Congress Calls To Shutdown Cadet Shipping And Says The Maritime Industry is Toxic John Konrad

Congress Calls To Shutdown Cadet Shipping And Says The Maritime Industry is Toxic John Konrad

Great work.

Third world villagers were not even considered in the report. It was simply a matter of young female mariners being able to go thru their ship board experience in order to graduate without being harassed or raped. Of course the various maritime academies could have their own training ships, but they decided it would be cheaper not to do so.


The various academies do have training vessels. Yet they still have cadets go out on cadet shipping because gaining experience on actual working vessels is vastly more beneficial for cadets then another cruise on a training ship. There are issues in the maritime industry and shutting down cadet shipping will not change those issues.


A post was split to a new topic: Off-topic from Congress calls to shutdown

There is also a capacity issue with the current training ships. One academy does “split” cruises with half of the underclass going on one split, and the other half going on the other. During the peak of COVID, another academy that normally sends cadets out for one summer had to make separate cruises as there wasn’t enough space on their training ship to take them all.


One possible solution to a capacity issue would be to stagger classes or semesters so a school ship may be in service for most of the year. I understand the state schools mostly do summer cruises. Why not spring, fall and winter cruises?


Well, not surprising given the MLAA site and the experiences he has highlighted.

  1. Hard to understand the whole response cycle from DOT, Marad, USMMA, and USCG on this issue. Temporary pause and changes are inevitable at this point. Anyone who thinks different is ignoring reality of the situation. And maybe they should all start by apologizing, taking responsibility and really changing root causes. And as an observation; crisis communication is not a core competency of any of these organizations.

  2. It’s very problematic if Capt Hanft really said those things to a cadet at SUNY. Maybe it’s not true. I hope not but if it is, why is she still in that role.? Very poor optics at a minimum and potentially a key protection in the system that failed a cadet.

  3. Integration on training ships in the USMMA curriculum is also inevitable. Replacing some sea time with new training ships will take pressure off their academic calendar and improve the overall education received.

Time to step back and relook at the whole approach to training.

Just my two cents


Other bachelor degrees sometimes require working in an industry (i.e. medical doctors) but not in others (i.e. civil engineering). These are called internships.

Should maritime degrees require internships? Time on school ships are one thing, but private or government companies? It’s almost like requiring an Air Force Academy cadet to work the summer at Raytheon cleaning bathrooms for six dollars a day.


Probably the most cognizant reply to this subject I have seen.

I’ve never had a cadet clean a head (bathroom) as part of his training.


Hardly. An AF Academy cadet will never graduate and immediately take a mid-level job at Raytheon. A Maritime Academy cadet will graduate and may immediately take a mid-level job on a ship just like the one they would have cadet shipped with. That is the entire point of the program.

As a licensed ships officer with legal obligations, that first day of their job should absolutely not be the first day they have ever stepped foot on a commercial non-school ship.

To add, a Civil Engineer does need to work in the industry before they are licensed. Just like that Doctor. Just like a mariner who wants a license. Cadet Shipping is that work in the industry. Is it sufficient? Perhaps not, but I believe it is 100% necessary.


I agree and with shipping getting more specialized the future officer needs to think about what sort of work they want to do and on what kind of ship. Having spent my career on the Lakes there is a lot that is different that Salt Water sailors never do that are just everyday iterations for Lake sailors. Never having sailed on a tanker I know I would be nervous as a cat about the first watches in port where the differences really occur. And to drive the point home about real world experience having spent my career with constant tension winches using wires and then going onto a training ship that uses fiber lines, bits and capstans was a re-learning experience from decades earlier.


The better path would be for maritime students to get their degree at school and on training ships. Then once graduated they could apply to work as unlicensed on the types of boats and ships they want to work on. That way they experience and learn what they actually need to know. Cadet shipping on a box boat doesn’t help as much if they want to work tankers.

Working for slave wages on commercial ships does them no good. Especially when the type of ship they cadet shipped on isn’t the type of ship they want to work on. The only beneficiary of cadet shipping are the companies who get cheap labor.

I’ve seen it plenty where I worked. You think I’d let a cadet prance around the bridge or on deck like some silver spoon golden child? Naw. They get shitty jobs until I think they deserve less shitty jobs. If a cadet can’t clean a toilet do you think I should teach them how to load a tanker full of jet fuel instead?

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Where I work “cadets” are shipped as deckhands. They do the work of deckhands, including cleaning toilets. Pay:$300/day.


In the past 11 years ive sailed tankers with various companies, weve treated cadets how they are supposed to be treated. They are onboard to learn, not to be used as cheap labor (hence the 30/day rates) They stand watch (put in as much cel nav in the nav workbook as humanly possible), and do all the dirty works that mates do (hook up hoses, gauge, sample, tank clean, swing blinds, etc). They are not used to clean heads, OS/ABs who get paid 300/day clean heads.

They should have learned how to clean heads during freshman year/freshman cruise anyways


That is fair enough pay and the working as a deckhand is a good idea. Cleaning toilets? No problem. A humbling experience pays off in spades as your career advances if one accepts the point of the exercise which is no matter the position one holds one must always respect those who do the grunt work which enables you to maintain your position. Without them and their respect for you as a leader you will eventually commit career suicide.


Well, the inevitable paused occurred. I think you all have excellent points on practical skills and experience gained by cadet shipping in the real world. I think that practical experience is absolutely necessary, but I really don’t see great options for the politicians to pursue.

I think John asks great questions in his reporting on the story today. The rest of the state academy cadets are also at risk if DOT/MARAD are serious about eliminating potential harm.

Meantime there is another post on MLAA of another horrible story by a young woman. Hard to see them restarting cadet shipping with this drip, drip, drip of terrible experiences being released to everyone’s horror.

Hate to see USMMA impacted like this but they are in the middle of a shit storm trying to put up an umbrella…

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From a purely Machiavellian perspective, the best thing (for the schools) is to be rid of cadet commercial cruises. No cadet can be assaulted on a commercial/government ship if there are no cadets on commercial/government ships. This is also great for the politicians and government appointees for the same reason. Can’t be liable if there’s nothing to be liable for.

The companies won’t like it. Not only will they loose their cheap labor but they will be wholly liable for whatever happens on their ships. No more pointing fingers at the schools. No one to share the blame.

It would also hurt the cadets. GPA doesn’t get printed on the diploma. How then will the good students differentiate themselves from the bad students?

If these rape stories keep surfacing I can’t see why the schools/appointees will want to keep that Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.