New member here but I have been eyeing this site for quite some time and would like to receive some career/ education advice from any of you who are are in the merchant marine engineering community. Little background on me I’m a 27 yr old male transitioning from the navy in 3 months and I am heavily considering going into marine/mechanical engineering at one of the academies in the US to eventually get a job as a 3 a/e at MSC or similar company. I was a Damage Controlman on two different DDG’s for 5 years and was a Naval Aircrewman (rescue swimmer) for the past three years. I was very good as a technician in engineering on the ship in my previous rate and my brain worked well in the environment and I received my EOOW letter and feel like my talents lie in that direction as well as having a little bit of leverage from time in service toward getting a job down the road. My question for the community is:
1.) What is it like for a veteran at the maritime academies? (Excluding USMMA.)
2.) Would I be better off going the “hawespipe” route as a QMED?
3.) If I do go to the academy I will be 31 when I enter the job field I feel like this puts me at a disadvantage to my peers thoughts?
4.) If you’re a veteran at an academy do you have to do all the regiment activities or do they understand that your dues have been “paid” in that regard?
I appreciate any info would also like to hear from any Ex-navy folks who got a job at MSC if you’re out there!