WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 68 SEAPOWER / MAY 2016
graduate with a good understanding of steam, diesel,
gas turbine and electric power.
“By far, the No. 1 reason we lose cadets is finances,”
said Rear Adm. Jerry Achenbach (USMS), a retired
Coast Guard commander who now serves as the
Achenbach advises cadets to budget at least $70,000
to graduate. The school accepts roughly 36 deck and 24
engine students as freshmen each year, with the anticipation that 40 to 45 will graduate four years later. Those
who make it through, Achenbach said, will get jobs.
“There’s a tradeoff; it’s a payoff,” he said.
Maine Maritime Academy
“The real training takes place when a cadet steps into
watch, looks to the right and the left, and notices, ‘Oh,
nobody is supervising me.’ Then the whole thing starts
crashing together for them,” said Capt. Nathan Grandy
(USMS), the commandant of midshipmen at the Maine
Again, the Castine, Maine-based school follows
much the same path as other maritime academies,
with an emphasis on either deck or engineering career
Security and safety draw heavy emphasis from day
one, Grandy said. Freshmen take a day-long course in
security awareness, before being placed in port-security
roles in which they monitor access to vessels and inspect
By their third year, midshipmen who choose to
focus on security are embedded in a vessel-security
officer course, upon completion of which they receive
Engineers, too, get their share of security instructions.
“When we’re teaching students about engineering
systems on a ship, [they are taught] you’re going
to have to keep an eye on suspicious acts of vessels
around you, that are not conforming to the rules of the
road and international protocols,” Grandy said.
Throughout their pursuit of bachelor’s degrees,
students see their levels of responsibility increase. The
marine transportation students learn stability and trim,
cargo handling and offloading, celestial, terrestrial and
electronic navigation, and hands-on navigation. By
their junior years, they assume instructors’ roles for
incoming freshmen. By their fourth year, midshipmen
are in spaces where they can put the skills they learned
in courses and training environments to work. They
also prepare for upcoming Coast Guard examinations.
As seniors, engineers produce projects that require
them to “redesign or figure out, and present … to their
professors and the campus community,” Grandy said.