(formerly the Merchant Marine Naval Reserve Program)

The Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics approved transitioning the Merchant Marine Naval Reserve Program into the Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP) on June 10, 2011.

The U.S Navy evolved out of the American Merchant Marine. Practically every Naval Officer and seafarer who served in the American Revolution was an experienced Merchant Mariner. The Navy's first fighting ships were primarily merchant vessels fitted with guns. During the Navy's early years, Naval officers and midshipmen were encouraged to sail on merchant vessels to gain additional seagoing experience and to improve their nautical skills.

Prior to World War II, officers trained in the Merchant Marine formed the most important manpower reserve for the Navy.

The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 was enacted so that the country would have a strong Merchant Marine, capable of service as a Naval and Military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency. Prior to the outbreak of war, qualified Merchant Marine officers joined the Naval Reserve and served our country valiantly.

Today the U.S. Navy has substantially fewer ships than it did at the end of World War II. However, one of its primary missions - protecting the sea lanes vital to the nation in time of war - has not changed. Since 1984, the Navy has been assigned the additional mission of Strategic Sealift. To accomplish this mission with fewer ships, the Navy is working more closely with the Merchant Marine than ever. In recent years MARAD and Military Sealift Command have established a program of government owned, civilian crewed vessels to carry out this strategic Sealift Mission.

The Strategic Sealift Officer Program builds and strengthens the bond between our companion sea services. Officers in the program serve as an essential link whenever merchant and naval vessels interact in combined operations.

The Calhoon MEBA Engineering School is proud to be a part of this effort. All of our courses have been approved by the SSOP as professional education courses. Officers attending them may be credited with up to five retirement points per anniversary year when taking non-STCW required courses. Up to thirty retirement points per year will be awarded for taking STCW required courses.

Officers attending the school may also drill with the local Merchant Marine Reserve Operational Command Headquarters Unit in either Washington, DC or Baltimore.

To learn more about this program and the procedures for validating retirement points, please contact Bryan Jennings at the school at (410) 822-9600.


Civility and Integrity are fundamental qualities expected of students attending the Calhoon MEBA Engineering School (CMES).  These characteristics are rooted in the vocational training that a mariner receives and preparation a mariner experiences to earn his/her professional sailing credentials.  Failure to preserve these ideals in the shipboard environment can have dire consequences; including damage to machinery, personal injury, death, and loss of the vessel.

Under the authority granted by the Trustees of the MEBA Training Plan, the CMES Director oversees the operation of the school; which includes executing rules that seek to achieve its mission and provide each student with a learning environment free from distractions.  CMES employees’ actions are also expected to be consistent with this code of conduct as they strive to support the educational setting and related accommodations.

The following behaviors are not tolerated because they are contrary to achieving the school’s mission:

  • Harassment
  • Defacement
  • Destruction
  • Violence
  • Thievery
  • Dishonesty
  • Intemperance

Each CMES student can expect to be treated with respect, dignity, and consideration and is expected to treat others at CMES the same.  Each student can expect the facilities and accommodations to be safe, clean, well-maintained, and comfortable.  Likewise, each student is to treat the facility and its equipment responsibly.  In addition to this general code of conduct, a clean appearance and attire is expected of each student both in classroom settings and the school’s common areas such as dining room, lounge, auditorium, and conference rooms.  Owing to the significant quantity of learning that is compacted into most CMES courses, tardiness and/or absenteeism is not tolerated, unless extenuating circumstances exist.

CMES is obliged to strictly enforce the standards outlined above in consideration of the commitment made by the companies to the quality of the training benefit, the state and federal Laws governing the school, and national and international Standards under which the school must operate.  At the discretion of the Director and Plans Administrator, failure to abide by the CMES’ code of conduct may result in denial of attendance and/or a suspension of the Training Plan benefit eligibility.

Any individual who becomes aware of conduct that he or she believes is in violation of this Code of Conduct is encouraged to report such conduct promptly to the CMES Director or to the CMES Academic Manager.  An individual, who reports conduct that he or she believes, in good faith, to be a violation of this Code of Conduct or who is involved in an investigation of conduct that may violate this policy, will not be subject to reprisal or retaliation.  Any individual who believes that he or she has been retaliated against in violation of this policy should promptly contact the Director or the Academic Manager.



The Calhoon MEBA Engineering School is a private maritime educational facility for training members of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, as well as all maritime and related industry professionals.


To provide each of today's professional marine engineers, deck officers, and related industry professionals with internationally recognized, state of the art training and experience that enhances the safety, reliability, and profitability of their vessels and equipment, while preserving and protecting the natural environment.

The Calhoon MEBA Engineering School (CMES) does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. CMES is  committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all MEBA members, our staff, volunteers, sub-contractors, vendors, and customers.

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