By: USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation
Ethan Joseph Brady, son of Andy and Rikki McWherter, of Palm Coast, recently graduated cum laude from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, New York.
Brady earned a bachelor of science degree in marine engineering systems 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.
Brady is a graduate of Flagler Palm Coast High School.
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of five U.S. federal service academies. It educates and graduates licensed merchant marine officers to serve the nation during 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 incur an obligation to serve the United States. The U.S. Flag Merchant Marine – manned exclusively by American 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” serve for eight years as Navy reservists in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program while working aboard U.S. flag vessels; others will serve on active duty in our nation’s armed forces.
As part of his four year education, Brady spent one year training as a cadet aboard oceangoing vessels. Brady will fulfill his commitment at BAE Systems and as a U.S. Navy strategic sealift officer.
The academy welcomed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg as the commencement speaker.
“This academy, which trains and educates the majority of our strategic sealift officers, is vital to our national security," Buttigieg told the graduates. "And the academy, and your service as mariners, SSO’s, and members of the armed forces, might well be as important as ever in our history.”
Dedicated during WWII, USMMA has since served the nation in both peace and war. Learn more at www.WeAreTheUSMMA.com. For more information about the academy, visit https://www.usmma.edu/.