New midshipmen are sworn in at the U. S. Naval Reserve at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. (Photo courtesy of (USMMA) Jack Branin of Ocean City was recently sworn in as a midshipman in the U.S. Naval Reserve at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, N.Y.As part of his four-year education, Branin will spend one year training as a cadet aboard ocean going vessels. USMMA is the only federal academy where students train on commercial vessels traveling around the globe.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.Branin was nominated by New Jersey Congressmen Jeff Van Drew and Donald Norcross.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.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 the nation’s armed forces.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 www.WeAreTheUSMMA.com.