The American Maritime Partnership Congratulates Nearly 1,400 Class of 2021 Graduates from U.S. Maritime Academies

AMP Welcomes Graduating Cadets Aboard Who Will Serve Our Nation’s Transportation and Defense Needs 

WASHINGTON – The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) congratulates the nearly 1,400 graduates from the seven U.S. maritime academies in 2021. Applauding them for their dedication and commitment to pursuing a career that supports our nation in times of both peace and war, AMP is proud to welcome a new generation to the workforce. Generations of retirements have created a shortage of mariners, making this and future classes of cadets all the more important. 

“We are extremely proud of these new graduates, who will join an elite group of American mariners at a critical time in support of our national security, defense readiness, and the U.S. commercial maritime transportation system,” said Michael Roberts, President of the American Maritime Partnership. “We offer our heartfelt congratulations to our new shipmates.”

The 2021 graduates studied at the seven maritime academies in the United States: the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point, N.Y.), State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College (Fort Schuyler, N.Y.), California Maritime Academy (Vallejo, Calif.), Great Lakes Maritime Academy (Traverse City, Mich.), Maine Maritime Academy (Castine, Maine), Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Buzzards Bay, Mass.), and Texas A&M Maritime Academy (Galveston, Texas). 

Post-graduation, many will sail on vessels in the domestic fleet, which includes over 40,000 self-propelled vessels, tugs, and barges. These graduates will be joining nearly 650,000 private U.S. citizens who are employed through the domestic maritime industry stemming from a variety of career paths, including military veterans and those who have “climbed the hawespipe” and advanced through the ranks. 

The U.S. domestic fleet moves nearly one billion tons of cargo each year between U.S. ports, or roughly a quarter of the nation’s freight. These skilled U.S. citizen merchant mariners ensure our national security in times of crisis or war by assisting the military and commercial sealift vessels. Some militarily useful vessels in the domestic fleet can be transitioned directly to military service when needed. In times of crisis, U.S.-flag government and commercial vessels, crewed by U.S. civilian mariners, transport supplies to U.S. troops in relief and war zones. 

A significant number of graduates from these seven maritime academies enter the workforce as licensed deck or engineering officers. The new graduates are invited into an industry that is proud to provide a lifelong career path with good-paying jobs, mobility, and advancement. Additionally, a number of graduates choose to serve our nation as members of all branches of the military, especially the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. 

In order to sail as merchant marine officers, graduates are required to pass the extensive U.S. Coast Guard exam, which covers three days of testing along with the required encyclopedic knowledge of the career path chosen. For that reason, maritime academy cadets supplement their classroom instruction with significant time either on training ships operated by their schools or aboard commercial vessels. 

For more information about the domestic maritime industry and scholarships available for those pursuing a maritime career, please click here. 


American Maritime Partnership (AMP) is the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, a pillar of our nation‘s economic, national, and homeland security. More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies, operate in our waters 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and this commerce sustains nearly 650,000 American jobs, $41.6 billion in labor compensation, and more than $154.8 billion in annual economic output. You can learn more by visiting