KINGS POINT, N.Y., Nov. 12, 2018 – “We shall be a secret no longer!” With those seven words, Rear Admiral Jack Buono took command of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) on Friday afternoon at a spirited change of command ceremony at Kings Point.
Maritime Administrator, Rear Admiral, Mark H. Buzby, U.S. Navy (Ret.), kicked off the afternoon ceremony, held in Ackerman Auditorium, by officially introducing the new superintendent to the Regiment of Midshipmen and the Academy community-at-large who filled the auditorium. In his remarks, he mentioned Buono’s vision as well as his extensive experience - both at sea and ashore – both of which have prepared him to lead the Academy into the future.
He then promoted the 13th Superintendent to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Maritime Service as the master of ceremonies read the commissioning order. Buzby followed by administering the oath of office to the newly commissioned superintendent. Once completed, the Regiment erupted in applause and the USMMA Regimental Band, “George M. Cohan’s Own,” rendered honors to the newly appointed superintendent.
Shortly after being sworn in, Rear Admiral Buono formally took command of the Academy, reporting to RADM Buzby in traditional Navy fashion, “Sir. I am in command of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.” As RADM Buzby congratulated the new superintendent, the Regiment of Midshipmen once again erupted in cheers and applause for their new leader.
RADM Buono saved the best for last. In his remarks, he challenged the Regiment to take care of one another and to lift each other to greater heights. He then told the near capacity crowd that the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is a national treasure that should not be the best kept secret among the federal service academies. He described those things that set USMMA apart from the other academies – Acta Non Verba, the Battle Standard, and licensing. He went on to offer multiple examples of mariners in action, each time asking the question, “Should that be a best kept secret?,” and each time receiving louder and louder supportive responses culminating with the audience of Midshipmen, faculty, staff and distinguished visitors on their feet cheering for the new Superintendent. Click here to review RADM Buono’s remarks.
The 13th Superintendent then embarked on a full weekend schedule, hosting the Annual rivalry classic Secretaries’ Cup football game against the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and making his first appearance in the local town of Great Neck at the Veterans Day parade.
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are inspired to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The Academy, which was established under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, was dedicated as the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.
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