Spring Semester Orientation Program

The Regiment of Cadets welcomes you to Massachusetts Maritime Academy.


The 5 day Spring Semester Orientation Program (SSOP) is designed to quickly transition you to a regimented lifestyle for your spring semester start. The program builds teamwork, camaraderie, self-discipline, and time-management skills while immersing you in a culture of maritime customs and traditions. Cadet leaders, known as “cadre,” will challenge you mentally and physically to prepare you for success at the Academy. This 5 day Orientation will be demanding. However, your new knowledge, attention to detail, resiliency, and bond with your shipmates will last throughout your time at the Academy.

This year, cadet candidate (new student) safety is of utmost importance as we continue to fight the current pandemic. Cadet candidates will be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days prior to arrival at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. They will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and contact will be limited until a negative result is received. The cadre will enforce strict protocols during SSOP and through the spring semester to reduce the risk of spread among our community.

The cadre leading you through SSOP will uphold the core principles of the Regiment of Cadets:

Discipline- “Discipline,” not only in the sense of the regimental environment of the Academy, but also in the greater sense of the self-discipline exhibited by all cadets to stay the course, weather the storms, graduate, obtain their licenses, commissions, and career positions and the continued self-discipline to succeed in all of their endeavors, both personal and professional.

 Knowledge- “Knowledge,” representing the academic courses and the hands-on diverse training providing the competencies to apply such knowledge for the benefit, safety, and well-being of others, and for the desire and drive to continue the accumulation of knowledge throughout life. Cadet leaders’ primary responsibility is to teach.

Leadership- “Leadership,” whether studied, absorbed, or gained through adversity or hardship, is bestowed upon all cadets. The Academy’s “Leadership Laboratory” prepares graduates to lead communities, companies, sailors, and military units post-graduation.

Spring Semester Orientation and Fall Orientation are modeled after "basic readiness training" in the military or at military academies. Right away, here are some thing you can expect from the Spring Semester Orientation Program:

  • Physical Training (PT): Each day will begin early with a physical workout.
  • Intensive Study: Cadet candidates will be expected to read up on all things Mass Maritime, including policies, building names, and names and ranks of officers and administrators. Cadet candidates will be given a book called the "Chafing Gear" that they will study closely.
  • Task Repetition: Things like always having a flashlight at the ready, making your bed correctly to prepare for inspections, marching etc.
  • Squad Leaders: Squad Leaders are members of the cadre who pushing you to be the best you can be. They are there to enforce the rules, but also to guide you and shape you into a true cadet.
  • Strict Adherence the Rules: Prepare to receive regimented guidelines over the 5 day SSOP and for cadet expectations throughout the year.

cadets reading chafing gear at orientation

cadets doing pt at orientation