SSMP Eligibility & Application Information

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this program, a student must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen, be at least 17 but less than 25 years of age (upon enrollment at MMA)
  • Be enrolled in a Bachelor of Science Degree Program leading to a U.S. Coast Guard Unlimited License
  • Complete a Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) exam and be deemed medically qualified
  • Complete a Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) with active duty staff at MMA (to include body fat assessment, push-ups, sit-ups, and 1.5 mile run)
  • Possess satisfactory records of academic ability and moral integrity, and demonstrate those characteristics desired of a Naval Officer
  • Have no moral reservation or personal conviction that prevents the bearing of arms
  • For Cadets that are already going to school here at MMA enroled in either Marine Engineering or Marine Transportation may join the SSMP program up untill the Fall Semester Junior Year.
Once eligible, prospective members will compete amongst his/her peers for SSMP Midshipman status through an oral interview with MMA Department of Naval Science Active Duty Staff.

SSMP Application

Be certain to read this page in its entirety before starting the application process.
Time Frame:
The application and selection process for the SSMP is completely separate from the MMA Admissions process.  The SSMP application period for the upcoming academic year starts in the spring, continues through the summer, and ends approximately one month into the fall semester.  This allows time for interested applicants to learn, ask questions, and even participate in Battalion activities to understand what they can expect while in the program.  The SSMP application deadline typically closes on the last Monday in September for that academic year (e.g., for the 2019 - 2020 academic year, the deadline for submission was Monday, September 24, 2019).  
Schedule of Recruiting Activities for the 2020 - 2021 Academic Year:
  • Open House Events - As scheduled by MMA
    • DNS Staff and Midshipmen are available for questions and discussion
  • Accepted Student Day - As scheduled by MMA
    • DNS Staff will be present for both events for questions; will provide a briefing to interested students and parents.
  • Orientation - As scheduled by MMA
    • DNS
      Staff will provide a briefing to all license track cadets to ensure 100% contact, with SSMP MIDN available to discuss the program from their perspective.  DNS Staff will also be available to discuss other commissioning sources and opportunities.
  • Application submissions - Closes Sep. 23, 2020 at 1600.
  • Interviews and Physical Fitness Assessments - By appointment only
    • Available weeks to schedule will be posted in May.  Specific dates will be updated and listed here.  
    • Typically occur over the summer and are preferred to be done during this time.
      • Note: It is preferred that applicants complete the interview and physical fitness assessment prior to the start of the Fall semester (due to their academic schedules and additional obligations).  
    • The complete application must be submitted to the DNS Interested Applicant Coordinator (MMC Triplett) before an interview will be scheduled. 
    • Before the physical fitness assessment will be conducted (or any participation in Battalion activities), the applicant will need to have either a DoDMERB physical qualification or a recent sports physical (no more than 90 days old) on file with the DNS Interested Applicant Coordinator.
    • Interviews will also be conducted virtually. 
    • Physical fitness assessments TBD due to COVID-19.
Application Process:
To apply for the SSMP, an applicant needs to complete the following:
  1. Full application package with supporting documentation
  2. DoDMERB medical assessment and qualification 
  4. Physical Fitness Assessment, and;
  5. Interview
The Department of Naval Science Staff will then review all applicants based on eligibility criteria, as well as their performance and interaction during the first month of the fall semester.
Click on the following link below to open the SSMP Application Package, follow the instructions and fill out electronically (PDF fillable form):
When you have completed the application and gathered the additional documentation listed in the package, scan and send to the MMA Department of Naval Science staff.  Once your package has been received and reviewed, a member of the Naval Science staff will contact you for any additional information regarding the medical qualification process, as well as scheduling the personal interview and physical fitness assessment.
Medical Assessment and Qualification Process:
The longest portion of the entire application process is the medical assessment and physical qualification.  The following is the typical sequence of events:
  1. The medical assessment process begins once an applicant submits the candidate information sheet (first portion of the SSMP Application Package) to the DNS Interested Applicant Coordinator.
  2. The DNS Interested Applicant Coordinator will then enter this information into a database to create the individual’s account within the Department of Defense Medical Exam Testing System (DoDMETS).  
  3. Once the account is approved, the applicant will then be able to complete the required forms and make appointments with the assigned providers for a physical and optometry exam.
  4. Once both the physical and optometry exams are completed, the health care provider will forward this information to the Department of Defense Medical Exam Review Board (DoDMERB).  
  5. DoDMERB will review the initial information, assign to a case worker according to last name, and then make a determination of the applicant’s qualification status.
  6. If there is any additional information needed by DoDMERB to make a determination, a request will be made to the applicant for additional medical information (AMI).  
  7. Once DoDMERB has all the necessary information, a final decision will be made.  The candidate may be determined medically qualified or disqualified.
  8. If an applicant is found medically disqualified, the condition may be waiverable.  Note: Some pre-existing conditions are not waiverable.  
  9. Requests for DoDMERB waivers must be initiated by the unit (DNS Staff) at the discretion of the OIC, and only if the applicant is deemed competitive for selection.  Just because a condition is waiverable does not guarantee that the unit will request a waiver, or that a waiver request will be approved.   If the waiver request is approved by DoDMERB, the applicant will be notified to provide additional information for further review.
  10.  After a waiver review is conducted, the applicant will be granted or denied a medical waiver for entry into the SSMP.
11. The following are the acceptable laboratory tests for determining sickle cell trate status:

     A. Hemoglobin solubility- will report as positive or negative. Positive result requires follow-up testing via Hemoglobin electrophoresis.

     B. Hemoglobin electrophoresis. The result will report the percentage of normal hemoglobin cells (A) and sickle cells (S). If 45% or greater of HGB S, contact N92A as this is likely not compatible with service.

     C. High pressure liquid chromatography (HLPC). 

     D. Many states performed sickle cell trait screening as a part of the newborn testing. These results can be used in lieu of the above.

Selection Process:
  • Once all application packages have been received, medical assessments started, physical fitness assessments are completed, and interviews conducted, the DNS Staff will assess each applicant based on their overall performance and demonstrated ability/potential to meet program and commissioning requirements.  Only qualified applicants who demonstrate the traits and characteristics of a future Naval Officer will be considered for selection.  A maximum of 20 applicants will be selected for their prospective year group.  
Each applicant will be notified of their status by personal notification and formal letter.  There are three status types that can be achieved: selected, provisionally selected, or not selected.  
  • An individual with a selected status are extremely competitive and meet all academic, physical fitness, and medical requirements.  They will be accepted and sworn into the program shortly after selections have been announced.  These individuals will become a member of the Battalion from this point forward and receive all benefits and entitlements as directed.  
  • An individual with a provisionally selected status is highly competitive candidate that has demonstrated great potential, but has not yet received a DoDMERB qualification and/or requires further monitoring for academic and physical fitness
    performance.  This individual will be provisionally sworn in and be considered a member of the Battalion, but will not receive any benefits or entitlements until meeting all criteria.  This provisional status will remain until the requirements of the provisional selection letter are met, or the end of the fall semester (whichever occurs first).
  • An individual with a not selected status will be informed of the decision, recommendations for improvement, and encouraged to re-apply in the following year, if eligible.  Participation in all Battalion events will cease and their application will be closed out.
Note: Students may participate in the SSMP without receiving SIP, but in order to receive SIP you must be accepted into the SSMP and remain in good standing.  Click here to learn more about SIP.
For more information or to begin the SSMP application process, contact  Chief Triplett at the contact information listed below.
Department of Naval Science
Massachusetts Maritime Academy                
101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532
Active Duty Staff:
Officer in Charge:                    
LT Matthew Campbell
Assistance Officer in Charge:   
LT Jeremy Brooks
Strategic Sealift Officer:
LCDR Stephen Cushing                
Senior Enlisted Leader/Administrative Officer/Interested Applicant Coordinator:              
Machinist's Mate Chief (SW) James R. Triplett
(508)830-5022 if not in the office call (360) 440-0768

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Department of Naval Science, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532; Phone: (508) 830-5022

If not in the office contact Cell Phone: (360) 440-0768 and ask for Chief Triplett

 Naval Service Training Command is the parent command for the Department of Naval Science, Massachusetts Maritime Academy. All information on this site is approved by the DPTNAVSCI MAMARICAD Officer In Charge. For technical issues contact the DPTNAVSCI MAMARICAD Webmaster.  Last updated and reviewed Jul 21, 2020.