OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED ON SEA
LARGE FIELD OPEN IN FOREIGN TRADE FOR YOUNG MEN SAYS HURLEY.
The Merchant Marine Offers a remarkable field for advancement to a young college student. It is an entirely new opening, and one which is full of opportunity for an enterprising man. During the war, the United States began building its huge fleet of merchant ships which is rapidly nearing completion. Fully 65,000 officers and men will be needed for the ships coming out in 1919 alone, and the demand is acute for intelligent men, especially those who have had some naval experience, to man these ships.
Men who join the Merchant Marine are first given preliminary training as uniformed apprentices, either in the deck or in the engineer department of a training ship to help them find their "sea legs," before going aboard a merchant vessel. This training is given on board large, well equipped ships, supplied with every accessory to healthful living. The training is intensive for two months, with a wholesome system of instruction and exercise lasting eight hours a day, and with proper intervals for rest and recreation. The apprentices are paid $30 a month, and given a uniform.
When he has finished his training, the apprentice takes his place in actual work at sea in the rating for which he is trained, starting as a sailor at $55 a month and board. After two years of sea experience, he may enter a United States Shipping Board School in navigation, to fit himself for an officer's license. In three years more, he can pass through all three grades as mate--third, second, and first, in order--and his next step in promotion is to the command of a ship.
Besides the opportunity on ship board, there is even a greater field open to the young man, who, through the Merchant Marine, is chosen to represent an American commercial house in a foreign port. With the present rapid expansion of foreign trade, and this country's growing program for shipping to be managed under the flag, there is a sharp demand for experienced men to fill managerial positions, and the Shipping Board is prepared to train such men on its squadron of commercial cruisers. For this, a knowledge of Spanish would be of great value, as the need in South America for young men who have managerial ability is very great. For a college man of intelligence, this chance to rise to a position of trust in a large trading firm is most inviting.
Even to those who have other fields as their ultimate aim, a year in the Merchant Marine would not be wasted. Many men have found that their adventurous spirit was whetted by war experiences, and are not content to resume the uneventful existence of their pre-war days. For men of this sort, the Merchant Marine, with its voyages and experiences through the seven seas, is the one vehicle by which such restless young Americans can gratify the spirit of pioneering awakened by the world war.
The majority of the lads now entering the Merchant Marine realize that they can well afford to spend two or three years seeing the world, with the opportunity to stay and work up to the command of a ship, or to a position of responsibility in a commercial house in a few years more. It is this spirit of adventure that is pulling so many young men away from the humdrum things of life, and that will establish American trade in the far ports of the earth.