December 18, 2011

DH hasn’t been home 24 hours even and of course the topic of my blog comes up. My links to the recent DOT and MARAD announcements concerning GMATS and the T/V Kings Pointer have generated a great deal of traffic for me. I’ve even made it to Bing! Not just Google, but Bing! And my image of the T/V Liberator is a hot search I guess. Cool.

Needless to say there is a reason I try not to post my opinion on such things either way because DH is sure to have some “educating” for me after the fact.

Concerning the GMATS shut down, DH has said some of his classmates are not as pessimistic as I am. Then my eyes glazed over at the talk of the differences between non-appropriated fund instrumentality (NAFI) and appropriated funds. I guess we’ll have to see in 2012 where the program stands; the pessimist in me tries not to hold her breath too often.

On the second issue of the Kings Pointer being sent to Texas Maritime… I have to agree with DH that right now everyone feels there is a conspiracy against USMMA. But again, if you read the book on the founding of USMMA this is really nothing new. (If you want to talk conspiracies, let’s talk about how long it took Merchant Mariners from WWII to get veteran status!)

Aerial view of United States Merchant Marine A...

Image via Wikipedia; you can see the waterfront which is scheduled to be overhauled.

I personally feel that if the waterfront is about to make a two-year overhaul and they are not going to have a berth for the ship, then why waste the money keeping it? Nothing in the announcement says MARAD is notgoing to find another training vessel for Kings Point when the waterfront overhaul is complete. Perhaps we’re up in arms prematurely?


DH pointed out that when it came time to sit for his license, 0 of his hours aboard the Kings Pointer counted. What matters is the time midshipmen have on vessels during their Sea Year. Midshipmen have the opportunity for practical learning aboard a variety of vessels; some have the opportunity to apply for time aboard Navy vessels. So in a very real sense, the midshipmen will not suffer too greatly during the time USMMA is without the larger of its two training vessels.

And let’s remember that just days before these two back-to-back negative announcements, USMMA received word that its accreditation was renewed.



  1. My whole family has worked at the USMMA for over 20 years. Serving students and the community at Melville Hall Officers club which is a nafi. 3 generations will be on the unemployment line due to Marad stating the closure of the officers club. Canceling students back from sea dinner, pleb dinner, etc.
    Weddings for alumi and community public relations, Melville hall operates with no tax payer dollars and is an MWR Program. Which profits benefit the mid shipman, and now will be going to a private contracter with no money being returned to the MWR fund. Terrible!

    • I had not heard of the planned closure of Melville Hall. It would be unfortunate if that is the case.

  2. […] Educating… (snipewife.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] of changes happening at Kings Point. I was very dubious about the loss of the Kings Pointer though I do feel the decision made sense in light of waterfront […]

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