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|Formed||May 24, 1950|
|Parent agency||Department of Transportation|
The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation. MARAD administers financial programs to develop, promote, and operate the U.S. Maritime Service and the U.S. Merchant Marine. In addition it conducts research and development activities in the maritime field; regulates the transfer of U.S. documented vessels to foreign registries; maintains equipment, shipyard facilities, and reserve fleets of Government-owned ships essential for national defense.
Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. The Maritime Administration works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety. The Maritime Administration is also charged with maintaining the health of the merchant marine, since commercial mariners, vessels, and intermodal facilities are vital for supporting national security, and so the agency provides support and information for current mariners, extensive support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate America's young people about the vital role the maritime industry plays in the lives of all Americans.— MARAD 
MARAD also maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies and logistically supporting the military when needed.
When the United States Maritime Commission was abolished on May 24, 1950, its functions were split between the Federal Maritime Board which was responsible for regulating shipping and awarding subsidies for construction and operation of merchant vessels, and Maritime Administration, which was responsible for administering subsidy programs, maintaining the national defense reserve merchant fleet, and operating the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
In 1961, the Federal Maritime Board regulatory functions were assumed by the newly created Federal Maritime Commission, while the subsidy functions were assigned to the Maritime Subsidy Board of the Maritime Administration.
On August 6, 1981, MARAD came under control of the Department of Transportation thereby bringing all transportation programs under one cabinet-level department.
The Maritime Administration collaborates extensively with stakeholders from all transportation sectors and modes in order to accomplish its mission to improve and strengthen the U.S. marine transportation system. MARAD operates one federal service academy and administers a Grant-In-Aid Program for six state-operated maritime academies:
|Federal||United States Merchant Marine Academy||Kings Point, New York||One of the United States service academies|
|State||California Maritime Academy||Vallejo, California||A campus of the California State University|
|State||Maine Maritime Academy||Castine, Maine||A public post-secondary college and nautical training institution|
|State||Massachusetts Maritime Academy||Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts||A regionally accredited, coeducational, state college|
|State||Great Lakes Maritime Academy||Traverse City, Michigan||A division of Northwestern Michigan College|
|State||SUNY Maritime College||Bronx, New York||A campus of the State University of New York|
|State||Texas A&M Maritime Academy||Galveston, Texas||A branch campus of Texas A&M University|
Students at these academies can graduate with appropriate United States Coast Guard licenses (Mate or Engineer) if they choose to take the Coast Guard License exam, and may become commissioned reserve officers in any branch of the service when graduating from USMMA or a ROTC scholarship from one of the other maritime schools.
The Maritime Subsidy Board negotiates contracts for ship construction and grants operating-differential subsidies to shipping companies.
The Maritime Administrator is vested with the residual powers of the Director of the National Shipping Authority, which was established in 1951 to organize and direct emergency merchant marine operations.
The Maritime Security Program (MSP) authorizes MARAD to enter into contracts with U.S.-flag commercial ship owners to provide service during times of war or national emergencies. As of 2007, ten companies have signed contracts providing the MSP with a reserve of sixty cargo vessels. 
|Administrator||Term started||Term ended|
|Edward L. Cochrane||August 8, 1950||October 1, 1952|
|Albert W. Gatov||October 2, 1952||June 30, 1953|
|Louis S. Rothschild||July 1, 1953||February 25, 1955|
|Clarence G. Morse||March 16, 1955||May 1, 1960|
|Ralph E. Wilson||July 1, 1960||February 22, 1961|
|Donald W. Alexander||October 9, 1961||October 31, 1963|
|Nicholas Johnson||March 2, 1964||June 30, 1966|
|Andrew E. Gibson||March 25, 1969||July 6, 1972|
|Robert J. Blackwell||July 7, 1972||April 9, 1979|
|Harold E. Shear||October 19, 1981||May 31, 1985|
|John A. Gaughan||November 26, 1985||March 26, 1989|
|Warren G. Leback||October 11, 1989||January 20, 1993|
|Albert J. Herberger||September 14, 1993||June 30, 1997|
|Clyde J. Hart Jr.||August 6, 1998||May 21, 2000|
|William G. Schubert||December 6, 2001||February 11, 2005|
|Sean T. Connaughton||September 6, 2006||January 20, 2009|
|David T. Matsuda||July 30, 2009||June 4, 2013|
|Paul N. "Chip" Jaenichen||July 25, 2014||January 13, 2017|
|Mark H. Buzby||August 3, 2017||January 11, 2021|
|Ann C. Phillips||May 16, 2022||Present|
The United States Merchant Marine are United States civilian mariners and U.S. civilian and federally owned merchant vessels. Both the civilian mariners and the merchant vessels are managed by a combination of the government and private sectors, and engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine primarily transports domestic and international cargo and passengers during peacetime, and operate and maintain deep-sea merchant ships, tugboats, towboats, ferries, dredges, excursion vessels, charter boats and other waterborne craft on the oceans, the Great Lakes, rivers, canals, harbors, and other waterways. In times of war, the Merchant Marine can be an auxiliary to the United States Navy, and can be called upon to deliver military personnel and materiel for the military.
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is a United States service academy in Kings Point, New York. It trains its midshipmen to serve as officers in the United States Merchant Marine, branches of the United States Armed Forces and the transportation industry. Midshipmen are trained in different fields such as marine engineering, navigation, ship's administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, and many other subjects important to the task of running a large ship.
The National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) consists of ships of the United States, mostly merchant vessels, that have been mothballed but can be activated within 20 to 120 days to provide shipping during national military emergencies, or non-military emergencies such as commercial shipping crises.
The United States Maritime Commission (MARCOM) was an independent executive agency of the U.S. federal government that was created by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, which was passed by Congress on June 29, 1936, and was abolished on May 24, 1950. The commission replaced the United States Shipping Board which had existed since World War I. It was intended to formulate a merchant shipbuilding program to design and build five hundred modern merchant cargo ships to replace the World War I vintage vessels that comprised the bulk of the United States Merchant Marine, and to administer a subsidy system authorized by the Act to offset the cost differential between building in the U.S. and operating ships under the American flag. It also formed the United States Maritime Service for the training of seagoing ship's officers to man the new fleet.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act is known as the Jones Act and deals with cabotage. It requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on ships that have been constructed in the United States and that fly the U.S. flag, are owned by U.S. citizens, and are crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. The act was introduced by Senator Wesley Jones. The law also defines certain seaman's rights.
The United States Maritime Service (USMS) was established in 1938 under the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 as voluntary training organization to train individuals to become officers and crewmembers on merchant ships that form the United States Merchant Marine per 46 U.S.C. § 51701. Heavily utilized during World War II, the USMS was largely dissolved in 1954, and its resources were absorbed into other federal departments. However, while the service is no longer structurally organized, remnants of the service still exist today and the service still actively commissions officers to function as administrators and instructors at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the state maritime academies.
The United States Federal Maritime Board was an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, responsible for certain aspects of merchant shipping between 1950 and 1961.
USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) was the lead ship of her class of oceanographic survey ships for the United States Navy. Launched as the SS South Bend Victory in 1945, Maritime Commission hull number MCV 694, a type VC2-S-AP3 Victory ship, she was named for Nathaniel Bowditch, the second U.S. Navy vessel named in his honor. The ship was acquired by the Navy in August 1957 and converted to an AGS at Charleston Naval Shipyard. Named Bowditch on 8 August 1957 and placed in service 8 October 1958 for operation by the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS).
The maritime history of the United States is a broad theme within the history of the United States. As an academic subject, it crosses the boundaries of standard disciplines, focusing on understanding the United States' relationship with the oceans, seas, and major waterways of the globe. The focus is on merchant shipping, and the financing and manning of the ships. A merchant marine owned at home is not essential to an extensive foreign commerce. In fact, it may be cheaper to hire other nations to handle the carrying trade than to participate in it directly. On the other hand, there are certain advantages, particularly during time of war, which may warrant an aggressive government encouragement to the maintenance of a merchant marine.
The Merchant Marine Gallant Ship Citation is an award of the United States Merchant Marine. The award is presented as a bronze plaque to vessels, with officers and crew being awarded a ribbon bar to denote the award. Both United States flagged vessels and foreign flagged vessels are eligible for the award.
USTS Empire State VI (T-AP-1001), callsign KKFW, IMO number 5264510, was a troop ship of the United States Navy and training vessel of the United States Maritime Service.
The United States merchant marine forces matured during the maritime history of the United States (1900–1999).
The Type C4-class ship were the largest cargo ships built by the United States Maritime Commission (MARCOM) during World War II. The design was originally developed for the American-Hawaiian Lines in 1941, but in late 1941 the plans were taken over by the MARCOM.
The Cargo Preference Act or Cargo Preference refers generally to legal requirements for the carriage of government-impelled cargoes on the vessels flagged within the registry of that government for the purpose of promoting a national merchant marine. Cargo Preference is commonplace among the world's seafaring nations, including Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, Taiwan.
USA Maritime is a coalition of American ship operators, maritime labor organizations and related maritime associations. The purpose of the coalition is to educate policy makers, the media, and the public about the U.S. merchant marine and the importance of the U.S. maritime industry to the military, economy, and homeland security of the United States.
Thomas A. King, Rear Admiral, was the first graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, New York (1942) to become its Superintendent He was the 6th Superintendent of the USMMA, serving in that capacity from 1980-1987.
The SS Baton Rouge was a cargo Victory ship built during World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. The Baton Rouge (MCV-846) was a type VC2-S-AP2 Victory ship built by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards. The Maritime Administration cargo ship was the 846rd ship built. Her keel was laid on June 21, 1945. She was launched on August 22, 1945, and completed on September 24, 1945. The 10,600-ton ship was constructed for the Maritime Commission. The American Export Line and later the Isthmian Steamship Company operated her under the United States Merchant Marine act for the War Shipping Administration.
The National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) is a United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) ship designed as training vessels for the US maritime academies. The vessels will also be equipped to provide emergency humanitarian relief in areas affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes. The first ship was expected to be delivered in 2022. In April 2020, TOTE Services signed a contract with Philly Shipyard for the construction of up to five NSMVs, with the first two delivered in Spring and Winter 2023 for a cost of US$630M.
The SS Baylor Victory was a cargo Victory ship built during World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. The Baylor Victory (MCV-772) was a type VC2-S-AP2 Victory ship built by California Shipbuilding Corporation in Los Angeles, California. The Maritime Administration cargo ship was the 772rd ship built. Her keel was laid on Jan. 13, 1945. She was launched on March 6, 1945 and completed on March 30, 1945. The 10,600-ton ship was constructed for the Maritime Commission. She operated her under the United States Merchant Marine act for the War Shipping Administration. She was named for Baylor University, a private Christian university in Waco, Texas. At her launching Baylor University was represented by 18 graduates and friends. University President Pat M. Neff gave a short speech at the launching and christening ceremony. Los Angeles District Judge Minor L. Moore, a Baylor graduate of 1900, also spoke. Baylor Victory was launched at 1:20 a.m. and was lit up by large floodlights.
USNS Furman (T-AK-280) was a Norwalk class Fleet Ballistic Missile Cargo Ship, which was launched as a World War II commercial Victory cargo ship, the SS Furman Victory under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. The Furman Victory was acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1963.