2006-01-04 / Farm & Home

Smith becomes member of U.S. Merchant Marines

Seafarer Philip Smith Seafarer Philip Smith Seafarer Philip Smith of Millen is a proud new member of the United States Merchant Marines having graduated from the Unlicensed Apprentice Program at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, located in Piney Point, Maryland.

Smith, son of Thomas and Teresa Smith, completed nine months of training that taught him the basic skills of seamanship in order that he may work aboard a U.S. commercial vessel. The program is conducted in three segments with the first 12 weeks of initial instruction taking place at the Paul Harbor Center in both classroom and hands-on setting. Then, Smith received on the job training as he worked aboard the Pride of America (Phase II Vessel), a fully operational U.S. flag merchant vessel, for three months. Finally, he returned to the Paul Hall Center for advanced instruction and received his entry rating merchant mariner’s document.

Included in his seamanship training are basic fire fighting, first aid and CPR, water survival skills, proper sanitation methods and oil spill prevention among other topics. Because personal discipline and precise work are vital parts of shipboard life, some segments of the program are conducted with military-like procedures. The day begins with a formal flag-raising ceremony, marching in formation to and from classes and activities, lowering at sundown, and wearing a uniform.

The Paul Hall Center is a joint union/management facility operated by the Seafarers International Union and its contracted companies. It has been providing basic training and advanced educational opportunities to members of the U.S. Merchant Marine since 1967. More information on the facility may be obtained by calling its Admission Department at (301) 9940010 or check out the web site at www.seafarers.org.

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