Gyrion completes U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sea Year

KINGS POINT, N.Y. — Midshipman Brandon Gyrion, son of Karen and Kevin Gyrion of Clinton, recently completed Sea Year training at the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

Gyrion was nominated to the elite federal service academy by U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Gyrion is a graduate of Regina Catholic Education Center.

“The World is Our Campus” is emblematic of Sea Year, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's signature training program where midshipmen spend one year training aboard ocean-going vessels.

Gyrion traveled to Singapore, Japan, Africa, Egypt, Greece, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Belgium, Germany, France, England, Spain, Gibraltar, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Cyprus, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia aboard the M/V Green Cove, Maersk Seletar, and the USNS Carson City.

Sea Year is fundamental to the world-class maritime education provided by USMMA and is mandated by Congress. It is an immersive program in which midshipmen are assigned to commercial vessels as officers in training to learn maritime skills in a real-world environment and is unique to USMMA – nothing comparable is offered at any other college or university, including the four other federal service academies. By the end of their Sea Year, midshipmen will have trained on a diverse portfolio of vessels such as container ships, roll-on-roll-off ships, bulk grain and ore ships, and oil tankers.

“The cultures I have experienced around the world opened my eyes to the vastness of opportunity," Gyrion said. "However, these opportunities are awarded to those who work hard. Finally, I’ve realized it is important to maintain your personal values at all times.”

The United States Merchant Marine Academy is a federal service academy that educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers. In addition to the rigorous academic and physical requirements for admission, applicants must be nominated by their Congressman or Senator.

Last year marked the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1943-2018). Dedicated in wartime, USMMA has served the nation in both peace and war. As the first federal academy to admit women, USMMA also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first women to graduate from any federal service academy. Learn more about the Academy at