Merchant Marine Reserve Program becomes Strategic Sealift Officer Program


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 16
Merchant Marine Reserve Program becomes Strategic Sealift Officer Program
By: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Strategic Mobility and Combat
Logistics Division
WASHINGTON (NNS) – After extensive coordination with several Navy
organizations and the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Deputy Chief of
Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics approved revisions to the
latest CNO Instruction (OPNAVINST 1534.lD) transitioning the Merchant Marine
Reserve (MMR) Program into the Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP) on
June 10.
The SSOP supports national defense sealift requirements and capabilities,
which are executed by Military Sealift Command (MSC). The program provides
the Navy with officers that possess sealift, maritime operations, and
logistics subject matter expertise, and further hold U.S. Coast Guard
credentials as merchant marine officers.
“These changes will help align and improve support to Military Sealift
Command and numerous other Joint and Navy commands,” said Vice Adm. Bill
Burke, Deputy CNO for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, who is the SSOP program
sponsor. "This revision improves stewardship, integration, and
opportunities for about 2,400 Navy Reserve officers."
The SSOP, like the old MMR Program, will continue to provide the capability
for emergency crewing of sealift ships and shoreside support to Navy
commands that require unique maritime expertise. Further, this change
provides opportunities for greater operational support to the Navy by
expanding selected reserve (SELRES) billets and active duty recalls to SSOP
officers.
“The improved program aligns strategic sealift officers under MSC to provide
the best use for their training as both Navy officers and licensed Merchant
Marine officers,” said Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, commander, MSC, who is Flag
sponsor of the program. “It also expands training requirements to ensure
that these officers are best ready for mobilization.”
“Both the Navy and the officers in the SSOP will benefit from improvements
such as increased opportunities to serve, better alignment of name to its
military purpose, streamlining to a single designator, and improved training
consistent with other Navy communities” said Rear Adm. Buzz Little,
commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command. "This new SSOP builds upon the
tradition of the MMR, by becoming more ready, relevant, visible, and
providing greater opportunities for service."
For more information about the SSOP, please see OPNAVINST 1534.lD.