By Bryan Boggiano
Trent Owen, a former Parkland resident, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alumni, graduated from the U.S Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, in June.
Trent earned a bachelor of science degree and a commission in the U.S. Armed Forces. He also earned a Merchant Marine Officer license, allowing him to serve on any ship in the U.S. Flag Merchant Marine, according to a press release.
Trent, who was a 2018 graduate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was the mellophones section leader in the Eagle Regiment band.
The U.S. Marine Merchant Academy is one of five U.S. federal service academies that educates and graduates licensed Marine Merchant Officers to serve during peace and wartime.
In addition to meeting various academic and physical benchmarks, Trent had to be nominated by a senator or congressman.
All graduates of the USMMA must serve the United States upon graduation. Most Kings Point graduates serve eight years as Navy reservists in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program while working aboard U.S. flag vessels.
Others typically serve on active duty in the armed forces.
To prepare for his post-graduate service and as part of his education, Trent spent one-year training as a cadet aboard vessels.
At the Kings Point graduation ceremony, the Academy welcomed Secretary of Transportation and Lieutenant Pete Buttigieg as the commencement speaker.
Buttigieg spoke to the graduates about the importance of their education and their service to the country.
“This Academy, which trains and educates the majority of our Strategic Sealift Officers, is vital to our national security. And the Academy, and your service as mariners, SSOs, and members of the armed forces, might well be as important as ever in our history,” he said at the ceremony.
Buttigieg continued, “Now, more than ever, the Merchant Marine Academy is a deeply and enduringly important part of our economic and national security.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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