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USMMA Installs New Commandant

KINGS POINT, N.Y., Dec. 14, 2015 – Capt. David B. Sosa, USMS, was installed as the Commandant of Midshipmen at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) today.

In a ceremony at Ackerman Hall, attended by Deputy Maritime Administrator Mike Rodriguez ’79, the Regiment of Midshipmen, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the Academy, Superintendent Rear Adm. James A. Helis, USMS, appointed Sosa a Captain in the United States Maritime Service, administering the Oath of Office for Maritime Service Officers. Then Sosa formally relieved acting Commandant of Midshipmen, Capt. Robert "Bob" DeStafney, USMS.

Helis welcomed Sosa, noting his “remarkable record of contributions to our great nation in peace and war.”  He noted that Sosa “has proved again and again his ability to lead large, complex enterprises.  He has mastered many different missions in varied environments and circumstances.  Throughout, he has proven himself a strong, capable leader of impeccable ethical and moral values.”

“David B. Sosa is a tremendous gain for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy,” said Rodriguez. “His discipline, conviction, and ability to work with stakeholders will make lasting contributions to Kings Point.”

Addressing the midshipmen, Sosa said, “You are why I am here. In every sense of the word, I work for you, and I look forward to meeting each of you, and working together to provide an environment of leadership and service that will prepare you to meet any challenge.”

Sosa is a career Marine Corps Officer.  He commanded units up to the Battalion size, served tours in Iraq, led deployments to Africa and the Middle-East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and conducted counter-piracy operational planning with the Royal Marines, the United Kingdom's amphibious light infantry force.

Most recently he served as Borough Manager for the port town of Haines Alaska, population 2,400, where he supported port development projects, including harbor and industrial port upgrades, and initiatives for cruise ship port calls.

By Benjamin Benson


Commandant:  Capt. David B. Sosa

Capt. David B. Sosa, USMS, is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. and retired career Marine Corps Officer.

He graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1992, and earned a commission as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps after attending Marine Corps Officer Candidates Class. His operational tours include service with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, Operations Officer, and Battalion Commander.  He also served as an exchange officer with the Royal Marines, the United Kingdom's amphibious light infantry force.

He led deployments to Africa and the Middle-East, including in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  He served at sea on multiple assignments, most notably as a Battalion Landing Team Commander with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).  His state-side assignments included recruiting duty and Marine Corps Installations East.

He is a Distinguished Graduate of Amphibious Warfare School and of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, from which he was awarded a Master of Military Studies degree. He was also awarded a Master of Public Administration degree in from Golden Gate University.

His personal awards include the Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device ("V"), the Combat Action Ribbon, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy Commendation Medal.

After retiring as a Lt. Col. in 2014, he served as Borough Manager for the port town of Haines Alaska, population 2,400, where he was responsible for the municipality’s day to day operations. 

He is joined at Kings Point by his wife Tracey and their daughter Sofia.

Updated: Monday, December 14, 2015
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