Which Merchant Marine Company Takes Graduates

Mariners who made the ultimate sacrifice

Ask people unfamiliar with the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) where to find graduates and they will likely find you on a cargo ship cruising the deep oceans or in an exotic port across the country Say globe. And they would be mostly correct.

What most do not know is that no other federal service academy offers Kings Point's career options. Yes, many graduates become ship officers at sea, and some take up jobs in maritime and intermodal transport; but all take on a service obligation in one form or another of military service. Another option taken by many midshipmen is to serve as an active officer in one of the armed forces.

Take these three kings pointers for example :

William Donnelly , USMMA class of 2008. Upon graduation, Donnelly commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and later served as the commandant of the Rifle Platoon. Donnelly was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on September 25, 2010 and was killed in Operation Thanksgiving on November 25, 2010 when he was leading his platoon in dismounted infantry operations.

Aaron Seesan , USMMA Class of 2003. On assignment as a lieutenant with the United States Army, he completed Combat Engineering Training and Airborne School. Seesan was sent to Iraq in February 2005 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. There he ran an engineering company that looked for bombs hidden by the roadside. On a recent mission to Mosul, Seesan's vehicle was hit by an explosive device that burned over 80% of his body. Seesan was flown to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, where he died of his injuries on May 22, 2005.

Francis L. Toner , USMMA Class of 2006 assigned as Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy with the Civil Engineer Corps. Toner was sent to Afghanistan in 2008 as a member of a training team. He supported Operation Enduring Freedom as a Garrison Engineer Mentor for the Afghan National Army (ANA). Halfway through his assignment, Toner and three other officers were doing physical training on the outskirts of Camp Shaheen when they were attacked by an enemy who had infiltrated the ANA. Toner, unarmed, verbally challenged the insurgent and continued until he was fatally injured and caught fire from an intruder to save the lives of others.

Long known as the "fourth arm of the defense," the United States Merchant Marine has served with valor and distinction in every American conflict. The vital work of the merchant navy has never been more apparent than during World War II, when merchant mariners sailed dangerous seas and fought enemies while connecting our foreign-fighting forces with vital supplies. In the course of their valiant efforts, more than 6,000 merchant navies died at sea or as prisoners of war.

This Memorial Day - and all that follow - do not make us think of the six thousand as a great number; Think of them as individuals, by name, as much as Donnelly, Seesan, and Toner.

Categories: Education / Training, Navy, Maritime Safety, Maritime Safety