Bruce Santonio Morales, son of John and Gretchel Morales, of Valencia, recently graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. Morales earned a bachelor of science degree and a commission in the U.S. armed forces. He also earned a Merchant Marine officer license, qualifying him to serve as an officer on any ship in the U.S. flag merchant marine.
Morales is a graduate of Valencia High School.
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of five U.S. federal service academies. It educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers to serve the nation during peace and war. In addition to the rigorous academic and physical requirements for admission, applicants must be nominated by their congressional representative or senator.
All USMMA graduates incur an obligation to serve the United States. The U.S. Flag Merchant Marine – manned exclusively by American mariners – is essential for securing the country’s commerce in peacetime and delivering warfighters, weapons and military supplies in times of conflict.
The majority of “Kings Pointers” serve for eight years as Navy reservists in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program while working aboard U.S. flag vessels; others will serve on active duty in the nation’s armed forces. Morales will fulfill his commitment serving on active duty as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
As part of his four-year education, Morales spent one year training as a cadet aboard ocean-going vessels.