Representative Sherrill Appointed to United States Merchant Marine Academy Board of Visitors

February 3, 2020
Press Release


Rep. Sherrill appointed to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Board of Visitors

Washington, D.C.– Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) announced today her appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s Board of Visitors (BOV). Representative Sherrill, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, will provide advice and recommendations on matters relating to the Merchant Marine Academy, one of the five federal service academies with a congressionally-mandated mission to advance U.S. national security interests.

Representative Sherrill visited the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy today for her first Board of Visitors meeting in Kings Point, New York. The Board comprises five members appointed by the President; one Senator from the Committee on Appropriations and appointed by the Vice President; two Representatives (one from the Committee on Appropriations) appointed by the Speaker of the House; two Senators appointed by the Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; three Representatives appointed by the Chair of the Committee on Armed Services; and ex-officio members, as described by federal law.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is the only federal academy that educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine Officers. Individuals are nominated by a Member of Congress and must commit to serve our nation for eight years. USMMA supplies 80 percent of the officers in the Navy’s Strategic Sealift Officer force, which is the backbone of our capacity to move troops, heavy equipment, and supplies when protecting our national defense or in times of emergency. Officers from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy have served our country honorably since its founding in 1943, including in World War II when they suffered the highest casualty rate of any service.

“It is an honor to serve on the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s Board of Visitors,” said Representative Sherrill. “The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy produces officers who work tirelessly to secure our nation, and operate in the sea lanes that connect our country to the world and help advance American prosperity. Maritime strength is a key element of our nation’s power and I’m looking forward to building on the successes of the academy for the benefit of the Midshipmen and our nation.”

“As a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and decorated U.S. servicemember, Representative Sherrill understands the critical role of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the four other service academies in advancing national and economic security.” said Captain Jim Tobin ‘77, President of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. “We are thrilled for Representative Sherrill to join the USMMA BOV, and we greatly appreciate her ongoing work to support both the Academy and the Kings Point graduates in the 11th District.”

“The oversight of the Board of Visitors is crucial to the Academy’s success,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “The insight generated by its members allows us to provide our midshipmen and faculty with the best academic and professional environment possible.”

About USMMA 

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y., was established under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 and was dedicated as the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy educates and graduates Merchant Marine Officers and leaders of exemplary character who will serve America’s maritime transportation and defense needs in peace and war. In addition to the rigorous academic and physical requirements for admission, applicants must be nominated by their congressman or senator. All USMMA graduates earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Merchant Marine Officer license, and incur an obligation to serve the country as an active or reserve officer in the U.S. armed forces.

To learn more about how the Academy is supporting our nation’s economic and national security, go to


Rep. Sherrill met with Midshipmen from New Jersey at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy this afternoon