Why The US Merchant Marine Is Failing


All the more reason why the American taxpayer should not be forced to pay for a foreign employment training scheme.

It certainly doesn’t come from KP, never did, never will. Our role in the oceans will not be filled by pseudo military trained cadets.

The money used to support an obsolete pork barrel organization should be redirected to support and promote American shipping, ships, and mariners.


So where should we be spending money to generate our shipbuilding and technical expertise? Naval Arch programs like what’s offered at SUNY and the Webb Institute? Anyone graduating from such programs has no difficulty finding very good jobs, post graduation.

I don’t think there’s no value in having a regimental system for License Cadets, it sure as hell shouldn’t be run like a Marine Corps Basic Training. There is value in the USMM appreciating our pseudo-military heritage though. We have a national security role, those serving in conflicts should be given veteran status, and I’d even like to return to the old ways, where most officers are given USNR Commisions. KP grads still are, along with a service requiremnt, though it used to be like that for everyone. We need more sailing jobs, and a return to the golden age of American Shipping. Even though I’ve always thought hey should shut KP down and divert the funds to SMAs, instead why can’t we fund both. Increased funding across the board! Make American Shipping great again. If this Administration wants to hold true to its Mantra it HAS to support and expand American Shipping.


MARAD does. Are you unaware of that or simply proposing they change the rule?


It really doesn’t matter, there is no conceivable justification for funding KP while the USMM fades into oblivion behind the smokescreen of government/corporate incest.


Say what?!?

I’m not talking about letting foreigners train at KP, I’ ralking about American citizens. American workers oversea pay taxes AND, by exporting their talent, they are helping the teade deficit. What’s the problem with that??

I don’t care if they drop the military bullsh!t. I only care that they increaee the quality of training graduates recieve.

Since when is education obsolete???

As I told thenpointy stick a few posts ago… any money we give up will be gone forever. It will be eaten up by defense contractors or go straight into the Navy’s coffers. Even if, as c.captain claims, marad is able to keep the cash (which I highly doubt) who’s to say that Northrop Grumman won’t lobby to funnel that money into a new twic card scam?


They don’t need to change any rule, they simply need to approve applications to serve foreign.


Neither was I.

There is no need for the American taxpayer to fund the training of mariners for export to the parasites who consume our own fleet while our own industry is allowed to die and our own mariners are crippled by exorbitant training and certification costs.

The money squandered on a pseudo military academy producing baby crew at obscene costs for jobs that don’t exist in an industry that is being destroyed by the very gang that runs KP is an affront to us all.

Who said it was? I wrote that KP is obsolete. There is no rational or valid reason why the organization should exist. We have more mariners than jobs, we have several military academies to produce little warriors and we have many state schools that are extremely good at producing well trained and well balanced civilian mariners. What we don’t have is jobs for mariners or a government that has any interest or will to assure the health of our maritime industry and the training of the mariners who maintain what is left of it.

Give up? Selling KP and redirecting MARAD funding to support the training of merchant mariners and supporting US flag shipping is not giving up anything, it is what MARAD is supposed to do. KP has been obsolete since 1945 and it is time to bury the corpse.


Wow. Not that@jughead is on suspention and @c.captain has agreed with me that contacting your congressman is a total waste of time I was consider letting @ombugge hold onto the official gCaptain dunces untill c.captain sticks hit foot in his mouth again but this post may win it for you.


That is the spirit!!! Yes there is a big world out there and shipping is an international business, where nationality of the individual is not a main concern. Most ships are in “open registers” that has few if any restrictions when it comes to nationality of the Officers and crews. (Except Masters in some cases)

But to be able to take advantage of the opportunities one must be competitive on all fronts, not only on wage demand. It is also necessary to have licenses and training that is recognized internationally, not just nationally.

As long as US is practising a dual system where STCW, the internationally recognized requirement for Maritime Education and training, is an “endorsement”, not the basis for licensing, it is not a given that other flag states will recognize US licenses. If USCG continue to refuse to accept foreign education, training and certificates based on STCW as equal, why should other countries accept US equivalent?

I have come across Americans working for foreign companies and under foreign flags, but it is very rear. Foreign flag but US company is more common, especially Drillships. (As John will be very familiar with)

I have been working for companies of MANY different nationalities, (incl. American) on ships and rigs under dozens of different flags and all over the world. My nationality has never been an issue.


That’s because we are awesome. Who can have a problem with Norwegians?



I have no idea to whom that post is addressed but if you are trying to make some kind of point it might work better if you at least try to refute the ideas that you find have earned a dunce cap.

Insulting your readers doesn’t count as a valid point of discussion or argument.


Why? Which part?

With the current reality of more mariners than jobs, why should the taxpayer fund the creation of even more officers further diluting the labor pool and putting downward pressure on wages?

MARAD needs to spend every additional dime it can squeeze out of Congress to increase the job base in any way it can. When we have billets we can’t fill, then and only then could ( not necessarily should) we look at expanding KP.


Yeah, that’s the spirit… Let’s take the taxpayer’s money, train people in a skill, grant waivers to existing rules so that these people can go work on FOC ships for half the wages… That’s definitely the globalist/race to the bottom spirit on full display.


Where do I start??

We have a major trade imbalance because other countries are producing better and cheaper goods.

There is little we can do to lower our cost substantially but there is much we can do to create a better and more inovative product.

Billions in tax money, jobs and opportunities flow into Houston each year from around the world because we maintain the highest level of technical expertise offshore. This expertise is fueled by excellent petroleum engineering programs at schools like the colorado school of mines.

Maersk is a technical leader in marketing (this is important to attract the best employees), economies of scale and financing… and that generates billions in revenue for Denmark.

Kongsberg is the leader in electronic ship systems this is fueled by to computer and engineeeing schools. They sell systems around the world and send Norweigans around the world to install systems, open training schools and more. This generates billions in tax money for norway.

America has, just last year, regained our position as the number one source of financing for ships. This is due to our excellent finance programs at schools like Harvard and programs like SUNY Maritime’s graduate finance program.

Better education fuels innovation and generates massive revenues for home countries.

Yes… the current programs at USMMA focus more on ship driving than specific programs of technical excellence but that could change if we doubled their budget.

Say what you want but my wife is a teacher and my education (much of which I learned on my own outside of school) is the reason gCaptain exsists. And, before you give me some “gCaptain is anti hawsepiper” BS know that we homeschooled my son last year. Everyone needs education the only difference is hawsepipers gave themselves the education they need.


Or work on FOC ships for double the wages as many here did when they left the unions and jumped aboard a drillship.


How would doubling the KP budget increase American technological progress? We have some of the finest technical and scientific education and training providers on the planet but we do not seek or support the best candidates for those programs, we do not support the existing pool of licensed (or unlicensed) mariners. MARAD does not channel any mariner to any of those resources. To the contrary, KP cancelled the only program it ever had to train real life working mariners. Doubling KP’s already inflated budget will not make the place something it is not and never was intended to be. It was an emergency response to an actual emergency which has long passed … the body is corrupted and decomposing, bury it before the smell gets any worse. KP is never going to be a source of “better education” … it never was and never will be no matter how deep the trough it feeds in.

If MARAD would only adhere to the lofty language of its mission statement and support American shipping and mariners by using its bloated budget for productive ends we might not be in the mess we are now.


Amen to that!! gCaptain was on the front line of the effort to keep that program going!!

And no, we can’t double the budget and keep doing things the same way we are doing them now. USMMA clearly needs better leadership and a solid plan for rhe future… and that’s exactly why Hellis was just fired.


The US no longer issues any licenses, they are “officer endorsements”.

No other first world country’s maritime agency does, why should the USCG?


No that is the spirit of FREEDOM!!! Freedom to work where you want, for whoever you want and wherever you want.

I have had that freedom all my life and, although it may not always been the smartest from an economical point of view, it has always been MY choice and nobody else to blame when times have been bad, or anybody else to thank when times have been good.

Being rich is good, but it is not the only thing that counts in this world. Living where you want, working with something you enjoy and travel anywhere you want is more important, at least to me.

Nobody could, should or would be able to tell this stubborn Sunnmoring what he can do for a living, or where in the world he could travel, live or work. THAT IS REAL FREEDOM.


and here is a prime example of another thread DESTROYED by Herr Bugge

thanks for the sour Persimmons brother