The Sea Year
pause cancellation harms the potential victims it supposedly seeks to protect. Before the Sea Year pause cancellation, midshipmen obtained valuable, real-world, training on commercial, operating, sea-going ships. Ever since the pause cancellation, not so much.
As yourself if any of the women depicted in this video (hat tip gCaptain) celebrating their careers would have advanced the way they have if they had not had a true Sea Year.
Remember that under the SCCT protocols developed in 2017, midshipmen were proceeding on Sea Year with substantial safeguards against sexual assault and sexual harassment—protections not available to them when they graduate. Now, they are not getting that “sheltered” experience on commercial, operating, ships; yet, when they graduate, they are embarking on those vessels without having had that experience. A thinking person would recognize that this makes them more vulnerable to SASH as junior officers aboard ships.
Updated to add this link to an editorial by Ally Cedeno, ’08: National Maritime Day: Why are We Still Asking if Women Belong at Sea?
Another update: A reader directed me to this Maritime TV video of current women midshipmen talking about the value of Sea Year.
Bravo zulu to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation for producing the first video and releasing it on National Maritime Day. And bravo zulu to “Dr. Joy and Company” for producing the second video. And check out this website the USMMAAAF is hosting. I particularly like this screenshot I captured from the website:
Although this one is excellent too:
It seems like once DOT commits to an answer it is impossible to change. We’ve spoken to so many people within DOT and MARAD who seem to agree that EMBARC was designed more to alleviate Congressional pressure than provide any meaningful safeguards for Mariners, and they acknowledge that their policy applies to less than 1% of the Mariner workforce… but admitting wrong, and changing course are two different things.
Even Acting Administrator Lessley called some of the language in EMBARC “inartful” leading to confusion over Jones Act ship eligibility.
It’s been more than a month and Ms Lessley has not updated the EMBARC policy to clear up that confusion. She said the confusion was addressed in the MARAD EMBARC FAQs (not exactly the same as clarifying policy), but even then… the FAQs have NOT been updated.
So back to our original assumption – MARAD is either professionally incompetent, or intentionally undermining USMMA.
At some point – surely – Ms Lessley has to realize she is being hoodwinked by her staff. You can tell her frustration when she talks to the NPA… It’s like it pains her to have to repeat the legal advice she’s getting (because none of it makes any sense).