The US government has abandoned the the US merchant marine and the US mariner. Its sole contribution is to maintain the charade of a merchant marine academy that has virtually no value to the industry.
Go get an aircraft mechanic’s license, that will get you a very high paying job at a car dealership. Go to culinary school, like the man said, “learn … whatever” and get a piece of paper to go with it.
Sorry for the reality check but it is what our politicians have made it.