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Headed to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

student in hallwayAmherst Central High School senior Quinten Rondeau was appointed to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and will leave for the Kings Point, Long Island campus in July to begin his career journey toward a commissioned U.S. Naval Officer.

The application process started during his junior year and involved being interviewed by a panel of West Point graduates to obtain a nomination from Rep. Brian Higgins, submitting an application and essay and undergoing fitness and physical screenings. Applicants may start the application on May 1 of their junior year of high school and must be completed by February 1 for appointment consideration.

He learned about the opportunity during a school-sponsored Service Academy Night, conducted via Zoom, during his junior year.

He had also applied to the U.S. Air Force Academy, as well as some SUNY schools, but knew he wanted to pursue the USMMA opportunity.

The academic tracks at the USMMA transfer to what you would do on a naval vessel; either deck or engine. His interest is on the deck side and his major will be marine transportation and security. He will graduate with a U.S. Coast Guard certification to sail any type of vessel, aircraft carrier or cargo ship. He is interested in a career path with the U.S. Navy as a commissioned officer.

At Amherst, he is the student council president. During his freshman, sophomore and junior years, he was the class president. He has been a member of the Donate Life Club, track and bowling teams. He works part-time at the Eagle House Restaurant. 

“The Academies are a great opportunity,” he said. “The last person from Amherst who went to an Academy was in 2013. Amherst is a great school and I think we could put a lot more kids through this.”

The USMMA is a federal service academy that educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are committed to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces.

All graduates have a service obligation upon graduation. Graduates can choose to work five years in the United States maritime industry with eight years of service as an officer in any reserve unit of the Armed Forces or five years on active duty in any of the nation’s Armed Forces.