Merchant Marine Academy Now Standing Up and // Leading //

Published On: February 20, 2023|Categories: MRFF's Inbox, News|1 Comment|

From: Ailan Chubb
Subject: Merchant Marine Academy Now Standing Up and // Leading //
Date: February 20, 2023 at 10:25:59 AM MST
To: Michael L Weinstein <[email protected]>

Dear MRFF,

I see the Merchant Marine Academy now says it “will engage a vendor to clean and restore the painting and eventually display it at the Academy’s Chapel.” See

I am bowled over. 

To me the Academy is now demonstrating a deep commitment to unit cohesion to its midshipmen, faculty and staff. I believe the midshipmen will learn a great deal from this and be better leaders as a result. The Academy, MARAD and DOT will be in compliance with the law and in no uncertain terms. All who wish to enjoy the painting will be able to do so at their leisure by visiting the chapel on the USMMA grounds.

I still have some concerns. For example recently the site wrote about the USMMA Director-Officer of Leadership and Ethics. Reports are that this officer objected to covering the painting. At a formal meeting it appears the officer told the senior midshipmen they too should object. The only reason I can see for this officer to reject a religious-neutral workplace is if he does in fact want to force his belief system (his idea of his religion) on others. If this report is correct, to me it seems like this officer has done all he can to undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of the government agency for whom he works. If this report is correct, I think this officer should be required to undergo training and come up with a plan to start to repair the damage. Or else he should resign.

I remain concerned about further hostility to the Academy’s decision-making. 

But for today: I toast MRFF’s brave work. I toast Vice Admiral Joanna Nunan. The Maritime Administration appears to me to have appointed as the 14th Superintendent a rare, extraordinary person and leader.


Ailan Chubb
USMMA Class of 1983

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One Comment

  1. A.L. Hern February 20, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    The removal of the painting from the Eliott See Room to the Academy’s chapel SEEMS like a Solomonic decision, but it has its own problems.

    The articles refer to THE Academy Chapel. Are we to infer, then, that there is only one chapel that is meant go serve the spiritual needs of all midshipmen? If so, then to have said single chapel dominated by such an immense and overbearing sectarian image continues to send a message to all who enter its precincts that Jews, Muslims, Sikh, Baha’is, Zoroastrians and every other religion are permitted to use the Chapel only through sufferance of its Christian keepers, whereas in fact, the Chapel, like the entire Merchant Marine Academy is the wholly property of the American People — ALL the American People, of every religion, and no religion — whose tax dollars fund its operation.

    As such, at the very least, the retractable drapery that is currently hung over the painting in the See Room will need to be retained in the Chapel, so that Jesus will not function as unwanted Ringmaster in circuses not of his devising.

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