KINGS POINT, N.Y., March 15, 2013 – Today, Captain Jay Kennedy, commandant of midshipmen at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), officially recognized the Class of 2016 as Midshipmen.
“I am very proud of the Class of 2016. Recognition is the capstone event for what has been a very challenging year for the plebes. They have worked hard in the classroom and in the regiment and they have come together as a class. The Class of 2016 has been very impressive since day one of Indoctrination. They have more than earned their recognition and I am expecting great things from them over the next three years,” said Kennedy.
The plebes assembled in Ackerman Auditorium for a scheduled regimental period, not knowing if they would hear the long-awaited announcement. After a briefing by Commander Andrew McCarthy, supervisory training officer, they were told that they had five minutes to change into boiler suits and muster in formation by company for stretching and physical training. They were then directed to several stations to commence with recognition activities.
Regimental Commander Daniel Galginaitis explained, “The steps to reach recognition by the Class of 2016 started on the day they reported in July. Throughout their first year here at the academy they have participated in many service projects, including cleaning up of Kings Point Park and helping out the Rockaway community following Hurricane Sandy. Their training officers, Midshipmen Baitcher, Witte, Heard, and Beebe, have taken them from high school students to fully functioning members of the Regiment of Midshipman. We are proud to have the join them join the ranks today.”
The newest midshipmen are thrilled that they no longer will have to square corners, run to class or maintain the plebe regulation haircut. None were available for comment because they were granted liberty.