Meet the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Class of 2026

On Sept. 2, a total of 253 new Midshipmen were sworn into the U.S. Naval Reserve at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, NY. The swearing in followed weeks of rigorous indoctrination mixed with classroom instruction that began earlier in the summer.

The nation owes these young men and women their gratitude for dedicating their careers to national service, especially in these perilous times.

USMMA is the only federal academy that educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers. It is also the only maritime school in which 100 percent of graduates both earn a Merchant Marine license and incur an obligation to serve their country for eight years.

USMMA supplies 80 percent of the officers in the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO) Force. In peacetime, these U.S. Navy-commissioned officers execute training exercises and other activities to promote strategic sealift readiness. In times of national defense or emergency, the SSO Force ensures our nation has a sufficient number of service-obligated Merchant Marine officers.

All USMMA graduates earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Merchant Marine Officer license, and incur an obligation to serve the country as an active or reserve officer in the U.S. armed forces.