skip navigation
search

§ 1295b. Maintenance of Academy

(a) Duty of Secretary
The Secretary shall maintain the Academy for providing instruction to individuals to prepare them for service in the merchant marine of the United States.
(b) Nomination and appointment of cadets; designation and licensing of individuals from Trust Territory of Pacific Islands, Western Hemisphere nations and nations other than United States
(1) Each Senator and Member of the House of Representatives, the Panama Canal Commission, the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Delegate from American Samoa may nominate for appointment as a cadet at the Academy any individual who is—
(A) a citizen of the United States or a national of the United States; and
(B) a resident of the State represented by such Senator if the individual is nominated by a Senator, a resident of the State in which the congressional district represented by such Member of the House of Representatives is located if the individual is nominated by a Member of the House of Representatives (or a resident of Guam, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or American Samoa if the individual is nominated by a Member of the House of Representatives representing such area), a resident of the area or installation described in paragraph (3)(A)(ii), or a son or daughter of the personnel described in such paragraph, if the individual is nominated by the Panama Canal Commission, or a resident of the Northern Mariana Islands if the individual is nominated by the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(2)
(A) The Secretary shall establish minimum requirements for the individuals nominated pursuant to paragraph (1) and shall establish a system of competition for the selection of individuals qualified for appointment as cadets at the Academy.
(B) Such system of competition shall determine the relative merit of appointing each such individual to the Academy through the use of competitive examinations, an assessment of the academic background of the individual, and such other factors as are considered effective indicators of motivation and the probability of successful completion of training at the Academy.
(3)
(A) Qualified individuals nominated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be selected each year for appointment as cadets at the Academy to fill positions allocated as follows:
(i) Positions shall be allocated each year for individuals who are residents of each State and are nominated by the Members of the Congress from such State in proportion to the representation in Congress from that State.
(ii) Two positions shall be allocated each year for individuals nominated by the Panama Canal Commission who are sons or daughters of residents of any area or installation located in the Republic of Panama which is made available to the United States pursuant to the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977, the agreements relating to and implementing that Treaty, signed September 7, 1977, and the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Panama Concerning Air Traffic Control and Related Services, concluded January 8, 1979, and sons or daughters of personnel of the United States Government and the Panama Canal Commission residing in the Republic of Panama, nominated by the Panama Canal Commission.
(iii) One position shall be allocated each year for an individual who is a resident of Guam and is nominated by the Delegate to the House of Representatives from Guam.
(iv) One position shall be allocated each year for an individual who is a resident of the Virgin Islands and is nominated by the Delegate to the House of Representatives from the Virgin Islands.
(v) One position shall be allocated each year for an individual who is a resident of the Northern Mariana Islands and is nominated by the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(vi) One position shall be allocated each year for an individual who is a resident of American Samoa and is nominated by the Delegate to the House of Representatives from American Samoa.
(vii) Four positions shall be allocated each year for individuals who are residents of the District of Columbia and are nominated by the Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia.
(viii) One position shall be allocated each year for an individual who is a resident of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and is nominated by the Resident Commissioner to the United States from Puerto Rico.
(B) The Secretary shall make appointments of qualified individuals to fill the positions allocated pursuant to subparagraph (A) (from among the individuals nominated pursuant to paragraph (1)) in the order of merit determined pursuant to paragraph (2)(B) among residents of each State, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and among individuals nominated by the Panama Canal Commission.
(C) If positions are not filled after the appointments are made pursuant to subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall make appointments of qualified individuals to fill such positions from among all individuals nominated pursuant to paragraph (1) in the order of merit determined pursuant to paragraph (2)(B) among all such individuals.
(D) In addition, the Secretary may each year appoint without competition as cadets at the Academy not more than 40 qualified individuals possessing qualities deemed to be of special value to the Academy. In making such appointments the Secretary shall attempt to achieve a national demographic balance at the Academy.
(E) No preference shall be granted in selecting individuals for appointment as cadets at the Academy because one or more members of the immediate family of any such individual are alumni of the Academy.
(F) Any citizen of the United States selected for appointment pursuant to this paragraph must agree to apply for midshipman status in the United States Navy Reserve (including the Merchant Marine Reserve, United States Navy Reserve) before being appointed as a cadet at the Academy.
(G) For purposes of this paragraph, the term “State” means the several States.
(4)
(A) In addition to paragraph (3), the Secretary may permit, upon designation by the Secretary of the Interior, individuals from the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to receive instruction at the Academy.
(B) Not more than 4 individuals may receive instruction under this paragraph at any one time.
(C) Any individual receiving instruction under the authority of this paragraph shall receive the same allowances and shall be subject to the same rules and regulations governing admission, attendance, discipline, resignation, discharge, dismissal, and graduation as cadets at the Academy appointed from the United States, subject to such exceptions as shall be jointly agreed upon by the Secretary and the Secretary of the Interior.
(5)
(A) In addition to paragraphs (3) and (4), the President may designate individuals from nations located in the Western Hemisphere other than the United States to receive instruction at the Academy.
(B) Not more than 12 individuals may receive instruction under this paragraph at any one time, and not more than 2 individuals receiving instruction under this paragraph at any one time may be from the same nation.
(C) Any individual receiving instruction under this subparagraph is entitled to the same allowances and shall be subject to the same rules and regulations governing admission, attendance, discipline, resignation, discharge, dismissal, and graduation as cadets at the Academy appointed from the United States.
(6)
(A) In addition to paragraphs (3), (4), and (5), the Secretary may permit, upon approval of the Secretary of State, individuals from nations other than the United States to receive instruction at the Academy.
(B) Not more than 30 individuals may receive instruction under this paragraph at any one time.
(C) The Secretary shall insure that each nation from which an individual comes to receive instruction under this paragraph shall reimburse the Secretary for the cost of such instructions (including the same allowances as received by cadets at the Academy appointed from the United States), as determined by the Secretary.
(D) Any individual receiving instruction at the Academy under this paragraph shall be subject to the same rules and regulations governing admission, attendance, discipline, resignation, discharge, dismissal, and graduation as cadets at the Academy appointed from the United States.
(7)
(A) The Secretary may permit, upon approval of the Secretary of State, additional individuals from the Republic of Panama to receive instruction at the Academy, in addition to those individuals appointed under paragraphs (3), (4), (5), and (6) of this subsection.
(B) The Secretary shall be reimbursed for the cost of that instruction (including the same allowances as received by cadets at the Academy appointed from the United States) as determined by the Secretary.
(C) An individual receiving instructions at the Academy under this paragraph shall be subject to the same rules and regulations governing admission, attendance, discipline, resignation, discharge, dismissal, and graduation as cadets at the Academy appointed from the United States.
(8) An individual appointed as a cadet under paragraph (3), or receiving instruction under paragraph (4), (5), (6), or (7) of this subsection is not entitled to hold a license authorizing service on a merchant marine vessel of the United States solely by reason of graduation from the Academy.
(c) Appointment of cadet as midshipman in United States Navy Reserve; rights and privileges
(1) Any citizen of the United States who is appointed as a cadet at the Academy shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Navy as a midshipman in the United States Navy Reserve (including the Merchant Marine Reserve, United States Navy Reserve).
(2) The Secretary of the Navy shall provide for cadets of the Academy who are midshipmen in the United States Navy Reserve to be issued an identification card (referred to as a “military ID card”) and to be entitled to all rights and privileges in accordance with the same eligibility criteria as apply to other members of the Ready Reserve of the reserve components of the Armed Forces.
(3) The Secretary of the Navy shall carry out paragraphs (1) and (2) in coordination with the Secretary.
(d) Uniforms, textbooks, and transportation allowances
The Secretary shall provide to any cadet at the Academy all required uniforms and textbooks and allowances for transportation (including reimbursement of traveling expenses) while traveling under orders as a cadet of the Academy.
(e) Commitment agreements
(1) Each individual appointed as a cadet at the Academy after the date occurring 6 months after October 1, 1981, who is a citizen of the United States, shall as a condition of appointment to the Academy sign an agreement committing such individual—
(A) to complete the course of instruction at the Academy;
(B) to fulfill the requirements for a license as an officer in the merchant marine of the United States on or before the date of graduation from the Academy of such individual;
(C) to maintain a valid license as an officer in the merchant marine of the United States for at least 6 years following the date of graduation from the Academy of such individual, accompanied by the appropriate national and international endorsements and certification as required by the United States Coast Guard for service aboard vessels on domestic and international voyages;
(D) to apply for an appointment as, to accept if tendered an appointment as, and to serve as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Reserve (including the Merchant Marine Reserve, United States Navy Reserve), the United States Coast Guard Reserve, or any other Reserve unit of an armed force of the United States, for at least 6 years following the date of graduation from the Academy of such individual;
(E) to serve the foreign and domestic commerce and the national defense of the United States for at least 5 years following the date of graduation from the Academy—
(i) as a merchant marine officer serving on vessels documented under the laws of the United States or on vessels owned and operated by the United States or by any State or territory of the United States;
(ii) as an employee in a United States maritime-related industry, profession, or marine science (as determined by the Secretary), if the Secretary determines that service under clause (i) is not available to such individual;
(iii) as a commissioned officer on active duty in an armed force of the United States, as a commissioned officer in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or other maritime-related employment with the Federal Government which serves the national security interests of the United States, as determined by the Secretary; or
(iv) by combining the services specified in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii); and
(F) to report to the Secretary on the compliance by the individual to this paragraph.
(2)
(A) If the Secretary determines that any individual who has attended the Academy for not less than 2 years has failed to fulfill the part of the agreement required by paragraph (1)(A), such individual may be ordered by the Secretary of Defense to active duty in one of the armed forces of the United States to serve for a period of time not to exceed 2 years. In cases of hardship as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary may waive this provision in whole or in part.
(B) If the Secretary of Defense is unable or unwilling to order an individual to active duty under subparagraph (A), or if the Secretary of Transportation determines that reimbursement of the cost of education provided would better serve the interests of the United States, the Secretary may recover from the individual the cost of education provided by the Federal Government.
(3)
(A) If the Secretary determines that an individual has failed to fulfill any part of the agreement required by paragraph (1), as described in paragraph (1)(B), (C), (D), (E), or (F), such individual may be ordered to active duty to serve a period of time not less than 3 years and not more than the unexpired portion, as determined by the Secretary, of the service required by paragraph (1)(E). The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall determine in which service the individual shall be ordered to active duty to serve such period of time. In cases of hardship, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary may waive this provision in whole or in part.
(B) If the Secretary of Defense is unable or unwilling to order an individual to active duty under subparagraph (A), or if the Secretary of Transportation determines that reimbursement of the cost of education provided would better serve the interests of the United States, the Secretary may recover from the individual the cost of education provided and may reduce the amount to be recovered from such individual to reflect partial performance of service obligations and such other factors as the Secretary determines merit such a reduction.
(4) To aid in the recovery of the cost of education provided by the Federal Government pursuant to a commitment agreement under this section, the Secretary may request the Attorney General to begin court proceedings, and the Secretary may make use of the Federal debt collection procedures in chapter 176 of title 28 or other applicable administrative remedies.
(5) The Secretary may defer the service commitment of any individual pursuant to subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1) (as specified in the agreement required by such paragraph) for a period of not more than 2 years if such individual is engaged in a graduate course of study approved by the Secretary, except that any deferment of service as a commissioned officer pursuant to paragraph (1)(E) must be approved by the Secretary of the military department (including the Secretary of Commerce with respect to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) which has jurisdiction over such service.
(f) Places of training
The Secretary may provide for the training of cadets at the Academy—
(1) on vessels owned or subsidized by the United States;
(2) on other vessels documented under the laws of the United States if the owner of any such vessel cooperates in such use; and
(3) in shipyards or plants and with any industrial or educational organizations.
(g) Degrees awarded
(1) Bachelor’s degree
The Superintendent of the Academy may confer the degree of bachelor of science upon any individual who has met the conditions prescribed by the Secretary and who, if a citizen of the United States, has passed the examination for a merchant marine officer’s license. No individual may be denied a degree under this subsection because the individual is not permitted to take such examination solely because of physical disqualification.
(2) Master’s degree
The Superintendent of the Academy may confer a master’s degree upon any individual who has met the conditions prescribed by the Secretary. Any master’s degree program may be funded through non-appropriated funds. In order to maintain the appropriate academic standards, the program shall be accredited by the appropriate accreditation body. The Secretary may make regulations necessary to administer such a program.
(h) Board of Visitors
(1) A Board of Visitors to the Academy shall be established, for a term of two years commencing at the beginning of each Congress, to visit the Academy annually on a date determined by the Secretary and to make recommendations on the operation of the Academy.
(2) The Board shall be composed of—
(A) 2 Senators appointed by the chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee of the Senate;
(B) 3 Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the chairman of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee of the House of Representatives;
(C) 1 Senator appointed by the Vice President;
(D) 2 Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
(E) the chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee of the Senate and the chairman of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee of the House of Representatives, as ex officio members.
(3) Whenever a member of the Board is unable to attend the annual meeting provided in paragraph (1), another individual may be appointed in the manner provided by paragraph (2) as a substitute for such member.
(4) The chairmen of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee of the Senate and the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee of the House of Representatives may designate staff members of such committees to serve without reimbursement as staff for the Board.
(5) While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Board, members of the Board and any staff members designated under paragraph (4) shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703 of title 5.
(i) Advisory Board
(1) An Advisory Board to the Academy shall be established to visit the Academy at least once during each academic year, for the purpose of examining the course of instruction and management of the Academy and advising the Maritime Administrator and the Superintendent of the Academy.
(2) The Advisory Board shall be composed of not more than 7 persons of distinction in education and other fields relating to the Academy who shall be appointed by the Secretary for terms not to exceed 3 years and may be reappointed.
(3) The Secretary shall appoint a chairman from among the members of the Advisory Board.
(4) While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of service for the Advisory Board, members of the Advisory Board shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703 of title 5.
(5) The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C. 1 et seq.) shall not apply to the Advisory Board established pursuant to this subsection.
(j) Limitation on charges and fees for attendance
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no charge or fee for tuition, room, or board for attendance at the Academy may be imposed unless the charge or fee is specifically authorized by a law enacted after October 5, 1994.
(2) The prohibition specified in paragraph (1) does not apply with respect to any item or service provided to cadets for which a charge or fee is imposed as of October 5, 1994. The Secretary of Transportation shall notify Congress of any change made by the Academy in the amount of a charge or fee authorized under this paragraph.

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.