Capt. Rick Smith resigns


Word around the campus today is that Capt. Rick Smith has resigned from SUNY Maritime College.

Guess things are changing up 'round the old campus and especially soon aboard the TSES.


I thought he was working for Tote or Crowley? Wasn’t his departure expected with the posting of the TSES Relief Capt job for SST’18?


That was only an LOA.

His TOTE job was labeled as some kind of professional development thing, not unlike a sabbatical of sorts where he would be gaining recent experience in the industry and bringing that knowledge back to the college… at least, that is how it was explained at the time. He did not appear to be leaving the college, rather he was going to go out one more time for the vessel’s scheduled shipyard period before returning for the fall semester, which he did.

Maybe upon his return there were some kind of changes made that just didn’t sit right with him, or he wanted his old job back (since as recently as cruise Hanft was referred to as “Acting” Commandant) and they denied that request.


Email from the Admiral

Dear Maritime College Community,

Captain Richard Smith has notified me of his decision to resign as Master, TS EMPIRE STATE VI effective October 26, 2018. On behalf of the Maritime Community, I wish him all the best as he begins the next chapter in his career.

I sincerely thank Captain Smith for his numerous and substantial contributions and service to Maritime College over the past 27 years. During his tenure as Master and Commandant, Captain Smith strengthened all aspects of regimental life and the summer sea-term experience. In addition to his full time duties, Captain Smith has served as an instructor in the Marine Transportation Department, bringing decades of experience into the classroom. He has also served as the Coach of the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division III Rowing teams which have won medals at numerous collegiate championships.

Originally from California, Captain Smith is a graduate of SUNY Maritime Class of 1981 with a BS in Meteorology and Oceanography. He holds a Master of Unlimited Tonnage License from the US Coast Guard. After graduating from Maritime, he sailed with commercial shipping companies, was an Associate Professor at Maritime College, sailed on several training cruises as a Mate aboard the TS EMPIRE STATE, and served as the Department Chair of Marine Transportation for four years.

Prior to coming back to his alma mater in his current capacity, he worked for Vela International Marine Ltd serving as Master of the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) PHERKAD and the Ultra-Large Crude Carrier (ULCC) MIRA STAR. At that time, as Master of the ULCC MIRA STAR, he was the youngest Master of the world’s largest supertanker.

Captain Smith returned to Maritime College in 2001. During his time as Master, in addition to deploying for summer sea terms, EMPIRE STATE VI supported numerous national taskings for FEMA. These included activation for disaster recovery operations following Hurricanes Katrina AND Rita in 2005; Hurricane Sandy in 2012; and the recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. Each time the ship and crew were able to quickly respond to and support national tasking because of Captain Smith’s dedication and leadership during the activation preparations and operations.

Captain Smith is Maritime College’s longest serving Commandant of Cadets. He has been valued member of the President’s Cabinet and chaired numerous workgroups aimed at improving the license and regimental experiences.

I want to personally thank Captain Smith for his sound advice and counsel to me as President, and on behalf of the College community for his years of faithful and dedicated service to SUNY Maritime College. Please join me in wishing Captain Smith the very best as he pursues new challenges and opportunities.

A transition plan is underway, and we will provide a staffing update in the near future.