Garrett Harrison Gal, son of Jay and Pamela Gal, of Murrieta recently graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, NY. Gal earned a Bachelor of Science degree 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. Gal is a graduate of Vista Murrieta 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. Gal was nominated by Congressman Ken Calvert.
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.
By virtue of their elite training and real-world experience, graduates are ready to go on day one in service of American military strength and economic power. As part of his four year education, Gal spent one year training as a cadet aboard ocean going vessels. Gal will serve as a 3rd Assistant Engineer in the US Merchant Marine and a Strategic Sealift Officer in the US Navy.
U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (AZ), a 1986 alumnus of the Academy, gave the commencement address and told the graduates “Your graduation comes at a particularly important inflection point in the United States history. Sea power matters now more than ever. And a big part of that is all of you.”