Welcome aboard to the newest members of the United States Merchant Marine Academy Regiment of Midshipmen!
Last July 8, the US Merchant Marine Academy opened its doors to the 342 members of the Class of 2014. Indoc Day, as it is known among the King's Point community, kicks-off an indoctrination period of intense training and orientation to life in the merchant service. Indoc subjects candidates to an intensive program of physical, moral, and regimental training.
For most candidates Indoc starts with a haircut. See more great photos from Indoc on Flickr
And last weekend, Plebe Summer came to its traditional close with Acceptance Day. On this day, the candidates formally joined the Academy Regiment and were sworn into the US Naval Reserve. They also dropped the "candidates" label and will be known as plebes through the end of their first year.
Acceptance Day coincides with Parents' Weekend at the Academy, the first opportunity for parents to see these students since Indoc Day. And they had good reason to be surprised at the changes in their cadets.
In formation by the first afternoon. You can see even more photos at Picasa
Because, by Acceptance Day, these young mariners have made tremendous growth in pride, determination, initiative, and maturity. And those qualities provide their admission ticket to the Regiment.
America is a maritime nation; every hour of every day ships of all types ply the waters in and around the US. Our merchant fleet is a major part of our economy and--in times of war or emergency--a vital part of our national security. And, no matter how good our engineering and technology have become, the success of America's fleet relies on the caliber of the men and women who staff and support our ports and vessels.
So, we expect a lot from the newly sworn-in Class of 2014. And, given the proud tradition of King's Point, I know we won't be disappointed.