Too late to join state academy...?


I’m a 27 year old who’s always been enamored with the possibility of making a living at sea (deck). I just recently separated from the Air Force as a weather forecaster, and have just about 2 years of college credits under my belt. I’ve been itching to use up the G.I. Bill as quickly as I can, and look forward to transitioning into a career that I’ll be passionate about 20 to 30 years from now. My question is, considering my age and lack of maritime experience, would it be too late for me to enter into one of the state maritime academies? If not, would this be the best route for a maritime career seeking late bloomer? I reside in Florida, and would most likely attend SUNY, due to instate tuition rates that apply to states bordering the Atlantic, or Texas Maritime. Any insight or advice in general would be greatly appreciated!



I know a few people who’ve done it. It mostly depends on your attitude as you’ll have to put up with a lot of BS from college aged folks but I think it’s probably easier now that the school has a mix of licensed and non-licensed students. January is a good time to join up since the Indoctrination period is a bit easier.


There were a few guys in my class that were former military and north of 25. They completed indoc and were then “Day Students” for the whole time at SUNY where the uniform a weekly inspection but none of the other regimental stuff.
Since you were a wx forecaster you might want to look into SUNY’s meteo program if they still have it.


Many late bloomers opt for more of a vocational approach to their maritime education. PMI’s Workboat Academy is a fine example. Two years instead of four, you’ll be qualified to sit for a Mate’s license upon graduation, and I belileve you can use GI Bill for your tuition. Both approaches, academy and vocational, have their pros and cons. Become as informed as you can about all the options available to you. Welcome to the forum, Brooks!


Hi bcf:
You have two years of college and a super solid work history. Here is my advice: Go to a four year college and get a BS in Meterology, drink lots of beer and have a lot of fun with all those cute 21 year old fluffys. Trust me when I say Ive seen lots of vets on campus bagging the younger girls. Those 21 year olds just love the “older” guy. SOmthing to consider: nattionally 53% of all students enrolled in a 4 year school are women. NOw for ther real bait. Buy yoursself a 28-32’ sailboat and live aboard while going to school. Youre going to have to live someplace and pay rent so get a small sailboat. Chicks love it and it might get that going to sea thing out of your blood. No water? A friend of mine put his 28’ boat in an another firends back yard and lived there.
Now after two years from today your under 30, have a BS with 4 years USN service, a cool little sailboat paid for, and can go to work for NOAA of some other weather outfit making an very easy $60,000/year. When ya get an urg to be on the water… go sailing on your boat. Jut think of all the fluffy youll be missing working 28-14.
There are easy ways to make money and hard ways to make money.
Just my 2 cents…


And don’t forget to let Uncle Sam make those boat payments!! E-5 BAH for the 36 months of the GI Bill. The rates are


At cal there were several people in their late 40’s going to school there, there was even this one guy who was 62 years old. AS for your two years of prior university experience sorry to say that may only help you get out a few general education classes. Cal maritimes Marine Transportation degree was 162 credit hours when I graduated 3 years ago and so many of those credits were very specific maritime classes(nav,stability,ect.)