Orientation Letter 2020

Dear Parents and Cadet Candidates of the Class of 2024,

With the Class of 2024’s Orientation just a few weeks away, we are looking forward to the arrival of approximately 400 new Cadet Candidates on campus.  We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic protocols and current trends as we build and revise all plans related to Orientation and the fall semester. It is our intention to balance meaningful Cadet Candidate preparation training with all necessary and reasonable safety measures to help protect, not just those directly participating in the program, but also those indirectly connected, such as parents, siblings and grandparents.  

To accomplish these goals, Orientation 2020 will be very different.  The two most significant differences are:  the COVID-19 pre-arrival protocols and Orientation 2020 “on-campus” training will be by Battalion, thereby de-densifying the program by 50%.  The program will be split in two critical phases: Phase I will be a condensed one week “on-campus” experience for each battalion, combined with a second, one week “at-home, virtual” component; Phase II will carry into the fall semester and will consist of one weekend of additional training by company.

COVID-19 Pre-Arrival Safety Protocols

Before a Cadet Candidate arrives on campus for his or her week of training, he or she must take steps to ensure his or her personal safety and the safety of others on campus.  For 14 days before orientation it is expected that you:

  •  Avoid all gatherings and overall decrease your contacts with others to self-quarantine as much as possible
  • Keep 6 feet away from others in ALL settings outside your own household
  • Wear a face mask whenever in public (indoors and outdoors) when it is not possible to keep a 6 foot distance between others and yourself
  • Seek alternate arrangements to avoid household exposure to anyone who has tested positive
  • Complete the daily health tracker that you will receive by email or on an App that we will review
  • Contact Health Services – 508-830-5048 or nurse@maritime.edu if you or anyone in your household experiences any COVID-19 symptoms before travelling to MMA
  • Avoid hotels and air travel not related to coming to MMA
  • Research testing options in your area with your doctor.  Further information on pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements will follow.

Please arrive with at least three good quality cloth masks and a supply of surgical procedure-type masks. Cloth masks can and should be washed after each use.   Be sure all of your medical forms are complete.  We cannot accommodate any student on campus with incomplete forms in order to protect all members of the Academy community.  If you have a family member at a higher risk of complications if exposed to COVID-19, consider an alternative living arrangement upon returning home and avoid visiting with older individuals or those with medical conditions. 

Phase l of the Program

Battalion 2:  Sunday, 16 August until Saturday, 22 August

Battalion 1:  Sunday, 23 August until Saturday, 29 August

Cadet Candidates assigned to Second Battalion (2nd, 4th, and 6th Companies) will report on Sunday, 16 August, by company, for on-campus training as follows: 2co at 1200, 4co at 1300 and 6co at 1400. The training week will end Saturday morning, 22 August. The following week there will be virtual classes that each cadet candidate is expected to complete.

Cadet Candidates assigned to First Battalion (1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th Companies) will report Sunday, 23 August, by company, for on-campus training as follows: 1co at 1200, 3co at 1300, 5co at 1400 and 7co at 1500. The training week will end Saturday morning, 29 August.  Cadet Candidates in this cycle of on-campus training will be required to complete virtual classes the week prior to arrival.  Additional information regarding the virtual training will be posted on the website (www.maritime.edu/2024) in the near future.  Note: out-of-state, region and country Cadet Candidates have been assigned to First Battalion, as they are strongly encouraged to remain on campus at the end of their training cycle until the start of classes to minimize risk with further travel. 

Cadet Candidates must bring their laptops with them to their assigned on-campus training week.  Cadet Candidate Company and Battalion assignments are now posted on the ‘maritime.edu’ website under www.maritime.edu/2024.    

Drop Off/Pick Up:  Cadet Candidates will report to Lot C on Academy Drive to check in before proceeding to the gym lot for drop off. Cadets will go to the gym parking lot by company on the assigned Sunday (please refer to the lin "Orientation Packet 2020" on the Class of 2024 Page. Cadet Candidates should arrive on campus wearing a mask.  Cadet Candidates should remain in their vehicle until Health Services completes a temperature scan.  Once completed, the Cadet Candidate can exit the vehicle with their belongings.  We are asking parents to then depart the gym lot. Unlike other years, there will be no parent meetings or company group briefings.

On Saturday morning, pick up day, the Cadet Candidates will be released by company as follows: August 22nd - 2co from 0900-1000, 4co from 1000-1100 and 6co from 1100-1200; August 29 - 1co from 0900-1000, 3co from 1000-1100, 5co from 1100-1200 and 7co from 1200-1300. Cadet Candidates will be sent tot he gym parking lot to rejoin their families. Parents of cadets assigned to a specific company will be staged in vehicles in “Lot C” on Academy Drive, to wait for the green light to proceed to the gym lot.  Parents and family members must remain in their vehicles at all times.

Phase ll of the Program

Because of COVID 19, the on-campus (Phase I) orientation experience has been reduced to approximately 6 days.  As a result, a portion of the training has been deferred to Phase II.  Phase II will consist of one mandatory fall weekend on campus per company, as health conditions allow (one weekend- one company).  The weekend activities will commence Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon with a cookout at the Herring Pond Sailing Center (health conditions and weather permitting).  A typical Phase II training weekend will include teambuilding, marching practice, uniform issue, classes, intramural activities and leadership development.  

There will not be an “Orientation Graduation” at the end of the Phase I training cycle but rather an “orientation graduation” type event will take place in conjunction with freshman recognition, tentatively scheduled for 01 November (health guidelines permitting).  Freshman company awards and individual awards will be presented at this event, to include the coveted “Admiral’s Cup”.

Finally, safety, small unit training, social distancing, face masks, aggressive cleaning protocols, avoidance of handshaking or other contact will all be required in every aspect of daily routines. Full compliance with these necessary modifications is a commitment to your safety, your Battalion’s safety and your family’s safety.  It is being a good shipmate and citizen.  Like everyone, we are hoping that COVID-19 pandemic trends move in a positive direction locally, regionally and nationally, but to control expectations, safety protocols could change for the better or worse before your scheduled arrival on campus.  We may need to adjust the planned training accordingly.  Please continually monitor www.maritime.edu/2024 for continued updates.  You will find the most up-to-date and accurate information at https://www.maritime.edu/2024.

We are looking forward to your arrival in August,

Commander Steve Kelleher
Deputy Commandant of Cadets
Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Subject to change due to COVID-19

Downloadable Copy of this Letter