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United States Merchant Marine Academy to March in Presidential Inaugural Parade

KINGS POINT, N.Y., January 18, 2013 - The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has been invited to march in the 57th Inaugural Parade. The parade commences following President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony on Monday, January 21, 2013. The Academy will be represented by the Regiment of Midshipmen, including the Regimental Staff, Regimental Band, the Color Guard, Honor Guard and a marching complement of midshipmen, representing all four classes and companies. In total, close to 200 midshipmen will travel to Washington, D.C. The midshipmen participating in the parade represent about a quarter of the Academy's overall Regiment of Midshipmen, which numbers 991 students. These young men and women hail from almost every state of the Union, as well as U.S. Territories, Possessions and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

"The regiment has dedicated many hours in preparation for President Obama's inauguration through a series of parade practices and musical performance rehearsals. As an institution, we recognize the historical significance of all Presidential Inaugurations, and we are privileged to participate in the 2013 ceremonial parade," said Rear Admiral James Helis, Ph.D., superintendent of USMMA.

The USMMA at Kings Point, N.Y, was established in 1943. It is one of the five federal service academies. Over the past 70 years, midshipmen from USMMA have marched in every Presidential Inauguration Parade since Harry Truman took the oath of office as President of the United States in 1949.

The members of the Regimental Band have been specially trained for this assignment by the Academy's Director of Music, CAPT Kenneth R. Force. The event in the nation's capital will be the 12th inauguration in which CAPT Force has been involved. As a member of the First U.S. Army Band in 1957, he performed at the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. And since 1973, he's either marched with the USMMA band in each inauguration parade or trained and prepared the band members for the historic event.

It is an honor to represent the maritime industry and all who have sailed on American Merchant Ships since 1775," said Force.

Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013