Strategic Sealift Officer Program
Detachment 71 /
U.S. Navy Reserve Program
Become a part of America's "Fourth Arm of Defense:"
The Merchant Marine
In an era of global trade and increased inter-dependency, Strategic Sealift Officers are on the forefront of a modern-day democracy, ensuring the free flow of goods vital to our national security.
Standards of Excellence
- Maintain a cumulative college GPA of 2.0
- You must be majoring in Marine Transportation, Marine Engineering Technology, or the licensed track of Mechanical Engineering
- Complete NSC-100 Naval Science for the Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO), NSC 200 Naval Science for the Merchant Marine Reserve I, and NSC-400 Leadership and Ethics for the SSO
- Participate in a 2 hour Naval Science Lab once a week
- All program midshipmen must attain a performance level of "Good" on push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run on their PRT per Navy standards
- All program midshipmen must participate in Unit-level physical training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- All program midshipmen must qualify as a third-class swimmer
- Age limit of 27 by June 30 of the commissioning year. Waivers are possible up to age 30 with prior military service
Student Incentive Pay (SIP)
as an incentive to become licensed officers in the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) provides a limited number of Student Incentive Payments to be awarded to eligible students. It is a voluntary program designed to assist in defraying the cost of tuition, uniforms, books, and subsistence in return for certain obligations on the part of the program midshipmen
SIP is a semester allotment of $4,000, not to exceed four academic years and $32,000.
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Meet Physical Standards specified by the U.S. Coast Guard for original licensing as an SSO
- Be at least 17 yrs old and not have passed your 25th birthday on the day of enrollment
- Meet the commissioning program eligibility requirements
About SSO Det 71
- Our mission is to develop future officers as well as mentally, morally, and physical fit officers imbued with the highest ideals of duty and loyalty in order to commission college students as Naval Officers.
- SSO is one of the most active groups on the California Maritime Campus
- The Unit consists of, on average, 30 highly motivated Midshipmen that exude honor, courage, and commitments.
- Midshipmen frequently participate within the community through volunteer work and through the Unit's highly respected Color Guard.
- SSO Midshipmen set the standard for all cadets on campus and are leaders not only within the Unit but within the entire campus community
SSOP Pinning Ceremony
The following article was written by a 3/C Midshipman who was receiving his Strategic Sealift Officer pin.
On Friday, November 2, 2012 I found myself standing on the stage of Rizza Auditorium along with thirteen of my peers as we received our U.S. Navy Strategic Sealift Officer Insignia. Although the insignia is actually an eagle, due to its large size, we have a tradition of calling it the Battle Chicken. As I was standing on the stage during the ceremony, I was able to take a moment to reflect on my past year here at Cal Maritime within the Strategic Sealift Officer Program.
The ceremony began with the presentation of the colors and the playing of the National Anthem. This was followed by a speech from our Commanding Officer, MIDN 1/C Steve Partridge, who spoke to the audience about the history of the insignia. Our guest speaker was CDR Mark Neale, Executive Officer at Strategic Sealift Unit 0420, who included in his speech that this was the last year this particular insignia would be issued. The ceremony continued as fourteen midshipmen took an oath of commitment to the Maritime Service, and concluded after friends and family members pinned on the Battle Chicken. I chose my brother-in-law, an active duty Coast Guard petty officer, to pin the insignia on my chest. I felt excited and accomplished when receiving my pin. This was just one of many milestones I hope to experience in my Navy career.
Although the infamous Battle Chicken may soon disappear, the Strategic Sealift Program is certainly here to stay. Each year a new group of midshipmen will commit to the SSOP, a program designed to provide a vital reserve of qualified maritime officers ready to serve the needs of the United States Navy.
Career Path Obligations
- Register with the Selective Service Registration Representative if required under the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA)
- Maintain a license as a deck or engineering officer with the U.S. Coast Guard for at least six (6) years following the date of graduation from the Academy
- Serve the foreign and domestic commerce and the national defense of the United States for at least five (5) years following the date of graduation from the California Maritime Academy as:
- As a Strategic Sealift Officer serving on vessels documented under the laws of the U.S. or on vessels owned and operated by the U.S. or by a state or territory of the U.S. or
- As an employee in the U.S. maritime industry, profession, or marine science (as determined by the Secretary of Transportation), if the Secretary of Transportation determines that service under item (1) is not available to me, or
- As a commissioned officer on active duty in an armed force of the U.S. or in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or
- By combining the service specified in sections (1), (2), or (3) above
- Unlike other commissioning programs, members of SSO are not required to complete active duty service. Program midshipmen, however, have the option to request an Active Duty Commission. Acitve duty officer commitments are based upon the community entered such as Surface Warfare, Aviation, Submariners, Special Ops (SEALs), Intel, as well as Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, or Army
For further information contact:
Strategic Sealift Officers Program (SSOP), Detachment 71
Department of Naval Science
Phone - 707-654-1266
Fax - 707-654-1268