The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is an accredited institution of higher education with about 950 cadets located at Kings Point, New York. The mission of the USMMA is “to educate and graduate licensed merchant marines and leaders of exemplary character who will serve America’s maritime transportation and defense needs in peace and war.” To help advance this mission, Section 3513 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 directs the Secretary of Transportation to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to conduct an independent study to examine a series of matters related to the USMMA.
The NDAA identifies specific issues that shall be considered by the study. Specifically, the study shall include:
(1) A comprehensive assessment of the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s systems, training, facilities, infrastructure, information technology, and stakeholder engagement.
(2) Identification of needs and opportunities for modernization to help the United States Merchant Marine Academy keep pace with more modern campuses.
(3) Development of an action plan for the United States Merchant Marine Academy with specific recommendations for—
(A) improvements or updates relating to the opportunities described in paragraph (2); and
(B) systemic changes needed to help the United States Merchant Marine Academy achieve its mission of inspiring and educating