the last year, the catch phrase has become “The Campus is Our World.”
If things were as optimistic as projected by MARAD, it would not be necessary for midshipmen to make that long journey — down Steamboat Road to Mallory Pier — for sea year. But, as long as billets are being taken by state maritime school cadets, as described by this midshipman in the comments; and until far more companies are approved to take Academy midshipmen, these kinds of problems are going to plague sea year. The claim that sea year is close to being restored continues to ring hollow.
Once again, it is long past time for MARAD to begin releasing weekly statistics to the public: How many midshipmen are assigned to commercial ships? How many to MSC? How many on Navy, USCG or NOAA ships? How many on ROS ships? How many on the Kings Pointer? How many on state school ships? How many sitting at home praying for a ship assignment?
UPDATE: After posting this article, the woman who appears in the screenshot that I captured from the USMMA website contacted me and demanded that I remove the picture, stating that she does not support this blog or its mission. I declined to honor the demand, explaining why, here. However, I did agree to publish an update that made it clear that she does not support this blog or its mission. As a reminder, our mission is to gather information and publish it so that readers “may review the facts in one place and draw their own conclusions.” We certainly do not want the support of anyone who does not support the gathering of facts so that people can draw their own conclusions. Therefore we want to make it very clear that the woman in the photo does not support the blog or its mission. Nor do we want her support.
Further update: In the photo, I’ve blurred the face of the woman in question. I’m continuing to use the photo because it is relevant to the post.