Congress passed the landmark Merchant Marine Act in 1936, and on September 30, 1943, the Merchant Marine Academy was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who noted that “the Academy serves the Merchant Marine as West Point serves the Army and Annapolis the Navy.”
A strong merchant marine is an essential part of American seapower. The United States imports approximately 85 percent of some 77 strategic commodities critical to America’s industry and defense. America purchases nearly a third of the world’s output of raw materials. Ninetynine percent of these materials are transported by merchant vessels.
A ship at sea depends on a framework of shoreside activities for its operations. This industry includes companies which own and manage the vessels; ports and terminals where cargo is handled; yards for ship repair; services like marine insurance underwriters, ship chartering firms, admiralty lawyers, engineering and research companies; and increasingly today, intermodal systems of trucks and railroads to distribute goods around the country.
The most important element in a productive merchant fleet is people – men and women who are intelligent, dedicated, well-educated and competent. The purpose of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is to ensure that such people are available to the nation as shipboard officers and as leaders in the transportation field who will meet the challenges before us.
This brass coin is dedicated to the Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy and to all those who have trained there. It comes packaged in a poly bag with a header card.
This coin measure 1.75 inch (44mm) in diameter.