Schmidt graduates from USMMA

U.S. Merchant Marines Academy graduates in the Class of 2019 toss their caps after commencement.

Lane Townsend Schmidt, of North East, recently graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, N.Y. Schmidt earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the U. S. armed forces. He also earned a Merchant Marine officer license, qualifying him to serve as an officer on any ship in the U.S. flag merchant marine.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy is a federal service academy that educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers. 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 B.S. degree and a merchant marine license and incur an obligation to serve the United States. The U.S. Flag Merchant Marine — manned by U.S. merchant mariners — is essential for securing the country’s commerce in peacetime and delivering warfighters, weapons, and military supplies in times of conflict. The majority of “Kings Pointers” will serve as Navy reservists in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program while working aboard U.S. flag vessels; others will serve on active duty in our nations’ armed forces. Due to their elite training and real-world experience, graduates are ready to go on day one in service of American military strength and economic power. As part of his four-year education, Schmidt spent one year training as a cadet aboard ocean-going vessels.

Last year marked the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1943-2018). Dedicated in wartime, USMMA has served the nation in both peace and war. As the first federal academy to admit women, USMMA also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first women to graduate from any federal service academy. Learn more at

The Academy welcomed a top White House official as the graduation speaker. Peter Navarro, the assistant to the president, and director of trade and manufacturing policy, told the graduates, “Maritime capability is important to America’s ability both to defend our homeland and project power abroad. Through your hard work and dedication you have prepared yourselves to enter the ranks of a noble profession that is as ancient as the beginning of recorded history but is important and more modern than ever. We are especially proud that you have chosen a career in service to this great nation…helping to support the American military supply chain and the U.S. economy … Maritime is our national heritage.”

For more information about the USMMA, visit

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