TRAVERSE CITY — Military veterans can now convert active duty sea service into credit toward an engineering officer bachelor’s degree at NMC’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy.
Coast Guard Capt. Bradley Clare signed the approval letter for the Academy’s Military Veterans Program (MVET) on September 23 at the American Merchant Marine Veterans annual convention. MVET will allow student-veterans to transfer sea service and training completed while on active duty into the GLMA engine officer program before GI education benefits expire.
“I am excited to approve this program for the Great Lakes Maritime Academy which greatly supports providing a pathway for military members to integrate into the maritime industry,” Capt. Clare said. “The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center is very committed to ensuring the success of our transitioning military members.”
More credentialed engineers graduating sooner will also help the merchant marine industry, whose workforce is aging.
Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade group representing the U.S.-flag Great Lakes cargo fleet, echoed the importance of the MVET program to the shipping industry.
“As a veteran and the son of a Vietnam veteran, who benefited from the G.I Bill, I can personally attest to the value of the GLMA program and the need to make it as cost effective for our veterans as possible,” Weakley said. “Our commitment to veterans should not end with their service. We need to honor their time in uniform and expedite their transition to good paying jobs. They can continue to serve our nation in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Our national security, homeland security and economic security will continue to benefit from their skills and work ethic.
GLMA Superintendent Jerry Achenbach said the (MVET) program is the result of more than four years of work involving several members of the Academy’s faculty and staff and USCG officials. It is expected to improve recruitment to the Academy’s engineering program.
In addition to allowing cadets to bypass redundant training, the approval will allow student veterans to complete the engineering program within the constraints of GI bill benefits. Due to sea service requirements, the current GLMA program exceeds the 36 months of benefits awarded to veterans by the GI bill.
Approval is good for five years, until 2026.
Release date: SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
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