National Geographic : 1955 Nov
706 Plebes Stand at Brace. "Let's See More Chins, Mister," Says the Upperclassman After a full day in school, these beginners were routed out in full uniform and lined up in the dormitory hall to learn student discipline. As a privilege of his lofty status, the upperclassman appeared in bathrobe. Brace is a position of exaggerated attention here, just as it is at the other service academies. of the white mists blanketing Table Moun tain behind Cape Town. He had had an education, all right. I looked into some of Commander Beja rano's files on Academy graduates. Most, of course, had become ships' officers-masters, chief engineers, lesser grades. More than two-thirds of the officers in the superliner United States are graduates of the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, and so are the captains of several Farrell Lines vessels. A Kings Pointer is chief engineer of one of Esso's largest tankers. Many serve in the Navy under their reserve commissions. Kings Pointer Doubles as Doctor Others have become oceanographers, hy drographers, shipping executives, marine-in surance experts, marine-supply men, officials of stevedoring firms, port captains, regular Navy and Coast Guard officers, stationary engineers, and instructors. One Kings Point grad directs the Hayden Planetarium in New York. Another, mate in Meredith Victory during an epic refugee run made by that ship in 1951, delivered several Korean babies with only his school course in ship's medicine to guide him. Still another operates a copra plantation on Tahiti. More directly than many, he can attribute his paradisiacal life in the South Seas to the Academy. Calling at Papeete during his sea year, he fell in love with a French girl and went back after graduation to marry her. Not all Kings Point alumni, of course, end up in such odd anchorages. But certainly the Academy's graduates shove off for the great wide world with well-founded optimism in their hearts. Words of one of their football songs well sum up the faith with which they face the voyage of life: Heave ho! my lads, heave ho! Let the seas roll high or low. We can cross any ocean, sail any river, Give us the goods and we'll deliver.